Australasia, Canada, Caribbean, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Car hire and higher

Off on a road trip, well it’ll cost you because it’s getting car hire and higher out there.

And nowhere more so than my spiritual home Ireland where in some counties they’re a must.

My old mum would oft refer to her homestead of Donegal in north-west Ireland as the ‘forgotten county’.

And it didn’t help when they ripped up the rail tracks in 1959.

Donegal driving

Donegal Mammy: And son at Doon Well

So now if you want to get about you need to either have a car, rent a car…

Or your hotel or B&B can get Eileen to ask Aoife who knows Niamh is passing and can get you halfway.

Where Bladhana can get you to Sorcha, but make sure you’re ready or they’ll leave without you.

By the end of it all, of course, you’ll feel one of the family.

Of course, many of us prefer our independence, but alas that comes at an increasingly greater price.

With DiscoverCars.com revealing the average cost of hiring a car in 2022 rose by 267% on the previous year.

Site for sore eyes: Discover Cars

Their data highlights an average increase of 47% worldwide.

With the average cost of a one-day car hire rising from £43 to £67.

So to get on the road in Ireland you’ll shell out £155 (yes, we know they’re in the Euro), up from £42.

Now we would never let a small thing like expense put us off a destination… we’re just giving you the road manual.

On the road again

Obrigado: With the Scary One in Portugal Centro

The world’s second biggest country takes some getting around.

And that no doubt is the spiel for a spike of 264%.

Full reveal here on the third biggest mover here, Portugal-Azore Islands.

Because when we toured Hidden Portugal, Portugal Centro, we had the services of a driver/guide/historian and Coimbra’s most famous son.

Jose Madomis of Madomis Tours.

Now we’ve availed too of the services of our own fellow Britons, ninth with an 85% rise, but still cheaper than the trains.

With Katarina in Bohemian Switzerland in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic, fifth at 131% but again with a history lesson thrown in… and Becherovka and salty age-defying water.

While Greece is tenth at 81% which may persuade you to do a Pheidippides and run the 26 miles or so from Athens to Marathon.

There’s no rhyme nor reason why the other countries on the list should have seen such hikes.

But Israel, Iceland and Albania are countries where you need wheels because donkeys correctly have rights now.

Slowly does it

By hook or by crook in Tenerife

Of course with everything on the rise sometimes the best we can hope for are small increases.

And the Canary Islands at just 2% leads the way here.

Though if you do hire a car (at only £25 the cheapest on the list) then why not walk some of the way.

With CanariaWays where you’ll experience the many Tenerife eco-systems before refuelling at the Franco-theme Bar in Afur.

Fly drive

Love a duck: At Epcot Centre, Florida

Now for many of us getting behind the wheel of a car in a foreign country requires a deep breath.

And my only attempt, in a Fiat 500 in Cannes, and it’s dashboard gearstick, never got out of the car park.

Although I kept that quiet from the organisers of the Florida Keys road trip.

Alas, but fortunately for other road users, it got cancelled by Covid.

Cut-price cars

Rocky mountain high: Colorado Rockies baseball team

Unbowed, I’ll be back though to the Sunshine State and you will too particularly with a 23% decrease in the hire of a car.

Bookended in the top four is America’s Playground, Colorado.

That’s when you’re not roped into their abseiling, freestyle rock climbing, white water rafting or roadside skiing.

Who is squeezed in between the two, why Guadeloupe and Australia… let’s go Outback.

And let’s not be put off when we see the car hire and higher.

 

 

 

America, Countries, Europe, Music

Ladies Marmalade from America to here

Now I’m back home doin’ 9 to 5, livin’ the grey flannel life, but when I turn off to sleep, memories creep. More, more, more Ladies Marmalade from America to here.

I was a bit of a gitchie, gitchie, ya-ya, Dada myself in CityWalk’s Rising Star Karaoke Bar in Orlando.

When despite the acclamations of the MC that my rendition of the Patti Labelle classic was ‘how to do a chick’s song’…

I actually murdered it, while my hosts taped me for posterity.

Daddy Marmalade

All of which nostalgia came flooding back as I watched Daddy’s Little Girl nail Lady Marmalade with her dance troupe in Tranent in East Lothian in Scotland.

Lady Marmalade, of course, is a celebration of Creole and bordillo culture ‘in old New Orleans.’

Though it morphs into Moulin Rouge by the time Lil’ Kim, Christina Aguilera & Pink! got their hands on it.

I know it was for the film Moulin Rouge, but I hazard that Lady Marmalade would only ever have worked a sizzling city like Norleans.

Norleans

Now those of us who criss-cross the Oo Es of Eh to cover its travel fairs especially look forward to when it is Norleans‘ turn.

We still wait, and for the time being we make do by smiling at the pictures of our old pal and Travel legend JP Thompson.

As he decked himself head to toe in kitsch carnival clothes for a Bourbon Street parade.

Why then he took shy when calls went up for karaoke volunteers that night in Orlando we’re still interrogating him to this day.

Now we’re all living with Covid one of the staples of a party holiday, the karaoke is thankfully back.

Karaoke memories

Fab four: Terry, Bernard, Claire and Ray in Portugal

Our first was in the fun surroundings of Cabanas in the Algarve, Portugal (and we keep going back)

When ‘Leeds Ray’ and myself whip-cracked away into the theme from Raw Hide.

More Booze Brothers us than Blues Brothers.

Nor did either of these embarrassments put me off getting up again and again.

But with age has come experience and I lowered my range to channel my inner Chuck Berry.

And Memphis Tennessee on board MSC in the Norwegian fjords.

Our duet

Tag team: With The Scary One in the fjords

On none of these occasions has the Scary One joined me on the Mic.

Although I guess she might plump for Hit the Road, Jock.

Whatever your karaoke song of choice, whether Ladies Marmalade from America to here, enjoy.

 

America, Australasia, Countries, UK

Top Trumps Celebrity Hotspots

I’ll see your Lisa Vanderpump and raise you a Marlon Brando in the game of Top Trumps Celebrity Hotspots.

I’ll give the storied Casey Jones, the father-in-law, and his slide show, his due.

While one of the best ways to clear the room is to bring out the holiday pics his slide show did have the odd surprise.

From his round-the-world ship return from Australia to England.

Like Marlon Brando’s island in Tahiti… and my future wife as a child in a hula-hula skirt.

Of course she won’t try one on for me even though I rock my Maldives sarong at any (or none) invitation.

All of which going round the world brings me back to my subject in hand, celebrity hotspots.

And this selection box (and it’s not even Christmas) which our dream providers sent me.

Tahiti treatie

Atoll do nicely: The Brando atoll

The Brando, Tahiti: And it’s what you do when you love the island you’ve visited… or in this case atolls.

Buy them which is what Marlon Brando, a modern-day reincarnation of Fletcher Christian, whom he played on Mutiny On The Bounty.

The Brando, opened in July 2014, in his memory on Tetiaroa in Tahiti.

And it is an all-inclusive resort featuring 35 deluxe villas, each with its own private beach area and plunge pool.

On Santa Monica Boulevard

Cocktail hour: The Pendry

Wolfgang Puck, West Hollywood, California: And West Hollywood is all about checking out all the joints.

So, if you’ve taken in The Real Wife of Hollywood Lisa Vanderpump’s PUMP restaurant you’ll also want to check out…

Pendry West Hollywood is where Puck stops… by with his celebrity pals.

Arnold Lane

Eh, an Arnold Palmer: For Arnold Palmer

No, you won’t be the only one and this has nothing to do with Psychedelic Pink Floyd but indulge me.

This is golfing legend Arnold Palmer’s back yard in Greater Palm Springs, California 

The legacy of the American lives on at this Coachella Valley Arnold Palmer restaurant.

With a country club feel, the restaurant celebrates the golfer with memorabilia, while serving his favourite foods.

Each room in the restaurant is named after a different golf tournament and focuses on a unique part of Palmer’s life. 

And, of course, your thirst will be quenched with an iced tea and lemonade, the famed Arnold Palmer.

Andy’s smasher

You’re welcome: Andy Murray

And when I first started out on this scribbling lark I was given an assignment to a foreign land… I was living in England at the time.

It involved me returning to my Scottish homeland and a country house, Cromlix House in Perthshire, Scotland.

Fast-forward to the current day and Cromlix was obviously a favourite of a young, aspiring tennis player.

Andy Murray only went and bought it and I dare say there will be evidence of the Great Man around the hotel.

Keeeeep dancin’: With Judy Murray in Portugal

And that isn’t a prompt to get an invite (honest!).

Particularly as I’m on dancing terms with his Mum Judy from her tennis course in Quinto da Lago in Portugal.

So tell us what are your Top Trumps Celebrity Hotspots?

 

 

 

Asia, Countries, Deals, Europe

Here We Goa Cristiano

Here We Goa Cristiano. Ronaldo, R7, has been put on a podium in India’s Portuguese outlier.

Yes, we’ve been here before, with statues a bit of a hobby horse of mine.

Funny, because there are too many of these with empirical British generals and not enough of the gee-gees themselves.

Although racecourses are the exception.

And who else would have pride of place at Aintree, Liverpool, home of the Grand National than Red Rum?

 

Cristiano Ronaldo, of course, is a football thoroughbred who his native Portuguese have had on a podium for years.

All of which our tour guide par excellence Jose Madomis made clear early in our visit to Portugal Centro.

Although The Scary One has never knowingly been told who she should defer to… Signore Ronaldo or Mourinho.

The first statue

Honed and toned: Cristiano in Madeira

The Portuguesers know his value, of course, and closer to God is He.

As I found out when I saw his beach towel for sale among all the Our Lady mini-statues in the Marian site of Fatima.

And while Cristiano is lauded on mainland Portugal he is venerated in Madeira, the island off Africa, where he was born and raised.

And where the first Cristiano statue went up.

Cristiano Goanaldo

Indian culture: In Goa

And we’re thinking here that this coastline region of India is made for Cristiano.

We don’t know if in fact he owns any of it but needless to say he should be able to afford a good bulk of it.

Vasco da Gama, named after the explorer, is its capital.

And with its Portuguese culture and architecture you’d be forgiven for thinking you were still in Iberia.

For those who like to mark landmarks (guilty!) next May 30 sees the 35th anniversary of Goa becoming India‘s 25th state.

Get us there

Child’s play: In Goa

All major airlines fly from the UK and Ireland to Madeira, it takes 3 hours and 40 minutes, and our old friends at skyscanner quote £46 with Ryanair.

And we’re advised that TUI provides direct flights from London Gatwick to Goa for a return from £551pp for February.

Here We Goa Cristiano.

 

 

 

America, Countries, Europe, Music, UK

Rainy Days and Songdays Carols

Woah, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, in excelsis deo (wherever that is), it’s Rainy Days and Songdays Carols.

And particularly with the choir of carol singers from the high street in our town now having dissipated.

Sing-a-long: And we love a carol

But church services go on unabated and the original spirit of Christmas sometimes sneaks past Mariah Carey and Michael Buble.

And so a celebration of carols, their origins and the destinations with which they’re associated.

Stille Nacht

The Other Salzburg: With the Scary One

Or Silent Night which originates in Oberndorf bei Salzburg.

No, not that Salzburg of Mozart and The Sound of Music in Austria but the small city north of Salzburg.

It does though have it’s own blessed place in music as the birthplace of one of our favourite carols.

Mohr and Grober may not be as recognisable as Gilbert & Sullivan, Rodgers & Hammerstein, King & Goffin, Lennon & McCartney or John and Taupin.

But the assistant priest, and the schoolmaster and organist certainly hit on one with this classic on the Christmas Eve of 1818.

It travelled around the world and got the ultimate seal of approval when Bing Crosby sold 10 million copies in 1935.

Feliz Natal

In her working clothes: With the Scary One again

Feliz Natal as they say in Portugal.

Or O Come all ye Faithful (except they say it in Portuguese) and not this southern US draw… though Carrie on Ms Underwood.

We have King John IV to thank for it becoming Anglicised (the Portuguese are England’s most enduring ally).

The clue to King Johin IV’s musicality is in the moniker he was given King John The Musician.

His works (he is also said to have written a setting for a Good Friday standard Crux Fidelis) alas were destroyed in the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755.

Of course Portugal is full of secrets just waiting to be discovered.

Crowning Bethlehem

Philly Christmas: They love a carol

Talking of secrets, I’ve just been watching the original Jesus.

Well the blockbuster televisual one, anyway, Robert Powell retracing Our Lord’s steps on the Smithsonian channel

And spoiler here.. he may not have been born there but rather his childhood home Nazareth.

The song would be very different, or would it be? Nazareth scans too.

The carol we so love, is actually an American construct.

With it written by Phillips Brook, an Episcopalian minister, then a rector in Philadelphia, and later of Boston, in the 19th century.

And sung beautifully here by The King himself.

Ding Dong Merrily On High

Roger Bravo: Roger Whittaker

Sounds very English village hall, but mais non, Ding Dong Merrily On High is a French Joyeux Noel, ditty.

The tune was originally recorded in the 16th century by Dijon‘s finest Jehan Tabourot in his study of French Renaissance social dance called Orchésographie.

Ca va, English composer and campanologist George Ratcliffe Woodward updated it with the old ding dong that we all enjoy.  

Now randomly we can’t think of anyone better to sing or rather trill it than Roger ‘The Whistler’ Whittaker.

Deep pan crisp and even

On the King Charles Bridge in Prague

OK, we’ll get the old Christmas Cracker joker out first.

What pizza does Good King Wenceslas like?

Deep pan crisp and even.

Whether the Good King first looked out on the Feast of Stephen and the snow laid round about deep and crisp and even we don’t know.

But Wenceslas Square in Prague is usually packed at this time of year, and on most days.

It might be different this year with Covid which is all the more reason to toast our Czech friends with an Urquell. Na Zdravi.

Take it away Bing… 

Merry Christmas and sing along to yourself with your Rainy Days and Songdays Carols.

 

 

 

Asia, Australasia, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Mothers-in-Law Day

It’s a problem worthy of United Nations arbitration so it probably shouldn’t be surprising that we honour both today with their own day, the United Nations Day and Mothers-in-Law Day.

With those esteemed institutions being deemed worthy of their own official day.

Now I wouldn’t for one minute begrudge Angela her day off today as she IS heading into Halloween, obviously her busiest time of the year.

In truth, I’ve always tried to keep a couple of steps ahead of Mother-in-Law, or Sir as she insists I call her.

The outlaw Angie

Mother and daughter: Angela and My Scary One, Sarah

And so we’d find ourselves living away from Chez Angela.

So she has needed to be a visitor to our billets on our adventures around these islands.

In Aberdeen, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Co. Wicklow in Ireland.

Greening it up: In Ireland

And that has allowed us the opportunity to show off the charms of some of our favourite places on these islands.

An inveterate traveller herself, she decamped to Australia with the family in her 20s.

And embarked on a round-the-world boat trip back to England.

Taking in New Zealand, Tahiti and the Panama Canal… and a lot of Pacific and Atlantic Ocean and all its choppiness.

Globetrotting Ma-in-Law

A horse a horse: My queendom for a horse

But she has also benefited from old Casey Jones (that’s the Father-in-Law).

And his love of train travel to span France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and much else of Western Europe.

One unexplored world and one I know she has long hoped to visit is the New World, the USA.

And it is my hope that we can get her out there to New York with her daughter, my very own Scary One.

And I know that she has got her own broom!

Have a Great Day Angela on this United Nations Day and Mothers-in-Law Day.

 

Countries, Europe, South America, UK

It’s Coming Home Messi’s Homecoming

Felicitación Leo, or Felicitats in his adopted Catalan, It’s Coming Home Messi’s Homecoming.

It has been largely ignored in the UK but there has been another football match taking place this weekend.

And the clash of Argentina and Brazil in the Copa America was also watched by hundreds of millions.

King of South America

 

Argentina, Argentina: Leo with Emi Martinez

Messi has been scratching an itch for some time now.

That his great rival Portugal hero Cristiano Ronaldo has won his continent’s competition, and he hasn’t.

Scratch no more Leo, the Copa is yours. after Argentina’s 1-0 victory over Brazil in the early hours of this morning.

I have, of course, had the pleasure of meeting both Ronnie and Leo… in Portugal and Catalonia.

The One Ronnie

Model footballer: Cristiano

Alas, not in person, but in the ubiquitous paraphernalia in those countries (and I freely give Catalonia that status).

You may usually come for the sun in Portugal but you will soon realise the importance of football.

In the land of Fado and Fatima, Coimbra and Fatima.

Hotti Totti

Roman God: Francesco Totti

Where in amongst the tables of Our Lady statuettes and trinkets sat a beach towel of that other hallowed figure, Cristiano Ronaldo.

What is it about religious pilgrimages that the religion of football sits alongside it so easily?

Italians worship both Gods equally and the shops outside the Vatican are a wash of colour.

Make a wish

I’ll be back: The Trevi Fountain in Rome

Yellow and white Holy See and yellow and reds AS Roma.

And where Francesco Totti noddy dolls are all the rage although Ciro Immobile figures will no doubt be sharing the tables now.

Immobile’s team Lazio are named after the province in which Rome sits and both clubs share the Olympic Stadium.

Although you’ll see more light blue flags and scarves the more you get out into the country.

Balkans boy

Go Croatia: With my Balkan pals in Ireland

You’ll see the power and pull of football in Medjugorje too where Croatia captain Luka Modric is idolised.

Now, granted I have taken a circuitous route here.

Before eventually reaching the Great Man.

So back to Messi’s Homecoming…

Leo’s a big teddy bear

Our goal celebration in Barcelona

Now Argentina is a pleasure I’ve yet to enjoy, and will, but Messi’s home now is Barcelona.

Where if you can’t get up close and personal with Leo you can cuddle a Messi bear.

On a Royal Caribbean ship in Barcelona harbour, a hub for cruise ships.

Now noddy statuettes of the England players will already be in production.

And don’t be surprised to see them sharing tables, shelves and shops with the Queen soon.

But until it happens today belongs to the Little Maestro.

It’s Coming Home Messi’s Homecoming.

 

America, Countries, Europe, Ireland, Music, UK

Green Lighting megamix around the world

It’s one of those annoying Government buzzwords so let’s claim it back with a Rainy Days and Songdays Green Lighting megamix around the world. Our favourite songs with ‘green’ in the title and the countries where they transport us.

Wales boyo

Green, Green Grass of Home, Tom Jones, Wales: Down the road I look and there runs Mary, hair of gold and lips like cherries.

Now I dare say most homes have green, green grass unless you live in a very hot country and the land is baked brown. But this just feels Welsh.

That is until you get to the rest of the song and realise that it’s a man on Death Row dreaming of home.

Maybe, Mary had a narrow escape after all. We, though will just imagine it as the beautiful Welsh valleys.

Green Cash

Forty Shades of Green, Johnny Cash: Arkansas and Ireland: The legend is that Johnny was inspired to write this County classic when he looked down from the plane at the patchwork fields of green of Ireland.

As a recruiting call for Ireland our pals at Tourism Ireland would have been proud as in true singer style Johnny namechecks everywhere on the Emerald Island.

Quite who the girl from Tipperary town with the lips like eiderdown is Johnny would never say, perhaps because June would have killed him.

Green Burns Country

Burns Cottage, Alloway,Scotland. https://www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/robert-burns-birthplace-museum

Green Grow The Rashes O, Eddi Reader: Burns and Ayrshire: The sweetest hours that e’er the old poet and ploughman prowler spent were spent among the lasses O.

The old rogue Burns was pure rock’n’roll and could pen a lyric and a tune which is probably why he is held in such high regard by the greatest singer-songwriters of the latter half of the 20th century.

With Bob Dylan, no less, crediting the Scot as his greatest inspiration.

And Henry VIII I am

Greeensleeves, King Henry VIII/Ralph Vaughan Williams, Berkshire: And another old lothario here with King Henry VIII said to have written this for Anne Boleyn.

What better tune then for an English rose to walk up the aisle to in her home county of Berkshire.

My Scary One has lost her head plenty of times since… but that’s been with me.

Vini Verde

Night at the opera: In Prague

La Boheme, Giuseppe Verdi: Prague: No, a non-green tune didn’t slip through. Giuseppe Verdi would actually be Joe Green in English.

The Milanese Verdi had the support of Gaetano Donizetti from nearby Bergamo whom he visited in Vienna which, of course, was the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

And that included Bohemia, or the current-day Czech Republic where the thing to do when you’re in Prague is take in a production at the opera house.

Poppies and Green Fields

No Man’s Land

The Green Fields of France, The Fureys and Davey Arthur, The Somme: And in the mud of the Somme the soldiers’ minds would drift off to some verdant pasture and memories of precious moments with a loved one.

Every nation sacrificed its most promising generation in No Man’s Land but for those from the furthest outposts of Empire… well, it just seems to be all the more pointless to modern sensibilities.

Eric Bogle, a Scots-born Australian, explores the pyschological cost to one survivor ‘young Willie McBride’. And it was all the more poignant after I’d seen the statue of the Scots soldier in northern France.

And another one to make you cry

Memphis Blues

Green Onions, Booker T. & the MGs: Memphis: In the home of the Blues, Memphis, Booker T & the MGs came up with their signature instrumental tune.

The story goes that the Stax house band were waiting around for the Sun artist and rockabilly singer Billy Lee Riley to turn up and developed the song.

And why Green Onions? Well Booker T. Jones self-deprecatingly said it was because green onions were the nastiest thing he could think of and something you could throw away. We never would.

Ol’ Green Eyes… well, Blue, but!

Little Green Apples, Frank Sinatra: New Jersey and New York: And a lot more digestible with this old standard covered by all the crooners.

But of all the crooners, none compare with the Boy from Hoboken, New Jersey who made it there in New York, and elsewhere.

And just like Johnny Cash from another song, Frank does his best to include the whole country, in this case America.

So a shout-out to Disneyland, Doctor Seuss in Springfield Massachussetts.

And Indianapolis where it don’t rain in the summertime and Minneapolis where it doesn’t snow when the winter comes. All of which it does to

Beret good

Ballad of the Green Beret, Sgt Barry Sadler/Dolly Parton: Take your pick, the clean-shaven All-American Boy, soldier turned actyor Barry Sadler or Miss American PIe herself, Tennessee’s Dolly.

Either way it’s flag-waving, Americana. And even if you don’t know the song you’ll recognise the tune.

Particularly if you’re a fan of Celtic FC who famously play in green and white hoops and who have adapted the song and lyrics into a favourite fans’ song With a Four-leaf Clover on My Breast.

The evergreen Cliff

Green Light, Cliff Richard, India, England, Portugal and Barbados: And there are few more wholesome and clean-cut than Our Cliff.

The evergreen Cliff belts this one out from the Seventies.

The Peter Pan of Pop who was born in India, grew up in England, and has had homes in Portugal and Barbados, though he is selling up in Bim (and yes I’m interested).

When it gets the Green Light.

 

 

 

 

 

Countries, Culture, Europe, Music, UK

Portuguese Fado

Jose Madomis needs no invitation to talk about Portugal’s Three Fs… Football, Fatima and Fado. So to celebrate Portugal‘s elevation to the UK Green list today’s Rainy Days and Songdays celebrates Portuguese Fado.

And its football, with A Selecao, Cristiano Ronaldo et al, in good nick to retain their European Championship crown this summer.

And its Little Shepherds and Our Lady and Fatima.

Not to forget Coimbra which Jose will NEVER do.

Classy Coimbra 

Jose’s home town of Coimbra

Coimbra (pronounced Queembra) is Jose’s hometown.

And it is the centre of everything that has ever happened in Portugal according to Jose.

And the Madomis Tours guide backs it up.

Queen Elizabeth (theirs not ours) is a saint, was a friend to the poor and devoted wife of King Denis, Portugal’s first king.

Royal Portugal

Portuguese royal lovers in Leiria

Jose proudly tells us that her earthly remains reside for eternity in Coimbra.

While Coimbra was where the students of one of the oldest universities in Europe were the driving force for the removal of President Salazar in the Seventies.

Portugal celebrates the overthrow of the dictator every April 25 with a public holiday, Freedom Day (see another ‘F’).

And it is our misfortune as Portugalophiles that we weren’t able to get out there to join in the celebrations.

Fado and the Revolucao

Portugaphiles Jimmy and Cliffy

Fado, the mournful music born out of the Lisbon slums and Portugal’s seafaring communities, was at the heart of the Portuguese uprising in 1974 .

And its people celebrate that on Freedom Day.    

The coup had two secret music signals.

And you have to remember here how important and political Eurovision was back then. 

 Cliff Richard from winning one year. 

Eurovision conductor

Paulo lost out to them

Back to Portugal though and the first trigger was Paulo de Carvalho’s E Depois do Adeus (And After Goodbye).

You’ll remember it as the country’s entry in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest.

And by the by whatever happened to that Swedish band who won that year? 

The song was aired on Emissores Associados de Lisboa at 10.55pm on April 24 which alerted rebel captains and soldiers to begin the coup.

The second signal was the next day at 12.20am.

That man Zeca again

Take that Salazar

Radio Renascenca broadcast the banned Fado singer Zeca Afonso’s Grandola, Vila Morena (Grandola, Brown Town.

Reading the English translation of the song it makes sense.

It references a ‘Land of fraternity, Grandola, brown town, in each face theres equality it is the people who lead.’

And I can see why a dictator like Salazar might take exception. 

Aye, aye skipper: In Aveiro

And why Zeca, real name Jose, will almost certainly be high up on our Jose’s popularity list.

Born in Portugal’s Little Venice Aveido, he studied in Coimbra and even played football for local team Academica. 

Apt then that this was the prompt to take over strategic points of power in the country.

Jose our Special One

Classic Portugal Centro: Coimbra

Our Jose had no time for Salazar but a lot for Coimbra and is a great fan of the offshoot Coimbra Fado. 

And we were, and are, great fans of Jose, the Special One, the best host we have had the pleasure to meet on our travels… and there have been many.

Tonight I will play the Fado CD Jose gave us on our last evening there in Portugal Centro.

It was our wedding anniversary night at that.

So I’m happy to dedicate this Rainy Days and Songdays Portuguese Fado to Jose… Muitas Felcidades meu amigo.