Welcome to the Duck House

Quack!Welcome to the website of Chip the Duck. No part of this site has been the subject of an expense claim from the taxpayer, unlike this duck house.
On these pages you’ll find information and links relating to my favourite interests and activities. In no particular order these are Sir Peter Viggers’ Duck House purchased with UK taxpayers’ money, EU Corruption and Dictatorship centred on Brussels (not a problem for too much longer), Geocaching, Portsmouth FC, Good Quality Street Art (not scrawled graffiti), Setting & Solving Puzzles, Sea Fishing, Photography, Ducks in general, all things Portuguese (I split my time between England and Portugal) plus some other stuff.

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Lagos Street Art 2017 – Part 2

If you live in the Algarve region of Portugal you may have come across the street art in and around Lagos, or seen articles and images in the Tomorrow Algarve magazine.

The huge mural by Mister Thoms featured in my last post is my favourite of this year’s works, but there are lots of other quality pieces in the streets and in the old town jail.

The Old Jail

The programme entitled ARTURb is sponsored each year by Laboratório de Actividades Criativas (LAC)  who are based in the town’s former jail at Rua Largo do Convento de Nossa Sra. Da Glória in Lagos (we love long street names). The internal walls of the jail are painted white each August to prepare them as “canvases” for the visiting artists who are ably assisted by Jorge Pereira, LAC’s resident artist.

This year the artists were:

Czarnobyl from Poland who works entirely using stencils and spray paint and belongs to a group of artists working in Berlin. The blue android was created from a dozen layers each using different stencils and can be found in Rua Alvaro Esteves in the Santo Amaro area of Lagos. The stencils are prepared in advance so this work took less than a morning to complete on site. He has a website at stencil-spray.de

Er’naste Nasimo – This reclining figure is the work of Er’naste Nasimo and can be found near Pepper’s bar in Rua Soeiro da Costa in the old town. Er’naste travelled from his home in Bulgaria to demonstrate his style of street art. All street art sites are agreed with Lagos Camara (Council) and permission obtained from the owners of the walls in advance. Er’naste’s website is at nasimo.org

Jorge Charrua specialises in portraits and produced several canvases for exhibition in the old jail before hitting the streets to produce the portrait shown here on an electricity sub-station in Rua da Ameijeira. This work was produced using ordinary household silk finish emulsion applied with brush and rollers. More at www.instagram.com/jorgecharrua1

Kruella D’Enfer– The above images were all shot in the street but Kruella from Lisbon,  who specialises in colourful 3D art, produced the most poignant work inside the jail. It is contained in the solitary confinement cell and is a chilling contrast between a fantasy parkland landscape and the stark bars of the tiny windowless concrete cell. Her website is at www.kruelladenfer.com/

In addition to Kruella, each of the artists contributed to the “Jail Project” by producing  sculptures and paintings on and in the jail. Here are some examples each with the artist’s name.

Mister Thoms

Mister Thoms

A Rusty Toolbox from Mister Thoms




Jorge Churrua

The Artists with LAC Staff

Whilst the jail is not manned permanently, you will find it open most weekdays and, from experience, you will warmly welcomed and allowed to view the art free of charge. It’s perhaps best to telephone first on 00351 282 084 959.

There is an ARTURb website featuring some of the works by Jorge Pereira, the resident LAC artist, with links to all the artists participating since the programme began in 2011 which is well worth investigating. Far better to visit LAC if you are ever in the Algarve.

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Lagos Street Art – 2017

Followers of my occasional blog will know that I have an interest in street art, particularly around Lagos (in Portugal, not the Nigerian one). In conjunction with the local council, LAC (Lagos’ arts laboratory) invites artists from around Europe to join local artists in painting walls around the town. They also paint the inside of the old town jail which happens to be LAC’s HQ.

Each year I produce articles for the Western Algarve’s English language monthly magazine, Tomorrow, and will reproduce the images here, with perhaps a few extra, starting with the feature on Italian artist Mister Thoms who produced this year’s most spectacular piece of street art.  It was created over 4 days using a cherry picker, brushes, paint rollers and a lot of paint! His website is well worth a visit: www.thoms.it

Here are some shots taken whilst he was working.

Mister Thoms from Rome (real name Diego Della Posta) has been producing urban art for 20 years and, true to the Italian stereotype, he passed the time happily singing operatic arias as he applied the paint through the heat of the day. Not everyone is delighted with the transformation; one neighbour complained that she had to look at it every day, but most view it as an improvement on a blank wall covered in scrawled “tags” (signatures) as low grade graffiti is all too common in Portugal.

The finished masterpiece  entitled “Don’t Take the Bait” makes a statement about the dangers of social media and can be viewed on the side of a building close to Os Lambertos restaurant in the new town.

Further info: LAC – Laboratório de Actividades Criativas    Tel 00351 282 084 959
Rua Largo do Convento de Nossa Sra. Da Glória (the old jail), 8600-660 Lagos 

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Odiáxere Carnival 2017

Two years ago we went to the Carnival Parade at the small village of Odiáxere near Lagos in South West Portugal. It was so good that we went again this year and took a few photos of the locals of all ages enjoying life…





































































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Six Nations Rugby – Anyone Understand It?

Certainly not the players!

I confess to being a “football man”. This largely stems from the fact that I was the 2nd smallest kid in my school year and consequently not great rugby material.


Maybe this is the attraction…

My only venture on to a rugby field came when my sadistic PT teacher forced me to move from football to rugby for one match. I lurked on the right wing hoping to avoid any action for most of the game until one of my over zealous team mates passed me the ball. I took two steps before being spread-eagled in the mud by a giant thug who did his best to crush me. Never again – next week I was back on the football pitch!

My grandson follows proudly in my footsteps. Picked to play in an inter-schools tournament at The Stoop (Harlequins’ ground next to Twickenham) he is the only person to grace that hallowed ground without actually touching the ball.

So I have followed football all my life and am an avid supporter of Portsmouth (which in itself requires you to be a man of steel), having largely ignored rugby until recently when friends persuaded me that the 6 Nations was good to watch.

And it was. I watched England v Italy yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it, but didn’t have a clue what was going on – and neither did the players who had to consult the referee once to determine the rules. And he changed his mind after he watched a replay on YouTube and checking the rules with someone in the stand. Oh, and apparently they are Laws, not Rules – do me a favour.

If anything requires a radical simplification it is the laws of Rugby Union, second only to the UK tax system.

Penalties are awarded for anything. “Going in with a shoulder” and “Knocking On” seem to be heinous crimes, but to me it just looked like a heap of fat guys thumping hell out of each other.

And the terminology is mind boggling. Players with names like “Tight Head Prop”, “Fly Half” and “Hooker” (not illegal?) engage in “Rucks”, “Mauls” and “Scrums”.

Having said all the above, I reiterate that I enjoyed watching the game, particularly the tries (trys?) and will watch again, but it will never replace football until they sort out the impenetrable rules. Sorry, laws.

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Ecco Shoes Rip-Off Continues


Followers of this blog may recall my post 2 years ago concerning quality problems with expensive shoes made by Danish manufacturer Ecco.

Unfortunately I bought 4 pairs of premium priced shoes before I realised that the soles fall apart if you don’t wear them regularly. Since my last post a pair of golf shoes has fallen apart whilst I was playing the 17th at Palmares and last week we were out with a friend when the sole on his shoes came to pieces in a restaurant. To his great embarrassment he left a trail of rubber throughout the restaurant and had to ask for plastic bags to cover his feet as it was raining outside.


It was fortunate that he did not have to walk home.

I was similarly lucky that the soles of my £100+ golf shoes disintegrated on the 17th hole so I only had to hobble one more hole.

dscn2053dscn2054It really is time that something was done about this company as we are far from alone with this problem as this link shows and, as mentioned previously, you can whistle for a refund.

Where are Trading Standards? What price the EU’s CE mark?

I’m afraid it will have to be down to People Power.

Boycott Ecco and tell your friends!

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Two Year Brexit – You’re having a laugh!

dscn2230The EU will need at least 10 years to agree a trade deal with the UK – forget 2 years after Article 50.

The EU’s deal with Canada took 7 years, and then only after they ran roughshod over Belgium’s veto. Canada’s agreement was strictly about trade – no requirement for them to take immigrants (note!!) or adopt EU laws, so it was far more straightforward than the Brexit negotiation.

The cumbersome and bureaucratic EU is incapable of reaching agreement in less than 10 years – that’s one reason why we voted to leave.

Hard Brexit is the only option thanks to the incompetence of those on the Brussels/Strasbourg gravy train.

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Street Artists go Stir Crazy

Once again the street artists have brightened walls in Lagos, Portugal. And they didn’t just stir the paint, they painted the town jail – like this…

arturb-279Laboratório de Actividades Criativas (LAC), an arts organisation part financed by the Portuguese government, invited 5 well known street artists from Norway, Poland, Holland and two from Porto for this year’s series of events.

LAC is based in Lagos’ old town jail in Largo Convento Sra. da Glória. The first task of the visiting artists was to redecorate the inside of the jail for viewing by the public. Like the above work by Third from Porto.

Another Porto artist, Mots (real name Diogo Ruas) painted all 4 walls and the ceiling of one of the rooms at the jail – here is a detail from his painting which is perhaps redolent of M C Escher. You can view much more of his art here

pic-2Next, here is a creation on 3 walls of the old jail’s exercise yard. It is by M-City (Mariusz Waras from Poland) . It depicts workers fleeing from burning offshore oilrigs, with a reference to local virgin olive oil – highly topical in the light of crazy plans to drill for oil off the Algarve.


Further below there are some shots of a large piece of street art panted by Dutch artist Daan Botlek but here is a small example that he produced inside the jail.


Daan also produced”The Overthinker” in a stair well in the jail.


You can visit the jail (interesting in itself) and view this and a selection of other amazing art on the walls. There is no charge and no appointment is necessary, just drop in during the day and say hello.

On to the Streets

Once the jail had been transformed three of the artists created murals around the streets of Lagos on sites pre-agreed with the Camara (Council) and the owners of the walls.

LAC are sponsored by Portuguese electricity supplier EDP, so an electricity tower is fair game for M-City. He created this piece in just under 5 hours using a cherry picker.




pic7_finishedPaint was applied using rollers and cans of spray paint.

So what is it? Close examination reveals that it is a wrecked bus or coach standing on end covering two sides of the tower, one showing the side of the bus and the other the underside.

M-City has produced other pieces around Lagos, including a stencil opposite Joe’s Garage in the old town which is worth a look. He works using both stencils and by painting freehand.

You can view his extensive catalogue of street art on the internet by going here and selecting “walls” from the menu.

More from Daan Botlek as he creates his version of Newton’s Cradle on a viaduct under the EN125 coast road next to Restaurante Trinidade and the campsite.


pic9pic10Daan lives in Berlin but originally hails from Holland and has an extensive online exhibition at his website

Before his visit the wall was painted white as a background. When Daan arrived he pointed out that the figures he was painting were going to be white so there was a hasty repaint in pale blue!

The finished work was painted entirely using rollers of different sizes and was tiring work, hanging off a ladder and repeatedly climbing up and down. Certainly a young man’s game.

Finally we turn to Anders Gjennestad who comes from Norway.

Whereas the other artists are quite “in your face” with bold murals that jump off the wall, Anders’ jumping men are far more subtle.


He prefers to work on old naturally weathered surfaces using stencils that he painstakingly produces in advance, each one slightly different to the next. He uses up to 8 stencils in any one piece of work and applies different shades of spray paint, sticking each stencil in place in turn with masking tape.

The result is a piece of 3D art that integrates with its surroundings as can be seen on the weathered gates in Rua Convento Sra. da Glória and on the wall below.


You will find other examples of Anders’ stencils around the town but you may need to keep your eyes open, or you can go to his website.

To conclude here is a stencil by M-City, the most prolific of the visiting artists, painted in one of the cells in the old town jail. I imagine the original inmates would have liked to have had a pneumatic drill on hand.

pic15Why not visit the jail to view the art? They might even let you leave!

3-artists4 Diagreeable


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