Street Art

I think most of us agree that scrawled “tags” are an eyesore. The product of juvenile half wits with nothing better to do.

But now and again I spot a really clever piece of street art, like this one in Lagos in the Algarve. Watch out Banksy – there’s another artist around who also has a head for heights!


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Pirates Battle It Out In The Algarve

pirates ah aaarrrrghThe Algarve Pirates got a bit of a bashing on Saturday (8 March) near Alcantarilha in the Western Algarve at the hands of the Maximinos Warriors, who had travelled from Braga in northern Portugal.

No, it’s not civil war in Portugal – it’s American Football which is fast gaining popularity here in the sunshine.

Thanks to a post in the excellent Algarve Daily News, the essential English online daily publication that keeps expats in touch with Algarvian news and events, we discovered that the Algarve’s recently formed grid iron team were playing this afternoon at the Amendoeira Resort, so we toddled along. It was totally free of charge and a turned out to be a thoroughly entertaining afternoon in the sunshine.

The only downside was that the Pirates got to walk the plank with a score which I reckoned to be 34-6, although there were a number of different scorelines according to members of the crowd of about 100 people.

Don’t be put off by the disappointingly small crowd – this was thoroughly entertaining stuff. The commitment of the two teams and the noisy enthusiasm of the crowd would put most larger sporting occasions to shame.

It’s a rough game and unfortunately the Pirates’ Wide Receiver, apparently a key member of the team, was stretchered off and taken by our long suffering Bombeiros to the local hospital.

It is 30 years since I last attended American Football games, watching the London Monarchs at Wembley, and I was rusty on the rules and the scoring, but this is a game which is at least as enjoyable as rugby and, in my view, more tactical. Sadly on my two visits to the USA there were no games in my vicinity – I’d love to watch a top class game live.

its hereOn occasions I lost sight of the ball in the mass of heavily armoured bodies – and so did the players!!

The visitors showed that they had been playing together for longer than the Pirates, as the scoreline suggests, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the crowd, especially when the home team managed an impressive attack.

The Pirates (in black) did manage one or two good attacks…

Pirates on the rampage

…but the Warriors were no slouches as their kicker showed…

warriors kicker

More pictures here including attractions on and off the field:

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New Photographs Added

Some new images of Portugal have been added to the photo library:

Peace and Light – Redolent of the 1960s

peace and light

Almond Blossom Season – January/February:

almond blossom

Distinguished Local Residents:



More images here

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Major Crime Wave Sweeps Algarve

Crime Reporter Chip the Duck brings the latest news – 6 February 2014.

Reports are being received of multiple burglaries across the Algarve during the course of last night targeting the British expat population. Victims woke this morning to find that their homes had been broken into and all BBC channels removed from their televisions.

A victim support team has been set up providing access to an extensive library of DVDs available on loan.

Local police in Lagos, Western Algarve, who have been criticised for their lack of activity, said that the thefts had been widely exaggerated and advised those affected to clean their houses. Substantial fines will be imposed on those failing to remove all evidence of the thefts.

Meanwhile the senior officer in charge of the investigation across the region said that he believed that expats were deliberately removing the channels themselves and concealing them at a secret location inland.

However, rumours are now being received that an international crime syndicate based at White City in London may be behind the spate of thefts.

With uncharacteristic urgency, following instructions from Brussels, David Cameron announced that £50 million of British taxpayers money will be ringfenced to allow a crack team of officers from the Metropolitan police to visit Algarve beaches to look for evidence. They have already reported that they are interested in interviewing three known burglars in the Lagos area, although it is expected that these will become employees of local businesses by tomorrow morning.

Residents are advised to be on the alert after rumours were received that further thefts may take place imminently as the perpetrators develop a taste for ITV.


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The Other Face of Portugal?

I was tempted to title this post “The Unacceptable Face of Portugal” but perhaps it is not my place to be judgemental about other cultures.

Those who follow my blog will know that I hail from the UK but spend almost half of my time in Portugal, a country I love which is populated by exceptionally wonderful people. It was the people who attracted me more than the lovely weather.

A while ago I was in an out of town restaurant and there were some people eating what I thought were quail (codornizes in Portuguese). There was a good deal of furtiveness going on but when I asked directly it turned out that they were eating small wild birds that had been caught illegally. I should point out that there is a strong hunting tradition in Portugal which explains the almost total absence of rabbits and similar small wild animals, as well as very few small birds (plenty of seagulls).

Recently I was geocaching no more than a mile from a popular tourist beach, albeit on some waste ground that tourists wouldn’t visit, when there was a snapping noise and some minor pain in my fingers. I had inadvertently found a homemade bird trap. In fact about 20 of them – I tripped the others with a stick and removed them after taking a photograph.

bird trap

If you look closely you will see that the trap has been baited with a large ant – which was still alive and wriggling.

I make no apologies for confiscating the traps, although maybe I should as it is none of my business and part of Portugal’s (albeit illegal) culture. Stinging fingers were another justification for removing the offending articles.

I have never participated in foxhunting, or attended a bullfight, but I collected birds’ eggs as a child and regularly swat flies with an electric tennis racquet. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!

But it raises the question “Does cruelty justify interfering with other people’s cultures, just because we don’t approve?”

What do you think?

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Strange Statues & Weird Roundabouts

In many ways Portugal is very traditional. But in the Algarve (way down south) they have a definite taste for modern, and sometimes strange, sculptures on rotundas (roundabouts) and in town squares. Follow the link below…

astronaut Algarve Roundabouts & Statues

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Is this how the Internet works?

best 2 - is this how the internet works

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

The future is black!!

Forte de Almádena

Some other images which I flatter myself are creative!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details

Whilst we were out geocaching in Southern Portugal we came across an abandoned quinta miles from anywhere.

Inside was this fine example of Portuguese wiring. No wonder the place was abandoned – the devil was certainly in the detail!

Portuguese Wiring

Portuguese Wiring

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss

I took this photo of a hornbill kissing itself on a Lumix pocket camera in the Kruger Game Park in South Africa.

I heard a knocking noise and saw this attractive bird tapping the windscreen on a parked car and quickly took the shot. It wasn’t until I got home and uploaded it that I realised it was tapping at its reflection!

Narcissistic Kiss

Narcissistic Kiss

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