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

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 … Read more

Spring In Portugal

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 … Read more

The Chimney Saga In Guimarães

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” … Read more

Ring Out The Old Ring In The New

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 … Read more

Grumpy Gets Jazzed Up In Guimarães

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 … Read more

Grumpy Has Visitors Galore In The Wet-Season

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 … Read more