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Columnists > Christine Morgan

Christine Morgan
Christine lives half way up a hill overlooking the historic town of Guimarães the birthplace of Portugal. Although Christine has lived in Portugal for most of her life she is still a Brit at heart. Until recently Christine ran a trading office working with top high street fashion names like John Lewis, Henry Holland and Ted Baker (where she also managed the production in Portugal for a number years). She now works at the British Council teaching part time, works freelance as a translator and, in between, writes. To connect with Christine via Twitter and Linked in and find links to her e book and other written work visit her "about me".

Christine Morgan

St. James's Way (Caminho de Santiago, Portugal)

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday May 13, 2014 (03:04:01)   (2705 Reads)
Christine Morgan
The Way of St. James was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times. Legend holds that St. James’s remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain where he was buried on the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. It is also a pleasant hike.

With this in mind and with the Easter break to hand, a couple of girlfriends from my Uni days (one who lives close and the other who came over from Scotland specially) decided it was time to test our hiking skills and attempt the task of walking from Caminha in Portugal to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.    more ...

Christine Morgan

Spring In Portugal

Posted by: Carole on Sunday March 30, 2014 (17:36:00)   (2393 Reads)
Christine Morgan
I know spring is here because a little bird with a big voice welcomes the day now at five thirty every morning and keeps up his enthralling repertoire till around five fifty. At which point I continue to lie in bed for another few hours contemplating my navel, as the saying goes. The other sign that spring has definitely sprung is the abundance of flowering magnolia trees and other various blossoms around the town and the crop of white irises, which appears like magic every year, in the garden outside my bedroom. But that is as far as it goes, although we did have a really out of season hot spell for the first few weeks of March. I was even inspired to go for a six kilometre hike early one Sunday morning in practice for the “big “ Easter walk, but more of that later.    more ...

Christine Morgan

The Chimney Saga In Guimarães

Posted by: Carole on Thursday February 27, 2014 (04:40:47)   (1601 Reads)
Christine Morgan
Back in the throes of autumn winds and downpours we realised that if the wind blew in a certain direction, water came down the chimney into the fireplace. Evidently the construction was at fault but it was a little late to complain about that, so hubby set about designing a sort of chimney “top hat” to keep the rain out and avoid the bellows of smoke that choked into the living room every time we tried to light a fire during a particularly bad storm.

The problem was, who could we ask to make this contraption? It was to be made in zinc initially, so did we need to find a welder? Or should we look around for a builder? Or even a chimney sweep, would he have the right connections?    more ...

Christine Morgan

Why Did Grumpy Get The Hump With Amazon And Tights?

Posted by: Carole on Thursday January 30, 2014 (02:33:38)   (2832 Reads)
Christine Morgan
Recently I discovered on FB that a friend of mine from Uni days is now a famous writer and I curled up under the duvet ready to download her e book and enjoy a good read in bed. Thereby ensued a fight (which lasted 2 days) with Amazon. Due to a purchase way back when from I had somehow been affiliated to the .com (USA site) rather than the. (UK one) and was being forced into paying for the book in dollars.

This was further exacerbated by the fact that my Kindle is a golden oldie, where you have to punch your message in rather than the sophisticated touch screen of later models. Slouched in bed trying to resolve what I considered an affront to my British identity I kept hitting the wrong letter and pressing the wrong key, stubbornly refusing to leave the warmth, get up, put on my dressing gown and go to the office where I could have had the whole process done and dusted in a matter of minutes on the computer.    more ...

Christine Morgan

Ring Out The Old Ring In The New

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday January 07, 2014 (17:37:20)   (2171 Reads)
Christine Morgan
Ring out the old ring in the new. What a difference one non-descript day presumes to make. Suddenly we all want to resolve to do something; do more exercise, eat less chocolate, drink less wine (that’s mine). But it is easy to commit to resolutions from the depths of a sofa, wine glass in one hand, chocolate in the other. When, on the first Monday back at work, we have to drive through the sheets of rain (yes, the rain is back with a vengeance) over potholes down the darkening streets, desperately searching for a parking place. Then venture forth to get bashed around by blustery, wet gales as we struggle to cross the road and run for cover, umbrella whipped inside out. Suffice to say that our daily quest to get to and fro from work here in the north of Portugal is sufficient to make us think of returning home, sinking into that sofa, savouring a slice of Terry’s chocolate orange and uncorking a bottle.    more ...

Christine Morgan

Grumpy Gets Jazzed Up In Guimarães

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday December 03, 2013 (04:17:16)   (2758 Reads)
Christine Morgan
It’s actually quite difficult, even for me, to be grumpy in November but I try. The trees explode in tones of russet and amber, the air is crisp and the rain stops, albeit temporarily. St Martin’s day, on November 11th is famous for its Indian summer. Actually the sun does show its face but it still feels freezing, so it’s my advice to admire the sun through a window whilst huddled round an open fire eating chestnuts. Eating Chestnuts is, in fact, what you do on St Martin’s day, along with copious amounts of food and beverage in the company of friends or family. Then you reach for the Andrews liver salts (if you are lucky enough to have any) to curb the subsequent indigestion.

The best thing about November in Guimarães though, by far, is the annual Jazz festival. It runs for 2 weeks and has been held here for over 20 years attracting some of the big names from the jazz world to this tiny corner of Europe.    more ...

Christine Morgan

Grumpy Has Visitors Galore In The Wet-Season

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday November 05, 2013 (05:33:43)   (4210 Reads)
Christine Morgan
In October, what I call the wet season begins. I come from Manchester where it can certainly rain, but until living here in Guimaraes I don’t think I had ever seen rain quite like this. The Portuguese call this area of the Minho (Guimarães and Braga) the piss pot of the North and the rain this month has been, for want of a better word, incessant. It will no doubt continue for six months but locals will easily forget three or four weeks of continual downpour in the light of a few, sporadic sunny days. Grumpy, however, does not. Still it is very green here in the Minho and I can save money not having to water the lawn till next May.

My son arrived back from four years in Windsor at the beginning of October with a truckload of belongings. His bedroom floor and most of the garage are filled with huge cardboard boxes. There is a general sense of upheaval.    more ...

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