My A – Z of … Portugal!

Back to front but full of enthusiasm as usual, I wrote my first post for this series and then realised that I hadn’t done an “intro” blog- not my strongest suite but here goes:

Funny how one idea sparks off another.  There seemed to be a lot of A-Z related challenges about, starting with Alyson Sheldrake’s lovely ABC Award.

Julie Dawn Fox came up with the idea of writing “A personal A-Z of Portugal”– her adopted country.  Each letter of the alphabet was to be the basis for a post on any aspect of Portugal.

Seemed like a good idea and I was all set to join in when “PigletinPortugal” (may I call you Carole?) decided to take it one step further and “Go Global”.

A dilemma! I love Portugal and have lots of wonderful places and memories I’d love to share.  At the same time, I have Polish family and am aching to introduce people to my father’s homeland, and some of the lovely folks I have met there.  Even worse, I currently live in England and have done so for most of my adult life, and, guess what?  I love England too (in spite of the weather) and have written quite happily about my native Yorkshire Moors, Dales and Durham coast.

What to do?  Well, I guess I’m going to be greedy.  I’ve already made a start with Portugal, but intend to follow up pretty soon with Poland.  Piglet has said that there are no time constraints, which is a darn good thing in my case.  Mrs Speed, I am not!

So let me extend the challenge, or invitation, to you.  You can write about places, food, people, experiences…anything you feel is pertinent to the country of your choice.  We already have quite a few posts up and running and Alyson has created a logo for Portugal:

while Piglet’s is the controlling site where you should register your interest, and comply with Piglet’s directions.  Or you can just turn up for a highly entertaining evening’s reading.

My fellow A-Z ers are:

Checking on Piglet’s site today interest is growing and I think there’s now a willing volunteer for England (phew!) and certainly one for Chile.  So, what’s stopping you?  Come along on the journey.  Next instalment coming soon.


  1. Hello there,
    I just thought I would drop you a line as my mum Jenny Grainer has written a book about Portugal that you might like? It is free today and this weekend on kindle, and I was hoping that if you liked it enough, you might mention it on your blog? I know it’s not food related as such but it does cross reference food within the stories and it’s a lovely collection of true stories.

    Now also available in Kindle format, this is a collection of warm, humourous, sentimental, personal and socially insightful true stories of a Brit abroad. A wonderful cross section of a life sliced into freshly remembered memoirs, easy for the reader to enjoy on a plane, by the pool or in the office during lunch, to discover more about a charming country from someone who has truly experienced it.

    Donkeys, social (mis) adventures, political changes through the 60’s and 70’s, rickety ambulances, boozy Bert, sardines, celebrities, relationships, ladies of the night and more are all fondly captured in stories and recounted for your enjoyment and to bring you closer to this wonderful country.

    This collection of stories document Portugal’s growth and development through the eyes of an Englishwoman.

    Reviews for ‘Portugal Now’ & Then:

    “Jenny, in her lively writing, paints a picture of happy and enticing times; add to this a glass or two of vinho verde and we are all seduced. Happy days.”
    Clive Dunn OBE (Dad’s Army)

    “The wonders of life on the Algarve before it attracted the attention of developers have been recaptured…” The Portsmouth News

    “Required reading is this book of Algarvean short stories… nothing escapes her ears or eyes. Her style of writing is fresh and racy; I could not put the book down…” The Portugal News

    “Jenny’s book is a ‘must read’, as there are lots of short stories about the past and present of Portuguese life.” The Algarve Resident

    “Jenny Grainer’s collection of very personal memories is an entertaining and absorbing read for any English-speaking tourist or resident who wants to know more about the Algarve’s recent history.” Algarve 123 Report

    “Her wonderful descriptions of the characters she met are both sad and amusing and, to see Portugal through the eyes of a young Englishwoman, is at times a moving experience.” The Euro Weekly News

    “I came to live in the Algarve in 1965 and have watched an undiscovered corner of Southern Europe turn into the thriving tourist-orientated Province it is today. Jenny’s stories evoked many memories of those early days, when some of us were fortunate enough to share the lifestyle of farming and fisher-folk, whose land we invaded. For me, reading her book was a pleasantly nostalgic experience.” Harry Warner

    Please email me on sophiegist [at] yahoo [dot] com with any questions at all, she is in the UK until Monday and I am helping her understand kindle better, thank you. I’m trying to learn more about promotion also as you can tell!

    Thank you

    Sophie Gist

    1. I don’t have a Kindle myself and haven’t read the book, Sophie, but I will keep an eye open for it, and put it in my Goodreads collection if I do.

  2. Hi Jo

    Over the weekend I’ve been beavering away to create a blog to develop the idea “My A-Z {country]. This was originally intended to encourage my blogging contacts all over the world to share information about their country. I’ve had a great response both in comments, as your’ve probably noticed, plus by email and DM on Twitter

    this is the blog I created (Still work in progress)

    I know you showed an interest would you like me to add you to the roll call of countries and participate?

    Kind regards

  3. ‘My personal A~Z of…’

    As one of the “three musketeers” helping to set up this project, I thought it might be useful to set up a ‘hub page’ about ‘My Personal A ~ Z of…’ where we can all upload our country and blog details – and then add our A ~ Z posts. You can find this ‘hub page’ at and you can find the links to the ‘List of Countries’ page and the ‘List of Blog Posts’ page via these links. Or just click on my name above and it will take you to the web-site – you will see the tab on the top for ‘My Personal A ~ Z’

    I have added you to the list – please let me know if any details are incorrect … and feel free to add the links to these pages to your blog and let everyone know – the more the merrier!

    Please add a comment to any of the pages to have your details added or changed – and then please add your Blog Posts as you write them – you will also find this a useful place to find other Blog Posts for you to link to and enjoy reading. I’m happy to create a free jpeg logo for anyone that wants one for their country’s flag – or just make up your own!

    This is a fab idea – thanks to Julie Dawn Fox for starting it all – let’s all link up and share each other’s blogs – and hope you all enjoy the ride!

    Love Alyson

    1. Knew we could rely on you! I’ve been worriting over whether I was meant to have done something to link to the others.
      Think I have managed a logo for the Polish flag (with a little help from Michael) but will get back to you if it doesn’t work out. Thanks Aly

  4. Hi Jo, looking forward to your A-Z of Poland, Portugal or England …a mix of all three in each post maybe? I`ve already made a list of topics, apart from 3 letters that I can´t fathom what to do with, but those at towards the end of the alphabet, so I might still get ideas!

    1. Thanks Sami. Portugal off n running. Starting Poland today before the Australian Open becomes too much of a distraction! Rafa’s just finished so I can settle to write.

  5. Hi Jo, well send him along and I’ll add him to the A-Z family and so I can keep a track of his blog.
    I will have to extend my blogroll and add to my Twitter 🙂 I wish we had a 28hr day 🙂
    Started off rainy here then we went Espiche to the market and a bacon butty…

  6. oooh it’s all getting a bit exciting now isn’t it!!!! I’m not sure I’m going to be able to keep up with all the links at this rate!!
    And I am very glad it’s not a race – I’ve thought about what to cover for most letters of the alphabet – just have to write them all now – I shall be pacing myself!!! 🙂
    PS – Jo – you are so lovely to keep mentioning me – (my surname is actually Sheldrake though…. otherwise my hubby will think I have run off and married someone else LOL!!!)
    Here’s to a lovely weekend to everyone – and Jo – those yorkshire puds sound lovely….. crispy roasties as well I presume??? groan! smile! 🙂
    PS – it’s raining here!! it was a bit of a shock waking up this morning… first rain since October….. I have no idea what to do with myself now!

      1. oh no it’s fine love – just thought I should tell you – Dave asked if I had married a man who was ‘more healthy’ than him… mmm!??
        sunshine back – situation back to normal – phew! I was getting worried for a while there!
        PS – have just posted … B is for Birds…. you’ll like the linkback to your A is for Alte post – you have perfect timing my dear! 🙂

  7. Hi Jo
    Quick update. Think I’ve someone interested based in South Africa!
    Plus had a commitment from Canada and the Dominican Republic 🙂
    Glad you decided to join in the Global A-Z. I would love to learn more about Poland!

      1. If only, Piglet! I always was a bit hyper. So excited this morning- Andrew’s joining us with Greece! However will I get the Sunday dinner done (ha!ha! Can’t just light the barbie- Dad loves his yorkshire puds)

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