Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Collecting berries

A couple of days ago my family arrived to England from very hot or becoming very hot Portugal.  When we left Lisbon it was +26C and when we landed in Gatwick after 20 minutes circling on top of it because of a plane's landing gear problem, the temperature dropped dramatically, +16C. Nice!

After an hour ride we arrived at my PILs place.  Garden was blooming.  Vegetable patch had many vegetables, few ready for dinner many not yet.



Since my arrival I had collected straberries and raspberries. Raspberries were easy to collect but I had to always look under leaves.  Same as strawberries, but after collecting 500g strawberries my MIL said that she will collect them because I was putting in my bowl not yet ripe ones.

My DD1 was surprised that she can eat without washing raspberries.  I had to do some explanation because poor little child always told to wash fruit before eating them.  Many of them went to breakfast bowl, frozen, made ice creams and cheesecakes.

PILs had in their garden red currants, my favourite berries, my childhood memories. Somewhere in Mongolia, or to be precise in Dadal, Khentii aimag, during July I went with my grandmother to collect them in banks of Balj river.  We made jams, or boil with creams and freeze, it would be almost like ice cream.  When I came back for my summer holiday next summer, last jar of jam would be waiting for me. And circle would start again.

Nowadays, I buy in supermarkets, 100g costs me fortune, I would crash them and mix with cream and put on my bread.  Yammy!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Santo Antonio, Lisbon trip

My family does not often go to Lisbon but today was a special day to be there.  The Portuguese capital is preparing to celebrate Saint Antonio's day on 13 June. Street parties will be held, in Alfama and other districts of the capital.  Lots of sardines will be grilled and washed down with "green" (young) wine. On top of that, I really wanted to go today, I am marking my tenth anniversary living in Portugal.  A decade!

My family reflection in the window.
I went to a restaurant above Alfama but did not see grilled sardines on the menu's dish of the day so I asked a waiter if they had them. Of course, they had, without grilled sardines there would not be a Saint Antonio party!  I had a typically Portuguese lunch with grilled sardines, arroz doce (rice pudding) and meia de leite (coffee with milk). The sardines were tastier than ten years ago. I might getting used to my Portuguese life.

My DD2 demanded to have my rice pudding. At the end I had some. Too sweet, but I like it occasionally.

Sardines were on buses, grills,

 hanging from the door
 stuck on the shop window

flapping on the balcony.

It is traditional to have mass weddings on this day, and in Lisbon the city hall will pay for them if the couples are poor.  Today 16 couples were getting married at the Se cathedral, and tonight they would march on Popular Parades in Avenida da Liberdade. I did not see them arriving because I was told that they would arrive later in antique cars, but I saw their relatives arriving in nine buses escorted by police. 

For the event the Portuguese media was there. RTP's camera was suspended at the front door of the cathedral.  Others were running in streets to get their good shots.

And a famous Portuguese television morning show presenter João Baião was in his car behind the ninth bus.  He was friendly, I asked him to roll his car window down for the photo and he did.  I gave him my Portuguese-Mongolian Association business card, he looked at it, I guess, he will never look again. He was in a red mini but was quickly spotted and people were shouting "Senhor Joao!", "Senhor Joao!"

Nearby a lady was selling Beirao liquor.  This is made in the north of the country.  I tried once just for my curiosity.  For people who like liquors it could be good but I cannot judge.

A lady had candles to tribute Santo Antonio in front of her shop door, hopefully, there would not be a fire!

Super Bock beer, had been delivered by Post! Sagres has to be there too. The price was just €1.  I don't drink beer but I like Super Bock's advertising.

If you know what is written here, please let me know.

With all these stands selling beer, the party will go on!

Of course, what goes in must come out.  The streets already smelled of urine.

Life in other parts of the capital was more normal, here are some tourists renting segways. I might try one day.

Someone had the idea to liven up a boring caravan parked closer to the Praça de Comercio.

The view of Sao Jorge castle was great from the praça...

...which also hosted a photo exhibition by Angelo Lucas, sponsored by many big names in Portugal.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Last Tuesday I went to Caldas da Rainha to learn about free motion quilting. I needed someone to teach me basics and there was a one-day course organised with a Bernina dealer, Mario Felizardo.

Of course, I had my photo opportunity with a famous quilter, Jenny Bowker. She has been quilting for 15 years. She started quilting because of her diplomat husband was posted to the Middle Eastand could not continue her work as a scientist. Now she travels all over the world teaching, giving talks and attending quilts shows. 

Javhlan and Jenny

For more details go to my patchwork blog


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