Sue Hall's Blog

Connecting communities


I am a writer, researcher and journalist who dabbles in books, literary festivals, development, history, growing vegetables and travel. This is my personal blog and it is focused on celebrating life. I live in the deep south of Portugal not far from the Spanish border. I write about the local and how communities connect. Along with many others, I sit in cafes listening, waiting, watching and writing. My goal is to create insightful and relevant moments. The photos in this blog and in published articles are usually my own. I typically post once or twice a week. To make sure you don't miss my newest posts, you can subscribe via email. Link on the home page! My Biography My background is in Development and ICT. I worked for IBM and Ecosaurus, before getting involved with the use of technology in and between communities. For a few years, I managed the European and International Unit for the Community Development Foundation (CDF) in the UK. As a VSO consultant in Africa, I worked with networks to help NGO's to build capacity for future development. I graduated from Warwick University with a History BA Hons. I acquired the bug of education after an early life of religious high control that did not succeed in blocking my desire to learn. I studied Law at De Montfort University and then Birmingham University. Journalism qualifications came later. I write for journals, blogs, and magazines under a couple of pen names and as Sue Hall. I prefer to write non-fiction, but in the last few years I have written some short stories.

NESI – The mysterious consciousness called happiness

How do you measure happiness is the question in the back of my mind as I interview Felipe Viveros, European Representative of the Bhutan Gross Happiness project. Originally from Chile, now living in the UK, Felipe outlined a narrative that is fascinating some in the Western world. Felipe is a writer and an ecologist with an MSc in Holistic Science from Schumacher College. He attended the New Economics and Social.. Read More

NESI – Interview with Jonathan Dawson – Schumacher College

‘It is all a question of story’ – Thomas Berry It was the possibility of a new narrative that captured my imagination when deciding to attend the New Economy Forum in Spain in April 2017. The journey to the conference took just over three hours from my home on a hill in southern Portugal. Leaving a warm Eastern Algarve, I ventured into Spain, a cooler, wetter, but informative space.  My.. Read More

New – History tours of Tavira

As part of her master’s degree, Isabel Macieira has published several studies about the History of Art. She is the author of the book – “A Pintura sacra em Tavira, séculos XV a XX – estudos e inventário” (The Sacred Painting in Tavira XV to XX centuries). As a teacher between 1983-2014, she developed with various groups an awareness of local history involving the natural and built environment. So it.. Read More

Thinkers and Doers meet in Málaga, Spain for the first Global NESI Forum

What would a sustainable world involve? Can it be achieved? Should we leave it to politicians and corporate interests to determine our future? If you are a thinker and doer and want to be part of the process of finding solutions to some big issues, NESI may be for you. On 19th-22nd April, Málaga (Spain) will host the first New Economy and Social Innovation Global Forum (NESI Forum). Sounds grand.. Read More

Cambodia: the circus and plastic – Eco-tourism

I have fallen in love with Cambodia. We have been here for over two weeks and I feel rejuvenated in a way that I find it difficult to understand or articulate. I am trying to work out why Cambodia has enlivened my spirit. The intense orange and greens of the landscape, the solid temples, mixed with a touch of French colonial culture have captured my heart. Old art, drawings and.. Read More

Sri-Lanka – Edward Lear Prize for poetry – winning poems

With kind permission of the Edward Lear Prize for poetry, here are the 2017 winning poems. Winning Poem by Ashwin Dias The Funny People of Sri Lanka  There was a young woman from Galle Who’s name no one could recall Whomever she met Her name they’d forget The pretty young woman from Galle There was an old man from Hikka Who would only eat chicken tikka When served curd and.. Read More

Sri Lanka – Edward Lear Prize for Poetry

Edward Lear was a 19th Century English artist, illustrator, musician, author and poet. He is known mostly for his literary nonsense poems and prose and especially his limericks. His poetry takes an irreverent view of the world. Lear’s nonsense poems delight in the sounds of words, both real and imaginary. A stuffed rhinoceros becomes a “diaphanous doorscraper.” His heroes are Quangle-Wangles, Pobbles, and Jumblies. My favourite Lear poem is the.. Read More

Sri Lanka – Galle Fort Literary Festival begins

An evening of culture, featuring an extravaganza of dance and movement opened the Galle Fort Literary Festival in Sri Lanka.  Guests sat in front of an iridescent red stage, while a crowd of onlookers stood behind newly erected barriers as an orchestra played music. Dressed in traditional costumes performers from the army, airforce and navy, became acrobats, fire eaters, swans, and peacocks. The evening’s presenters thanked the main sponsor Fairway.. Read More

Scared of Shakespeare? Puzzled by Poetry?

Birkenhead-born writer, David Roberts has a passion for shipyards and literature.  A mix of metal, blood and tears came to mind as we talked about his life and the literature course he has been teaching in the Algarve.  I had seen the course advert at São Brás de Alportel Museum, and I had it in the back of my mind to find out more. Fortunately, the week before Christmas, I bumped.. Read More

Burguer King Lear – tumultuous play and an opportunity for reflection

As part of the commemoration of Shakespeare’s death 400 years ago this year, a film version of the play King Lear was shown on Wednesday 22 November in the library in Tavira. Produced in 2006 by Director João Garcia Miguel, this interpretation conveys an inner and outer turmoil that arguably reflects current global themes. While validation of love is the theme of Shakespeare’s King Lear, the decision to ostracise which.. Read More