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So what are the thoughts that I can put into writing about waiting around for 30 minutes in the new Continente in Portimão.

The lack of clocks in the store is easily resolved by having one's mobile phone with you at all times. assuming that the mobile phone is not left at home and is turned on and has been charged in the past 3 or 5 days !!
The lack of a public phone in the store is also solved by also having one's mobile phone with you at all times.

But having said the above what can be drawn from this local situation is to consider - in a very general manner - the overall situation re public clocks and public phones in the UK.
Just in the same way that I can now primarily talk about Portugal in the context of where I go and visit, I can also do the same for the UK except that I may have a few bits of anecdotal information. This being that I have been out of the country for several years.

One inference that I would make regarding Portugal is that there is no requirement for PT to install and maintain public telephones. Whereas in the UK there is (or at least there was) a statutory requirement for public telephone boxes to be available and also maintained.  This could be seen bu positioning two or more boxes together so if one was now working then there would at least 50% would be working or two out of three would be working.

Another interesting situation in the UK is, or again was, the positioning of a telephone box in the middle of some vast moorland or at a crossroads deep in a wooded area or forest.

The nearest the Portuguese come to a public telephone box is the one that I know of in Caldas de Monchique, about 20 kilometers north of Portimão. As I understand the reason for a telephone box being there at all is because, when Queen Victoria visited Portugal, the Portuguese authorities thought that it would be 'nice' to install some 'London style' telephone boxes in her honour.

Further to this point is that any 'London style' telephone boxes in Lisboa, are there for the same reason.

What is great is that they are still in place and I presume still functioning as intended ?


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The other day I happened to have an errand to run and as part of my visit to Portimão I dropped into the new Continente.

For those that do not know the new Continente I will try to explain why I am calling this one - new. There are two reasons.

The first reason is that it is the second Continente supermarket in Portimão to bear this company name. For those who know something of Portimão this second Continente now occupies the building previously used by E. Leclerc.

The other reason is that the store is the replacement for the one that was situated on the Portimão Retail Park site and was burnt down, along with other shops and stores, at the end of 2012.

So now the purpose for this blog - It was while I have elected to wait, for about 30 minutes, for the 'Take Away' sections to cook me two chickens from raw that I happened to notice that there was no public clock visible or available in the whole store. I wandered round looking at all the in-house advertising monitors. No sign of the time ! I looked at the cash register displays and at the weighing machines for produce, still no indication of the time.
I finally asked one of the counter staff if there was a clock in the store only to be answered in the negative.

At the same 'time' as looking for a clock, or any time piece for that matter, I wanted to let the folks back home know that I was going to be 30 minutes later getting back with the cooked chickens than they had expected.
Then it also occurred to me that there were no public telephones in the store. And no public telephones in the car park or out on the street ...

You, dear reader, will have realised that in my haste to get into town and purchase lunch that I had left my mobile phone at home !

Oh ! How we depend on our mobile phones - more thoughts to follow ...

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And even though learning anything new takes time the finished result can look good and one can feel very pleased.

That is until the template is changed from a percentage layout to a fixed layout. Where the percentage will total up to 100% page width, whereas the 'fixed' layout will be 12 columns.

It is in fact very unfair of me to blame anyone or pick out anyone in particular because the fixed layout (or 'bootstrap') route is the way of the future and most, if not all, CMS providers are going down the same route. For the technical, some CMS providers are, or so I believe, breaking backward compatibility, whereas Joomla! (since version 1.5/1.6) has a policy of maintaining backward compatibility. Go Joomla!.

What I was very annoyed about, and I did tell a few people, was that there was NO WARNING that this change was going to happen. By just updating to the next version of software one presumes that the update will be better that before. But bootstrap required a mental adjustment to a different way of laying out a web page. So having worked through Category Article Menu and content and Custom HTML and Menu Navigation, we had to sort through the ramifications of bootstrap.

Please do not ask me why the name 'bootstrap' was used! Because I have no idea!!

As I understand the situation, the reason and the advantage for using bootstrap for the layout is that Joomla! is ready for responsive layouts. This is where a website will work across all devices. Such as desktops, tablets and mobile smart phones.

Oh!, and there was one constant to tell you about that made life a little easier and is invaluable.

Till next time ...

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The MENU structure and wording is an important consideration since this is the route by which visitors will find your CONTENT.

So what with deciding on menu structure and wording, topical article, layout of the website and the aquisition and presentation of my core content I needed a break - a breather - a change of scenery.

It must be said that at one point I had two A4 sized 'exercise' books almost full with articles, how-to-do lists, menu ideas and concepts, to-do lists and future plans and options. All gleaned from the various (technical) books that I had read and other website that I had visited.

Now back to the story - having thought and written much of my content either snatched between family obligations or sitting outside a coffee shop, my greatest breakthrough so far came sitting outside the local coffee shop with coffee on the table, near to hand.

What struck me was that instead of writting articles (Like this one) and having a mass of text on the page, what I could do was use the Custom HTML option that was available within Joomla!.

This concept, of a Custom HTML module, allows for the creation and placing of a specific, limited and focused amount of information in a particular place on the web page.

The information could include an image, a link to another website and some text or comment by your truly. Most of www.portugalmarketplace.pt is currently 'constructed, using this one module type. There are others ...

Bear in mind that no-body tells you this in school, there is very little support or guidance as to the options of constucting a web page from the template designes and not much mention withing the Joomla! community generally. Plenty about Category, Article, Menu or how to tweek the template, but very little for the novice, the new boy, the beginner.

Without using a website engineer or programmer there is a very steep hill to climb!!

(328 words)

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The Marketplace for all things Portugal

The Marketplace for all THINGS(!) Portugal

Things - is a word like the word Stuff! Both are great words and can be used to include so many different (well!) things. Stuff, of course, can describe things spread all over the floor or the stuff you put in your (suit)case to go on holiday or a trip to somewhere. Or even, "If you cannot find any room in the cupboard, just stuff it in", as if by 'stuffing it in' you are going to find room!!

But, seriously, why the sub-title for this website?

As I have said previously, the intention was to include shops and product, businesses, hotels, small (family run) manufacturers and even water-parks and other entertainment places.

As a matter of interest, I did make contact with someone local who was involved in tinned fish. Thinking that the product would transfer well to an online shop I priced up various options and thought through some plans and future projects that we might do together.

In all it took me several weeks to pull together a Business Proposal. Before sending the document over I enquired if they were still interested. I heard nothing back so shelved the project and marked the exercise up to experience.

So now I was back on my own, writing up articles on history, bullfighting, the Portuguese and other topics.

By doing this work and in the end not having much material to start putting together a viable website, I was stuck with a dilemma. I had already spent some money on an internet service provider, the template from Joomlashine and other software and no way of using the information I had spent a couple of months writing up.

In addition to the CONTENT I also had to work out the MENU structure for the website to make the navigation easy for the the visitors.

(315+ words)

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In reviewing the last two blogs I find that a word length of around 300 words to be about right. However I might have started off with the wrong title for this series of blogs.

Maybe 'Part One' should have been called Trial and Error and 'Part Two' should have been called Learning Joomla!.

This 'Part Three' might be better named as Setting Out Our Stall. In any case and whatever the title I will continue with my Joomla! story.

To step back a little I have to tell you why I chose my particular domain name. In early 2013 I was getting annoyed with the slow recovery in Portugal. Also with the Troika calling the shots and the then government of the day under pressure to resign or kick out the Troika - neither of which happened I am pleased to say.

So I wanted to do my part to help the recovery of Portugal, where I reside and live, pay my dues and use the health service and enjoy the weather and the freedom inherent in a southern European State.

The website name, Portugal Marketplace, was chosen so that I might build up a site that promotes the best of Portugal. The best of business, commerce, travel and tourist options, supports family run businesses and gives a shop window to shops and craftsmen (and women) who were interested in selling overseas. This quickly became an impossible accomplishment without the use of well connected (and expensive) partners and/or investors since I did not, on my own, have any experience regarding attracting traffic to www.portugalmarketplace.pt.

In any event, during the summer, I was focused on writing articles and copy on many topics with the objective of making the content of the website informative, chatty and light-hearted. So I was happy.

More later ... .

(This blog 285+ words!)

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Posted by on in My Joomla! Experience

So having decided on Joomla! as my work medium I had to search out and choose a template. My idea was to have an an understated, businesslike template and so after a week or so chose the Epic template from JoomlaShine. The fact that they are based in Hanoi was of no problem. The internet in general and websites in particular are international and everyone speaks English; Yes, correct ? 

And now in addition to learning the Joomla! way of doing things , I had to learn how to utilise the powerer and the options of a template. After reading all the documentation that was available and making many notes in the margins I started to pull something together.

One thing you are told, and I in my turn have and will tell others is that any website is built on and only works when you have CONTENT. And as you can see that is CONTENT in capitals. The other thing you learn is the 'special' way that content is  structured within Joomla!. This is that you create Category, with say the name Kings of England, and then you write Articles aboiut each of those Kings and file them into the Kings of England category. Lastly one need to create a Menu Item for the website which you are going to call Kings of England. However and I say again, however, do not think that the Category has anything what-so-ever in common with the Menu Item. The important thing to know is that you place your Articles under the Menu Item having selected the said Articles from out of the Category. If you are new to Joomla! then learn and impliment this principle very fast. It works, do not fight the system !

Again looking at the word count this post is now just on 300 words and I will breakoff and continue next week. See Ya !

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Posted by on in My Joomla! Experience

Even after about six months of trial and (some) error, research, asking questions and some good fortune it would appear that I am getting to grips with the Joomla! system.

However I do not wish to speak too soon so I have delayed the publishing date to next week. So by the time that you read this post I will have moved on to researching or solving another problem or challenge.

What is all the problem about, you might say ?  And yes I would agree with you should we be discussing this very situation, face to face with the sun out and a coffee each - there ius no problem !  However to get this sort of project off the ground there are several hurdles to be leaped.

Firstly deciding which CMS (content management system) to go with. I started off with looking at WordPress but could not get over the presumption that I had to want to create a blog, a feature for which WordPress is best known. But that was before I knew about such a thing as WordPress themes.

I selected Joomla! from a shortlist of options, following some haphazard searching through Google, because it was Open Source.  I like the idea of Open Source.  Not a very good reason but there you are ! And then to find a template on which to write my masterpiece.

Looking at the word count for this post I am at about 240 words and do not know what this will look like on the screen, so I will stop now and continue later with Part Two.

So this is the End of Part One !!

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When writing a first blog what is that one says ?

We have read through the book 'Born to Blog' by bMark W Schaefer and Stanford A Smith and will try to follow there advise as we proceed through the mine field that is 'blog land' !

As we said above, 'When writing a first blog what is that one says ?'.  Well this is the best it gets so far.

Our intention is to read through 'Born to Blog' at least a couple of times more and also make notes ... any other suggestions ?

It will always be possible to delete this posting if necesary but as the book says, 'Yes - You Can Blog' and so we have.

Thanks for reading this !!



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Beautylicous Me

Contact Lesley Wall, a fully qualified Anti-Ageing Specialist and Aromatherapist, ITEC Qualified.
Choose 'Beautylicous Me' for Younger Looking Skin.
Contact Lesley on beautylicous@sapo.pt
for treatment options and exclusive products.

Loja Charina

Loja Charina in Praia da Rocha, Algarve, Portugal
Nothing else like this in Rocha
quote taken from Freemaps 2013 edition.
This is a shop that has something for all ages.
Visit their Facebook page.


The craft of macramé brought to life by Natália.
She is able to produce quality decorative jewellery macramé pieces and deliver internationally.
Natália also makes and retails natural soaps, based on coconut or clay.
For more information please contact her by email : natrame.crafts

Tasquinha dos Licores

'Licores' by Câtia Mateus.
Tasquinha dos Licores offers a wide range of home-made liqueurs made with the finest fruits and aromatic plants. Most fruits and herbs are harvested in Alentejo and Algarve. Make your perfect match of a flavour with a bottle of your choice.
Her website address is : www.atasquinhadoslicores.pt

This website uses a JoomlaShine template
called Epic.
To use this template from JoomlaShine or an alternative, for your website, please click on one of the two JoomlaShine logos located on either side.
Use code JSNAFF20 to get 20% off your choice of a single template.
This website is powered by the Joomla ! CMS platform.

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