Wild Flowers in the Waste Ground

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

Having a dog means that I am up bright and early every morning to walk her. We are very lucky to have many lovely walks around where we live, we usually walk down to the village and then along the beach .. and then back along a little ‘meadow’ of waste land that has never been built upon.

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

It’s on these walks that I have started to notice just how many wild flowers are growing amongst the grass and rubble – and started to take my little compact camera with me on the walks (Dave’s not the only one with a camera here!!)

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

I’m always interested in macro photography of a single flower – as I am fascinated with the intricate centres and patterns that each flower has – but even I have been amazed and astonished at the sheer number and variety of different flowers that I have captured – all within a very small area of grassland and abandoned waste land.

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

I will try to put some names to these – but I warn you – I’ve never seen most of these amazing flowers before – and so many of them look so different close-up too!

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

I’ve been crawling around to get many of these shots – much to the amusement of our little dog who comes over and starts snuffling around wondering what I am up to! This one is familiar to South African friends as a Carpobrotus edulis or a Hottentot fig or sour fig and apparently the fruit are edible!

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

Poppies are always my favourites – they grow beautifully wild and unfettered here – such delicate petals that are lost at the first sign of a heavy rain

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

This little fella made me chuckle – it looks like a little contented fat man chortling! (well I do have an active imagination!!) Apparently it’s an Ophrys speculum – or mirror orchid

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

I absolutely love this shot

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

and even more so – the same flower with a light dusting of frost:

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

It’s amazing what you can capture if you get up close and personal! I think I’ll leave these to to get on with what comes naturally!

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

I love the simplicity of this tiny little flower which required quite a zoom lens to capture it. It’s a Lathyrus cicera and is a species of wild pea known by the common names of red pea or flatpod peavine:

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

And I think this one below is related to the chortling man above .. another tiny little flower hidden in the long grass belonging to the orchid family – this one is a Yellow Bee Orchid:

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

The tiniest of flowers can have the prettiest markings:

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

and the most delicate and intricate little spikes:

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

I went out specially to capture this little wild iris growing up into the morning sunshine complete with droplets of dew – such a beautiful pink colour:

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

And was lucky enough to also capture this little beauty with the same dew still lightly frosting the back of the stems:

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

It would be impossible to describe just how beautiful the meadow is in the morning sunshine, I’ve been trying for weeks to capture one of the many pretty butterflies that skip around us, fluttering and teasing in the breeze. Finally this one alighted just long enough for me to catch it for a second with the camera:

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

It’s not all flowers though, here’s the local neighbourhood resident saying hello to us:

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

I had no idea that daisies close up in this way at night, with their petals folded back like this – it almost seems to have been caught up in a wind tunnel:

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

A few minutes of warm sunshine and they soon start to unfurl and look more natural:

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

The colours of this one are just amazing and is definitely one of my favourite flowers:

Algarve Blog Wild Flowers

There were so many flowers that I have captured that it would be impossible to do anything more than put the remainder in a gallery for you to enjoy .. just click any image to start the slideshow – and if you know any of the names of them .. please do let us know!

And thank you to the members of the fabulous Gardening in the Algarve Facebook group – a very kind member sent me over to this Algarve Wildlife page which has enabled me to identify a few of the flowers!



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Our Easter Exhibition is now open!

We are delighted to be back at the Hotel Carvoeiro Sol – right beside the beach in Carvoeiro – with an exhibition of brand new work showcasing a range of modern acrylic and oil paintings, photographic art and prints. Jazz musician Cory Sea is also launching his new album and will be playing live at the exhibition.

Carvoeiro Sol Hotel art and photography exhibition April 2015


Following our almost sell-out success of our last exhibition, we are pleased to return to the Hotel Carvoeiro Sol again this Easter, and this time we have invited two new upcoming and exciting artists to join us; we are delighted to be welcoming Lesley Goldie and Cory Sea to exhibit with us in our`pop-up´ gallery in the hotel.

Carvoeiro Sol Hotel art and photography exhibition April 2015

Lesley Goldie likes to depict the passage of time through detail and texture as a way of preserving the memory of the ‘Old Algarve’. Her paintings lead you in, allowing your imagination to take you to places beyond the ruined and abandoned, detailing the history of times past and a way of life almost forgotten.

Carvoeiro Sol Hotel art and photography exhibition April 2015

Cory Sea’s art is inspired by the play of light in nature.  He enjoys working with colours that are both deep and rich. Sometimes his images are quite realistic, but others are more abstract.  He hopes, though, that all of them will uplift and inspire their viewers.

Carvoeiro Sol Hotel art and photography exhibition April 2015

Dave’s photography reflects the beauty of the beaches, landscapes and people of the Algarve. He produces sharp and clear images which are full of light and atmosphere.

Carvoeiro Sol Hotel art and photography exhibition April 2015

I will again be showcasing a new series of her modern and graphic ‘New Wave’ style acrylic paintings for this show. My work is strong and lively, combining intricate detail with bold and unique waves of colour. There will also be bright flower paintings displayed and a range of well-priced small gifts for sale – there is something for everyone to enjoy! My paintings continue to be very competitively priced, with prices ranging from 80 to 150 Euros.

Carvoeiro Sol Hotel art and photography exhibition April 2015

There’s even a free prize draw – you could win this original acrylic painting!

'Spotlight' original painting by Alyson Sheldrake

There are lots of small gifts and prints available too – the perfect gift!

Cory Sea Bright Timing CD

We are also delighted to announce that Cory will also be launching his latest album `Bright Timing´ at the exhibition – and even playing live during the week. As well as being a fantastic photographic artist; he is best known for his jazz guitar and live performances here in the Algarve and the launch of his latest album promises to be a real bonus at the exhibition. He will definitely be playing live from 1-3pm on Sunday the 5th April and also hopefully during the week.

Cory Sea fell in love with the guitar when he was six years old and taking lessons in New York City. His career as a jazz musician spans several decades and has included opportunities to play in the USA, Australia, South America and Europe. Currently, he lives in Ferragudo and plays with the New Orleans Jazz Band as well as in many venues across the Algarve. ‘Bright Timing’ is his fourth CD.

Our motto at our ‘pop-up’ galleries continues to be “Affordable Art for All to Enjoy” – so why not come over to the Hotel Carvoeiro Sol between now and next Wednesday the 8th April – we are open every day from 10am – 5pm.

You can see more of all of our artists’ work on their websites:

Art by Alyson Sheldrake     www.a3art.co.uk

Cory Sea                           www.brightarts.net

Dave Sheldrake Photography       www.davesheldrakephotography.com

And Lesley can be contacted via email lesart61@gmail.com

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Finding a good accountant in the Algarve

Those of you that regularly read this blog will know that we have tried to be ‘legal’ here since we arrived, which includes being resident and having our respective businesses registered here so that we can pay tax and contribute fairly to the system and country we have chosen to live in.

When we first started looking into running a business here we were under no illusions that it would be complicated and that we would probably find ourselves drowning in bureaucracy and paperwork – and we were not disappointed!

Dave Sheldrake Photographer, Alyson Sheldrake Artist

One of the first things we knew that we needed would be a good accountant, and not wanting to plunge completely into the dark, we asked around and got a recommendation from someone we knew. I think in hindsight we should probably have been more wary from the start – and without naming any names in this article – suffice to say that arriving at an accountant’s office and being greeted by their secretary in a plush office that could easily have graced a five-star hotel; complete with plush sofas, coffee table with magazines placed ‘just-so’ and a ‘free’ coffee from the luxury coffee machine .. probably should have made us more wary of just how much this was going to cost us.

Little did we know it had the potential to ‘cost us’ in more than one way!

Dave Sheldrake Photographer, Alyson Sheldrake Artist

We initially met with the accountant and talked through what we wanted – which was a simple registration under the Portuguese ‘sole trader’ simplified tax system. We took lots of notes, asked lots of questions, having already done some research, but to be honest, in a different country with very different systems, you do have to trust the professional that you are paying for. Without going into too many personal details, we trusted them, they set us up, and within a few weeks it had all started to go bad.

In fact, it was so bad, that when we wrote to them after four months to terminate the signed agreement we had with them – they agreed without a murmur, returned all of our paperwork, put everything in writing that we owed them nothing further – and we were back to square one – somewhat lighter in the wallet, and fuming – but determined to find a decent accountant!

Dave Sheldrake Photographer, Alyson Sheldrake Artist

And that’s where we met our financial guardian angel! After more research, asking around and getting another recommendation, we struck gold. We met Sílvia, from Andrez & Fernandes Accountants, and we were instantly put at ease. She has a desk in the corner of the office of her father, she doesn’t have a fancy coffee machine, or glossy magazines on display. What she does have is a fantastic knowledge of the system out here, a gentle quiet manner and a sense of purpose that instantly reassured us.

She sorted out the mess that we had been left with, updated all of our paperwork; and now submits all of our invoices and receipts and completes our tax return for an unbelievably reasonable annual fee. She replies to emails the same day, is efficient, sensible and caring – everything we could wish for in an accountant.

Sílvia-Andrez-Accountant Algarve Directory

So if you need an accountant out here – we can highly recommend her!

You can find out all of her contact information via her listing in our algarvedirectory.net website – click the link here to visit her page:

Sílvia-Andrez-Accountant Algarve Directory

And if you do meet her – say hello from us!

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Adopting a rescue dog in the Algarve

Algarve Blog - Kat the dog

It would be fair to say that we have wanted a dog for a long while; we grew up with always having a dog as part of the family and adore the love and companionship they give you. There are so many rescue dogs out here that need a home that it was always going to be a dog in need that would win us both over – but the question was – which one?

Having talked to Ginie from SOS Algarve Animals (SOSAA) about this we initially toyed with the idea of adopting a young puppy but it was good to talk things through first and we agreed that a puppy would be a large commitment when we are both working and would be harder to fit into our lives than we first thought … so we left it to Ginie and she promised that she would find us the right dog.  Continue reading

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Carnival Season in The Algarve

It seems to come around more quickly every year, yes it’s carnival time again on the Algarve.


Yesterday I headed off to the town of Loulé in the central Algarve, which is reputed to have the best Carnival, done in the ‘Rio’ style. Continue reading

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England U’17s Football in the Algarve

It’s not every day that you can say that you can literally walk to the end of your road and watch the England team play football!

posterU17s football

The International Algarve Cup takes place each year for under 17’s .. this year Portugal, England, Germany and Holland are competing in various stadiums across the Algarve from today 13th February to next Tuesday 17th February, in the 38th tournament to be held here in the Algarve. Continue reading

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Anyone for Afternoon Tea?

Portugal is renowned for its coffee shops and cafés on every corner … so it was refreshing to find something different nestled on a side street in Portimão – a traditional tea room with a rather nice selection of cakes .. well it would have been rude not to try them?!

Portimão A Casa da Isabel tea room

It’s pretty easy to find this – the ‘A Casa da Isabel’ tea room – if you know where the ‘Largo December 1′ in Portimão is – we’ve blogged about this little park before Yarn Bombing in Portimão and Organic Produce in the Park – then stand with your back to the garden facing the Municipal Theatre .. turn left and walk down the main street the Rua Direita – about half way down on the left you will find this little tea room.  Continue reading

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