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.