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.