Saturday, June 30, 2007

S. João

Hey, I'm back...
Been home for a few days...and look what I've been up to...

Yep, I've been home for our most popular event (in Porto), S. Joao. For those of you who don't know about it, it's a bit like St. Patrick's day. The similarities are that they close the city for the party, people head off for downtown to celebrate it and it's all about having fun. This party is not celebrated or known worldwide like St. Patrick's but my opinion is that it is much more celebrated, i.e., I could bet the numbers are much bigger in Porto than in Dublin ( I might be biased but I've been to both).

S. Joao (St. John) is the patron saint of Porto and it's celebrated on the 24th of June, and it's a bank holiday in Porto's Metropolitan area. On the 23rd evening they close the streets in the city and everybody heads off towards the river. The picture above shows my crowd, Herr C., Mike, 'moi' and The Daddy. The 'thing' you see in my hand is a traditional hammer and we hit each other on the head with that. It usually squeaks like a toy. Traditionally you would take a garlic flower and brush it on people's noses, like this one (it stinks):

At midnight, there's the fireworks....half an hour of it...simply spectacular:

You can watch this show from both sides of the river, from Gaia and Porto.
This year they had a giant metal ball hanging from a crane. I saw a very similar thing a couple of years ago in Sidney for the New Year. I remember the fireworks finished and people were still looking at the ball to see what would happen but nothing did. I was very disappointing. I kept wondering if something would come out of this ball...and it did:

Pictures aren't really need to live it.
Afterwards you just drag your group around town, drinking and dancing..there are music groups performing in each of the stages scattered around both cities. And don't forget, keep hammering:

Here's something you won't find in Dublin, a mobile bakery...not just any bakery, it has got traditional wood fire ovens made of clay and they bake bread with cured meat inside... mmmmm

Some traditional games... at 1am.... in the middle of the street...

Because I'm spoiled's what I got from The Daddy :)

And these are my three little (one big) princesses:

(now you try to get the three of them to stay still, look at the camera and say cheese :)


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

'M' is for Maria

aka Mia.

Yes, I've been really fortunate to have the lovely and talented Mia as my swap partner for the May OHC Apron swap.
My parcel was sent yesterday by Airmail so I hope it doesn't take too long to cross the Planet and reach her safely. Let's see if she likes it...
Here's a sneak preview:


Monday, June 11, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007

crafty weekend

This weekend I had the chance/excuse to do what I enjoy doing best...sewing.
I was going to meet a friend of mine whom I hadn't seen for a few years and she now has a baby girl. I decided to make something for her little girl and this is what happened:

Of course I also had to make something for her sister's twins (a much belated gift)... both twins' names start with the letter 'S' so I thought it would be a good idea to put the initials on, then they can wear any of the bibs.

And here's a pic of the three bibs with the detail of the back fabric.

I got the bib pattern from here sometime ago and this was a very good opportunity to try it.
It was great fun and I think they liked the presents...


Tuesday, June 05, 2007



I learned to knit socks over the last Xmas holidays, in Germany. Me and my boyfriend were over to visit his family and for the first time I was really bored there. I guess it's because it was winter and there wasn't really much we could do. I went to their attic to see if I could come across any interesting findings (craft ideas) but because Mrs. S. (the mother) is a primary school teacher, all the things I could find were children related. Suddenly my boyfriend remembered that Mrs. S. could knit ...socks!!! We asked if she could teach me..and she agreed.
I spent the rest of my holidays there knitting socks. I knitted one pair for my father and one pair for my mother (I don't think I have any picture of these...I posted them home as a Xmas present :)
Since then, I have knitted another three pairs : one for myself, one for my lovely friend Christine and one for Akbhar 'my' technician (I'll explain later).
Christine's socks were actually a special request, as a birthday present. Of course they had to be green because that's her favourite colour.

As for Akbhar's socks...well, you see, Akbhar is the knitting technician at my University and since my PhD is in knitting (not this kind of knitting :p ) he is 'my' technician. Anyway, when I told him I had learned how to knit socks over Xmas he offered me a couple of cones of wool, so I thought I should make some for him. I hope one day he will teach me how to knit socks in one of our circular knitting machines ;)

I've asked to be taught how to knit gloves next Xmas holiday...can't wait!!! Might be so lucky to have the grandmother teaching me...