Blog recess. Sorry for the delay in getting any "proper" posts on here. There's been lots going on and I've had a few writing engagements elsewhere so promise to get it back on track this week.
For now, if you're a fan of Premier League football. you might want to have a peak at a blog entry I wrote for www.reallifenews.com on Brazilians in the Premiership. Click here for that.
Weekend away and adventures on the road. In part for Rach's birthday and in part for the chance to have a curry and a banter with some British blokes, we headed down to Joao Pessoa this last weekend. Rach got to see plenty of rellies all bearing gifts of chocolate cake and wotnot. Saturday evening was spent in the most excellent company of Andy Roberts, girlfriend Rosie and Marcus and Tamara Throup, Anglican missionaries to JP. As 3 British blokes of roughly equal age who like football and curry and are married to or dating Brazilians we all had a lot in common. The next day I was able to preach at the monthly English-speaking Anglican service. It was great to be singing songs in my mother tongue again and following the Anglican order of service was a treat; something I've missed from St.Mikes in York.
The weekend's major adventure came on the way back home. 2/3rds the way back to Natal and we stopped off at a petrol station to have a loo stop. We also changed drivers and Rachel sat down in the front seat only for the car to refuse her key and complete fail to ignite the ignition. Our spare key was in Natal, still some 45 minutes drive away, locked up in our apartment. Thankfully, my phone had 1 bar of battery so Rachel was able to make some calls. The people at the petrol station provided a number for a chaveiro (key guy) and it happened to be that he was driving past anyway (thank God!) and pulled up to see what he could do.
It transpired that our key had lost the coded chip which was unique to our vehicle - a security measure on Ford EcoSports cars. Amazingly, we found the chip on the ground outside - it had fallen out when I first stepped out the vehicle, but even after it was reinstalled the car still assumed we were robbers and refused to start up. The chappie got it working though and at a price too, but unfortunately we didn't have much cash with us with which to pay him. In the end, as the banks weren't taking Rachel's cards, we bought him petrol on credit at the gas station. Anyway, we made it home, and not too late - it could've been a lot worse and the two little ones behaved themselves very well considering. Also, how bad would this have been if we had stopped, as we often do, for a loo stop behind a bush in the middle of nowhere?