Feliz Ano Novo de Lisboa (Happy New Year from Lisbon)

Another blog from:       Anthonyslark@yahoo.co.uk


For those of you who didn’t come to this great city for the New Year, it’s a huge mistake. Lisbon is now the ‘in’ city in Europe and visitors are here by the tens of thousands all year round and even in winter when Lisbon is the warmest capital in Europe. Lisbon is  wide open and the welcome from these amazing Portuguese is as warm as ever. It’s a really friendly country with the most warm and helpful people you can wish to meet.

This evening I would love to be able  to go down to the centre to see our amazing firework display but as in every winter I am having painful problems with my left knee so I have decided to stay at home and let all the younger ones enjoy the night in my place.  Kumar will go down with  Santos, Pradeep and the girls.  We are going to enjoy a bottle of Portuguese champagne with a special lunch today and I think I will have a couple of beers with Phil later. This afternoon a Nepali friend will drop by for a chat as well so it’s going to be a busy day here.

Have fun everybody and happy new year to all my friends and relatives in WordPress and facebook.


Christmas Day and red wine

Another blog from:-       Anthonyslark@yahoo.co.uk


I’m not going to start with Merry Christmas or Happy New Year because I’ve already typed those words a million times and I’m sure everybody is fed up with hearing them. Instead I thought I’d tell you about the bottle of 1982 red wine which I talked about in my previous blog. That bottle was kindly given to us by Kumar’s cousin with all good intentions and we somehow managed to save it until Christmas Day but as soon as I put the corkscrew into the cork, I realised that something was very wrong. The cork had rotted away leaving only the thin wrapper and as you probably guessed, the wine had gone completely bad. I poured the wine down the sink, something I hate doing. I’m guessing that the  wine had been stored upright instead of on its side for those thirty four years and air had entered the bottle.  Well never mind. I had a bottle of Papa Figos red on hand and within minutes we were drinking that instead. This is a very famous wine here in Portugal and the name is actually the nickname for a much loved bird called ‘golden oriole’.  Figos means ‘fig’ and golden orioles love eating figs so we could translate Papa Figos as ‘fig scoffer’. Douro on the bottle is the beautiful area where the wine is made. The  Douro Valley not so far from Porto City in the north. I’ve never yet seen the River Douro but it’s definitely on my bucket list.

Christmas Day was pleasant.  We ate a terrific lunch of Chicken Cordon Bleu with sweet potatoes and various vegetables but my best meal of the week was on Christmas Eve when we cooked breaded cod fillets, potatoes with sweetcorn, curried beans and various vegetables. I am typically British in that I love fish and french fries together. We drank some Portuguese champagne with it and it turned out to be a great and tasty meal.  On Boxing Day we came back down to earth again and ate fried rice for lunch. I was the cook and to my amazement the food was really tasty. I don’t rate my cooking very highly unfortunately but sometimes I can come up with very tasty meals. If the girls were here from Nepal, I’m sure we would have had some very tasty dalbhat with lots of extras.

A bottle of 1982 red wine

Another blog from:-      Anthonyslark@yahoo.co.uk


Yesterday the owner of the shop where Kumar works very kindly gave us a bottle of red wine to drink on Christmas Day. Not a common wine but a red wine made back in 1982 by a wine cooperative in Borba Village, about 148 kilometres to the east of Lisbon.

I always listen to the descriptions which wine experts give about different wines with amusement:-  a slight hint of raspberry or a hint of jasmine on a warm summer evening or maybe slight overtones of pencil shavings. Here is the description I found online of this 34 year old wine.  I wonder how they dream up these amusing descriptions.

‘This wine knows how to grow old and keep fit. Brownish colour, with orange and slight greenish features. Medium concentration, captivating to look at. Aromas very similar to the previous year but with more vegetable, green pepper, spices and some nuts. Palate with structure, fills the mouth and becomes almost as chewy. Complex and with nuances of dried fruit and raisins. A persistent ending’.

Regardless of whether our wine tastes of jasmine or hints of raspberry or even nuts or pencil shavings, we will be enjoying it with lunch on Christmas Day.