Digital Events by the Royal Collection Trust – Palace of Holyroodhouse

Royal Hobby’s George Cruikshank, Royal Hobby’s 1819 – British Museum

Isaac Cruikshank, A mad Bull! or upsetting the Royal Hobbies! 1820 British Museum
Love in a Cottage, 1820 British Museum

The Royal Collection Trust is operating a timed ticket system and will launch three digital events, soon in October from the Palace of Holyroodhouse: Building the Palace (a short talk), An Evening of Eastern Encounters, and Life at the Court of Mary, Queen of Scots.

All these digital events are free of charge and should be booked in advance to guarantee your ‘digital entry’. Here is the 🔗 link for bookings.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh, and the home of Scottish royal history. For more of Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿, I let you know 🙂

Wherever you are, be safe and good 👍 .

‘Celebrating the World Tourism Day’

“The 2020 Global Week to Act4SDGs, on September 18-26, is a joint call to action for everyone– leaders, citizens, organizations, and institutions- to commit making this a Turning Point for People and Planet and put the Goals at the heart of their recovery plans, to use the next ten years to deliver all the Sustainable …

The ‘World Tourism Day’ is the 27th of September 2020

and I’d like to share with all my readers a fantastic online course run at Future Learn by The Global Travel & Tourism Partnership (GTTP). 

On the 27th of September, I’ll be thinking of Guinea Bissau 🇬🇼 and celebrating its huge potential to grow in the tourism sector. 

In a modern and connected world, I’d like to raise awareness and leave room for discussion on the reasons why written English and digital skills combined are important to be learned and can enhance intercultural communication. 

Intercultural communication refers to communication between people from two different cultures. (Chen & Starosta, 1998:28)

So, kindly leave a comment if you wish to take part in my little project that aims to reach only 20 people, or instead like it if you really do! 

GTTP is a charity funded by the travel and tourism industry which helps young people across the globe access the skills and experience they need for a career in the sector.” 

Each year, the GTTP supports more than 800,000 young people across 16 countries.” with English language as a medium of instruction and in my humble opinion this way enhancing intercultural communication. 

English is also used in interdisciplinary subjects and fields of research. The aim of this blog is to raise awareness of the United Nations Goals up to 2030. Whereas I support Quality Education (Goal 4) through Partnerships (Goal 17) would be a good idea to look at them all as they are inter-connected.

The 17 statement goals of the United Nations are clear and set to be achieved by 2030. The questions arise such as: 

  • Do governments want their citizens to be more international?
  • Which governments?
  • And if so, what are leaders performing to get this done?
  • Why are written English and digital skills combined important to enhance intercultural communication in a modern and connected world?

Academically, English is one of the main languages used “as a global for communication” and the aim of this short blog is to explore its benefits to enhance business in the tourism sector through partnerships such as the GTTP. 

Here is the link for the course!

This blog looks at tourism, business, science, and arts, through education.

In the 21st century desirable skills like enhancing intercultural communication and establishing partnerships towards achieving the 17 United Nations’ goals such as fighting poverty through quality education and partnerships through the medium of English language and technology. 

Is it important for everyone to learn English?

In my opinion, it is very important to learn English because I live in a country where many people are bilingual and it would take me longer to learn their second language besides English was a mandatory subject in secondary school, looking back at the 20th century together with French, German, and/or Latin but it’s up to each one of us.

Nowadays, English is still mandatory in my country and now children start learning English in primary school.

I wouldn’t say that is important to everyone though as it depends on other factors and there are other important languages such as Spanish. It is helpful to know two foreign languages at least out from those assigned from the United Nations as the official languages and they are: Arabic, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, and English.

English provided me with great opportunities, allowed me to access knowledge in the United Kingdom where I’m now starting my MA Education Studies, and gave me more employable chances than I had before, and opened up better-paying opportunities internationally. I lived, worked, and traveled in Asia (several countries including China) and Europe.

With that said, learning English can be beneficial, and learning it has changed my life so I want to carry on practicing my writing skills and pass on my ideas in a more efficient way but cannot generalize. 

I however would like to add that most info is written in English and being informed is a good status! 

I’m grateful to the British Council and the University of Groningen and to all classmates and supportive lead educators at Future Learn through the pandemic period from March to May 2020. 

To sum up, English skills and digital tools combined can possibly create stronger and effective partnerships to work on the United Nations 17 goals.

In the 21st century, digital tools are a key skill and no longer should be seen as a distraction or merely used as so. Social media and networks are useful to build upon the partnership to networking though English written skills and digital skills are needed and must be used by leaders to build-up to the benefit of their communities. Indeed, a powerful tool to be integrated into the curriculum and to be used through the medium of quality education and the tourism pillars despite seasonality.

COVID-19 cross frontiers faster than the speed of wifi. Who wins the marathon?


British Council

Exploring English: Shakespeare 

University of Reading

A Beginner’s Guide to Writing in English for University Study

United Nations 🇺🇳 


English as a medium of instruction by British Council

“Global Awareness, Multicultural Literacy, and Humanitarianism: The Problems are Urgent and the Clock is Ticking” (Humanitarian Institute)

Photo credit: Neet Law

“It should be noted that the “21st-century skills” concept comprises a wide-ranging and amorphous body of knowledge and skills that is not easy to define and that has not been officially codified or categorized but that are thought by educators, school reformers, college professors, employers, and others to be critically important to success in today’s world for the purpose of practicing and usefulness: educational, career, and civic settings throughout a student’s life (the Glossary of Education Reform)”

The four C’s of the 21st Century are:

1)Critical thinking

2)Creativity, artistry, curiosity, imagination, innovation, personal expression;


4)Communication both oral and written; public speaking and presenting, listening;

1. Critical Thinking & Problem-Solving. problem-solving, reasoning, analysis, interpretation, synthesizing information;

2. Collaboration & Influence across digital networks and with individuals from different backgrounds.

3. Agility & Adaptability by providing change and enabling an environment for stakeholders to collaborate and determine these own paths.

4. Initiative and Entrepreneurship by changing and leading and using inspiration to impact. “Initiative is doing the right thing without being told.” (Victor Hugo) and not wait for someone else to tell us what to do.

Researchers Michael Frey and Doris Fay define it as “…and by being persistent in overcoming difficulties, arising from pursuing a goal” and by taking advantage of opportunities that others pass by. Then, I will try to act more by holding my impulsive reactions at work and will try to reduce the amount of homework given and provide ‘more attractive lessons’.

5. Effective Communication, both oral and written: it should be clear, persuasive and it should inspire others. This can be learned.

6. Assessing and Analysing Information. How to assess the source and evaluate the content as reliable.

7. Curiosity and Imagination as a powerful driver of knowledge and innovation by empowering students, individuals, groups, communities to ask questions. According to this and the meeting with my leader a few days ago, I will try to be open to new possibilities however and towards the unknown, I have asked my leader to trust me. The job, the environment, the climate, the language, the isolation are already difficult to deal with.

The inaugural edition of the Time Higher Education University Impact Rankings included metrics based on 11 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. This year’s ranking includes measures on all 17 goals. Duncan Ross outlines what’s new for the 2020 edition of new Impact Rankings and how universities can get involved (Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings, October 13, 2019). This means that it will assess universities’ work in addressing poverty, hunger, and clean energy for the first time.

Even though progress has been made in reducing the proportion of the global urban populations living in slums, still more than one billion people continue to live in poor conditions such as breathing poor-quality air and with limited access to transport and open public spaces.

As a result of this week’s sources, I have decided to challenge myself to look more deeply at the critical humanitarian soft skills with a focus on collaboration and influence. I was also happy to find out that the Portuguese language will be celebrated from now on, on the 5th of May stated by UNESCO as an ‘International World Day’ and if reasons apparently look at history and number of spoken Portuguese natives, I believe that is to due with Durao Barroso influences in the United Nations. I hope that countries such as Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and Sao Tome and Principe (LDC) will gain from this action as not much more they have to lose. Also, the work done by Durao Barroso efforts at the United Nations to address the needs of these citizens which certainly includes education as we know it is a human right and in reference to everyone can learn on social media to what refers to Amazonia issues on climate and its consequences on ethnic groups and all 240 languages spoken. It this a sad world of discrimination?

Due to my previous education and work experience as well as life experience I have developed management skills such as self-motivation, delegation, organization, problem-solving, professionalism, and communication (verbal and nonverbal) but also many technical skills, and time management. Patience…


CareerBuilder, (2017), What are management skills and why are they important? 

The University of Notre Dame, (2019), 6 Critical Management Skills Every Business Leader Must Master, 

What Are the 4 C’s of 21st Century Skills? 

The Glossary of Education Reform, (08.25.16)

Why Discipline is More Important Than Talent, Skills or Credentials

What Are The Most Important Skills Entrepreneurs Need?

Curiosity: Skill for 21st-century healthcare innovation | Health Standards

Jamie Notter » Leadership Skills: Curiosity

Learn how to always be curious as to the core of embracing 21st-century skills

What Are the 4 C’s of 21st Century Skills?

Duncan Ross, (October 13, 2019), in Times Higher Education University Impact Ranking, We’re including all 17 SDGs in the 2020 University Impact Rankings

Duncan Ross, (October 13, 2019), in Times Higher Education University Impact Ranking, We’re including all 17 SDGs in the 2020 University Impact Rankings

José Manuel Durão Barroso, Chairman of Goldman Sachs International and former President of the European Commission | IRU World Congress, 19-21 October 2020, Berlin

Goal 11: Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, Report of the Secretary-General, Special Edition: Progress Towards The Sustainable Development Goals

Lusa, (2019), Portuguese Language Will Have World Day

Culture Trip, 11 Fascinating Facts About The Portuguese Language

List Developed Country Category

Curtis, M., A world of discrimination: minorities, indigenous, peoples, and education. Retrieved from MOODLE (University of the People)

7 Critical Humanitarian Soft Skills

Mind Tools Taking Initiative – Career Development From Mind Tools


Photo by Karley Saagi on

Table of Contents

1. Introduction                                                                                   

2. Definition of Fast-Food Restaurants                                          

3. The Origin of Fast-Food                                                              

4. Theoretical Framework                                                               

4.1 Trends in Hospitality                                                                 

4.2 Trends in Quality                                                                         

5. The SERVQUAL Scale                                                                   

5.1 Limitations of SERVQUAL                                                         

6. Case Studies in Fast-Food Service Quality                               

7. Managerial Implications

8. Conclusions and Future Lines of Research

9. References                                                                                                        

1.      Introduction

The concept of expectations plays an important role in most contemporary discussions of service quality. Despite this common use of the term, there is still much to learn about exactly what expectations are, what role they play, and how managers can best address their influence.

‘Consumers have become more eager than ever to complain and transfer their allegiances to perceived providers of quality service (Palmer, 1998 in Douglas and Connor, 2003 in Douglas and Connor; 2003)’. Consumer satisfaction and loyalty, secured through high-quality products and services providing value for money, for the consumer, are essential for long term survival, let alone long term success (Zeithaml et al., 1990; Robledo, 2001 in Douglas & Connor; 2003).

‘Expectations are well known to service marketers as most definitions of service quality revolve around ‘meeting or exceeding customer expectations’ (Kong & Mayo, 1993: 6). Customers’ evaluation of the service quality that they receive is conceptualized as being influenced by their expectations. As a consequence of this opportunity has arisen for service industry managers to “manage” these expectations; under-promise and over-deliver (Peters, 1998).

What is known is that the customers bring a set of desires to the service encounter, which will be the basis for their future relationship with the brand.

The fast-food restaurant is a service sub-sector in the hospitality industry whose growth and internationalization have lately become significant.

Copeland and Griggs (1985 in Lee; 1997) suggested that ‘in the U.S.A, fast-food essentially lives up to its name’s objective, “fast”. In the fast-paced US culture, as in most Western industrialized countries “time is money”.’

The aim of this paper is to take a closer look at the trends in Managing Consumer Expectations and Satisfaction in the fast-food industry using a meta-analysis approach and discuss some current and future implications in the area of hospitality.

A number of studies have shown that economic forces have made fast-food restaurants more appealing. These studies include those by Lan and Khan in Hong Kong Belgium by a wolf in Belgium (1994) by Martin in Poland, to name just a few in Lee;1997)

2.      Definition of Fast-Food Restaurants

GOY-AL and SINGH (2007, in Campos and Nóbrega; 2009) define fast-food as a’ commercial establishments that sell food and drink for immediate consumption in the locale or surrounding locale, which shares space with other fast-food companies, or for consumption in any locale, usually specializing in pizza, sandwiches and chicken-based foods’. With an ever-decreasing amount of time in our busy schedules, the role of fast food has become more important as we try to juggle our personal and professional lives.

As women have moved into the marketplace, they have less time to devote to the kitchen, and to be able to spend more quality time with their children, families opt for food solutions that are fast and filling. The fast-food products are distinguished from others in relation to the following characteristics: being low priced, served quickly, usually eaten with hands, easily packaged, and having a short life (PRICE, 1997). This way, these characteristics fulfill the needs of today’s modern families.

3. The Origin of Fast-Food  

The concept of fast-food started in 1946 with Bill Rosenberg by selling sandwiches to factory workers having only just one truck. We can say that the fast-food concept started mainly with doughnuts as they counted 40% of his sales.

No brand of the fast-food industry is as emblematic as McDonald’s, a brand that created the niche and did not stop until it was globally recognized. Its ability to satisfy all generations and social strata to adapt to local customs, values, and beliefs has made McDonald’s a household name and a brand many fast-food restaurants aspire to.

4. Theoretical Framework

4.1 Trends in Hospitality

Hospitality Operations & Management in today’s consumer society are crucial if a business is to succeed in this competitive market.

With new businesses opening up at a vertiginous rate, and a great number closing down it is essential that we look at what sets some companies apart and makes them leaders in their field.

If companies are to succeed, an analysis of the values and work processes underpinning successful competitors needs to be carried out.  With so much fierce competition and a range of providers to choose from, the service offered must not only meet but exceed customer expectations. Expectations are not a recent issue. As early as 1903 Hitchcock defines an expectation as a ‘mental process or attitude in which certain ideas or images are regarded as substitutes for definite sensational contents which are to be experienced later’ (Hitchcock in Coye; 2004:9). The onsets of globalization and increased competition in market forces have made it such that expectations need to be met, and even exceeded, and the issue of hospitality becomes paramount. Under the general umbrella term of Hospitality Operations & Management are such areas as Marketing, Service Quality, and Training.

What is known is that the customer will bring a set of desires to the service encounter, which will be the basis for their future relationship with the brand.

4.2 Trends in Quality

Quality, according to Oakland (2000 in Douglas and Connor; 2003) is far wider in its application than assuring product quality or service quality and states that ‘It is a way of managing business processes to ensure complete consumer satisfaction at every stage, internally and externally.’

A number of models have been put forward to ensure quality in the hospitality service sector. Their aims are to ensure complete satisfaction, increased customer loyalty, and positive word – of -mouth recommendation, as well as meeting expectations. As an example, McDonald’s is one of the fast-food chains that is concerned with food quality and they have two audiences for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The first one is the customer for the product in question; the second is the public in general.

One of the most quoted is the SERVQUAL scale, developed by Parasuraman.

The following section presents the scale and its limitations.

5. The SERVQUAL Scale

The SERVQUAL scale is generally used to examine the gaps between consumers’ expectations and perceptions. It is commonly used to examine the gaps between consumers’ expectations and perceptions. There are also other techniques for assessing service quality and consumer satisfaction levels. Parasuraman et al. (1991 in Douglas and Connor; 2003) presented the concept that ‘service is of high quality when its delivery meets or surpasses the consumers’ expectations’ is not always possible to exceed customers’ expectations, but the implementation of strategies and practices which will ensure improvement in the level of service provided is a step in the right direction.

The determinants of quality in The SERVQUAL scale were condensed from seven into five dimensions:

1)      Reliability – the ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately.

2) Tangibles – the appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and communication materials.

3) Responsiveness – the willingness to help the consumers and provide prompt service.

4) Assurance – the knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and confidence.

5) Empathy – the provision of caring, individualized attention to consumers.

5.1 Limitations of SERVQUAL

As with any model or scale, none is ever foolproof and there is always room for improvement. Disciplines of psychology, social sciences, and economics can not apply the SERVQUAL model. Measuring time, stability over time, the measuring scale, the service quality dimensions, and the use of difference scores were also pointed out as some issues to the use of the SERVQUAL scale. ‘Another criticism was the generic nature of the instrument itself. It was suggested that the survey instrument needed to be customized for use in the specific industry in which it was being applied by including related questions (Carman, 1990; Babakus and Boller, 1992; Brown et al, 1993 in Lesley & Douglas; 2003)’.

Some researchers have refuted the criticism when they proposed that practitioners require a generic model to ensure reliability, which allows both cross-industry and cross-functional comparisons to be made ‘(Pitt et al. Williams, 1998 in Lesley & Douglas; 2003).

Despite these limitations and criticisms, the fact remains that the models or scales are the bases for improved service quality and provide some best practice guidelines, which will ensure that companies continue to strive to exceed their customer’s expectations.

Section 6 will present a number of case studies in which different aspects of service quality were emphasized to meet and hopefully exceed expectations.

6. Case Studies in Fast-Food Service Quality

It is all well and good to apply for a service quality model in the fast-food industry. However, it is just important to develop means through which those models can be analyzed and their outcomes evaluated. These can take the form of feedback questionnaires, cold calls to customers, and interviews. Campos and Nóbrega have summarised a number of customer expectations and satisfaction in their meta-analysis (2009) in various countries across the world and they came to a number of conclusions.

One such study by Johnson and Mathews (1997 in Campos & Nóbrega, 2009), when using the SERVQUAL scale to evaluate what needs to fulfill fast-food customer expectations in England, suggested that security is a more important dimension than reliability.

Parasuraman et al. (1991, in Douglas & Connor; 2003) presented the concept that ‘service is of high quality when its delivery meets or surpasses the consumers’ expectations’ is not always possible to exceed customers’ expectations, but the implementation of strategies and practices which will ensure improvement in the level of service provided is a step in the right direction.

In contrast, Law et al. (2004, in Campos & Nóbrega, 2009) emphasize the importance of waiting time, staff attitude, environment, seating availability, and food quality as the factors which affect most customer satisfaction.

Qin and Prybutok (2009 in Campos & Nóbrega, 2009) have surveyed 305 U.S.A college students in order to investigate the relationship amongst service quality, food quality, perceived value, customer satisfaction and behavioral intention in fast-food restaurants. The findings suggest that freshness, taste, and a variety of food and beverages were considered the most important criteria for satisfying customers.

Cox and Coye (2003 and 2004 in Campos & Nóbrega, 2009) explained that there are some other aspects that can influence the expectations and the quality of service in the service contacts such as décor, smell, design, and music.

Finally, Machado (2006 in Campos & Nóbrega, 2009) who studied consumers in Brazil found that the attributes with highest levels expectations were: polite staff, well prepared and cooked food, and efficient supply of supplements, adequate product temperature, tables cleared and cleaned quickly as well as well-dressed staff. These were the most important attributes to evaluate the highest levels of expectations.

What these case findings indicate is that customers value different characteristics and criteria depending on locale and specific culture.

For example, in India multinational fast-food outlets initially faced protests and consumers did not accept them well. This was regarding the idea that these fast-foods would only serve chicken and did not serve any vegetarian meals. Fast-food companies had to adapt food requirements such as vegetarian meals and select non – vegetarian options excluding beef and pork totally from their menus. It is important to mention that due to religious beliefs Indian people do not eat beef meat at all.

In another example, Clark suggested that ‘convenient store hours may be more important to Koreans than shorter service time customer expectations and perceptions in each country that they enter’ (1990 in Lee; 1997).

McDonald’s has managed to keep in touch with local food habits and religious beliefs and supplies food which is culture-specific. In Portugal, for example, a place where people have a lot of soup, there is a “soup-of-the-day” on offer, which includes a number of traditional types of soup.

7. Managerial Implications

Taking these case studies as a starting point, despite their limited number, the conclusions drawn is that it is important that companies concentrate efforts on security, waiting time, staff attitude, environment, seat availability, food quality, fresh, tasty and a variety of food and beverages as those were considered the most important criteria that affect customers’ satisfaction, rather than investing on brand.

As a strategy, managers should survey customers every year to get feedback.

The implications for managers who wish to implement service of high quality are many and regular, but accurate, customer feedback is crucial if they are to accurately assess the success, or not, of the strategies implemented. A strong hierarchical structure with a strong team spirit and effective top-down and bottom-up communication is essential if the staff is to feel empowered and motivated to improve the service they provide. The development of clear objectives and company mission and vision statements make a company’s attitude towards customer service explicit. In addition, a short lag-time between feedback and action taken is important.

However, all intentions are worthless, unless people are open to change, take constructive criticism well, and embrace the concept of hospitality.

8. Conclusion and Future Lines of Research

The leading brands in the fast-food industry, in the last three decades, have been McDonald’s and KFC, however, their target market is no longer the same. Companies cannot rely anymore, as a unique selling point, on convenience and product consistency as consumers are looking for healthy and quality products. Therefore, socially responsible initiatives must be incorporated. That means that advertising campaigns when new products come out are no longer enough to communicate brand value changes and to attract new consumers these companies have to re-define the whole brand value.

Expectations result from numerous factors and are not always easy to have whole power over because some of them are outside the direct control of service operators. In conclusion, expectations play a major part in determining consumers’ post-consumption service quality evaluations. It is therefore important that the service marketer understands these. When marketers know the consumer’s quality expectations, they are in a position to develop marketing strategies for service delivery (see Bebko, P. C.; 2000).

The role of expectations in service quality is not yet resolved. For that reason, this area should be considered for further research.

The management of service quality deals with processes of evaluation with a high degree of subjectivity. It is a difficult concept to quantify, however in the search of strategies to improve the quality of service and to achieve consumer satisfaction and loyalty the measurement of service quality is essential.

9. References

Bebko P., C. (2000). ‘Service intangibility and its impact on consumer expectations of service quality’. Journal of Services Marketing. Vol.14, No. 1, pp. 9-26.

Campos F. D. & Nóbrega K. C. (2009) ‘Importance and the Zone of Tolerance of Customer Expectations of Fast Food Services’ The Flagship Research Journal of International Conference of the Production and Operations Management Society

Vol. 2, No 2 [online]. 

Chen, Po-Ju & Choi, Y. (2008). ‘Generational differences in work values: a study of hospitality management’. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. Vol.20, No. 6. pp. 595-615

Available at:


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[Accessed 15 August 2020].

Chow Chua, C. & Luk, P (2005). ‘A strategic service quality approach using analytic hierarchy process.’ Managing Service Quality. Vol. 15 No. 3 pp. 278-289

Available at:


A strategic service quality approach using analytic hierarchy process | Request PDF

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Clow, E. K., Kurtz, D. L & Ozment, J. (1998). ‘A Longitudinal Study of the Stability of Consumer Expectations of Services’. Journal of Business Research. Vol.42, No. 1. pp. 63-73

Coye W., R. (2004). ‘Managing customer expectations in the service encounter’. International Journal of Service Industry Management. Vol.15, No. 1. pp. 54-71

Davis, M. M. & Heineke, J. (1994). ‘Understanding the Roles of the Customer and Operation for Better Queue Management’. International Journal of Operations & Production Management. Vol.14, No. 5. pp. 21-34

Davis, P.J. (2006) ‘Critical incident technique: a learning intervention for organizational problem solving’ Development and Learning in Organizations. Vol.20, No.2, pp 13-16

DiPietro, R. B., Murphy, K. S., Riviera, M. & Muller, C. C. (2007). ‘Multi-unit management key success factors in the casual dining restaurant industry’ International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management Vol. 19, No. 7 pp. 524 – 536

Douglas, L. & Connor, R. (2003). ‘Attitudes to service quality – the expectation gap’. Nutrition & Food Science. Vol.33, No. 4. pp. 165-172

Dutta, K., Venkatesh, U. & Parsa, H.S (2007) ‘Service failure and recovery strategies in the restaurant sector. An Indo – US comparative study’.  International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management Vol. 19, No.5, pp. 351 – 363

Goyal, A. & Singh, N.P. (2007). 

‘Consumer perception about fast food in India: an exploratory study’. British Food Journal. Vol.109, No. 2. pp. 182-195

Ho Teck, H. Zheng, Yu-Sheng (2003). ‘Setting Customer Expectation in Service Delivery: An Integrated Marketing-Operations Perspective’ [online]. 

Available at:URL:

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[Accessed 15 August 2020].

Jennifer Smith (2008). ‘Learning Seed’ “Fast Food Survival Guide” [online]. Chicago

Johnson, C. (1997). ‘The influence of service on service expectations’. International Journal of Service Industry Management. Vol.8, No. 4. pp. 290-305

Johnson, C. & Mathews Brian, P. (1997). ‘The influence of experience on service expectations’. International Journal of Service Industry Management. Vol.8, No. 4. pp. 290-305

Lam, T. (2003). ‘Job satisfaction and organizational commitment in the Hong Kong fast-food industry’. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. Vol.15, No. 4. pp. 214-220

Lee, M. & Ulagado Francis, M. (1997). ‘Consumer evaluations of fast-food services: a cross-national comparison’. Journal of Services Marketing. Vol.11, No. 1. pp. 39-52

Liu, Chu – Mei (2008). ‘The perceptions of waiters and customers on restaurant tipping’. Journal of Services Marketing. Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 95 – 103

Qin, H. & Zhao, Q. (2010). ‘Perceived Service Quality in fast-food restaurants: empirical evidence from China’. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management. Vol.27, No. 4. pp. 424-437

Ojasolo, J. (2001). ‘Managing customer expectations in professional services’. Managing Service Quality. Vol.11, No. 13. pp. 200-212

Kusluvan, S. (2003). Managing employee attitudes and behavior in the tourism and hospitality industry. Nova Science Publishers. Inc

Poulston, J. M, (2007). ‘Ethical issues and workplace problems in commercial hospitality: a New Zealand study.’ [Online].

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Tse Alan, C.B (2001). ‘How much more are customers willing to pay for a higher level of service?A preliminary survey. Journal of services marketing. Vol.15, No. 1, pp. 11– 17

Schroder, M.J.A & McEachern, M. G. (2005). ‘Fast foods and ethical consumer value: a focus on McDonald’s and KFC’. British Food Journal. Vol.107, No. 4. pp. 212-224

Scarnati, J. T.  (1998). ‘Beyond Technical Competence: caring to understand’ Career Development International Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 145 – 148

Schraeder, M. (2009). ‘Incongruence in the value of employees: organizational actions speak louder than words’ Development and Learning in Organizations Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 4-5

duas cancões imperdíveis de Tim Minchin

Matilda in London – Songs by the Australian Tim Minchen

Cont by Tim Minchin

Esta primeira, com um tema sempre muito actual é possívelmente a minha favorita. Dediquei-a ao meu pai, na rede ‘WeChat’ chinesa, no dia do funeral do meu pai. Fui forçada a apagala porque os chineses não compreendem estas letras, disseram-me. Deve ter que ver com a exterminação dos Uyghur, entre outros. Bem, só quero frisar que sou cidadã livre e democrata e este domínio é meu!

A segunda, chama-se “Naughty” do musical “Matilda” que assisti em Londres, em Fevereiro, neste ano trágico para todos. Faz-me lembrar o meu namorado e todos os colegas e amigos (pretos, brancos, amarelos, minorcas e gigantes!) que tenho espalhados pelo mundo. Nesta peça, a minha “Matilda” bilingue era Russa! Foi lindo e recomendo. Um dia hei-de ir ao Lake Baikal na Siberia a Vladivostok e a Moscovo visitar os meus colegas.

Há comboios que fazem esta rota e deve ser sensacional viajar de Moscovo a Vladivostok. O Trans-Siberiano! Os russos vieram habitar Ha’erbin (Harbin) para construir esta linha. Hoje, os chineses estão a construir uma mega ponte que liga Harbin a Vladivostok. Um viva ao progresso e as nações unidas.

Deus queira que os teatros no Reino Unido e por todo o mundo reabram o quanto antes que esta abstinência é pior que ressaca!

Deixo o link da Royal Shakespeare Company com desejo de que os reencontros sejam para breve. Venda de bilhetes, e outras informações, aqui.

Matilda The Musical by The Royal Shakespeare Company

[Intro, spoken]

So, yeah, this is, um, this is a new song I’ve written. It’s kind of a sort of jaunty swing number and it’s called, um, “Cont”

[Verse 1]

I don’t like Jews

Neither should you

They’re ethically and spiritually poor, that’s a fact

I don’t like black people

It’s just not acceptable

There should be some kind of law that is that

[Verse 2]

And I get the shits with Inuits

They get on my tits, the little bastards

And women

Just make me so mad, does that make me bad?

Am I bad, is that bad?

[Verse 3]

And the fuckin’ Italians, I just cannot stand them

They really inspire my rancor

Cheating fucking Italian wankers

And lesbians and the bi-curious

Make me furious

It’s not their fault, I know, but still… grr!

[Verse 4]

And fuckin’ Christians

I just want to punch ’em in their faces

And I’m not comfortable with Muslims on the tube

And I can’t stand publicly breastfeeding mothers

[Verse 5]

And I hate gays who talk camp-ly

And the fuckin’ Chinese make me angry


I hate the rich…

I hate the poor…

I hate bitches…

I hate whores…


I hate Africans…

I hate Japanese…

I hate the disabled…

I hate Burmese…

Yeah, I don’t care about your color or your creed

I will judge you for no reason…

[Interlude, spoken]

Is that… is that… no, just stop. 

[Heckler: I love you!] Ohhh. Oh, fuck. Sorry, I… it’s, ugh, that’s the trouble with trying out new stuff. It’s… half the year- I had half the lyrics covered up. I thought I was… I was only… I think we, I think we should probably do it again; I think if we leave it there, I might run the risk of being misconstrued. It’s not even called “Cont”, it’s called “Context”!

[Verse 1]

I don’t like Jews

Who make and distribute kiddy porn

Neither should you

They’re ethically and spiritually poor, that’s a fact

I don’t like black people

Who risk billions of other peoples’ money gambling on future derivatives

It’s just not acceptable

There should be some kind of law that is that

[Verse 2]

And I get the shits with Inuits

Who find out what job I do

And regale me with a racist joke or two

They get on my tits, the little bastards

And women

Who judge other women for not holding the same views as them vis-a-vis career and mothering

Just make me so mad, does that make me bad?

Am I bad, is that bad?

[Verse 3]

And the fuckin’ Italians, I just cannot stand them

When they take a dive in the penalty box, denying Australia its World Cup spot

They really inspire my rancor

Cheating fuckin’ Italian wankers

And lesbians and the bi-curious

Make me furious

When their pride parade blocked the traffic flow when my baby had asthma and had to go to the hospital

It’s not their fault, I know, but still… grr!

[Verse 4]

And fuckin’ Christians

Who lean on their horn when my wife is being cautious at an intersection

I just want to punch them in their faces, although my anger is fleeting

I understand their frustration, she’s a little too hesitant

And I’m not comfortable with Muslims on the tube

Who looks over my shoulder when I’m reading

And I can’t stand publicly breastfeeding mothers

Who smoke cigarettes while they’re feeding

[Verse 5]

And I hate gays who talk camp-ly

During the final act of King Lear

And the fuckin’ Chinese make me angry

When they make sham erection potions out of the horns of endangered rhinoceros


I hate the rich who use their wealth as an excuse for bigotry

I hate the poor who use their poverty as an excuse for bigotry

I hate bitches who get rabies and try to bite babies

I hate whores who won’t accept Visa


I hate African racists

I hate Japanese homophobes

I hate those disabled rapists

I hate Burmese cats

Yeah, I don’t care about your color or your creed

I will judge you for no reason

But your deeds!


So, um…


Tim Minchin


Jack and Jill went up the hill

To fetch a pail of water, so they say

Their subsequent fall was inevitable

They never stood a chance—

They were written that way

Innocent victims of their story!

Like Romeo and Juliet

It’s written in the stars before they even met

That love and fate and a touch of stupidity

Would rob them of their hope of living happily

The endings are often a little bit gory

I wonder why they didn’t just change their story

We’re told we have to do as we’re told, but surely

Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty

Just because you find that life’s not fair, it

Doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it

If you always take it on the chin and wear it

Nothing will change

Even if you’re little, you can do a lot, you

Mustn’t let a little thing like “little” stop you

If you sit around and let them get on top, you

Might as well be saying

You think that it’s okay

And that’s not right!

Cinderella, in the cellar

Didn’t have to do much, as far as I can tell

Her godmother was a two-thirds fairy

Suddenly her lot was a lot less scary

But what if you haven’t got a fairy to fix it?

Sometimes you have to make a little bit of mischief

Just because you find that life’s not fair, it

Doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it

If you always take it on the chin and wear it

Nothing will change

Even if you’re little, you can do a lot, you

Mustn’t let a little thing like “little” stop you

If you sit around and let them get on top, you

Might as well be saying

You think that it’s okay

And that’s not right!

And if it’s not right

You have to put it right

In the slip of a bolt, there’s a tiny revolt

The seed of war in the creak of a floorboard

A storm can begin with the flap of a wing

The tiniest mite packs the mightiest sting

Every day starts with the tick of a clock

All escapes start with the click of a lock

If you’re stuck in your story and want to get out

You don’t have to cry, you don’t have to shout

Cause if you’re little you can do a lot, you

Mustn’t let a little thing like “little” stop you

If you sit around and let them get on top, you

Won’t change a thing

Just because you find that life’s not fair, it

Doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it

If you always take it on the chin and wear it

You might as well be saying

You think that it’s okay

And that’s not right

And if it’s not right

You have to put it right

But nobody else is gonna put it right for me

Nobody but me is going to change my story

Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty

10 Beautiful Mother Teresa of Calcutta Quotes

10 Beautiful Mother Teresa of Calcutta Quotes  👣
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164 Healthy Hobbies Activities And Sports For Preserving Our Mental Health


🇵🇹 🇬🇧 🇮🇹 🇨🇳 🇩🇪 🇨🇭 🇦🇺 🇯🇵 🇷🇺 🇰🇪 🇮🇪

These are the flags of all countries mentioned in the blog. If you let me know where you from, I add yours too.

Free of charge, indoor and outdoor activities to recharge the battery. Which of the following hobbies and activities do you either like or dislike? 

Most of them are available here, in Portugal. Others, not much of our intrinsic culture, I look forward to doing them in the UK or elsewhere when back on travelling.

Nevertheless, let me share with you some ideas and photos of my journey around the world. 🌎 

Try to add three new to your weekend, be safe, and have fun.

I’d be appreciative if you like to leave a comment of interest of yours and the country where we could do it as some, I’ve never heard about. Together we’re stronger.

  1. Spending time with my fiancee!
Photo by cottonbro on

Photo by Pixabay on

2. Photography

Photo by JACK REDGATE on

3. Genealogy

Photo by Pixabay on

4. Pottery

Photo by Pixabay on

5. Ecotourism

Photo by Taryn Elliott on

Lucky us in Portugal with endless options as for the Atlantic Ocean or the river. I heard from tourists that Picos Europa, Galicia in Spain is safe and nice at the present moment.

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on
Photo by Laura Stanley on

6. Practice a Sport: Sport Climbing, Roller skating, Badminton, Squash, Hurling, Archery, Kuk Sool Won Rugby, or Shaolin Kung Fu!

As we keep going on is now more important than ever to go out for jogging, running, whatever serves us the best to keep on our good mental and physical health. I look forward to seeing the children on track in school reopenings in September.

Photo by eric anada on

Badminton is cool to play by the seaside 🌊 in Portugal 🇵🇹 and elsewhere. I adore this one and it’s been proven that it opens the mind.

Photo by Nick Bondarev on
Photo by ShotPot on
Photo by Tomaz Barcellos on

This year, even with the pandemic in March we had the European Championship in the Algarve and as usual, many Brits participated. The hugest community of British worldwide lives in the South of Portugal in Faro.

Photo by cottonbro on

The Atlantic Ocean is paradisiacal. I met a couple, in their seventies from the Netherlands 🇳🇱 enjoying this kind of life together and sailing in. Now already retired, they have made their ways from the Netherlands to Portugal on a yacht. Memories last forever and so does friendship and true love.

Photo by Markus Spiske on

Estoril in Portugal is the famous city for formula 1 and Monaco is also popular and worth the way.

7. Lace knitting

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on
Photo by Pok Rie on

I tried this sport before and I should practice more.

Photo by Mau00ebl BALLAND on

I had the chance to try this one in the South of Thailand 🇹🇭.

8. Filmmaking

Photo by Caleb Oquendo on

I’m desperate for the movies and look forward for the re-open of theatres, cinemas, arts and galleries.

9. Carving (woods and stones)

10. Autograph Collecting!

This blog is pretty cool and has some pictures. We can’t go after them chasing but we can write and show support! At current times we are all winners of this worldwide crisis besides I wonder how it would have been without the artists when we were locked in. A special thanks to all artists all over the world.

11. Play an instrument: Piano, saxophone, drums, guitar, trumpet

Photo by Stas Knop on

12. Doing whatever makes you feel good

Photo by Pixabay on

Yes, exactly. More than thinking is doing. Action is required.

13. Building PCs

Photo by RUN 4 FFWPU on

I intended to participate in the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. A two hours journey from my city in China. Gee….give us one more chance…

I made friends from Kenya 🇰🇪 and based on empirical evidence they are the best runners in the world. So was Rosa Mora, the Portuguese winner of the Marathon, many years ago. Have you heard of her?

14. Fossil hunting

15. Cross- stitch

16. Quilting

There are lots of quilting techniques that every quilter should master, ten of those methods are on nearly every experienced quilter’s ‘must know’ list, written by Janet Wickell.

17. Looking after our pets

Photo by Martin Dufosset on

18. Pole dancing

19. Skateboarding


20. Watch, Stamps, Paper Notes Collecting

Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery on
164 Healthy Hobbies Activities And Sports For Preserving Our Mental Health

21. Puzzles

Photo by Pixabay on



Mahjong is a tile-based game that was developed during the Qing dynasty in China and has spread throughout the world since the early 20th century. It is commonly played by four players.

24. Songwriting

Photo by cottonbro on

‘How to Write Your First Song’ is an online course, at FutureLearn provided by the University of Sheffield on Creative Arts & Media. It cover the following topics:

1) Setting words to music

2) Time and pitch

3) Working with melody

4) Chords and chord progressions

5) Song forms

6) Arranging your song

At the present day 44,007 were enrolled on this course. To join it, click this yellow 🔗 link.

Photo by cottonbro on
Photo by Roman Davayposmotrim on

25. Sudoku

26. Baking / Cake Making

Photo by Karley Saagi on

27. Arts and crafts

Photo by Pixabay on

28. Knitting

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on

29. Driving

164 Healthy Hobbies Activities And Sports For Preserving Our Mental Health

30. Jogging and running

Photo by Godisable Jacob on

31. Trainer and shoes collecting!

Photo by kelly samuel on

32. Sitting around doing as little as possible

Photo by Anna Shvets on

33. Studying

Photo by Pixabay on

“Successful study is all about opening our minds to things we don’t yet know or understand – there’s a whole world out there we all need to get to know.”

Mark Allinson

Senior Lecturer in the University of Bristol, in the School of Modern Languages

164 Healthy Hobbies Activities And Sports For Preserving Our Mental Health

34. Going to the cinema

Photo by Brett Jordan on

This is one of the activities I missed the most.

35. Growing fruit and vegetables

Photo by Digital Buggu on

36. People Watching

Photo by Monica Silvestre on
Photo by Pixabay on

37. Cake making

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on

38. Candle making

Photo by Tembela Bohle on

39. Cooking

Photo by Pixabay on

40. Horse riding 

164 Healthy Hobbies Activities And Sports For Preserving Our Mental Health – horse 🐎 riding – Brazil 🇧🇷
Photo credit: Neet Law

41. Singing and Dancing

42.Table tennis and Ping – Pong

Photo by Anna Shvets on

43. Creative writing

Photo by Happiness Maker on

44. Satyananda Yoga

45. Going To Pubs And Nightclubs

164 Healthy Hobbies Activities And Sports For Preserving Our Mental Health – Ischia, Italy 🇮🇹Photo credit: Neet Law

It is not my intention to see others towards risking their lives on these activities but I do wish to go straight to the pub when I get in the UK! Yes, let’s party on!

Photo by on

46. Sketch writing 

47. Classic car restoration 

Photo by Nate Cohen on

48. Kayak fishing

49. Housework

Photo by Gratisography on

50. Urban exploration 

51. Book collecting

Photo by Anna Kanifatova on

52. Writing fiction

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs on

53.Social dancing

If not possible due to pandemic restrictions I’ll be dancing at home…

54. Going to the ballet/dance performances

164 Healthy Hobbies Activities And Sports For Preserving Our Mental Health Carmina Burana, Guangzhou Ballet – Ha’erbin, China 🇨🇳
Photo credit: Neet Law

55. Sewing

Photo by SKYTONER on

56. Playing board games

57. Postcard collecting trough Postcrossing

Photo by Lisa Fotios on

58. Playing sports

Photo by Pixabay on

59. Sheepdog trials

60. Reading Books

61. Radio-controlled car

62. Going to museums and galleries 

It’s up to each country to set up their own rules and safeguard their citizens and tourists. Most Portuguese immigrants in the UK had to travel today otherwise they had to go on quarantine. I’m staying in a National Parc in the UK after moving to prevent any kind of allucination. I also look forward to participate in a Hurling game in Ireland the ruling is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic Irish origin. One of Ireland’s native Gaelic games, it shares a number of features with Gaelic football, such as the field and goals, the number of players, and much terminology. There is a similar game for women called camogie. I wish all of you the best of luck. Be good, and safe as possible.

63. Flag football

64. Beachcombing

65. Felt making

Photo by Pixabay on

66. Eventing 

With all conferences and events canceled I do hope to start filling out forms to participate.

67. Field Hockey 🏑 

68. Canoeing 🛶 / Kayak

Photo by Olenka Sergienko on
Photo by u0410u043du043du0430 u0420u044bu0436u043au043eu0432u0430 on

69. Track cycling 

70. Paintball

71. Road cycling 

72. Free running

73. Flying away out of here to Great Britain!

74. Acting

Photo by Magno Coronel on

75. Scouting

76. Skydiving

77. Writing ✏️ letters ✉️ especially love letters

I’ve been writing love letters for more than 7 months now since I and Mr. Lord were separated by COVID-19. A few weeks to go and meet up the prince I count on this strategy! If you have any recommendations on where to find beautiful poems, please 🙏, let me know!

78. Cheesemaking

79. Lovemaking!

80. Listening to music

Photo by Sound On on

81. Doing work around the house

I have faith that my new home is the last one after so many adobe…. I intended to stay in China but after all if the country doesn’t allow us in….

82. Needlework

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

83. Watching movies at my fiancee’s home

84. Gardening

164 Healthy Hobbies Activities And Sports For Preserving Our Mental Health
– Caminha, Portugal 🇵🇹
Photo credit: Neet Law

85. Crochet

86. Aerobics

87. Drinking and somehow socialising

164 Healthy Hobbies Activities And Sports For Preserving Our Mental Health – Italy
Photo credit: Neet Law

Yes, with moderation. A Port Wine, an Ale or a special Belgian beer. What about a flute of Prosecco? Anything including water, whenever with friends is the best ever. My fiancee will me at the best pubs in the UK. I’m a beer glass collector.

88. Sequence dancing

This is a popular outdoor activity in China even though the average temperature is below 35 in the north by the border with Russia and Inner – Mongolia.

89. Paragliding

90. Tree hugging

Spot on ! If I arrive there safely, I publish a photo at one out many national parts of Great Britain. I canceled ❌ everything booked for Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 last March because my fiancee was feeling sick thinking of my adventurous around Europope but I can not complain. For my winter holiday, in January and February I travelled in Germany, Switzerland, England, Austria, Greece 🇬🇷 and below is a picture of myself the day COVIF-19 was declared as a worldwide disease 😷. I’m glad to be safe in Portugal 🇵🇹.

This is the day when COVID-19 was declared worldwide disease. Peaceful Portugal in March 2020. Then we were all confined..

91. Poker ♥️ ♣️ 

92. Dating

Photo by Wesner Rodrigues on

93. Going to festivals

94. Boating

164 Healthy Hobbies Activities And Sports For Preserving Our Mental Health, Italy 🇮🇹 Photo credit: Neet Law

95. Caravaning

I saw a few dozens last week in Costa Nova, in Portugal most of them tourists from the Netherlands, Belgium 🇧🇪. You are all welcome. It is also good to see immigrants arriving from the US.

96. Birdwatching

Looking back at the lockdown, the only good thing is that we could see and hear the birds. Pollution is ruining Planet Earth.

Climate global change affect us all directly or inderectly and we should all care for the world as a whole.

97. Rallying

98. Dog training

99. Glass painting 

100. Car boot sales 💵 

101. Model building and collecting 

102. Motorcycling

103. Hot air ballooning

104. Wood carving

105. Volunteering and fundraising

164 Healthy Hobbies Activities And Sports For Preserving Our Mental Health – 2018 in August, Naples Italy Photo credit: Neet Law

106. Patchwork

Photo by Kaboompics .com on

107. Puppetry

108. Chess

109. Walking

110. Attending sports matches and games

111. Pub quizzes

112. Windsurfing

113. Playing video games

114. Visiting museums

Healthy Hobbies Activities And Sports For Preserving Our Mental Health

115. Speed skating

116. Biathlon

117. Going to the theatre

Matilda The Musical – London, England 🇬🇧 February 2020 – Photo credit: Neet Law

I took off to the UK in February and travelled around Europe just before the spread of COVID-19, in Europe. I was lucky🍀 In this show, bilingual Matilda spoke in English and Russian 🇷🇺. I also would like to share some songs written by the Australian. See my post, here.

118. Power walking

119. Hang gliding

120. Superbike racing

121. Athletics and Summer Olympics

122. Wakeskating

123. Roller derby

124. Martial Arts

125. Wine tasting

Photo by Trinity Kubassek on

…and more singing. We had great parties in China with colleagues from Russia 🇷🇺, Germany 🇩🇪, the United States 🇺🇸, Canada 🇨🇦, Italy 🇮🇹 Australia 🇦🇺, Cuba 🇨🇺 , and many hosted by the British 🇬🇧 and they rock!

126. Acrobatic gymnastics

127. Ultra Marathon

128. Snowboarding 

164 Healthy Hobbies Activities And Sports For Preserving Our Mental Health – Interlaken Switzerland January 2020 STUNNING Photo credit: Neet Law

129. Quad biking

130. Speedway ⏩ 

131. Invent

132. Motocross

133. Doll house’s

134. Fencing

135. Decorating


Photo by Timothy Paule II on

136. Stilts

137. Girl guides 

138. Record collecting

139. Aircraft spotting

140. Fitness, Training, Sport

141. Kun Nye

142. Circuit training

143. Going on day trips in our countries

Heaven – Ischia – Italy

144. Jet Skiing in Lancashire District Lake

145. Collecting 🧡🧡 (stamps, coins, paper notes, beer glasses)

I came across many weird collections while putting out this list of hobbies and activities which made me reflect on how being different and embracing diversity can strengthen groups of people and lead to success. There are many entrepreneurs out there! Congratulations to all of you, doing and generating great incomes at this conjecture.

146. Trekking hiking

147. Public speaking

148. Spending time with my family 👪

149. Dominoes

Photo by ROMBO on

150. Bingo

151. Going to restaurants, cafes, pubs, and ice-cream


152. Winemaking 🍾 🍇 (and selling…)

153. Dog 🐶walking 👣 

154. Visiting historical and natural sites

Behind me we can see the Faculty of Law at the The University in Coimbra and the crimson colour of the Portuguese flag. Machado de Castro Museum is where I took this picture. Sé Nova Church is word seeing and a lot more.

155. Reading

Photo by Skitterphoto on

156. Travelling

164 hobbies and activities – Go to the spa


Photo by solomon on

158. Rafting

Photo by Tom Fisk on

It is possible to do it in Portugal and Spain 🇪🇸. Nuestros hermanos are good 👍 on rafting. France too, with endless activities to count on.

159. Cycling

Photo by Flo Maderebner on

160. Shooting

161. Sculpture

162. Gymnastics by the Atlantic Ocean

Photo by Pixabay on

163. Drawing

164 Healthy Hobbies Activities And Sports For Preserving Our Mental Health – Drawing by DOC SHERWOOD

164. Go to the spa

It takes courage to pursue our dreams!

These blog post is merely a reflection of my wishes and desires. It is not my intention to put you out in dangerour and most of hobbies and activities listed here are possible to do right now, right here in Portugal, in some regions of Spain and hopefully in the UK where I’m moving to soon and meet up my fiancee after being separeted for so long. Due to our clime and government restrictions I aim to pursue activities that are safe. It is however our responsibility to take risks or not and I feel sorry that for so many this is indeed an obligation… Most of all, I look forward to re-start because this year was difficult to all of us. I feel blessed to be an European with so many opportunities to look at. While putting this list together I read blogs of exquisite entrepreneurs who have been working hard online to face with courage and confidence this worldwide crisis. I’m thinking of my friends and relatives in Italy and all the children starving all over the world.

This blog is dedicated to my father, Physical Education teacher, a community leader, who passed away after Christmas 2019 whom I saw a year ago for the last time. He told me not to leave China before visiting Japan 🇯🇵 go for the Olympic Games I didn’t make it.

Rest in peace, daddy and I’m pride to be your daughter. Thank you for helping me finding the strength needed in the most difficult times. I will always remember you with honour.

Story 7 Of The Divided Kingdom: “Tattered” by DOC Sherwood



“…it just went to show, Joe reflected, that the past truly was the greatest teacher. Today he had learned from it everything he wished to know, and much else besides. Now however, as he said, the time had come for himself and Flashtease to leave the past behind.

After all, it wasn’t as if the future could wait.”


Story 7 Of The Divided Kingdom: “Tattered” by DOC

DOC SHERWOOD Answers your letters

The Divided Kingdom’s all about the old meeting the new, so here’s one of our longest-term readers Ratty of Bingham and letters-page debutante Neet Law!

Neet on Stories 4 and 5: DOC Sherwood, your work is beyond highly rich and descriptive, and it also proves that creativity and entrepreneurship are essential to keep us mentally alive despite our location. I like all the covers of your books, and your books even more than the covers, for besides the drawings I’m impressed with what my imagination perceives when reading between the lines. You really know how to grab your fans’ attention besides being so well-informed.

I love the green on the cover to Story 4 and I get very enthusiastic every time Petunia appears. Speaking of whom, I like everything about her appearance on the cover of Story 5 too. Everything. From Flashtease’s underwater to the recycled paper cup, and the detail I most appreciate is the delicacy with which Petunia holds this latter. What artists you and your friends are!

More and more I feel fascinated by rare people like you who devoted so much passion for teaching through the arts. Is there any reason the books aren’t published or readable online?

DOC SHERWOOD REPLIES: Neet’s closing question is a good one, as it calls attention to her somewhat overgenerous use of the word “entrepreneurship” in her first paragraph. Business sense is not something DOC Sherwood possesses in abundance, it must be said, but he’s delighted the stories themselves are winning such praise from his newest fan!

Here are a few lines of the Story 7 of The DIVIDED KINGDOM: “TATTERED with faith that one day, soon we’ll seeing all stories published.

“And there she was…

It so happened that the small space-lounge was already candlelit, but now this soft illumination was supplemented by a source which for many of the attendees proved more romantic still.  For far above the beehive bouffants of girl Mini-Flashes and tables loaded with half-eaten hamburgers appeared the golden-glowing features of Neetra Neetkins, in holographic projection no less lovely than the genuine article.  The highlights of her russet locks were like waterfalls that tumbled and twinkled down upon the gazing crowd, while those mysterious inviting depths where Neetra hid her hairpins blended gently with the shadows of this darkened room and framed her shining face.

Joe, Neetra said.  Because something tells me you’re the one who’ll hear this message first.  I’m counting on you to do what you think best when it comes to my family and Dylan, because I know what kind of time this is.  But I hope it’ll be you.

It was the smile she here let slip, one of tenderness, familiarity and above all else of love, that started the tears to Joe’s eyes.  Up until now the last time our hero beheld Neetra had been on that sunset afternoon in Nottingham.  A pre-prepared recording this may have been, but for Joe it was still enough to dispel every fear and doubt that had preyed on him since then.  As long as he was looking at Neetra thus there was only the resolve to be the hero he should be, together with the knowledge that if it was in her name, then there was nothing else he could or would do.  They had found each other so long ago, and what they were to each other now was the same in her case as it was in his.  The one, the first, and the only.

I’m striking out into the galaxy to find the truth, whatever that may mean these days, Neetra went on.  But before that, as I guess you’ve already figured out, I had to check in with my friends the four farns on Planet Eshcaton.  Manual, Prune, Benmor and Albazorascabaranthi needed to be told about recent developments, especially the things you and Gala learned from The Prophecy of the Flame, and what we all discovered back on Earth towards the end of the Solidity War.

Flashtease’s wide blue eyes shone in the light of Neetra’s image, for he had adored her too.  Joe knew this, and put his arm around the Mini-Flash to reassure him it was alright.  After all, if our hero himself could not help feeling that way, it was hardly fair of him to expect others to be able to.  Indeed, Joe was more than happy to share his sentiments with such a friend as Flashtease had been.

This rift between you and Dylan, however significant it may be to future events, the farns hadn’t actually heard of, said Neetra.  That’s not their fault.  Local versions of the Prophecy are far more detailed on what the coming struggle will mean for this galaxy, and the role of The Four Heroes is never very clear.  Empress Ungus only knew about those parts because she’d stolen our Earth-authored edition during the Fourth Dark Advent.  But I filled my friends in, on that and also the theory I know you agree with, Joe, about the important role the Mini-Flashes and the present younger generation here seem destined to play.  Because I guess that was a discovery I made myself.

Flashthunder had every right to fancy the reason Neetra’s luminous cheeks briefly brightened yet further was not only due to the modesty demanded by such a statement.  For his own recollections of when Neetra first voiced her hypothesis to a private audience of him alone would have been sufficient to raise an identical blush,# had not Cherry beside him started to look even more like dangerously volatile dark-matter than she usually did.  So instead Flashthunder took his girlfriend’s hand and gave it a comforting squeeze, quietly confident that Neetra’s words to Cherry when together they collected from her the password for this same communique had not been wholly ignored by the temperamental outer space teen. 

Now the farns are going to set to work studying their ancient texts for any correspondences with the details we’ve gathered, even though they know there’s a risk Harbin might find out what they’re up to, Neetra declared solemnly.  They’re brave old men…all the more so, because they’re aware this means something worse than just putting their lives in danger.  It was you who taught me, Joe, to understand how an evil mind perceives opportunity.  The adult Harbin who’s at large in this quadrant comes from a point in the future sometime between his defeat of our children, and the final conflict with our older selves.  No-one knows yet who the winner of that battle’s going to be.  So if Harbin learns about the farns there’s no question he’ll attack, but he’ll also keep them alive, in the hopes he can force them and their considerable prophetic powers to clue him in ahead of anyone else.

Flashshadow knew what came next.  That Neetra felt it went without saying was testament to the person she was, who Flashshadow was proud to call her dearest and most trusted friend.  For although Flashshadow spent most of her time invisible to the eyes of others, she herself saw much.  She had joined Joe’s movement immediately on learning of it, perceiving right away that he to whom Neetra had become so close must surely share something of her principles and values.  Now Flashshadow’s faith was affirmed in the girl who never once throughout all their adventures together had forgotten she was there.

The lounge in general saw Neetra’s point likewise.  These young people would not have joined Joe had it been within them to remain oblivious to it.  A quartet of courageous reverend wisemen must be rescued forthwith, not merely because information they might divulge under The Foretold One’s cruel compulsions posed a threat to the future of the universe, but rather because The Four Heroes’ cause was clear on how to act whenever innocent lives of any kind were in danger.  Joe had taught his followers well.  Even their newest member Mini-Flash Splitsville, though once she would have been the first to admit it was hardly her scene, found something in that which had gone unsaid she was able to get hip to.  As for the longstanding Contamination, a gaunt man of radioactive blue-white silhouette, he slouched a-smoulder on the outskirts of the group and silently concurred.  Here was what had ever spoken to him about the cause.  Its duties and dictates drew upon the goodness left behind in the creature others had made of him.

Now for the important part, Joe, Neetra declared.  My farn friends understand the likes of Harbin too, better in fact than you or I.  With wisdom like theirs, when they predict something, I take it seriously.  And they’ve told me that if Harbin does make his move, they already know where he’ll take them.

Petunia listened on…”

Story 9: Medley – The DMDED Kingdom – Four Heroes Productions by DOC Sherwood

Doc Sherwood Answers Your Letters

Here’s RATTY of BINGHAM, as ever with the very best feedback on our latest offerings…!

What’s this about Joe’s parents? Would I be right in saying you’ve never written about this before, Sir? It sounds terrible beyond belief! To come home and find them dead like that…your whole world would come to an end, wouldn’t it? Talk about defining you as a person. You (and indeed your life) would never be the same again. He was forced to grow up from such an early age, wasn’t he? Forced to take charge of things, because his parents were no longer there to do it for him. He could rely on nobody but himself. Man, no wonder he went on to found The Four Heroes!

DOC SHERWOOD REPLIES: Story 25 was indeed the first time we learned there were dark secrets surrounding the deaths of Joe’s parents, so well spotted, Ratster! Making such a late-in-the-day revelation about this most central of central characters was always going to be a risky business, so I’m delighted to hear it fitted so well into your interpretation of Joe and actually furthered your understanding of him. And as for the full story of what exactly happened in his living-room that wintry afternoon…maybe one day!

Neetra is very much the leader of the Flash Club now, isn’t she? Good old Neet – she’s only gone and grown up into a leader! I really shouldn’t be so surprised about that, either. After everything she has been through over the years I guess it’s only natural for her to assume this role. Maybe she was always content in the past for Joe to take charge but things have changed recently, haven’t they? Yes. And I think Neetra will be a great leader!


DOC SHERWOOD REPLIES: Both you and Mike have voiced enormous satisfaction over Neetra’s leadership subplot and her ongoing maturation as a character throughout Season Five, and this makes me especially happy because you’re my two longest-running readers who’ve been following Neet exactly two decades this year. That these developments for her, which to me felt completely natural and right, should have played so well with the pair of you is the best kind of news a writer could hope for. Our little girl really has grown up, hasn’t she? As, erm, anyone who’s read the present story probably knows by now! 

Joe taking Gala to task over murdering the Burghermeister had me gripped, Sir! Joe can never condone taking another’s life. But as Gala says, did the Burghermeister not deserve it? Did he not have it coming? Was she supposed to let the law take care of him? Would that have been justice enough for the crimes he had committed? Gala always has taken the direct approach over such matters, hasn’t she? But was she right to do so? Hmmm…

DOC SHERWOOD REPLIES: The other thing about this we mustn’t forget is that Gala essentially was the law, having only just that day reconquered Nottingham and deposed the Burghermeister. Many would argue therefore it was her absolute duty to treat him  judiciously, thereby establishing rule of law in her new world order. But instead, by making herself quite literally judge, jury and executioner she set the precedent which, as you rightly observe, later instances of her taking the direct approach would follow.

Man oh man! What’s this now? I knew Space-Screamer was bad but this! So he and his cronies are going to STEAL The Four Heroes’ cause are they? Of all the dirty tricks! And DYLAN! Sir, how is DYLAN? I know I keep on asking about him but I really am most concerned about his welfare! Come on Dylan, you can make it! And I wonder if we will be seeing any more of Harbin? Yes, I do indeed wonder about this! And The Chancellor! How’s HE doing?

DOC SHERWOOD REPLIES: Fear not, Ratty. From our very next exciting issue we shall commence working our way through the final fates of all the above – Space-Screamer, The Chancellor, Harbin, at long last Dylan – not to mention everybody else! So to put it another way, don’t anyone miss these final thrilling episodes of The Four Heroes Season Five!

Food and Beverage in the Balkans

Photo by Ponyo Sakana on

1. Introduction

The cooking seems to have been almost the only thing in which the Balkan countries were united. In the whole area, many dishes are identical and many others are variations on a theme adapted to local foods, preferences, or religion. All Balkan’s people drink Turkish coffee, and all share a love of sweet things.

2. Balkan Countries

Countries on the Balkan Peninsula, a region in southeastern Europe, are bounded by the Adriatic and the Ionian seas in the west, the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas in the south, and the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea in the east. The peninsula includes Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, and European Turkey.

3. Principal characteristics of the Balkan food and culture

The food culture of the Balkan Peninsula depended upon the historic, geographical, climatic, social, and religious elements. There are three main food culture areas: the Mediterranean, the Continental lowland, and the Continental Mountain areas.

The food culture of the Balkan Peninsula displays Asian as well as west European influences. Even though the Oriental influence has been very strong in the last several centuries, ethnic characteristics and traditions have been preserved.

Dishes consumed in these regions contain many similar elements, but may also greatly differ from each other. One of the most characteristics shared by most is the use of numerous spices, onions, garlic, tomatoes, parsley, paprika, and capers.

The food culture of the Balkan Peninsula displays Asian as well as west European influences. Even though the Oriental influence has been very strong in the last several centuries, ethnic characteristics and traditions have been preserved.

Dishes consumed in these regions contain many similar elements, but may also greatly differ from each other. One of the most characteristics shared by most is the use of numerous spices, onions, garlic, tomatoes, parsley, paprika, and capers.

People of the Balkans like meat dishes. However, in the past, the meat did not play a central role in the food culture of the Balkans. In those parts where there is a large Muslim concentration – mainly Albania, parts of Macedonia and Turkey – pork is not eaten; in other areas where Catholicism prevails fish is the Friday and Lenten dish.

Albania is the least interested in dishes and this may be because so much of its energy has been devoted to war, mountain banditry, guerrilla warfare, and family feuds.

4. Individual group of dishes

Soups are prepared from vegetables, meat, herbs, or different kinds of fish. Spring is the time for a thick lamb soup (mayiritsa). Also popular is potato soup, leek, corn, or beans soups, and also soup made of zucchini with milk or eggs. Along the Danube River, fishermen prepare thick soups, while in coastal areas, they make soup from sea fishes (the Greek khakhavia).

Meat can be prepared in a variety of ways. Grilling and spit roasting are characteristics of the Balkan region, and lambs, kids, or pigs are roasted on spits on the same occasions such as weddings and New Year’s Day. People grill seasoned minced meat shaped in different forms. Pleskavica, kabobs, lamb and veal cutlets, beefsteaks, or small pieces of meat with vegetables and mushrooms. Meatballs are also popular, with or without sauce. The pasha of turkey or the Greek kreftaidakiya. Minced meat is also used in meat pie. Meat can be served in a stew (goulash, paprika). Chicken is roasted with an addition of spices and vegetables, such as olives, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant. Duck or goose is most often served roasted, sometimes with filling.

4.1 Goulash

In Balkan cuisine, vegetables are often prepared as a main or side dish. The vegetables are made into a ragout. Very popular dishes are those which are made from a mixture of vegetables, meat, and rice (sarma), or those prepared with vine leaves (balance dolmas). There are different casseroles in which meat is prepared together with vegetables: the Albanian shepherd’s pot and the Bosnian pot. The Turkish moussaka is prepared throughout the Balkan Peninsula.

Pastries, an oriental influence have always been an important part of festive meals in all Balkan countries. Most of the sweets contain walnuts and almonds. On Christmas and Easter, different kinds of cakes are served: pink from the Croatian coastal area, Greek melomakarona, and Kourabiethes. The basilica is prepared in Serbia and Bosnia. Tables filled with a great variety of Balkan cuisine and a strong attachment to the traditional culinary tradition.

The staple food in the Balkans is black bread, with cheese and olives, usually the black variety. In the summer the people eat enormous watermelons. For feast days they get together and roast whole lamb or sheep, or, in non – Muslim parts, whole pigs and piglets.

There is fish in plenty, both sea and river fish. Fruit and vegetables, all is there. Rice appears in many forms, so does cornmeal.

Corn – on – the – cob is a winter delicacy dried and kept over from the summer months.

Everywhere there seem to be nuts, including walnuts, pistachios, and pignolia (or pine nuts). These are used to chew, as well in many of the more famous dishes, in soups, stews, savories, and in many sweet cakes and pastries so beloved of the Balkans.

5. The cuisine of the regions

Croatian cuisine can be divided into a few regions and every region has its own distinct cooking traditions, characteristic for the area, and not necessarily well-known in other parts of Croatia.  Its modern roots date back to ancient periods and the differences in the selection of foodstuffs and forms of cooking are most notable between those on the mainland and those in coastal regions. Mainland cuisine is more characterized by the earlier Slavic and the more recent contacts with the more famous gastronomic orders of today – Hungarian, Viennese, and Turkish – while the coastal region bears the influences of the Greek, Roman, and Illyrian, as well as of the later Mediterranean cuisine – Italian and French. However, most dishes can be found all across the country. This is also why the varied cuisine of Croatia is called “cuisine of the regions”.

5.1 Some expressions from typical Croatian menus:

  • Specialties from the grill are called roštilja or ražnja
  • pečeno means roasted
  • prženo means fried
  • pod pekom means that the dish has been put into a stone oven under a metal cover. The cook puts hot coals on the cover so that the meal is cooked slowly.

5.2 Typical food delicacies

5.2.1 The meals are

  • Ražnjići (skewers)
  • Mesos table pork ham from Međimurje county
  • Janina – lamb garnished with Mediterranean herbs
  • Rojak – roast pork
  • Fresh game from Dalmatia
  • Visovačka begavica
  • Veal steaks stuffed with ham and cheese and grilled with breadcrumbs
  • Turkey with the clinic (flat, sour dumplings)
  • Kaninchenbraten
  • Leg of lamb à la Pašticada (rolled pieces of Pršut in white wine sauce)
  • Leg of venison the count’s way
  • Wild duck with the sauce
  • Roasted pheasant
  • Kotlovina from Samobor (kettle with the knuckle of pork and other meat and sausages)
  • Boiled fillet of beef haunch with Sauerkraut
  • Escalope à la Baron Trenk
  • Goose Međimurje (filled with buckwheat)
  • Goose Turopolje (corn semolina as a side dish)
  • Purgerica Turkey (Christmas dish from the bordering region to Zagreb, turkey filled with chestnuts, apples, bacon, lemons, etc.)
  • Bosnian ćevapćići, grilled little sausage-like meats served with onions, pita bread and possibly ajvar
  • Krvavice, or čurke, blood sausages, made of blood and kaša
  • Hladetina, a particular type of head cheese

For Christmas, Croats traditionally eat Bakalar (cod)

5.2.2 Some seafood and fish are eaten in Croatia

  • Squid – Croatian: ligne,
  • Octopus salad – Croatian: Salata od hobotnice
  • Cuttlefish risotto – Croatian: Crni rižot, Italian: Risotto Nero
  • Tuna
  • Shrimps – Croatian: škampi, Italian: scampi
  • Common mussels – Croatian: dangle
  • Cod with potatoes – Bakalar s krumpirom (Dalmatian specialty served at Christmas time)
  • Fish stew
  • Clam Buzara 

5.2.3 Some stews

Goulash is very popular in most parts of Croatia

  • Goulash (Croatian: gulaš, see also Hungarian gulyás)
  • Grah – beans (often done as ‘grah a zel em’ – with sauerkraut, or ‘grah a kiselom repo’ – with pickled turnip strings)
  • Mahone -green beans
  • Slavonska riblja čorba (fish stew from Slavonia)
  • Bruder (or Brodet) – fish stew
  • Chicken stew
  • Rabbit goulash
  • Istrian Stew (Jota)
  • Feines Venison goulash with prunes
  • Hunter’s Stew
  • Wine goulash

5.2.4 Pasta

  • Pašticada with Gnocchi (beef pot roast)
  • Istrian Fuži
  • Needle macaroni
  • strike
  • Price a zel em

5.2.5 Some soups are eaten in Croatia

  • maneštra
  • Veal soup with smoked meat
  • Vegeta seasoned broth

5.2.6 Side dishes

Žganci is a dish in Slovenian and Croatian cuisine

  • Sataraš (minced and roasted vegetables)
  • Mini (typical Croatian, roasted flatbread, similar to Caucasian flatbreads)
  • Đuved (cooked vegetables, similar to Ratatouille) 

5.2.7 Some other dishes

White Truffles from Istria

  • Punjena paprika – paprika/peppers filled with minced meat (Hungarian: töltött paprika)
  • Sarma – Sauerkraut rolls filled with minced pork meat and rice
  • Arambašići from Sinj – similar to Sarma, but with ground beef and with no rice
  • Mini – flat, sour dumplings
  • Lepinje -flatbread
  • Wild truffles with pasta
  • Croatian olive oil (Maslinovo ulje)
  • Paški baškotin – aromatic zwieback (rusk) from the Island of Pag
  • Potatoes from the region of Lika (Lički krumping) – high quality, large, red potatoes
  • Cabbage (Celje) from the region of Zagreb

cabbage (“Celje”),

  • Artichokes with peas
  • Frittata with asparagus
  • Žganci (with milk, Polenta)
  • Čvarci

5.2.8 Sausages and ham

  • Kulen (Kulin) – spicy pork sausage from Slovenia
  • Češnovka – spicy pork sausage with a harmonious garlic taste from Turopolje
  • Salami from Samobor
  • Švargl from Slovenia
  • Suđuk from inland Dalmatia
  • Istrian and Dalmatian Pršut – double-smoked ham (similar to Italian prosciutto)
  • Ćevapčići
  • Pancetta from Dalmatia
  • Špek from continental Croatia
  • Kaštradina

5.2.9 Cheese

Cheese Skripavac

  • Paški sir- famous sheep’s milk cheese and goat’s cheese from Pag
  • Farmers’ cheese and curd cheese from the regions of Kordun and Lika
  • Cheese from the Cetina region Cetinski sir
  • Cheese from the Island of Krk Krčki sir
  • Cheese from Međimurje Turoš
  • Cheese from Podravina Praga
  • Cottage cheese from Zagorje

5.2.10 Pastry

  • Pita
  • Pogača (farmers’ bread)
  • Husiljevača
  • Povitica
  • Bučnica (pumpkin can)

5.2.11 Sweets and desserts

Game Čobanac (Shepherd’s Stew)

Savijača or Štrudla with apple

Orehnjača variation of Nut Roll

Crêpes, in Croatia also known as Palačinke

  • Palačinke with sweet filling (Hungarian: palacsinta)
  • Baklava
  • Danske Valve
  • Krem Pita – cream slice
  • Šam Pita- meringue cream slice
  • Zagorski štrukli – sweet pastry from northern Croatia
  • Uštipci
  • Strudel (Croatian: savijača or štrudla) with apple or curd cheese fillings
  • Orahnjača – sweet bread with walnuts
  • Makovnjača – sweet bread with poppy seeds
  • Croatian honey
  • Bear’s paw
  • Farmer’s cheese (quark) cakes (cream cake)
  • Krane, pokladnice – a type of Donut
  • Croatian pancakes (with cream with wine sauce)
  • ušljivac, dean, badavdžija (long plaited bun)
  • Šnenokli (eggwhites in a vanilla cream)

5.2.12 Cakes

  • Čupavci
  • Rožata (rose cake)
  • Easter pastry Pinca
  • Kroštule (crunchy deep-fried pastry)
  • Fortune, a festive pastry, particularly for Christmas
  • Bishop’s bread
  • Guglhupf (ring cake) (in Croatian kugel of)

5.2.13 Dessert Wines

  • Sweet Malvazija
  • Muškat Ottonel
  • Prošek

There are other drinks, some very strong, such as Slivovitz which is made from plums and is the national drink of Yugoslavia, also drunk elsewhere. The Serbs have an aged plum brandy which is more expensive. In Turkey, there is Raki, an aniseed drink usually diluted with water and extremely popular. In Greek, there is Ouzo, similar to Raki.

6. Basic ingredients in the Bulgarian kitchen

– Meats such as pork, beef, lamb, and chicken

– Plain yogurt and cheese such as feta and yellow cheese

Rice, corn, beans, and lentils

– Many sorts of vegetables such as green and red cabbage, turnip, yellow and green onions turnip

– Olives, mushrooms, and garlic are very important in Bulgarian cuisine

– Spices such as paprika and mint

– Nuts and

– Herbs

All these ingredients, the fruit, and vegetables are grown in Bulgaria

Home cooking depends on many factors such as cooking traditions. Also, there is a difference between its North and South parts even though Bulgaria is a small country.

Today many Bulgarian women prefer quick dishes instead of slow cooking.

Yogurt is typical of Bulgaria.

7. Beers, known as “pivo” in Croatia

Most parts produce their own beer.

Apart from the great abundance of imported international beers (Heineken, Tuborg, Gösser, Stella Artois, etc.), we can find some tasty home-brews beers in Croatia. (Real fans need to know that the brewery in Split produces Bavarian Kaltenberg beer by the license of the original brewery in Germany).

  • Karlovačko: brewed in Karlovac
  • Ožujsko: brewed in Zagreb (the name refers to the month of march)
  • Pan
  • Favorit: from Buzet, Istria
  • Osječko: from Osijek
  • Star Češko: Czech beer from Daruvar a Czech minority is living there), brewed in Croatia
  • Riječko pivo: from the large seaport city of Rijeka on the northern Adriatic coast

Velebitsko Pivo: brewed near Gospić on the Velebit mountain, small but high-quality brewery, the dark beer has been voted best beer by an English beer fan website.

8. Liqueurs and spirits produced in Croatia

  • Maraschino
  • Rakija (Croatian name for spirits) made from:
    • Lozovača / Loza – grapes (it.: Grappa)
    • Travarica – Loza with herbs
    • Šljivovica – plum
    • Kruškovac – pears
    • Drenovac – cherries
  • Pelinkovac
  • Orahovac (walnut liqueur)
  • Glembaj
  • Medina (with honey)
  • Girl (as Medovina, only more alcohol)

9. Coffee

Croatia is a country of coffee drinkers (on average 5kg per person annually), not only because it was formerly part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, but also because it bordered the former Ottoman Empire. Traditional coffee houses similar to those in Vienna are located throughout Croatia.

10. Mineral water

Regarding its water resources, Croatia has a leading position in Europe. Concerning water quality, Croatian water is greatly appreciated all over the world. Due to a lack of established industries, there have also been no major incidents of water pollution. Water – here one thinks of Turkey and Greece, where water is appraised like wine. Albania too has crystal clear and lovely water. In Istanbul and other Turkish cities, no one drinks water from the tap. Not because it is unhealthy or contaminated, but simply because it has not the right taste.

  • Jamaica – Winner of the Paris AquaExpo for best mineral water of 2003
  • Lipički students
  • Jana – also belongs to Jamnica, best-aromatized mineral water (Eauscar 2004)
  • Cetina – water from the river Cetina which flows through the Dalmatian hinterland 
  • Bistra – produced by Coca Cola

11. Juices and syrups

  • Badel
  • Jamaica
  • Maraska
  • Dona
  • Vindija juices – Vindi sokovi
  • Cedevita – sherbet

12. Turkey

The Turks have always been gourmets – at least since their conquest of Byzantium. Many of their dishes have attained international fame, as well as being the inspiration of other Balkan food. (Incidentally in the Balkans not only do the people cook ‘after the Turkish fashion’ but also use the same kind of kitchen utensils, calling them by Turkish names.)

The Turks have always spent much time and thought on their culinary efforts.

There is immense variety in both fruit and vegetables, and markets area joy of color, quality, and quantity. People live by the seasons, eating fruit and vegetables as the season brings them.

Oil plays a large part in Balkan cooking. In Turkey and Greece, with their large concentration of olives, it is olive oil which is the main cooking ingredient. Of course, they all use plenty of butter, as well as oil.

One connects yogurt with the Bulgarians but is eaten throughout the Balkans.

13. Bulgaria 

Bulgaria developed their own cuisine in the 19th century. Until then Bulgarian people used to eat the usual for European food such as meats, fish, bread, fruits, and vegetables.

14. Greece

The magnificent food in Greece is world-famous. People in many countries enjoy the succulent lamb, spicy appetizers, delicious fish dishes, savory pies, and sweet, sticky pastries that mean Greek cooking to most.

Greek favorite dishes are mousaka, dolmades, egg and lemon soup, taramosalata, baklava, just to mention some.

Greece is a country with a long and spectacular history and the history of its cuisine is equally colorful and varied.

The pleasant climate encourages outdoor eating.

Oregano, lemon, and olive oil are very commonly used in Greek recipes.

15. Slovenia

The food and cuisine in Slovenia are special because its gastronomic and culinary image has been created at the hub of European Alpine, Mediterranean, and Pannonia lowland worlds; where cultures have been meeting for millennia, where centuries of social-historical development have conditioned the specific cultural forms and lifestyles on the territory now represented by the Republic of Slovenia. The diversity of the population also contributed to the diversity of images. This is reflected in habits and customs, forms of economic endeavor, interrelations, and spiritual creativity.

When the Slavic immigrants settled in the 6th century, there was already an aboriginal population, people who had an important impact on economic life, and indirectly on food habits. This applies especially to processing the milk into milk products and cheese making.

However, the major shortage of wheat, and this bread, meant that the basic foods were groats (“kaše”) (especially barley and millet) and broad bean (“bob”) and other legumes.

People also ate peas (“grah”) and made oil from poppy (“mak”), flax (“lan”), and pumpkin (“bučnica”).

Only on festive occasions did they enjoy various cakes and pork and meat products made at online”, i.e., the slaughter of the pig and processing the carcass.

Honey and milk products also had an important role in the diet. Buckwheat (“ajda”) began to appear in the Slovene space from the 15th century, which greatly changed the structure of food customs. 

Corn (koruna”) began to spread in the 17th century.

In that century, they began to cultivate beans (“fižol”), and in the second half of the18th-century potato (romper”), which became one of the most popular dishes in Slovenia in the 19th century.

The monasteries also had an important role in mediating certain eating habits and in the ways of preparing food.

In the second half of the 18th and in the 19th century, Slovenia adopted a number of innovations in the culinary field (a range of farinaceous dishes, doughnuts), and in the same way,y some typical Slovene dishes began to obtain international recognition (e.g., “potica” – a cake roll with various filling, “kranjskakilobasea” – Kransky sausage, “štruklji” – dumplings with very varied fillings). 

The impact of innovation was felt even more after the revolutions of 1848, bringing numerous changes in the culinary culture and enriching the wide palette of regional diversity.

A new era in the development of culinary and gastronomic culture opened in Slovenia with the period of being linked to the Balkans, after 1918 in a kingdom and from 1945 to 1991 in socialist Yugoslavia.

Along with major social changes and changes in the population structure, various Balkan dishes entered the menu in Slovenia, in which barbecued dishes stand out. (e.g., “čevapčiči” – minced meat rolls and “ražnjiči” – meat on a spit, to name but two). The use of paprika became widespread. At the end of the sixties of the 20th century, the culture of the Italian pizza began to take hold as a counterbalance to Balkan dishes.

Punjenapaprika and potatoes

Slovene cuisine, until recently relatively unknown internationally is today among the most interesting culinary gastronomic environments in Europe.

Slovenes most enjoy talking about food at the table. The preparation and enjoyment of foods once again becoming a ritual. Holidays, which, e.g., were forbidden on a public level (Christmas, Easter) were an exception. And this is precisely where the most recognizable regional festive culinary heritage was preserved and developed.

Slovenian people as well as more and more numerous tourists began to discover a new delight in Slovene food after Slovenia’s independence in 1991. For example, the Society for the Recognition of the Sautéed Potato as an Independent Dish (“Društvo za priznanje praženega krompirjanott samostojneJedii”) was founded in 2002 in Ljubljana.

The slow food movement is rather similar, having developed from neighboring Italy and already having a number of regional gatherings. Also important in the culinary and gastronomic field consists of numerous wine societies and informal groups that have chosen to focus their activities on improving the wine and beer culture and linking the wide palette of Slovene wines with food.


Angeline Kapsaskis (1977) The commonsense Greek cookery book Angus & Robertson Publishers

Todorova, Maria (1995) ‘Imagining The Balkans’ Oxford University Press, Inc. New York

Maria Kaneva-Johnson, (1995) ‘The Melting Pot: Balkan Food & Cookery’ Prospect Books (UK)

Callec, C. (2003), written at The Netherlands, Wine: A Comprehensive Look at the World’s Best Wine, New York: Random House (published 2002), text by Mr. Janez Bogataj, Ph.D., Professor of Ethnology at University of Ljubljana

Robin Howe (1965) Balkan Cooking. Andre Deutsch

Trish Davies, Atkinson C., Chamberlain L., ( 2000) ‘The Balkan Cookbook: traditional cooking from Romania, Bulgaria and the Balkan countries’ Southwater

Vladimir Mirodan (1987) The Balkan Cookbook Lennard Publishing (UK)

Bulgarian Cooking

FAQ server: Bulgaria Bulgarian cuisine by Rumi Radenska!topic/soc.culture.bulgaria/KUIDSFsbwgo

Journal article by Lakovos D. Michailidis, (1998) East European Quarterly, Vol. 32

Journal article by Lakovos D. Michailidis, (1998) East European Quarterly, Vol. 32

The Balkan Countries

10 Free Literature Online Courses

There are hundreds of free and paid online courses in literature. This small list consists of some of my favourites regarding platforms, easily accessible, specific topics, university providers and availability which I can confirm ☑️

1 🌷Jane Austen: Myth, Reality, and Global Celebrity

Map of south-east England showing locations of importance to Jane Austen© Shutterstock/Pingebat 2018

I found this course a bit hard. However, Jane Austen’s journies are still worth following. I love the gardens and mansions. Her museum, in Bath Somerset in the UK, is also a must-see. 🇬🇧 This course is provided at FutureLearn by the University of Southampton

Follow in Jane Austen’s footsteps at ‘Historic England‘ and become a contributor whether with photographs or reviews while traveling and exploring this stunning source! I’m positive that soon we’ll be all around the most amazing stunning views worldwide…

Discover the fascinating story of author Jane Austen, from her own life in Hampshire to what she means to a global audience today.

The British Council website has many lesson plans for teachers and students, in case you wish to use them. ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is only one out of many ready to use in your classes may you wish.

Pride and Prejudice – Lesson plan’s answer key 🔑 from the British Council website

2 🌷Fairy Tales: Meanings, Messages, and Morals by the University of Newcastle Australia 🇦🇺

“Little Red Riding Hood”

Build your skills in literary analysis and creative writing by exploring the meaning of fairy tales.

Build your skills in literary analysis and creative writing by exploring the meaning of fairy tales. This course is part of the program Stories in Context: Fiction, Drama, Film, which is one of the building blocks that leads to a degree in Bachelor of Arts. Find out more.

3 🌷How to Read a Novel by the University of Edinburgh

We are the oldest department of English Literature in the UK, one of the longest established in the world. Edinburgh is the first UNESCO World City of Literature, a fantastic literary city that many greats of English and Scottish literature have called home.

Get underneath the skin of a novel by understanding some of the main building blocks of modern fiction.

The four novels explored for this course are:

  1. Girl by Edna O’Brien
  2. Sudden Traveller by Sarah Hall
  3. Travelkers by Helon Habila
  4. Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann

4 🌷The literature of the English Country House by the University of Sheffield

Financial help from the University – bursaries are available if you’re a UK student.

Take a journey through the literature of English country houses from the time of Thomas More to Oscar Wilde.

5 🌷Penshurst Place and the Sidney Family of Writers

Lancaster University

Lancaster Words Festival at Lancaster University

In the 16th century, Penshurst Place was the home to the Sidney family, renowned for their literary works in the age of Shakespeare. The family, including Lady Mary Wroth and her uncle Sir Philip Sidney, wrote poetry and prose that still appeal to audiences today.

6 🌷Poetry: How to Read a Poem

University of York

Discover what poetry can tell us about human emotion and learn key ideas and techniques for understanding and interpreting verse.

7 🌷Shakespeare’s Hamlet: The Ghost

Topic(s): Shakespeare, theater, culture, literature, Europe

An exploration of the haunting figure at the heart of one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays.

A man in a hat and cloak looks with uncertainty toward a woman in white, who looks back at him.

8 🌷Exploring books for children: words and pictures

Free statement of participation on completion

More about this course

Many people have fond memories of the stories they encountered in childhood, perhaps especially of those wonderful picture books and illustrated tales that fired our young imaginations and transported us to magical worlds. To an adult’s eye, some picture books may seem remarkably simple, even oversimplified. However, in this free course, Exploring books for children: words and pictures, you will learn how children’s books use words and pictures together in remarkably sophisticated ways to communicate both to young and older readers, drawing on examples from the classics, such as Beatrix Potter’s Tales of Peter Rabbit, and from contemporary children’s authors such as Anthony Browne, author of Gorilla.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand how images communicate meanings to the readers of children’s books
  • understand the role of cultural knowledge in making sense of images
  • understand how words and pictures can reinforce or contradict one another in a text, with interesting results
  • recognize the work of some famous illustrators for children
  • understand how the use of images in children’s books has changed over time and what it means to create books for the specific audiences of children and their carers.

Miss Potter is a 2006 biographical drama film directed by Chris Noonan and it is based on the life of children’s author and illustrator Beatrix Potter and combines stories from her own life with animated sequences featuring characters from her stories, such as Peter Rabbit. Full movie

9 🌷Exploring Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts with a free statement of participation on completition

Introduction. This free course, Exploring Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts, is designed to explore the historical context of the final work of Virginia Woolf, one of the most significant modernist writers of the twentieth century.

10 🌷Reading Cookbooks: from The Forme of Cury to The Smitten Kitchen

Online courses in literature are also available from the Department for Continuing Education at the University of Oxford, most of them with a course fee of £300.00 but available for less and starting in September 2020.