MELLOW LELLO, my dear ladies and occasional gentleman is just the right phrase.

Livraria Lello is the correct name for this wonderful bookshop.

If you are ever in PORTO,  do take the time for a visit, it is well worth it.

However my dears,  I would advise that you visit before partaking of any ALCOHOLIC BEVERIDGES.

The surreal staircases (think Harry Potter) are not to be tackled after imbibing LIQUID REFRESHMENTS.

I managed to ascend the first flight but on reaching that first SUMMIT. and having to decide to either turn left or right for the next flight, (I’m sure those stairs were moving) I FROZE.

Ronald who had already reached the top luckily peered over the balcony and spotted me on HANDS and KNEES, completely BLOCKING the stairs with a waiting group of camera snapping JAPANESE tourists behind me.

The only way was up and with Ronald’s support and eyes closed I made it.

I don’t think I can put all the blame on the PORT, I am just not very good with heights.

Yours Vertigoly


p.s. Thank you to all my dear ladies and occasional gentleman who have purchased my new book.


wp-1485439903944.jpgwp-1485440263315.jpgMy dear ladies and occasional gentleman, if you consider a little SOJOURN to OPORTO, you might consider a stay in the OPORTO COSY.

Built in the 190o’s it retains many original features, the optional breakfast is more than enough to keep you going through the day. Tea, coffee and wine can be served in your room but the best part of the GUESTHOUSE is the warm welcome and the service.

It is also great value for money.

Oporto is built on a hill running down to the river. The position of the guesthouse towards the top has a big ADVANTAGE, it means you can enjoy your, FOOD, WINE & PORT then WALK it off on the way back.

Yours Cosily


p.s. LUCKY ESCAPE, my dear ladies and occasional gentleman in the NEWS today was a story about a poor LADY who tried to drink her MINIATURE BOTTLE of VODKA on an EASY JET FLIGHT.

The flight attendants told her that she couldn’t drink it and even called the POLICE and asked for her to be ARRESTED.

Thank goodness the police had more sense and REFUSED.

I’m thinking that VERONICA and I were very LUCKY not to be ARRESTED when she FILLED Her WATER BOTTLE with VODKA & TONIC and I filled mine with GIN & TONIC and we took them on our FLIGHT to MORROCCO.


Vino! Vino!

My dear ladies and occasional gentleman, one of the highlights of our OPORTO holiday was visiting the PORT side of the RIO DOURO.

We traveled down to the PONTE LUIS by FUNICULAR.

I must say as we went over the drop, rather like a slow ROLLER-COASTER, my FUNICULAR tightened!


The walk across the bridge on the two person path with competition for space from passing pedestrians, buses and cars alongside is HAIRY enough to make you DESPERATE for an ALCOHOLIC BEVERIDGE! Although it is handy having the odd WING-MIRROR to apply fresh LIP-BALM!

From the VILA NOVA DE GAIA there is a wonderful view across the river to the RIBEIRA district and the CATHEDRAL reaching towards the sky.


Traditional ROBELO boats UNIQUE to the DOURO region that carry PORT and other goods along the river.

WHITE PORT, chilled 3 euros for TWO glasses of DELICIOUSNESS, enjoyed in a small, friendly local bar. SEVERAL TIMES!


The FABULOUS PORTO AUGUSTOS, one of only three remaining Portuguese PORT businesses. If you only visit one cellar and a WINE TASTING, forget the big boys, TAYLORS, COCKBURNS, SANDEMANS etc., treat yourself to a visit here. Up a little side street and at only 5 euros for the tour and a wine tasting, which is deducted from the price of a purchase if made and who wouldn’t.

The tour was informative, interesting, funny and delivered with enthusiasm by a member of the family; she was clearly a  PORT WINE lover. The tasting was fun and a treat to the taste-buds. Our kind guide brought us EXTRAS, it would have been rude to refuse so we ploughed on with VINTAGE WHITES, TAWNYS and REDS.

We chose a 20 ANOS TINTO, full of flavours with hints of WALNUTS and VANILLA, delicious.

Yours Portily








My dear ladies and occasional gentleman back to Morrocco with ATLAS ASSES.

A short walk before lunch,  suggested our host in the ATLAS MOUNTAINS, just down to the village and a little stroll in the splendor of the snow-topped mountains.

Several of us set off down the steep hill and met this handsome chap as we entered the village.


The local ladies sat in the shade tried to control their chuckles at the STUPID TOURISTS walking past, out in the mid-day sun.

After 30 minutes of navigating, GULLIES, traversing STREAMS climbing over BOULDERS our friendly guide told us that the way ahead was blocked with a river of water. The farmers are allowed to irrigate their land with the snow melted water according to a time-table! Either the FARMER or the GUIDE had erred!

Back we climbed the way we had climbed down and attempted another route. 20 minutes later this to was blocked by water. A mixed group of MIDDLE-AGED  people clinging to the side of the mountain set the dear boy guide panicking a little and he quickly suggested we climb up a steep bank, and through some barbed wire in order to avoid it.

My dear friend Veronica under the illusion she is like a YOUNG GAZELLE scrambled up behind a fellow climber and there was a pivotal moment when half of her was through the hole but the rest of her (dare ASS ay  the heavier end) wasn’t!

With temperatures of 29c I decided to join the men and brave the water, oh what fun we had!

After a further 20 minutes and another blocked track, I decided I’d had enough and would make my own way back.

When Veronica arrived sometime after me, she resembled an EXTREMELY CROSS GIANT TOMATO!


I’m afraid I’ve had to censor what she said.

Yours Tiredly



MR FUCIK’S CARP BURGERS, I don’t fancy them do you?

These are the ASIAN CARP who are SEXY LITTLE BEASTS and have multiplied to such an extent they threaten THE GREAT LAKES of AMERICA.



They were originally introduced to southern US states more than three decades ago to control algal build-up in sewage treatment plants. But they escaped into the Mississippi River and proliferated, making their way north towards the Great Lakes.





I am rather concerned about these fish according to a BBC report,  there is a great danger whilst going about your daily business of being slapped in the face by one. 

My dear friend Veronica is often CARPING on and sometimes when she is really enthusiastic about something it often feels like a VERBAL slap in the face. But I’d rather have that than a WET FISH any day.

The ENTERPRISING businessman called DIRK FUCIK is producing BURGERS out of them in his DOWNTOWN CHICAGO specialist fish shop. No offense MR FUCIK but I do not think I will be buying any.  The idea is to eat the fish out of EXISTENCE and use them as a food resource. Again no offence to my friends ACROSS THE POND but don’t you have enough food resources?  Like us BRITS there aren’t many SKINNY people in the USA .

Perhaps these fish could be used to aid HUNGER IN THE THIRD WORLD. Thereby helping to solve two problems at once.

These unusual  happenings are often the result of humans interfering with nature and as is quite often the case, the SOLUTION used comes back and SLAPS YOU IN THE FACE.

Which brings me back to my concerns, with all this extra WATER about with the FLOODS I shall be keeping a CARP-EYE out, when out and about just in case.

Yours Fishily




CHRISTMAS IN THE COTSWOLDS. Yes dear ladies and the occasional gentleman, Ronald, hirsute Roley and I are here celebrating Christmas in the COTSWOLDS.  

However we did wonder on our hazardous journey yesterday if we would be spending it in a SEASONALLY DECORATED SERVICE STATION with nothing but a HORSEMEAT BURGER and an OVER-PROCESSED DOUGHNUT for our Christmas dinner! But due to Ronald’s dogged determination (picked up from Roley no doubt) we did manage to arrive at our destination.

We only fell out once during our trip when we stopped at a SEASONALLY DECORATED SERVICE STATION for a comfort break. Ronald went first as he is a man and does not possess the self-control us ladies have. He returned and as he took hirsute Roley for a tiddle and I left for the ladies his parting shot was “DON’T BE TOO LONG”

Well! I am sure dear ladies you share my outrage, did I set a timescale on his absence? NO I DID NOT! I merely sat waiting patiently till his return, did I demand to go first? NO I DID NOT! It takes as long as it takes to walk there achieve your goals and return. It always takes longer for us ladies as there is usually a queue, for the toilets, the washbasin and the drier. Plus there was some very interesting goings on with a family which involved small red plastic bowls being filled with water at the basins and taken into the toilet. I decided I did not want to know what was occurring.

It took a further 23 miles of travelling and an apology from Ronald before I decided I could converse with him again.

On our Arrival we were greeted with a log fire, damson gin and a superb dinner, we are ready for Christmas.

So my dear ladies and occasional gentleman, we wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and PEACE HEALTH AND HAPPINESS FOR THE COMING YEAR.



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