Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Natal fashion week. Rachel and Amy have gone with Barbara to this tonight leaving me and Celia alone to babysit the boy. It gives me some extra time for bloggage...

Raul Seixas. One of my students leant me a CD of the music of the late Raul Seixas recently. Rachel says he is the man that brought rock'n'roll to Brazil. Actually, the CD I'm listening to is circa 1973 and is absolutely brilliant. It's like Elvis meets Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen and the three of them go off, learn Portuguese, record an album and voila! There are a handful of videos on Youtube if you search under his name. For a very bad example of his abilities, check out the strange, surreal song
in English about a magic train (dare I say it, perhaps created under the influence of chemicals whose provenance may not be strictly legitimate). View it here.

Juliette Fandrich. Congrats to my cousin Sarah and her husband Martin on the arrival of their second daughter!

Things I miss about England #70: Reading the paper.
Julian Kenny kindly left me a copy of the Telegraph when he visited last week. There's nothing like sitting back on the sofa and opening a broadsheet.

Things I love about Brazil #11: Help.
Some people might think it lazy of us or perhaps a reversion to a colonial exploitative era to employ house help. You might especially think this when I say we pay less than £10 for a full day's work. But really, it's a win-win situation. With Nelson trashing the house on an hourly basis it helps to have an extra pair of hands for washing and cleaning. Secondly, it provides valuable employment for somebody, and our pay (which includes lunch and breakfast) is fair given the local Brazilian economy.
Having somebody about the place during the day is good for security if we are all out too. In fact, NOT hiring if you have the means to is seen as being miserly and stingy. We had people enquiring about working the moment we got here.

First we had Miriam and now it's Ana. Both women appear to be somewhat ageless in appearance. I'd place them anywhere between 25 and 45. I think this is because they carry a worldly-wise look about them that suggests the experience of years, but they both seem to have the stamina, energy and strength of a beach volleyball team.

Ana does a great job keeping the house in order two days a week. She fixes great beans and fresh pineapple juice. She is constantly perplexed by my attempts to speak Portuguese and we often get our wires crossed. But last Friday she inadvertently revealed her age to us. We were talking about kids and she mentioned that her eldest was nearly 22. I was shocked! Mentally, I figured, if she had had kids in her twenties, this must place her, at the very least, in the latter part of my age estimate. But then came the punch line: her first was born when she was 15! And I'll leave you to do the math...

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