A minha Lista de blogues

sábado, 29 de março de 2014

Earth Hour

Thousands of people around the world will switch off their lights for one hour between 8.30pm and 9.30pm as part of an initiative organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). 

This symbolic lights-off event started in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then it has grown to engage over 150 countries and thousands of people who will  turn their lights off at 8.30pm tonight in support of WWF's Earth Hour.

quinta-feira, 27 de março de 2014

Spring in Washington D.C.

In Washington DC, encircling the Tidal Basin, are the city´s famous Japanese cherry trees, which originated as a gift from the Mayor of Tokyo to Washington DC in 1912.

First Lady Helen Taft and the wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted the first flowering cherry trees in Washington, D.C. 102 years ago.

When I visited Washington D.C. I also had the opportunity to see the beautiful streets lined with tulips.

sábado, 22 de março de 2014

I am here

Flowers for my 32nd wedding anniversary

" I am here constructing the new day
With an expression so gentle and at ease
That one might say
I am doing nothing.
And yet I am here constructing the new day.

This, because the day is constructed, not waited for.
Nor is it a sun which burns in an impulse of light.
It is a choir of unheard voices, a staining of naked torsos,
A raising, as if with one voice, of galley oars…”

António Gedeão.  A bilingual Anthology.

sexta-feira, 21 de março de 2014

World Poetry Day

March 21


                                                                   Turani, 1992

This is the poem I had to analyse for my French exam  in 1975.

Sur mes cahiers d’écolier
Sur mon pupitre et les arbres
Sur le sable de neige
J’écris ton nom

Sur toutes les pages lues
Sur toutes les pages blanches
Pierre sang papier ou cendre
J’écris ton nom

Sur les images dorées
Sur les armes des guerriers
Sur la couronne des rois
J’écris ton nom

Sur la jungle et le désert
Sur les nids sur les genêts
Sur l’écho de mon enfance
J’écris ton nom

Sur les merveilles des nuits
Sur le pain blanc des journées
Sur les saisons fiancées
J’écris ton nom

Sur tous mes chiffons d’azur
Sur l’étang soleil moisi
Sur le lac lune vivante
J’écris ton nom

Sur les champs sur l’horizon
Sur les ailes des oiseaux
Et sur le moulin des ombres
J’écris ton nom

Sur chaque bouffées d’aurore
Sur la mer sur les bateaux
Sur la montagne démente
J’écris ton nom

Sur la mousse des nuages
Sur les sueurs de l’orage
Sur la pluie épaisse et fade
J’écris ton nom

Sur les formes scintillantes
Sur les cloches des couleurs
Sur la vérité physique
J’écris ton nom

Sur les sentiers éveillés
Sur les routes déployées
Sur les places qui débordent
J’écris ton nom

Sur la lampe qui s’allume
Sur la lampe qui s’éteint
Sur mes raisons réunies
J’écris ton nom

Sur le fruit coupé en deux
Du miroir et de ma chambre
Sur mon lit coquille vide
J’écris ton nom

Sur mon chien gourmand et tendre
Sur ses oreilles dressées
Sur sa patte maladroite
J’écris ton nom

Sur le tremplin de ma porte
Sur les objets familiers
Sur le flot du feu béni
J’écris ton nom

Sur toute chair accordée
Sur le front de mes amis
Sur chaque main qui se tend
J’écris ton nom

Sur la vitre des surprises
Sur les lèvres attendries
Bien au-dessus du silence
J’écris ton nom

Sur mes refuges détruits
Sur mes phares écroulés
Sur les murs de mon ennui
J’écris ton nom

Sur l’absence sans désir
Sur la solitude nue
Sur les marches de la mort
J’écris ton nom

Sur la santé revenue
Sur le risque disparu
Sur l’espoir sans souvenir
J’écris ton nom

Et par le pouvoir d’un mot
Je recommence ma vie
Je suis né pour te connaître
Pour te nommer


Paul Eluard, Poésies et vérités, 1942

International Day of Forests

March 21

This commemoration-day was first established last year.

I visited Sequoia National Park ten years ago. It was an amazing experience to witness the grandiosity of that forest. I do love taking pictures of trees, but there I found that mission impossible; simply because they didn´t “fit” in the camera lenses. No trees anywhere on earth grow larger than the giant sequoias. Of these types of trees, “General Sherman”, named after the American Civil War general, is the largest specimen on the planet.

Over hundreds of thousands of years, the sequoia has adapted in order to survive. The most important of these transformations has to do with fire, given that lightning storms are frequent in the forest. The giant sequoia has nowadays several physical defences helping them cope with fire. For example, it has very thick and resistant bark, which is difficult to burn and protects the trees from the heat provoked by fires.

A beautiful Frangipani tree from the Caribbean islands.

quinta-feira, 20 de março de 2014



Primavera que Maio viu passar

Num bosque de bailados e segredos,

Embalando no anseio dos teus dedos

Aquela misteriosa maravilha 

que à transparência das paisagens brilha.

in Antologia  de Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen. Moraes Editores, 1975

Fotos de
Maria Teresa Relva

(com saudades da "sua" Primavera americana)

International Day of Happiness

20th March

"Happiness may have different meanings for different people. But we can all agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of our fellow human beings live."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Alentejo 2011

Alentejo 2014

quarta-feira, 19 de março de 2014

Classic idioms

We use idioms all the time in our speech. Your English will sound better if you use them when speaking English too! Have a look at these classics!

A penny for your thoughts
A way of asking what someone is thinking.
“You look really sad today... a penny for your thoughts?”

At the drop of a hat
Meaning: without any hesitation; instantly.
“If I could get a ticket to the concert I’d go at the drop of a hat!”

Back to the drawing board
When an attempt fails and it's time to start all over.
“Our plan didn’t work at all so it’s back to the drawing board for us.”

Barking up the wrong tree
Looking in the wrong place.  Accusing the wrong person.
“If you think it was me who stole your phone you are barking up the wrong tree.”

Best of both worlds
To have all the advantages.
“If you have a holiday in an interesting city but with a few days on a nice beach as well, you get the best of both worlds.”

Costs an arm and a leg
This idiom is used when something is very expensive.
“Going to University costs an arm and a leg these days.”

Cut corners
When something is done badly to save money.
“If you want to do something well, you can’t cut corners!”

Elvis has left the building
The show has come to an end. It's all over.
“It’s over - I never want to see you again! Elvis has left the building.”

Hit the nail on the head
Do or say something exactly right.
“I think he really hit the nail on the head in his article in the newspaper.”

Idioms related to:

Taken from
© Clever Pants 2014

terça-feira, 11 de março de 2014

11 de março


Quando eu nasci

Quando eu nasci,

ficou tudo como estava, 

Nem homens cortaram veias, 

nem o Sol escureceu, 

nem houve Estrelas a mais… 


esquecida das dores, 

a minha Mãe sorriu e agradeceu. 

Quando eu nasci,

não houve nada de novo 

senão eu. 

As nuvens não se espantaram,

não enlouqueceu ninguém… 

P’ra que o dia fosse enorme,


toda a ternura que olhava 

nos olhos de minha Mãe… 

José Régio (1901-1969)


segunda-feira, 10 de março de 2014

The Queen and the Commonweath

Today is Commonwealth Day! It is celebrated on the second Monday in March.

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 countries that share the same language, values and aspirations.

The Queen is the Head of the Commonwealth.

In London, Commonwealth Day celebrations are focused around a multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey.

In 2014, the theme for Commonwealth Day is Team Commonwealth, whose aim is to stress the importance of teamwork and collaboration both within and between Commonwealth countries. It also tries to involve everybody in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later in the year.

sábado, 8 de março de 2014

International Women's Day 2014

International Women's Day was celebrated for the first time in 1911. More than one million women and men attended rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination.It has been marked by the UN since 1975.
The official United Nations theme for International Women's Day 2014 is Equality for women is progress for all.

IWD is traditionally marked with a message from the UN Secretary-General as well as with statements and events from across the UN system. 

Message from Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General

"This International Women's Day, we are highlighting the importance of achieving equality for women and girls not simply because it is a matter of fairness and fundamental human rights, but because progress in so many other areas depends on it.

Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support.

The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all.

This simple truth must be central as we work to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals by next year’s deadline and craft an agenda for the years beyond 2015. 

Important gains have been made in access to primary education for girls and political representation by women. But progress remains far too slow and uneven.

A baby girl born today will still face inequality and discrimination, no matter where her mother lives. We have a common obligation to ensure her right to live free from the violence that affects one in three women globally; to earn equal pay for equal work; to be free of the discrimination that prevents her from participating in the economy; to have an equal say in the decisions that affect her life; and to decide if and when she will have children, and how many she will have.

I have a message for every girl born today, and to every woman and girl on the planet: Realizing human rights and equality is not a dream, it is a duty of governments, the United Nations and every human being.
I also have a message for my fellow men and boys: play your part. All of us benefit when women and girls – your mothers, sisters, friends and colleagues -- can reach their full potential.

Together, let us work for women’s rights, empowerment and gender equality as we strive to eliminate poverty and promote sustainable development. Equality for women is progress for all!"



Happy International Women´s Day!

  March 8, 2014

segunda-feira, 3 de março de 2014

The Queen at Chequers

The Queen was welcomed to Chequers Court, the country residence of the Prime Minister, by David and Samantha Cameron on 28 February 2014.

The property is situated south of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire and houses a large collection of art, antiques, books and memorabilia. However, the collection is not open to the public.

It has been the private retreat of the Prime Minister since 1921, when Lloyd George was the Prime Minister.

domingo, 2 de março de 2014

Cromer Carnival

In August 1981 I spent a wonderful time in Cromer during Carnival. It is always held in the summer, because I suppose the weather is better. 

What I recall most from the show were the red arrows doing acrobatics in the air and also a parade with allegoric themes (at time Margaret Thatcher was in power and there was a bitter struggle against the miners in the north of England- a bit of History my students became aware of after reading and watching Billy Elliot last year). 

Before the party, my boyfriend - who is now my husband - and I were invited by very nice people we met there for a lavish brunch. I don´t remember sausages as good as those- I was travelling with my Interrail card and didn´t have enough money to try all the British delicacies- so that meal became even more memorable.

Today I checked the internet and there is a website about Cromer Carnival. It was thus with enormous pleasure that I saw the Blades again doing incredible acrobatics in the air.

Unfortunately the photos I took of them at the time were of very bad quality.

While I was living in Madeira there wasn´t this big parade we now watch on TV but it was a funny occasion to open the closet and try out old clothes. Later, in High School, I took a contest seriously and managed to win first prize after dressing as a Charleston dancer… Those were nice memories and souvenirs...


sábado, 1 de março de 2014

Hit the sack

I´m exhausted. I can´t stay up one more minute.
I think I will hit the sack

During WW II the American soldiers called their sleeping bags sacks, so this American idiom means "go to bed and sleep".