Fresh-cut flowers

Here is what I know about flowers: To dry a bunch of flowers, you must tie them and hang them upside down in a dry draughty place for quite a long time. In the fresh-cut flower industry there are two positions in which flowers are handled; lying flat and upright. In the field they grow... Continue Reading →

Things to be thankful for

This post deals with my response to: Letters of Note: Things to worry about. I have pressed this letter from F. Scott Fitzgerald to his eleven-year-old daughter, because it struck me as so odd, so very different from my experience. I am sure that if I had received such an intense letter from anybody when I... Continue Reading →

You look familiar

I am sure most people have been told that they look familiar at least once in their lives upon meeting a stranger. The trouble is that this used to happen to me a lot in my early twenties. This used to upset me because my childhood indoctrination, religious and otherwise, had taught me that I... Continue Reading →

Honey, much sweeter than wine

I really ought to thank my mother in front of the whole world for never once missing the opportunity to take my sister and I for our six-monthly dental check-up for near on two decades. I have a healthy mouth full of silver of which I can be proud. I say this with a toothache... Continue Reading →

Green things

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest web page is one I would really like to explore in depth. This type of writing is an art form in itself, albeit not one which conjures up an image of tucking one's knees under the rug on a sofa, hot cup of tea in hand, and settling down to a cosy... Continue Reading →

A blank wall

Ten days ago I did some painting. I am sorry to disappoint you. It was far removed from fine art, although I looked like a real masterpiece when the work was done. The medium: white interior/exterior PVA on one bedroom wall which has suffered the ravages of winter damp over the last three years, and... Continue Reading →

Now or never: translation of a poem and other things I don´t know

I have chosen now. Well, that is rather misleading. Let me rephrase that: I have finally chosen now to be the time. This is the time to translate that poem. I shall need a preamble for this. For fellow translators in a hurry: the poem in the original Portuguese together with the English translation are... Continue Reading →

The art of writing paper

I needed a plastic sleeve the other day to give someone some documents. The only one available (and decent-looking) was one containing seven sheets of pretty writing paper. This was a gift received seven years ago from a friend with whom I used to correspond frequently via snail mail. I appreciated the gesture very much.... Continue Reading →

Rude comments collection

The most delightful public scultpure I have encountered is on a roundabout as one approaches Faro airport. It consists of an assemblage of slightly larger than life figures in various postures all looking up towards the sky. Made of limestone, on top of which much of the Algarve stands, they have the feel of being... Continue Reading →


Oooh, I loved steps. I have always traversed them two at a time. Yes, up and down. When I was younger and foolish, I used to jump the last four to the ground. Indoor hockey training at the local stadium as a school girl involved running up and down the concrete grandstands until our legs... Continue Reading →

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