ATP – 21 Dec 2017 – grand openings

The weather improved a lot on 30 Dec 2017, and it was like a very pleasant Spring day with bags of sunshine, so our family played outside in our garden.

We had the opening of our new boule pitch, plus of course the first couple of games.

Then we had the opening of our neto’s (grandchildren’s) new vegetable patch. We have planted cucumbers (pepinos), carrots (cenouras), coriander (coentro) and some flowers called cravo da índia.

I am not a gardener, so I haven’t got a clue whether anything will grow or not. We should find out in about a fortnight if we have had any success.

I thought I recognised the word cravo. It is the word carnation in Portugal’s 1974 carnation revolution. Cravo da Índia is cloves, with a long history behind it.

I just thought my neto was planting some pretty flowers, when actually it means cloves.


In the new year, I will get around to doing a Portuguese word per day that relates to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. But today I want to cheat and give you not one, but 26 words of Portuguese in a tour of the alphabet. Can you guess what they are in English?

Abril [On 25 April 1974, the Armed Forces movement overthrew the 48-year dictatorship of Salazar. Red carnations in gun barrels symbolise this event. And that is why there is a Rua 25 de Abril in every town in Portugal.]


Capricórnio. [This started on 22 Dec 2017].








K. My little dictionary only has 5 words beginning with K, but they all are in use in English. Have a guess at ‘kit’.








Sal [If in need of help, add a ‘t’ to the end].


Usar. Words ending in -ar, -er and -ir, are probably verb infinitives, to do something. What could usar be about doing?


W does not exist in native Portuguese, so I have got a choice of just 3 words. What do you think ‘whisky’ might mean?


Y The letters K, W, and Y do not exist in normal Portuguese, except in proper names.


My cravo da Índia is Syzygium aromaticum. How you pronounce this without a ‘y’ is beyond me.


Bico. This is the Portuguese equivalent of an espresso. It is small, black, and very,very powerful. You usually have a small nibble that is savoury or sweet to go with it. At the moment, I am indulging in a present from Christmas – Turkish delight.


This is still the old high street. It is one of two local cafés. I have only lived here since September, and already 2 proprietors have packed up in this establishment and gone elsewhere.

Someone asked our grand-children where they lived. They said Portelas. “Ah, the place where the electricity goes off!”

I am up to 4 months in Portelas and the power has gone off at least 12 times so far. I am researching where we can buy a generator.


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