Tuesday 30 May 2023

Sintra and Cascais

We took the train to Sintra.  Along with hundreds of other people who all rushed to get on the free buses that take you on a one way tour around the town.

We however walked away from the mayhem and walked to the older part of town.  It was, of course, down a hill and then up a hill!  The town reminded me of Port Meirion somehow - which is odd as this is a Portuguese town and Port Meirion is based on Italian architecture.  My mind works oddly, obviously!

Then we got the bus back to the station and got on the bus that took us to the castle.  They have a brilliant one way system for the traffic to cope with all the tourists but it still took forever to get there.  It was really windy and there was a risk of being blown off the top of the castle walls.

We took the bus back to the station and then got another free bus that took us to the gardens of Monserrate.  The gardens were laid out by the head gardener of Kew Gardens in the early 1800s.

There was a Victorian Palace inspired by the Brighton Pavilion, with a dome modelled on the Duomo in Florence.  The inside of the palace was spectacular.

Look at these ceilings.

 There were long corridors off the domed lobby.

And everywhere there was amazing plasterwork.

The next day we took the train to Cascais.  This was a pretty little seaside place with a castle which had been turned into an hotel.

Our time in Lisbon was at an end and the next day we got the train to Coimbra.  See you there in my next blog post.

Thanks for joining me today

Saturday 27 May 2023


We've been travelling.  We went to Portugal to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.

We started by flying from our local airport to Lisbon.  We had booked a hotel in the middle of the city for 5 nights arriving quite late on the Tuesday evening.  Wednesday was our first full day.  We walked to the Tourist Office in the Praca do Comercio.

I try not to have people in my photos but it was impossible to get photos without all the tourists.

The highest point of the city is the Castelo de Sao Jorge.  However we didn't go straight there.  We took it in easy stages, firstly visiting the Church of Santo Antonio.

 This was virtually next door to the Cathedral.

We then had a steep climb to a viewpoint over the city and the river.

Yet another very steep climb took us to the castle.

We had lunch after visiting the castle which was downhill and then walked back up to another viewpoint most of which was cordoned off because of building works.  In fact everywhere we went in Lisbon seemed to be having rebuilding works or scaffolding.  Many of my photos have large cranes in them - and sadly not the bird variety!

After this we walked back to the hotel, had a rest and then went out to dinner.

On day 2 we took the tram to Belem.  The queue to visit the main attraction, Monsteiro Dos Jeronimos, was phenomenally long and fortunately neither of us were bothered to go round it.  Instead we wandered over to the Henry the Navigator memorial although it's actually called the Monument to the Discoveries.

It was possible to take a lift up inside the monument.

Belem Tower

Monsteiro Dos Jeronimos

If a place has a Maritime Museum then it is a must-see for Roger.  Me? I'm not so fussed but there were some nice benches to sit on.

Plus a whole collection of royal barges.

After visiting a rather disappointing Botanic Garden we had a late lunch before setting off for a differnt Botanic Garden - the Jardim Botanico Da Ajuda.  However on our way the road was closed because an ambassador was arriving to present his credentials to the President and he was accompanied by these:

We finished making our way to the garden.  On spying yet another steep hill we got there on a bus.

We took a tram back to the city.  After a rest we went out to dinner.

I took 181 photographs over these two days but I think the photos I've put here give you a flavour of the trip.

Next time: Sintra and Cascais

Thanks for joining me today

Tuesday 23 May 2023

And another one's done!

Here's a final update on the cream and neutrals silk noil book.  Last time I left you with the images of the pages being stitched.

All the pages are now done.

I put Mistyfuse on the back and then ironed the pages together to make the little book.

Thanks for joining me today

Saturday 20 May 2023

Choice made

Back with the fabric books!

So which one did I choose to work on first?  (see Choices Choices)

This one: the cream silk noil concertina book.  When folded up the book is 8x9.5cms.

Using the bits and pieces I showed you in the Choices post I made little collages on each page.  I used Mistyfuse to bond the pieces to the fabric.

Now they are ready to stitch.

I've used cross stitch, seed stitch, running stitch and fly stitch.

3 pages down.  13 to go!

Thanks for joining  me today

Tuesday 16 May 2023

Looking and Listening

It's almost 6 months since I wrote about the various social media that I follow, so I thought I would do an update.  Plus a random photo!

I thought this might be a good time to recommend some things I follow.

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The Rabbit Hole Detectives

Louise Fletcher & Alice Sheridan: Art Juice

Frank Skinner: Poetry Podcast

The Frank Skinner Show - his radio  programme without the music

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Leah Higgins

Steph Redfern

This West London Life

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Planning with Bumble

The Asher House

Fibre Arts Take Two

I hope you find something to interest you amongst all of these.

Thanks for joining me today

Saturday 13 May 2023


What a week it's been!  I'm going to work backwards from today!

Today is 40 years to the day (and 40 years to the date tomorrow) that Roger and I got married.

On Tuesday we all celebrated Andy & Naomi's 14th Wedding Anniversary.  Where does the time go?

And of course last Saturday we celebrated the coronation of King Charles III.  I watched it all on the television.  Leading up to the day I watched YouTube videos of the rehearsals.

Finally here are my planner pages for this past week.  I don't usually buy bright colour stickers so I had to make my own which were actually a bit bigger that they should have been.

I hope you have had an excellent week.

Thanks for joining me today