segunda-feira, 27 de dezembro de 2010

feriados de natal...

In England we celebrate christmas on the 25th and not on the night of the 24th like in Brazil.
The tradition here is that christmas morning the kids wake up to check if there are presents under the tree, a sign that Santa had come, and majority of presents are opened there and then.
The cooking preparation starts soon after breakfast depending the size of the family. Usually English family see christmas day as a very family day where guests, friends and acquaintances are not really welcome, only in some cases. Very different than Brazil where 'the more the merrier'.
The christmas menu varies from house to house, but basically we serve roast potatoes and other roast or boiled veggies, roast turkey, roast gammon or pork,and or roast beef or steak, roast lamb or even the humble chicken. Starters and side sauces vary according to personal taste. The tables are very beautiful decorated and we have a thing called "crackers"
which we  pull to open and inside there are some silly hats that everybody wears and small gifts.
The selection of desert or puddings as we call here also varies a lot from house to house, although the vast majority of deserts served are usually ready made and not homemade like in Brazil. They are very tasty but more sugary than our Brazilian "paves" for example. There are three very traditional deserts served here during the festive season, they are
' christmas pudding',
'christmas cake'
'mince pie',
they are full of sultanas.
For the people that don't like deserts or just prefer a coffee after their meal, a board with a selection of cheese and biscuits is served. This is also the time where some people like to enjoy the Portuguese wine Port (vinho do porto) with Stilton cheese.
Families enjoy the rest of the day playing board games, watching TV, munching chocolates or just drinking.
I guess here it's much easier to believe in christmas, there's the freezing weather, loads of snow at some places, many christmas decorations in the houses, christmas songs playing everywhere we go weeks before christmas, and loads and loads of presents.
So merry christmas...

quarta-feira, 22 de dezembro de 2010

a noite mais longa do ano...

Yesterday December 21st we had the longest night of the year. It's the winter solstice, I spoke about it last November. The day was very short and the night very long. But from today onwards the inverse movement starts to happen, slowly our days are going to get longer again.I can't wait for that to happen, it is really difficult to try to manage everything in a short space of time and with lack of sunshine. Imagine doing your christmas shopping in these conditions? Take a look at one of the high streets here in England yesterday. As you can see not many people ventured the freezing roads. Would you?

segunda-feira, 20 de dezembro de 2010

natal na Inglaterra...

First of all I am really sorry for taking so long to post here. But I am sure that if you were in my shoes you would understand. Anyway, lately I had loads to do and a lot of that was regarding the preparation for the christmas time.
In England a very important tradition is to send christmas cards to everybody you know. Well, in Brazil we may receive some cards from our bank, or other shops were we are good customers and sometimes from family or loved ones, that means that an average person might receive not more than 5 cards. A good point is that we don't have the obligation to send the cards in return. Well here in England we have to. Everybody expects a card, since your neighbours to friends, acquaintances, distant family members, close family members, everyone. Kids in primary school exchange cards among their school mates, that means if there are 20 children in the classroom you have to provide twenty cards, not counting the ones to your own list. So you can end up writing 50 cards or more.
It's a very nice tradition but a lot time consuming, and we have to find place at home and ways of hanging and displaying all the cards received.
I have just started some of my christmas decoration, the christmas tree is up and some of the cards are now displayed.
What about yours? I know what christmas is like in Brazil but I wonder how do the other Brazilians around the globe experience it.
Bye for now and check the link bellow for more curiosities about christmas traditions if you have time.

quinta-feira, 9 de dezembro de 2010

otimo local para caminhar, levar o cachorro para passear...

Oh boy it's cold. Anybody fancy a walk? Believe it or not, this place near my home is always visited by people who want to take their dogs for a walk or even try their golf skills. I'm sorry to say that I am not brave enough, not with sub zero temperatures. But it is nice to look at, and I arrived there yesterday around 3:30pm and the sun was almost going down. Fab! But even better is to get home, where is warm, nice and cozy and get a good cup of tea.

segunda-feira, 6 de dezembro de 2010

O primeiro correio da Inglaterra...

I went for a walk last Saturday and took more photos to share with you guys. It's still freezing here, yesterday was -6C but I would like to talk to you about something different today. Not far from my house there is a nice village and in there we can find the oldest post office of England. The post office built in 1478 is a Uk attraction, very charming like the rest of the Painswick village.
While Brazil was still on the hands of indigenous tribes and smoke signals were probalby the way of sending messages, English people were writing and posting letters. Interesting, isn't it? Take a look at the photos of the post office and the village.

I'm very glad to say that the blog had its first 1,000 hits yesterday. Thank you to you all that enjoy reading my posts and also a big thanks to the ones that have left comments as well, I'll try to answer them pretty soon. My idea is to help Brazilians to read a bit more in English and help to improve their culture as well. A fab week to you all. xx

quinta-feira, 2 de dezembro de 2010

O lago congelou...

I guess it is not necessary to say that 'boy it is cold'! Pictures taken this morning. I had plans to go to London this week but because of the disruption in the airports, rail and roads I've had to cancel it.

segunda-feira, 29 de novembro de 2010

Muito frio...

It's really freezing in England, it was -3C today and tonight the temperature should drop even more according to the weather forecast. I took some pictures this morning and thought I would share with you guys. If you are in Brazil right now it will be a big contrast. The first picture was from last Saturday when the first drops of snow fell.

Even the ducks had to change their routine as part of the canal froze as well.

sexta-feira, 26 de novembro de 2010

amigo secreto...

I'm sure you know what I am talking about. The Secret Santa as it's called in many Western countries, is a christmas tradition with some variations from country to country. Usually all the participants put their names in a hat, each person then draws a name of a collegue from the hat, to whom they will have to buy a gift. Sometimes there is a limit of how much should people spend on the gift or sometimes there is also a wishlist. It's a cost-saving way to buy a pressie when you work with too many people for example. In England the 'Secret Santa' happens but is not as popular as in Brazil. Have you got yours ready?

quinta-feira, 25 de novembro de 2010

Vc sabia...

Do you know the names of  the 7 dwarfs from Snow White's? I was watching it yesterday and thought it might be a nice curiosity to you Brazilians. Of course we know the names in Portuguese but in English they are:  Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey.

Dwarf NamesBeardClothes & Features
BashfulLong beardBrown top, green hat, long eyelashes
DocShort beardRed tunic, brown hat, glasses
DopeyBeardlessGreen tunic, purple hat, big ears
GrumpyLong beardRed tunic, brown hat, scowl
HappyShort beardBrown top, orange headpiece, smile
SleepyLong beardGreen top, blue hat, heavy eyelids
SneezyShort beardbrown jacket, orange headpiece, red nose

What about the seven wonders of the world? Can you tell the names in English? I'll post it soon.x

terça-feira, 23 de novembro de 2010

A biblioteca que vai ate vc...

I love books, reading is a passion. Imagine my surprise when 10 years ago I saw the first mobile library here in England. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it parked on the road.

The idea of the mobile library is to bring the books near the people that cannot go to the libraries, very old people, people with disabilities, or just people that work unusual hours and don't have the chance to visit the library. It really works. Inside the mobile library there are hundreds of titles available, but if somebody would like a copy of a book that is not there, it's possible to order by phone or online. Great, isn't it?
In a country where the majority reads a lot, this is really a must. I wonder if we already have that in Brazil? Is there still a charge to join the libraries in Brazil? We don't have it here, and there are enough books to everybody, so instead of being allowed to take only two books at a time, like in Brazil, here we can take much more. Kids have their own membership too, so a family of three for example, could end up bringing home 20 books or more in just on week. Amazing !

quarta-feira, 17 de novembro de 2010

E na hora do jantar...

I've just had dinner, a very traditional English dish 'fish and chips'.

In Brazil we order a pizza, in England the most common thing to do is to get 'fish and chips'. Basically is fried fish, fresh cod or hadock with potato chips, some people eat it with fresh green peas or baked beans.
While in Brazil the delivery system is very popular, here the most common is the 'take away', you go to the shop, buy the food and bring it home, or eat while walk in the streets for example. Usually it comes wrapped in paper with lots of salt and malt vinager. Do you fancy that?

sexta-feira, 12 de novembro de 2010

E o inverno se aproxima...

Do you remember those couple of trees near my window? Three weeks later and that's what they look like now:

Not many leaves left. Now imagine the whole country like that. If you haven't seen a winter abroad, I'll try to give you a taste through the photos here from time to time. It's not 5:00pm yet and the sun is long gone. As the winter gets close, the nights in Europe get longer and the days very short. From now on we will have less and less sun light everyday, until the 21st of December. That means in very simple words that: most mornings it will still be dark until 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning, when the sun appears, and between 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon will be dark again. You can learn more about the 'winter solstice' at or   . After the 21st of December the opposite starts to happen and every day we will get about 3 or five minutes more of sun until the spring/summer time when it will be bright and sunny at 5:00 o'clock in the morning and the sun will only go down after 9:00 pm.
During the winter we stay more indoors, and right now people are getting ready for Christmas time. But that is a subject for another day.

segunda-feira, 8 de novembro de 2010

Dentes de leite e fadas...

Do you remember what happened to your milk teeth when they fell out? Like many kids in Brazil, mine had to end up on the top of the roof, in order to bring good luck.
Well in Europe the tradition is a bit different. A member of my family lost her first milk tooth yesterday and she was visited by the tooth fairy.
Here in United Kingdom, when a child's milk teeth falls out, the tradition says that he/she needs to leave the tooth under the pillow, and at night while the child sleeps, the fairy comes and swaps the tooth for a coin or a small gift. It's not necessary to say that kids get very excited with the idea, and parents have to be prepared to swap the fallen tooth for a coin or little present during the night.
I guess the tooth fairy owes me some money. Tee hee

sábado, 6 de novembro de 2010

Falando em datas comemorativas...

Yesterday was Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night in England. You never heard of it? I'll explain:

In 1605 many English people were not very happy with their King and his government, so a man named Guy Fawkes with some other friends decided to blow up the Houses of Parliament and consequently kill the King. The conspirators had 36 barrels of gunpowder ready to be used, but it seems that some of Fawkes' friends started to have second thoughts about it, and somebody wrote a  letter trying to inform the King about what was going to happen. The warning letter helped the king and they caught Guy Fawkes in time, with all the gunpowder in the cellar and tortured and executed him afterwards. In order to celebrate the King's safety, many bonfires were lit that  night, and since then English people have bonfires and fireworks every 5th of November.

Interesting, isn't it? Years ago Guy Fawkes was called a mercenary, nowadays he would be a terrorist, and although the date is very important it's not a public holiday in England, everybody works as normal, and in the evening they go to some schools, fields, pubs, wherever people are celebrating to watch the fireworks and the bonfire.  Does it remind you of Tiradentes Day in Brazil? Tee hee.

terça-feira, 2 de novembro de 2010

Holidays...Feriados no Brasil e Inglaterra

Today is All Souls' Day in Brazil, one more public holiday in a list that in some states of Brazil can come to 18 a year in total.

In England it is not a public holiday, actually there are only 8 public and bank holidays a year here and they are:

New Year's Day
Good Friday
Easter Monday
Early May Bank Holiday
Spring Bank Holiday
Summer Bank Holiday
Christmas Day
Boxing Day

It is important to say that the bank holidays are always on a Monday and that although the banks are closed, many shops work as normal and in many other sectors people are expected to work. How different from our country...
I wonder about the implications of so many holidays every year. Most companies still have to pay their employees even when the doors are closed, and of course we know that they don't like any type of loss, profit is what matters, which means that somehow they will make somebody to pay for the costs. Any idea how? My best guess is that the final price of products is increased to compensate any loss, as a result, expensive stuff on the shelves.

terça-feira, 19 de outubro de 2010

Autumn from my window...

The Americans call it 'fall', the British call it 'autumn'. Whatever way we decide to call it it's fine. What really matter is its beauty and what it means. In England when the trees start to change the colour we know that the summer is over and that we should get ready for the winter. It's time to put aside the summer clothes and leave the coats ready for the frosty mornings.
From my TV room I can see a couple of trees outside, and as the months go by I observe them to go from bare leaves in the winter to small buds in the early spring, and now in the autumn I see them changing every week, from a light yellow to golden brown, until they fall completely on the floor.
Quem mora aqui sabe como eh, quem nao mora pode acompanhar comigo.

domingo, 17 de outubro de 2010

Brazilians in the United Kingdom

Why many Brazilians would consider coming to England to work in a very inferior job compared to the ones they left in Brazil? Do you have any idea why? Is it the dream of living in a first world country? Is it to learn the language? To work hard and save every penny and go back to Brazil better off? Is it to see how other people live, to travel and experiment a different culture? I've met many people who said it's worth it and also met the ones who regreted their decision of coming. I guess that to live well anywhere abroad you have to feel part of the local community. First and foremost it's necessary to speak the language of the country and learn about the culture. Do you agree with "Once in Rome, do as the Romans do."?

According to 

Despite being relatively well educated, the majority of Brazilian immigrants to the UK have taken up professions that differ greatly from their previous careers in Brazil.[19] The majority of Brazilian-born migrants to the UK choose jobs that are for the most part unskilled and low-paid; the reasons behind this include restrictions imposed by their immigration status and lack or limited knowledge of the English language.[19] This has also been witnessed in the Brazilian diaspora in United States.[19] A study conducted by Queen Mary, University of London revealed the most common jobs taken up by Brazilian immigrants in London.[19] 32 per cent of individuals surveyed were involved in the cleaning industry, 26 per cent in hotel work and catering, 13 per cent in other 'services'. 10 per cent worked as couriers, 9 per cent in the construction industry, 3 per cent as au pairs or baby sitters. 6 per cent of those surveyed choose not to answer, whilst 1 per cent told of unemployment.[19] Work and employment is an extremely important aspect for Brazilians in the UK, especially first-generation immigrants – many of whom came to the UK for the sole reason of seeking employment. In the same study, 25 per cent of respondents said they came to the UK to work and/or study, whilst 24.3 per cent claimed to have come for work and to save money either to be able to permanently settle in the UK or to send to family back in Brazil.[19] A large number of Brazilian-owned businesses have sprung up in the UK over recent decades. They include personal care, counselling, solicitors and lawyers that provide services in Portuguese, baby sitting, private cleaning, removals and transportation, travel agencies, private functions, money transfer, accommodation, as well as shops selling Brazilian clothing, food and drink, alongside numerous cafes and restaurants.[19

Click on the link above if you would like to see more information about the topic.

terça-feira, 12 de outubro de 2010

Almost 1000 years old.

Can you imagine that? This pub is almost 1000 years old, better saying, the building is almost 1000 years old. Se clicarem na ultima foto podem observar que o primeiro dono/ocupante do predio data de 1086.
Wow! How many buildings have you visited before that is this old? This place is located in the Cotswold, England. I was there last Sunday for lunch and thought would be a good idea to share that with other Brazilians. In Europe a building with that age is very common but for us Brazilians it is not, we have to remember that Brazil was "discovered"  just over 500 years ago.