sábado, 31 de dezembro de 2011

Happy New Year...

Happy New Year to all my dear friends and family and all the people that had read my blog in 2011. I am very grateful for your company and comments and many emails received.

I wish you good health, peace, enough money to live well and be able to make your dreams to come true and many good friends to enjoy the good things life has to offer.

Good fortune, warm wishes and all the best in 2012.


segunda-feira, 26 de dezembro de 2011

Mensagem de natal da Rainha...

It's Boxing Day in England and people are still celebrating Christmas (more information about this holiday on my last year's post).

Yesterday we had the Queen's Christmas message, a tradition of many years ago that started with her grandfather the King George V in 1932.


If you would like to know what Queen Elizabeth II had to say this year just click the video below.

Enjoy your last week of the year.

domingo, 25 de dezembro de 2011

Manha de natal e Papai Noel passou...

Some photos of our Christmas tree this morning and of my daughter really happy with Santa's presents.

Last night we were tracking Santa's delivery around the world in a website. It was all going very well until Amanda found out that Santa's sleigh had broken down in Russia and the engineer Elves were trying to fix it. She was really scared that Christmas might have to be cancelled. Luckily we got new updates in the website that Santa had taken Mrs Claus' sleigh and was heading to Turkey, although with a slow 1942 model sleigh! 
My daughter had her bedtime warning then and finally went to bed to wake up this morning and wreck the TV room whilst opening her presents. We are now, roasting the turkey and waiting to serve our Christmas dinner soon.

Merry Christmas to you all. xx

sábado, 24 de dezembro de 2011

Christmas Eve, the gammon is roasting in the oven. British people only start to celebrate Christmas tomorrow morning, but as a good Brazilian I will start tonight. Soon I will be tasting some good wine, different types of cheese, smoked salmon and few biscuits. Later on I will be phoning my family and close friends in Brazil and will wrap the last presents for tomorrow morning.

I am also posting some photos I took yesterday of our supermarket shopping. These are some items that are usually in a British home for Christmas, on top of that we have also the turkey, gammon, and few desserts. What are you having?

Merry Christmas to you all. May Santa be really generous and bring you all the things
you wish for.

Let’s be merry.

sexta-feira, 23 de dezembro de 2011

12 Days of Christmas is a very traditional song. I am posting two videos. The first one is very "educational" and will give the chance for you to get familiar with the lyrics. The second video is an Irish version joke of the same song. I hope your English is good enough to undertand as it is really funny.

Did you have a good laugh? No??? You couldn't understand?
You'd better contact me to start some English classes soon. Tee hee! You will improve your English and your cultural side too.
Merry Christmas !

quarta-feira, 21 de dezembro de 2011

Visita ao Papai Noel...

More pics of a different Santa’s Grotto we visited yesterday. Why did we like it so much? Well, it is Christmastime and here in England the kids really believe in Santa Claus. My daughter is seven and she still does, just like most of her friends of the same age. Parents here really make the point of trying hard to keep the magic tradition and innocence of this season. I guess it is not really hard to make kids believe in Santa, not here I mean. With freezing weather, houses with big Christmas trees and the certainty that many presents and gifts will be under the tree on the 25th make believable to tell the children that they should behave and be good that Santa Claus will bring them what they wish for. Pity that in Brazil, with high temperatures, many kids starving in the streets it becomes a bit of a joke to try to say to a child in a favela that if he/she is good all year round Santa Claus will bring the presents he/she dreams with.

Anyway, while in Rome do as the Romans do. That’s why my daughter writes a letter to Santa Claus three or four weeks before Christmas with a list of all the little presents she wants (of course there is mum’s supervision and some presents out of proportion cannot enter the list). The days before Christmas we take her to visit Santa’s Grotto and confirm her wishes and get into the atmosphere of Christmas season. On Christmas Eve, just before going to bed, she will leave a glass of milk and a sweet pie to Santa just near the tree in the living room. Outside in the garden she will leave some carrots for Rudolf, Santa’s reindeer. In the morning of 25th only crumbles and small portion of carrots and milk will be left as a sign that Santa was there to do his job. It’s only then, that she will get to open her presents and see what she has received. Actually, everybody will do that at the same time, and that’s when Christmas day will start followed by lunch later. Usually only the very close family taking part.

At the end of the visit to the grotto, kids can choose one present to take home as an early gift from Santa.
I wonder what you are doing there to get into the Christmas spirit?

terça-feira, 20 de dezembro de 2011

Castelo de Berkeley...

Christmastime and we’ve got to visit Santa’s Grotto and take photographs.
How about making it more magical than ever?
I took my seven year-old daughter to see Santa Claus last Saturday and have a chat with the good old man. What made it more special than the previous years was due to the fact that we went to see him inside Berkeley Castle. It is a gorgeous castle just about 30 minutes drive from my house.

I’m afraid the photos are not very clear, it was evening time and the castle was lit by candles inside. Photos inside the castle were not allowed either. But if you would like to know more about the castle and see more beautiful photographs just click the link below for more.


quinta-feira, 15 de dezembro de 2011

Xixi na calcada inglesa...

Do you know that bad habit that some men have of peeing anywhere in the street after a night out with too many drinks? Well, in my town we have something to try to stop that. A pop up loo. Actually we had this ‘cool urinal’ for quite a while but I only managed to find the time to post it in the blog now.

Take a look. During the day it is hidden in the underground. It looks like just a manhole cover and we can walk on top of it.

But during the night it rises up and is ready for use. There is no much privacy of course, but the pop up loos are spotless clean and available when needed.
Do you think Brazil should implement the same urinals in some streets?

PS. Sorry about my absence from the blog. It was due to some personal issues with my family in Brazil. I love my life in England, but when there is a problem with our family that is so far away, life can become a bit complicated. I hope to find more time from now on. Please bear with me and thanks for reading.

segunda-feira, 5 de dezembro de 2011

Bazar de natal...

Yesterday there was a Christmas fayre (bazar de natal) at my daughter’s school. The PTA (parents & teachers association) tries to raise money for the school. There is a good sense of community in English schools. Most parents help with something, some mothers bake cakes and Christmas cookies and gingerbread biscuits for the party, some people help with the decoration, some others help inside the kitchen preparing sandwiches and refreshments, others help with the entertainment activities, or even selling something some arcraft they've made in a stall while others just go there to spend their money and have a good time.
This year our family helped with the music, such a pity that I didn’t get any photo of her dad singing some Christmas carols.

(Find out which carrot has blue paint in the tip and get a chocolate)

(Making hand-made decorations for the Christmas tree)

(Playing Wii games inside the classroom)

(Christmas stalls)

(Refreshments in the kitchen)

(Milking the reindeer)

Would you like to milk the reindeer or visit Santa’s Grotto?

sexta-feira, 2 de dezembro de 2011

Minha cozinha na Inglaterra...

Did you know that...

In England most houses don’t have a laundry room or our Brazilian washing board (tanque)? Usually the washing machine is in the kitchen, just like mine in this picture, most are equipped with a tumble drier as well. People wash their delicate clothes inn the washing machine, or if we insist in doing some clothes by hand we can use the sink in the kitchen or the basins in the toilets.
In the winter we have to dry our clothes in the tumble drier or on some clotheshorse set near the heaters around the house.

The modern houses have a dish washer, this is mine, but when we want to wash the dishes, in England it’s easily done. Most of our washing liquids (detergents) are rinse free, that means we just have to fill the basin with hot water and a bit of washing liquid, clean the dishes and let them dry. There’s no need to rinse and no smell or taste of soap afterwards.

The worktop is not granite nor marble. In England it would be hugely expensive and we use this fake material. In my opinion it’s not as beautiful as the original stone, but is very good too. It is hot and cold resistant. We just have to be careful with the use of water, as you can see, our worktops have no elevated edges, like the Brazilian ones. To throw a glass of water in order to rinse it would be stupid. A wet wipe with a good cleaning spray does the trick.

Instead of the pressure cooker, here we use the slow cooker. It’s totally safe and uses very little electricity. People usually put some meat and vegetables inside it in the morning leave it cooking and go to work. When they come back in the evening, their dinner is ready.

How about your kitchen?

PS. The blog has its own domain now. http://www.inglesinglaterraeetc.com/