Upside down reading


Last Saturday on the way back from the market I popped into a local padaria to buy a loaf of bread. Being Portugal a padaria, or bakery, is never going to be just that. Of course there’s a café attached! I’ve never looked out the back but there’s probably a hardware store as well. As The Lady of the Preserves is back in Blighty briefly, I thought I would break the bank and treat myself to a freshly squeezed orange juice as well as the loaf of bread! Whilst enjoying my treat and flicking through a trashy daily red-top “news”paper I found on the counter, a bloke rattled off a few sentences in the general direction of the tables. Having assumed it was not aimed at me, I didn’t take a single bit of notice to what was said. Even if my native English is spoken to me, I can usually only receive 50% of the information – and that’s after the the Activate-Man-Listen command of using my name is spoken before commencing!

There was a silence after the words were spoken and I suddenly realised that maybe I should have been listening. I glanced hopefully at the lady opposite but her face was buried in her phone screen. I turned to the counter where the bloke was leaning and yes indeed, he was looking at me wanting an opinion on how the police ballsed-up in that investigation, are those Portuguese builders in Denmark being screwed and surely what’s-her-face’s boobs aren’t real, or something. Not knowing which sentence to focus on if I asked him to speak “mais devagar” (more slowly or slower), I just had to say my default for a situation like this where I have know idea what’s going on: sorry I don’t speak much Portuguese. I also said I don’t understand the paper that was in my hands.

There was a slight pause, then he stepped over and gestured if he could have the paper. I gladly handed it to him. It felt weird sitting a café flicking past pages of ladies wearing nothing but strategically placed stars anyway.

With a cheeky smile on his face, the bloke turned the newspaper around and handed it back to me upside down. I continued to peruse then said, it’s the same. He thought that was very funny and left the café talking to himself. Maybe he wasn’t talking to me after all.

This brings me to the completely unrelated photo section. The fun bit for people who just want a distraction of some pretty pictures.

The other day I was staggered to see this beautiful piece of lime(?) rendering above a door on one of the many crumbling buildings in our village. I’ve walked past here so many times and never noticed before. It’s a very delicate pattern and a real contrast to the usual robust and practical country architecture. Where did this skill go? Why isn’t it done any more. A question for the very talkative historian lady at the local Roman villa.

I’ve been seeing a variety of birds of prey recently which is reassuring in such a trigger happy country. This chunky looking beasty could be a Goshawk according to reader Stuck in Wandsworth. He needed more detail for a proper ID though. Next time I’ll take the telephoto lens.

So next walk I took the telephoto lens. Yes-sir-y, I’m going to return with a photo bounty of 10 different birds of prey swooping majestically at 100km/h. My bird photography specialist brother is going to be in awe of my talent.

Liquorice on a shrub?


The base of an old mill. The mill was mounted on a central pivot and rested on stone wheels. The flat stones allowed the wheels to roll so the mill could be turned into the wind. Like the Flintstones, but not as old.

A trip to the seaside! Or, a walk though some lovely dunes, eat lunch on the beach then run away. Juta the dog did NOT like the big crashy blue and white thing that we seemed so pleased to see. This was a calm day.


What the?! Boiled sweets on a shrub now?


On the way home we went to Finland. So convenient – only half an hour from home!

Eddie. Eddie Lizzard.


2 responses »

  1. I always wondered where yoghurt-coated sultanas come from – they grow on bushes in Portugal! Is that a Hawk Moth? And, if it is, does it really count as a raptor? I’m not sure you have trumped the brother in question who recently posted a photo of a dolphin with a horrible great saltwater crocodile basking in the background. Come to think of it though, the croc was out of focus – unlike your crisp raptor moth; so you may be on a winner.

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