Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Into Ponte da Lima

The next day of our Minho holiday was the longest (17km) but probably the flattest! Ascent through vineyards and then down to the river Lima and along an Ecovia into Ponte da Lima
the plane tree avenue

A pleasant walk but on a very hot day, a cafe was advertised in the instructions but we were too early in the season and it was closed. Eventually we reached the town and walked though the wonderful Plane tree avenue pictured above to our destination for the evening Mercearia da Vila a hotel rather than a manor house in an old grocer's shop (that website is all in Portuguese!) We ate out that evening at Taberna Cadeia Velha close to the river and lovely views of the setting sun!

After the meal a sunset!

Men and Volunteering

I was at a (church) Readers lunch today at which I was the only male and during our discussion we talked about ratios of men and women as leaders/volunteers in church events. Last night I attended a service rota planning event where (apart from the vicar) I was again the only male. I've just checked our list of volunteers to do Bible readings and that's around 75% female, our church is fairly well gender balanced (a slight bias towards women).

I also thought back to last weekend when - as a followup event to Macc Pride at which I was a steward (again a volunteer role) - there was a pub afternoon for feedback and news. When I arrived there were around 15 women and me(!) a few more women arrived before there was just one other male! I've also inspected the rota for St Michael's which opened its doors that day to welcome folk who wanted a break from the noisyness of the event (and some children's activities). Yes you guessed, again all female!

So more (on this limited set of data points) than just a church problem? I go to some geeky voluntary events which tend to be fairly male - but that's on a pretty male concentrated population to draw on? Is it that men are too busy wanting to be the main wage earner even when they're retired?

Monday, July 15, 2019

Mutterings - Jul 15

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Baby :: Talk
  2. Stripes :: Tiger
  3. Family :: Home
  4. Draw :: Firearms
  5. Girl :: Power
  6. Cup :: Ball
  7. Tested :: Allergy
  8. Vanilla :: Sex
  9. Bronze :: Medal
  10. Visit :: Holiday

Friday, July 05, 2019

Starting the Caminho

We left the Quinta da Malta - taking the packed lunch in a monogrammed bag and after a taxi transfer to the Santuario Nossa Senhora da Aparecida (a place of pilgrimage) we followed the Caminho de Santiago for the rest of the day. Fairly gentle and flat meeting a few fellow walkers en route who were mostly intending to walk a little further than us that day - onto Ponte da Lima - we were taking 2 days over that. Mouths or Cushions!?
I think we got to our stop that night early afternoon Quinta do Sobreiro - we were the only guests that evening but were well looked after. It was a very hot day so we stayed in the shade the rest of the day.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Mutterings - Jun 30

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. School :: Secondary
  2. Print :: Job
  3. Falls :: Victoria
  4. Manages :: Company
  5. Hop :: Beer
  6. Location :: Location..
  7. Skipped :: Lightness
  8. Sneeze :: Cold
  9. Prism :: Spectrum
  10. Program :: Pascal

Sunday, June 23, 2019

An introductory walk

The initial walk was a gentle affair around Durrães as far as the Ponte das Tabuas - a bridge on the Caminho (pilgrim) trail to Santiago - a route we met a few times during the holiday! Ponte des Tabuas

It was a gentle walk I think we regularly beat the Inntravel timings by quite a bit this week. We were back at the Quinta da Malta for lunch and enjoyed a gentle afternoon with another bottle of local wine! We also had a look around the farm associated with the manor house with lots of organic produce which was used extensively in the food. We were a day behind some other walkers and during the afternoon some others arrived who then were a day behind us. Another relaxed evening meal before thinking about the first transfer walk.

Mutterings - 23 June

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Late! :: Never!
  2. Swallow :: Summer
  3. Infection :: Hospital
  4. Mobile :: Data
  5. Honey :: Hive
  6. Cup :: Goblet
  7. Sensational :: Skin
  8. Twist :: (and) Shout
  9. Thump :: Agression
  10. Work :: Hours

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Mutterings - June 16

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Guy :: Fawkes
  2. Forces :: Equal (and opposite)
  3. Governor :: Supreme (of the Church of England)
  4. Done :: Sold!
  5. Premature :: Baby
  6. Insist :: Threaten
  7. Congress :: Library
  8. Invest :: Trust
  9. Immunity :: White (blood)
  10. Society :: Free

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Manor Houses of the Minho

We're recently back from 10 days in Portugal - as ever an InnTravel walking tour! The photo album of the trip is here.
We travelled to Porto via Brussels and then tram and train to Durrães where we spent 2 nights at Quinta da Malta one of a number of manor houses which formed the stops for the trip - family homes rather than hotels but we were well cared for. Tiles on the route to Durrães.

We arrived for an enjoyable meal with lots of local wine and a gentle inspection of the huge gardens to the house.

Mutterings - June 4

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Apartment :: Arondissement (I was listening to a programme about Francis Poulenc and his living in Paris)
  2. Fitness :: Gym
  3. Trouble :: Blast!
  4. Storm :: Lightning
  5. Winning :: Ways
  6. Dryer :: Normal (from a social media cartoon "what's normal - a dryer setting...")
  7. Photo :: Scan
  8. Stomach :: Ache
  9. er :: winn-
  10. Pert :: Bosom (blames Daily Mail...)

and catching up...

  1. Confusion :: Stammer
  2. Benefits :: Fringe
  3. Nervous :: Spasm
  4. Stuffy :: Teacher
  5. Illegal :: Drugs
  6. Optimism :: Sunshine
  7. Where :: Locate
  8. Symptom :: Bruise
  9. Dry :: Humour
  10. Sarcasm :: Confuse