Ludo writes: Earth´s biosphere has not always experienced a climate as we know it today. The most recent 2,5 million years have seen temperatures plummet to icy cold conditions: the so called Ice Ages. Major parts of North America, Europe and Siberia were periodically covered with thick ice sheets and glaciers. The movements and positions of the continents were of major importance and slight variations in earth´s orbit around the sun played a key role in the long freezing spells, lasting 100.000 years, interrupted by shorter and warmer interglacials of about 10.000 to 15.000 years. What did the landscape look like in those times; how far did the thick ice cover reach; and what kind of vegetation made life possible? Can we today still recognise relics of those strange environments? And what influence did the Ice Ages have on the development of today’s plants, animals and of our own species?

Peter Booker will present the second of two talks on the Iberian Union, this time covering the events of 1640 and the Restoration War (Lagoa Library Tuesday 23rd November 18:00 and Tavira Library Friday 26th November 11:00). Peter writes: After sixty years of rule by the Spanish Habsburg kings, Portugal decided that enough was enough. Portuguese wanted their independence back. What drove them to this point? How had Spanish rule upset them? Even today, the Restoration of independence in 1640 gives us a public holiday on 1st December, and influences the Immaculate Conception holiday of 8th December. Peter will cover the events leading up to the revolt of 1640 and the war which lasted from 1640 till 1668, including the parts played by Catalonia, France and Holland as well as the decisive alliance with England, and the importance of the marriage of Charles II of England to Catherine of Braganza.

On Saturday 20th November at 16:00, the concert series at Quintinha da Música continues with a visit by Vasco Dantas, a young Portuguese pianist from Porto. He will be presenting a programme which includes Mussorgsky`s Pictures at an Exhibition. Further details from Lynne at