Friday, 28 November 2008

Christmas Fayre - 1st December, 2008



How did the story of Father Christmas evolve?

Pictures abound everywhere of the old man with long white beard, red coat and bags of toys who has become the human face of Christmas. He brings presents either on Dec 6th, St Nicholas´Day or the night before Christmas. But who was he ? He is based on St Nicholas which explains his other name Santa Claus which comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas. Nicholas was a Christian leader and Bishop from Myra ( in modern day Turkey) in the 4th century AD. He was very shy and wanted to give money to poor people without them knowing about it. It is said that one day he climbed the roof of a house and dropped a purse of money down the chimney. It landed in the stocking which a girl had put to dry by the fire ! This may explain the belief that Father Christmas comes down the chimney and places gifts in children´s stockings. More fascinating facts of how the kindly Christian saint became a roly- poly, red suited American symbol for merry holiday festivity and commercial activity can be found on

You have an exciting opportunity to see Father Christmas opening the NETWORK Christmas Fayre at the Hotel Garbe at 1100 on Dec 1st.

Then just follow the Penguin Trail to find him in his Grotto. All proceeds will go to Castelo dos Sonhos helping to provide for the needy at Christmas time.

Also this year for just €5 you , your children and grandchildren will be able to have a photo taken with Father Christmas and printed on the spot by John Oliver ( with a €1 donation made from each print to Castelo dos Sonhos

Verna Kinder

Royal British Legion November Lunch

The monthly Royal British Legion lunch which took place on Wednesday. The Algarve Sub-Branch now has a membership of 150 and meets the 3rd. Wednesday of every month at Hotel Garbe for lunch. All visiting RBL members are welcome and please join us in the Bar for pre-lunch drinks at mid-day. For more information please contact Mr. Peter Wilkinson at More photos can be seen here

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Murder Mystery Dinner


Frivolous fun

It’s not often that a successful social evening commences with a Police Report!

However at a Murder Mystery dinner party held at Hotel Garbe last week, there was a crime scene investigation and vigorous cross-questioning of the suspects!

The people in the frame – a group of 48 expatriate guests – were dressed for the occasion. Participants required a sense of humour taking on roles such as Christopher Bossy-le-Boots, Nikki Melons, Renee Scrubber and Terry Plant, a gardener who likes digging the dirt!

This was the first time the hotel has hosted a Murder Mystery evening which included an Indian meal at the Raj at the Garbe restaurant.

Organised by Jenny Tucker, 350 euros were raised to support the charity, APAA (Association for the Protection of Animals Algarve). Raffle pries and bottles of wine presented to the winning participants were generously donated by Wine Mine, Let the Magic In and Pat and Alan Camplin-Smith.

By popular demand the hotel intends to run another Murder Mystery evening in January.

E-mail received from participant:

"Thank you very much for last night; I don't think we have laughed so much in ages. Roll on the next one and well done on your fundraising."

October Photography Competition

Congratulations to Grant Bremner who has won our October Photography Competition.

Our Judge, Adrian Bell, an experienced wedding and portrait photographer comments:- the winner this month is the fishing trip with birds in accompaniment hoping for some scraps to be thrown their way. This reminds us that with or without tourism, Armacao continues to flourish as a colourful and vibrant fishing village.

Our thanks to everyone who participated in the October Photography Competition click here to see all entries.

Also thanks to Adrian Bell for judging each month. Adrian is an experienced wedding and portrait photographer and is Director of here in the Algarve. The company specialises in Commercial Images for the Real Estate industry creating high quality photography that sells property.

Please send entries for the November competition before closing date - 30th November. For more information please click

Friday, 21 November 2008

Christmas Fayre - Monday, 1st December

Don't miss the Network Christmas Fayre at the Hotel on 1st December, 2008.

More than 70 stands selling a wide selection of crafts, Christmas gifts, clothing, home furnishings, books, , beauty therapy and much, much more.

Doors open to the public 11am – 5pm

1100 Father Christmas arrives to open the Fayre heralded by the Charity Keep Fitters Carol Singers

1130 Charity Keep Fitters Carol Singers Boa Vista Bar

1200 Charity Keep Fitters Carol Singers Raj Restaurant

1230 Rajmataz - Middle Eastern Dancing

1300 Fashion Flash by Jouk's Studio

1400 Fashion Flash by Fi -Line Fashions with Fiona

1430 Rajmataz - Middle Eastern Dancing

1500 Fashion Flash by Collections

1600 Grand Raffle Draw

1700 Fayre Closes

12.30-8.00pm - Indian Curry Buffet - 15 Euros per person Restaurant Por do Sol

Taste of Christmas Bar Snacks - Bar Boa Vista

Entry Free

Calendar of Events

December, 2008 - February, 2009

Thursday, 25th December - Christmas Day Dip in the Sea
Tuesday, 30th December - "Out of Africa" Fancy Dress Night
Thursday, 1st January - New Years Day Dip in the Sea
Wednesday, 7th January -
Introduction to Travel Photography Workshop
Tuesday, 13th January -
Hypnosis Workshop
Wednesday, 14th January -
Hypnosis Workshop
Wednesday, 14th January -
Introduction to Travel Photography Workshop
16th January -
Murder at the Country Club
Monday, 19th January - Lecture - A Gardeners Life
Wednesday, 21st January -
Introduction to Travel Photography Workshop
Wednesday, 21st January - A Taste of Life
Wednesday, 21st January - Theatre Dinner -
Snakes and Ladders
Thursday, 22nd January - Theatre Dinner -
Snakes and Ladders

Friday, 30th January - Murder on the Silver Screen
Wednesday, 28th January - Introduction to Travel Photography Workshop
Monday and Tuesday, 2nd and 3rd February -
Garden Design and Appreciation
Wednesday, 4th February -
Introduction to Travel Photography Workshop
Thursday, 5th February -
Monthly Writing Circle
Saturday, 7th February - The Walk In Wardrobe
Wednesday, 11th February - Introduction to Travel Photography Workshop
Friday, 13th February -
Murder on the Silver Screen
Saturday, 14th February - Valentines Dinner
Wednesday, 18th February -
Introduction to Travel Photography Workshop
Wednesday, 18th February - Theatre Dinner -
The Waitress
Thursday, 19th February -
Creative Computer Training
Thursday, 19th February - Theatre Dinner -
The Waitress
Friday, 20th February - Creative Computer Training
Tuesday, 24th February - Pancake Racing on the Beach
Wednesday, 25rd February -
Introduction to Travel Photography Workshop

AFPOP Coffee Meeting

Contributed (AFPOP)


This is our first meeting to exchange books/swap books and sell books. Remember to put your name and address on any books you wish to have returned. At the same time we can meet, chat and enjoy a coffee. This was suggested by so many of you—so do help to make it popular!

Thanks! No booking necessary—just pop in.

Hotel Garbe 10.30am until 2pm

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Theatre Dinner - 26th, 27th and 28th November

Raj Indian Restaurant
A light comedy
Nick Warburton


Wednesday 26th,Thursday 27th & Friday 28th November 2008

7.00 for 7.30 pm

Only 30,00 Euros per person
3 Course Indian Dinner with Wine and Coffee

Don’t miss it book now.

Hotel Garbe, Armação de Pêra
Tel.282 320260 Fax: 282 315087
E-Mail Web:-www.hotel

Countdown to our Christmas Fair


Carol Singers
Carols were first sung in Europe thousands of years ago but these were pagan songs sung at the Winter Solstice celebrations as people danced around stone circles. The word carol means dance or a song of praise or joy and they used to be sung during all four seasons but only the tradition of singing them at Christmas has survived. Before public carol singing became popular bands of official singers called Waits were lead by important local leaders . The name Waits originated as they only sang on Christmas Eve which was also known as Watchnight or Waitnight because of the shepherds watching their sheep when the angels appeared to them and the Christmas celebrations began

Here in the Algarve there is a group which raises money for charity and keeps fit at the same time. The Silves Keep Fitters meet every week at the gym of the Silves Football Club. The mixed group of all ages and fitness levels are put through a gentle programme of flex and stretch incorporating tai chi and yoga by Pat Hitchinson. For the past eight years they have been raising money for Castelo de Sonhos, in particular the baby starter packs for young ,single mothers and poor families . Along with other fund raising events they have formed a Christmas choir. This has grown over the past twelve years since Pat led a group of carol singers around the streets of Armação ending the evening by singing carols in front of the church. Now they are in popular demand

For only €3 per session Pat would be delighted to see new members from 1030 – 1130 each Wed morning. Getting involved with this group would be good for you and good for charity – what more could you ask for ? 91 931 8030

You can meet and hear this friendly group at the NETWORK Christmas Fayre on Dec 1st at the Hotel Garbe as they are the Carol Singers who will be heralding the arrival of Father Christmas and singing during the fayre.

Verna Kinder

Theatre Dinner - 3rd and 4th December

Raj at Garbe Indian Restaurant



“Snakes and Ladders”

written by

Nicky Moran


Nicky Moran

A reformed bag lady - Margaret Draper ( 65 years) coming to terms
with living in shelterd accommodation.

Midge Ridgley
Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th December 2008

7.00 for 7.30 pm
3 Course Indian Dinner
with Wine and Coffee
30,00 Euros per person

Don’t miss it book now.
Tel.282 320260 - Fax: 282 315087 - E-Mail:

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Coming up - Hypnosis Workshop - 10th December

Have you ever wondered how hypnosis works?

Would you like to be more motivated, focused or relaxed in all you do?

As you read this will you find your curiosity growing?

Tony Westwood, International Speaker, Hypnotist and Golf Professional has combined his years of experience from the golfing world and his understanding of hypnosis to create a unique learning experience.

You can begin to think yourself better by understanding how your mind actually works.

When you buy a computer it comes with a manual in many languages to help you understand how the computer works.

The computer in your head is many, many more times powerful than any computer ever created by man and no one has ever been given a user manual for their brain.

These workshops will help you understand how to control your thinking in life by learning how your conscious and unconscious minds actually communicate.

To find out how you can attend a workshop and learn more call:

00 (351) 910 960 464 or e-mail

NEXT WORKSHOP: Hotel Garbe, Armacao de Pera

DATE: Wednesday 10th December 2008

TIME: 19:00

COST: 15 euros

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Countdown to Christmas…


How lovely are your brunches?

The history of the Christmas tree goes back to 1810 in Denmark and it was Queen Victoria who brought it into British homes in 1840.

In the northern European countries, the pine tree was the kind which dropped the needles very quickly, therefore the tradition was to bring in the tree on December 24 and decorate it with candles, garlands, candies and paper flowers.

Nowadays, the Christmas tree is a different, much better type and most do not drop their needles, especially the Nordmann and Nobilis firs, which are now known as real Christmas trees.

The history of real Christmas trees in the Algarve goes back not so far, but theordinary pine, which grows wild in the region, has been used as Christmas tree for many years.

In the early nineties, we decided that we needed a real, beautiful Christmas tree and wehad the opportunity of importing 1,000 trees from Denmark. However, we then had the hard job of selling them as the Portuguese were not familiar with this kind of tree and foreigners did not expect to see it here. Nevertheless it was the start.

So now you know that, every year, you can have your very own beautiful Christmas tree, all the way from Denmark, and you do not need to decorate it with paper flowers as Lis from ESDAV Landscaping also has a variety of handmade or Danish-imported Christmas decorations.

See them for yourselves, along with other exciting gifts, at the Network Christmas Fayre on December 1 from 11am to 5pm at the Hotel Garbe in Armação de Pêra.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Winter Workshop - An Introduction to Travel Photography

Weekly – Wednesdays

December, 2008 – March, 2009

First one on 3rd December

This 4-hour course starts at 9am at the Hotel Garbe.

Have you ever wished you knew more about your camera so that you could take better photographs? .This course is designed to help you develop your camera skills and techniques to enable you to create images which capture the real mood and atmosphere of your travel destinations.

After a short introductory talk, we will visit a variety of local locations where you will be guided through different approaches to photographing selected subjects and scenes. At each location the emphasis will be on composition and exposure and we’ll explore areas such as directional light, colour, tone texture and pattern, among many other topics. With a maximum of only six participants, you will be assured lots of individual attention and there will be ample opportunity for questions and answers. We’ll also provide you with a set of course notes so that your new camera skills can be applied in any location. Your course tutor is John McKinlay, one of the UK’s leading landscape and travel photographers. John has more than 17 years experience of teaching photography and he runs photographic courses and tours in Scotland, Portugal, Cyprus and North Africa. Bring along your camera, whether it’s film or digital and enjoy a fresh approach to your photography.

Price per person 40 euros

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Christmas Treats - Traditions to Tummies


The pull of much of Christmas relates to its history - our personal stories of the wonder of our Christmases past and the hundreds of years of tradition packed into the morsels which make up this special holiday.

Food carries much of this sensory significance. Think of the spicy smell of a freshly baked gingerbread, popped in your mouth. Savour the first spoon of Christmas pudding.

The pudding we now associate with Christmas dates to the 15th century. It was a first course containing meat (beef or mutton), onions, root vegetables and dried fruit. As more dried fruit became available in the 16th century, these were added and the meat and vegetables cut back until only suet and sometimes carrot are the remains of this more savoury pudding. By 1670, this pudding was specifically associated with Christmas.

Holly, and a sprig of arbutus, topped the pudding to keep away witches. The insertion of charms and coins could date from Stuart or Victorian England. Only the coin remains of the six objects traditionally mixed into the pudding for luck: 2 rings for love, a sixpence for prosperity, 1 trouser button for the bachelor, 1 thimble for the spinster and 1 little pig for the glutton.

It is not recorded who made the first cake with fruit, honey, nuts and alcohol, but it dates from before the birth of Christ. Initially a bread with fruit, rich fruit cakes as we know them originate in the 18th century and were made to reduce spoilage and for their travelling qualities.

Queen Elizabeth I is credited with the first gingerbread men. She favoured important visitors with likenesses of themselves stamped in this spicy dough. Initially the shapes were beautifully carved wooden moulds and the designs were impressed rather than cut.

SWEET MARILYN has made a delicious reputation supplying cakes and puddings to the Algarve including yummy Christmas puddings with brandy butter, moist fruit cakes and crisp gingerbread men. You can contact her at 282 458 391 or treat yourself at the Women's Network Christmas Fair, being held as usual on Dec. 1 from 11 am to 5 pm at the Hotel Garbe Armação de Pêra. There will also be many other wonderful stalls can inspire your Christmas decorating and gift giving.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

What's On - November, 2008


Saturday, 1st November - SANDRA & JORGE- Music for Dancing
Sunday, 2nd November - PRESUMED INNOCENT – Dancers
Monday, 3rd November - NUNO - Resident Organist
Tuesday, 4th November - ARTE VIVA - Music for dancing
Wednesday, 5th November - JOÃO CARACOL- Music for Dancing
Thursday, 6th November - NUNO - Resident Organist
Friday, 7th November - NUNO - Resident Organist
Saturday, 8th November - SANDRA & JORGE- Music for Dancing-
Sunday, 9th November- CARLOS PONTES - Music for dancing
Monday, 10th November- FOLKLORE DANCERS – 9.30pm
Tuesday, 11th November - NUNO - Resident Organist
Wednesday, 12th November - JOÃO CARACOL- Music for Dancing,
Thursday, 13th November- ILZE- Singer
Friday, 14th November - XICO - Guitar Player
Saturday, 15th November - SANDRA & JORGE- Music for Dancing
Sunday, 16th November - PRESUMED INNOCENT - Dancers
Monday, 17th November - NUNO - Resident Organist
Tuesday, 18th November - ARTE VIVA - Music for dancing
Wednesday, 19th November - JOÃO CARACOL- Music for Dancing
Thursday, 20th November - NUNO - Resident Organist
Friday, 21st November - NUNO - Resident Organist
Saturday, 22nd November- SANDRA & JORGE- Music for Dancing-
Sunday, 23rd November- CARLOS PONTES - Music for dancing
Monday, 24TH November - FOLKLORE DANCERS – 9.30pm
Tuesday, 25th November-NUNO- Resident Organist
Wednesday, 26th November - JOÃO CARACOL - Music for dancing
Thursday, 27th November - ILZE- Singer
Friday, 28th November - XICO - Guitar Player
Saturday, 29th November - SANDRA & JORGE- Music for Dancing
Sunday, 30th November - PRESUMED INNOCENT – Dancers