sexta-feira, 10 de dezembro de 2010

Xmas 2011

photo W.Massari
photo Zhoider
I guess that luck saw Graça and I leaving Saint Puy with the first signs of snow falling near Toulouse airport. After arriving back to the warmth of this part of Brazil I have had several emails from friends showing me the state of the European roads and in particular those in the UK. It is a long time since I not only lived in the UK but experienced very cold conditions and prolonged periods of snow, often it meant that I could not even get the land Rover out because of the ice on the roads let alone the drifts of snow. It would seem realistic to assume that this a normal cycle rather than abnormal Global activity, but then again whats normal, a reactivity of the world plates that have reactivated several volcanoes, may well be the answer. Here in Bahia it would seem that little changes, but there are signs that the rain fall is slightly more intense but not often, different to the South of Brazil, where São Paulo and Rio get constant rain, Bahia in general is a dry state, water that is and not beer or cachaça, in the interior of Bahia there has been a constant area of drought, the hope being that the government will one day give attention to the North and act to supply large areas with drinking water and water for small scale agriculture, here government incentives are large scale projects and not much in the way of artisan projects.
It seems that the move to rid the beaches of the bars may well get to Jaua next year, it as been hinted that this will happen and I see that Arembepe ( now getting a grassed and part covered praça at its entrance off the Estrada do Coco,Arembepe is certainly the most famous tourist point from the region, thanks to the remaining hippie village of the 60's and 70's decades. The word Arembepe comes from the native language Tupi-Guarani and it means “ “something that involves” us or enchant ourselves. About 150 years ago Arembepe was founded. In the beginning it was a big coconut farm. As years passed, it was changed, little by little, into an old fish village.In the 30's and 40's, the fishermen went out to the sea from several points of the coast of Camaçari, as Jaua beach and they used the area of Arembepe where the Hippie Village is situated as a lighthouse to help them to come back to coast, because of the high coconut trees. That way the first storage huts for fishing was asserted by material were created and, little by little, it became a village. As said “Manu”, a hippie of the 70's decade.
I have long held the opinion that investment similar to Arembepe would change Jaua and bring back a much better class of casual tourist, it is clear that the lack of foreign tourist in Jaua is the reason for the Prefeitura not investing time and money in returning Jaua to a more eco friendly resort, cleaning up the beach is just a starting point, the whole of the infra structure needs up dating and the whole of the road and pavement along the beach needs to be re constructed with areas to sit as well as walk. A move to limit the access of cars from parking along the sea front would also limit the amount of pollution, this includes noise as well as the general beer cans and coke bottles that are now left by the weekend tourist.
The whole of the North East does seem to be heading for some form of recognition by the politicians, but how that may be transfered into actual solutions to the Norths problems is anyones guess.
The site of the snow in Europe does make me feel that it is well worth the effort to stay the Summer in Brazil and then the Summer in France, i am no longer used to the cold, it gets deep into the bones of my legs when i am in Europe during the Winter months, attractive as the white landscape may be in the photos I am not tempted to swap Xmas in Brazil for one in Europe, the warmth is too tempting. I have even now met a French couple, in France, a small Medieval village near St Puy, that coincidentally spend six months here in Bahia and the rest of the year in France, small world indeed, for this couple adore Brazil and have been coming back for the last 40 years. So its possibly time for a lot of you out there to think about one trip to Brazil, do not take too much notice of the world news items that get to the TV sets, there is a lot of peace in Brazil and a lot of beautiful countryside to feast on, with the 2014 World Cup and then the Olympics in 2016, it is hoped that the government will make an effort to improve road travel in Brazil and the internal air travel, both are lacking investment.
St Puy must be very quiet over the Xmas period, with nearly all the English folk taking to see their families in the UK, on the contrary, Salvador is just starting this weekend to get the Xmas buzzzz, many folks going to the various islands for a more ethnic time of it and others traveling to the interior to see family and friends, mind you I am not one for Xmas and tend to let it slide by as much as I can.

quarta-feira, 1 de setembro de 2010


As an add on to the last post, the Prefeitura in Salvador has used the patromonial national,, has the excuse to remove the more than 350 barracas from the beaches of Salvador and now Lauro de Freitas, I believe there are plans to now remove those along the coast line of Camaçari, which will include Jaua. This would mean the beaches getting back something of their natural state and the litter from the barracas(beach bars) would almost disappear over night, although the plans I am told are for next year, after Carmival and the Summer festivals, and well after the present October elections for the President of the republic, state Governadors , Senadors and ministers Federal, the elections for the Prefeituras having already taken place and never on the same ticket has the state elections.
I am very much looking forward to a beach without the barracas, it will not only clean up the beach area but will also get rid of a lot of heavy weekend drinking and load music, the general public I feel will change to a better climate and the process I trust will also lead to the Prefeitura investing in a reformation of the road and walk ways, this surely must lead to a return of house owners to Jaua and its beaches, there are a huge number of people that have houses here but now stay away because of the general scruffiness of the barracas and the type of people that frequent them. It may be that the government has decided to press for the ambiental law to be used to remove the barracas for the 2014 World Cup and its clear tourist implications, along with the following 2016 Olympic games here in Brazil, but for what ever reason it will be a blessing and can only lead to a better life style for those that live here on the coast of Brazil.

segunda-feira, 21 de junho de 2010

Change of Weather and scene

It does seem that the World as got smaller, the rain here is also falling in France and Scotland so they are due flooding in the way that we have had to expect over the last 5 years or so. At the moment the change as been for sunshine and very little rain but the high winds have proved too much for some of the beach bars and a large area of the beach has dropped onto the road, as yet to be removed, by the council, if they ever do get around to it. I am told that we are due a great deal of investment by the Camaçari council and that this will be in the next two years. So if that is true I may well get to see our small town become a worthy tourist attraction, it has the basis for it but as yet no investment, the only investment has been private owners building more houses and rather overloading the very limited infra structure that exists in Jaua. I have sold my Fusca to the builder and have yet to see my money but i hope that this a temporary memory lapse on his part and that he will come good at some time this week, especially good if he does since I hav another monthly payment to make to cover my rather large tax bill that accompanied me registering my house as two houses, it seems unfair that I get the bill before gaining any profit from a possible sale of both, and this is what I now need to do to get rid of the tax and give me some money to continue my new quest in France. My girl friend as almost completed her two year course in Ouro Preto and will be returning to Salvador, this course seems to have taken her on a journey from none artist to artisan and from a public service worker to a self employed restorer of art, so the finishing of the course is the start of a life that could be very different. She will certainly start it with a change since she will be going with me to France and experiencing my life style for the first time in our time together. Yesterday i arranged to meet Butch, a new Australian friend that is now living here in Jaua, to see the inside of his house and for us to watch the Brazilian match on the TV, my TV is a bit difficult to watch if there is a ball to pick out, it is some what frosty and with hardly any definition, whilst the bar near Butch has a Sky satellite connection and some cold beers to help. I arrived to find Butch and his brother in law already getting into the spirit and a having acquired a table close to the TV in the bar. It is the first time that I have been in Brazil for June, I did have one year when I had to spend the first couple of days of June here in Brazil, it was for me to get my visa stamped and approved and make the arrangements for the ID and CPF cards, but that was about ten years ago and since then I have always been in Europe trying to earn a crust to pay for my lifestyle. So it is the World Cup and the festival of São João ( John the Baptist) all together this year, as well as the experience of Baiano winter and a lot of rain. It must be said that the open bar and the participation of the other drinkers led to a more exciting experience, it was like being at the match and getting all the different reactions and comments moment by moment, the constant whine of the horns was not noticeable with the whistles and shouts of the other supporters around me, it was good to b able to exchange comments and opinions with Butch and his brother in law, Val. I must do this for the other matches.
Quadrilha Junina da Festa do São Pedro de Belém (Paraíba)

segunda-feira, 31 de maio de 2010

em poucas dias

Bem poucos dias, em e eu acho que meu corpo é apenas recuperar as picadas que eu recebi do maribonda, ainda dorido e mais durante a noite, o calor e os mosquitos parecem desempenhar nas áreas já inchado de pele, mas é melhor ea rigidez dos músculos como foi. Eu ainda estou esperando por mais alguns materiais a serem entregues, o telhado é uma recuperação, mas não terminou o apartamento ainda está a receber o mesmo tratamento. Antes de partir para França, eu tinha disse sobre o lixo que tem vindo a recolher em todo o lugar, agora mais afastadas ou ido com as marés como o mar limpa, onde os humanos não fazem. O aspecto geral de Jauá é um pouco triste, sempre o caso quando tinhas poucas pessoas e pouco sol, o inverno aqui é a falta de festa, tanto quanto qualquer outra coisa.
Sam me enviou este lembrete de nossa promessa pré França para tentar fazer algo para reduzir a quantidade de lixo que é descartado nas praias durante o verão e carnaval. O Brasil possui muitas coisas, mas o problema do lixo que mantém a si mesmo, mesmo o turista raramente vê a extensão do problema, a falta de higiene e falta de motivação por meio da educação são duas as causas do problema, mas assim é a economia que está em expansão fazer da reciclagem um divertimento caro e já não vai ajudar os pobres. Este artigo faz algumas brasiliano o problema, o desejo de desfrutar a si mesmo, mas de uma maneira que outros abusos e para o ambiente.

O fundo da folia

Dez dias após o carnaval, resolvi mergulhar com dois amigos na área do Farol da Barra para confirmar a notícia de que havia uma quantidade absurda de lixo espalhada pelo fundo do mar naquela área.

O fundo da folia

Mesmo com a água um pouco suja por causa das chuvas do dia anterior, logo identificamos o local. Na verdade o lixo não estava espalhado, mas concentrado em um canal provavelmente em razão do movimento das marés. Uma cena lamentável! Eram pelo menos mil e quinhentas latinhas metálicas e garrafas plásticas.

O fundo da folia

Da superfície o visual parecia com as imagens áreas que vemos dos blocos de carnaval durante a festa momesca. Só que ao invés de estarem pulando, dançando e se beijando ao som frenético e ensurdecedor dos trios elétricos, os foliões do fundo do mar estavam rolando de um lado para o outro numa mórbida coreografia, empurrados silenciosamente pelo balanço do mar, sem dança, sem alegria, sem vida e sem poesia.

O fundo da folia

Assustados, decidimos não retirar o material naquele dia na esperança de tentar sensibilizar algum veículo de comunicação para fazer uma matéria com imagens subaquáticas. A intenção era compartilhar aquela agressão carnavalesca com nossa população e os donos da folia.

O fundo da folia

Fizemos contato com pelo menos três emissoras e todas pediram que enviássemos e-mails com fotos, o que fizemos imediatamente. Aguardamos respostas por dois dias e como não tivemos qualquer retorno, optamos por retirar o lixão de lá para evitar maiores danos.

O fundo da folia

A bem da verdade estávamos super desconfortáveis com nossas consciências por termos testemunhado aquela cena e deixado para resolver o problema dias após. Mas tínhamos que tentar a matéria para que a ação não se resumisse somente à coleta do material.

O fundo da folia

O fundo da folia

Tínhamos em mente que a repercussão sensibilizaria os empresários e artistas do carnaval, os órgão públicos, a imprensa, as empresas financiadoras e nossa gente. A tentativa foi boa, mas não rolou…

O fundo da folia

Fomos então, no terceiro dia após o primeiro mergulho, retirar o material. Antes, porém, fiz questão de chamar um amigo que tem uma caixa estanque para filmarmos a ação e guardarmos o documentário visando trabalhos futuros e até mesmo a matéria que queríamos na TV.

O fundo da folia

Sem cilindro de ar e contando apenas com duas pranchas de SUP (Stand Up Paddle) e alguns sacos grandes, éramos quatro mergulhadores ousados retirando do fundo do mar tudo o que podíamos naquela tarde.

O fundo da folia

O fundo da folia

O fundo da folia

Pouco antes de o sol se pôr conseguimos finalmente colocar todo o lixo na calçada.
Muitos curiosos, inclusive turistas, olhavam intrigados a nossa atitude e a todo o instante nos questionavam sobre a origem daquele resíduo. A resposta estava na ponta da língua: Carnaval!

O fundo da folia

Vou logo informando aos amigos leitores que não sou contra o carnaval, muito pelo contrário, sou fã por diversos motivos, mas acho que a realidade da festa não guarda a menor relação com as belíssimas cenas, as informações rasgadas de elogios e a excessiva euforia amplamente divulgada pela mídia.
Sei que o comprometimento com os patrocinadores e aquela velha guerrinha de vaidades contra os carnavais de outros estados como Pernambuco e Rio de Janeiro, acabam conspirando para isso. Mas vejo aí um modelo cansado, super dimensionado, sem inovações socialmente positivas e remando na direção oposta ao desenvolvimento sustentável da nossa cidade.
Aquele lixo submarino é um pequeno sinal deste retrocesso. Pior, patrocinado solidariamente pelos grandes empresários, artistas e principalmente pelo poder público que tem o dever de melhorar nossa segurança, nossa saúde e educação.

O fundo da folia

O fundo da folia

O fundo da folia

Aproveito o embalo para incluir indignação semelhante sobre os eventos realizados na praia do Porto da Barra durante o verão.
O “Música no Porto” e o “Espicha Verão” não tem trazido nada de bom para nossa cidade, além da oportunidade de vermos ótimos artistas de perto e de graça. De resto, o lixo, o mau cheiro, a degradação ambiental, o xixi pelas ruas, a impressionante quantidade de ambulantes amontoados por todos os espaços públicos e a agressão aos patrimônios históricos, são um grande “pé na bunda” do turista de qualidade.

Espicha Verão. Foto: Manuela Cavadas / Agência A Tarde

Show de Juan e Ravena começou cedo para público que estava na   praia. Manuela Cavadas / Agência A Tarde

Show de Jussara Silveira foi um dos mais esperados da noite pelo   público. Luciano da Matta /  Agência A Tarde

É o mesmo que olhar para uma bela maçã com a casca brilhante e aspecto suculento, porém, apodrecida por dentro…
Naquele final de tarde acabamos contemplando um por do sol diferente. O monte de lixo empilhado na calçada do Farol da Barra virou atração. E como Deus é grande, fomos brindados com a presença de valorosos catadores de rua para finalizar a limpeza.

O fundo da folia

Desta ação, além das ótimas imagens documentadas em vídeo, resta rezar para que os donos do carnaval, dos eventos no Porto da Barra e nossos queridos foliões se toquem que algo tem que mudar.

O fundo da  folia

O fundo do mar não merece aquele bloco reluzente e, ao contrário do asfalto, o oceano costuma revidar violentamente as agressões sofridas.
Não tem alegria alguma no fundo da folia!

O fundo da folia

Galeria de fotos
Fotos: Francisco Pedro / Projeto Lixo Marinho - Global Garbage Brasil
Fotos do Espicha Verão: Manuela Cavadas e Luciano da Matta / Agência A Tarde

Samantha Nery Grimaldi


quinta-feira, 27 de maio de 2010

Return to Latin life

Well this must be for Betty, I have been ticked off about getting so far and no further with this blog, but I suppose it is one thing starting a project and another to find reasons for continuing writing. I have in all honesty had problems with my eyesight, a few minutes of writing will give me some pain in my right eye that lasts for a couple of days, the same can be true with driving the car with the windows open. Still I feel that I might try to access another attitude to the Blog and try to program myself a little bit better than I have done.
Well Betty I never quite arranged everything before I left St Puy, but what I have done is a good base for my return and the next time will certainly get things moving and I am sure that I will form the base for a new start to my work in France, including the finalizing of my work registration and the social security number along with the acquisition of a Serif number, all which will allow me to organize work legally and with advertizing, this with the work on my little house will set me in the community and give folks a local workshop for new furniture and the repairs of any antiques they may have. Leaving France and my friends there is not a comfortable feeling, sadness at the loss of their conversation and their kindness and the feeling of belonging to the community in a way that Brazil never does.
I had to run the risk of volcano dust on my return to Brazil, the flight was first from toulouse to Amsterdam, that had been closed the day before my flight and so had Edinburgh, so it was only when I arrived at Toulouse that I had an idea that I would indeed fly that day, the same was true for the flight to Edinburgh from Amsterdam, but the later flights on the Saturday had already been cleared by the change in the wind direction and thus giving clear skies for me to fly to Paris and then São paulo and on to Salvador.
Well I arrived in Salvador on the Saturday night and Sam picked me up, had a chat to him about the state of play in Jaua and what news there was for the last three months, a useful exchange to make sure that I could keep up with the local gossip and not put my foot into anything. When I arrived back at my flat it was near mid night, there was slight drizzle but it was a warm breeze, Sam parked outside the gate and I tried to find where I had slung my keys, a bit f a puzzle since I had changed my mind about at the last minute of where I would put them before leaving Michaels house, I had been woken by him at 3.50 in the morning and I was due to leave by taxi at 4.00, so a bit of a rush and no time to think carefully about what I was doing.
I discovered the keys and we enetered the apartment, to find that the several weeks of severe rain had left my place soaking wet and the ceiling still dripping with water from the last days rain. Sam left and I opened all the windows and doors to see the condition of everything and try to get rid some of the smell of the damp and mold that now covered almost everything in the apartment. Having mopped the worst of the water and tried to get the bed sorted with some sheets i managed to get the computer working from one phone line and sent some emails to tell folks that I had arrived safely, then I decided it was too late to do any more and had a shower and went to bed. Missing some hours of sleep and a change of time by 5 hours, meant that I woke very early and realised that the time away had also meant that there had been a loss of power in the apartment, thus all the contents of the fridge and freezer were spoilt, the freezer was by far the worst since it was stocked almost entirely with fish and prawns , meant to by for quick food when I returned. The smell at cleaning this and the rest of the apartment was enough to put me off any hunger for the whole of Sunday, so when I went out in the late afternoon for a drink at Pandoras bar, and then was met by a friend who asked if I would like to go to Butchs party, it seemed a good idea. Butch I had met for just a couple of minutes at the front of Pandoras bar, a few weeks before I flew to Europe, so in fact I did not and still do not know him well. The party was a bit of fun in watching the local social circle, very much a show of your social position by spending money on a party but not a time for good conversation, as well as the fact that Butch is newly married, new to Brazil and the main bulk of folks where from Salvador.
Monday was the day for seriously trying to clean the fridge and some of the apartment and then the reinstatement of the battery for the car, which gratefully started and is still running OK, put air into the tyres of the Fusca and the Gol and then went to the large supermarket in Lauro de Freitas and bought cleaning gear and food for myself, on my return I met my gardner and chatted over the problems that had arisen over the three months, including one water pump not working and again several fruit trees dying, this is every time I am away. I was planning on meeting up with Miriam at some point that day but as it happened she passed by in her car and stopped to chat. The main point of the conversation was to organize some one quickly to strip the roof coverings of both the house and the flat and get a new water tight covering on before any more rain could leave me back at day one. Miriam was with Joy and suggested I return to her house for some coffee and a snack, which was very welcome and quickly accepted, I locked up and jumped in the car, my second day was still with out much in the way of food, a cheese roll and a banana had been the days food up till then, so the fact that it was a hamburger did not stop me eating it.
Yesterday I waited in for the workers to arrive, they had 7.00 in the morning, to do the roof, to strip it and re site the timbers much higher and also take out a section of the up stand to allow for the covering to over shoot and no longer use an internal gutter, it was 10.07 when they arrived and I then had to wait till 13.45 to get away to Salvador in order to return my new mobile phone to the Nokia repair centre. I had also noticed that my IPVA and the licence tax was due for the car and decided I would pay both at the same time, however the Nokia assistance had for my convenience, the notice on the door told me this, moved to another location in Salvador, and as I am not very sure of any where in the city I had to try and find the location of the new shop, I am still not the wiser since the computer now is so slow I cannot log on to Hotmail or find a number of internet sites. I stopped at the airport and paid my car tax before returning to Jaua, collecting a large bottle of freshwater on route. Two friends have recently split up and by coincidence or not I met one of them when I returned and then recieved a phone call from the other asking to meet me for a drink at Pandoras , late last night, a bit of a sandwich feeling as I try to keep clear of any comments that one makes about the other and what one feels about the other.
My television as finally dried out enough to start functioning, not well but at least it gives me some company at the moment, for the last three weeks I have enjoyed good company and nice conversation, so I am back to a solitary existence and a very slow internet connection.
Last nights bar conversation was much to do with the latest killings in the area, a policeman had been shot near Jaua, he in fact was giving a radio interview whilst still in his car with his wife, seems strange that one with his experiebce should park, remaining motionless and chatting on the mobile phone, in an area that is by any standard some what isolated, the result was that the live braodcast was cut short by three assailants how shot him, now the tv is full of the news of his death and the locals are worried about their security, crazy place at the best oif times but over the top when there is little prompting.

Today i have the complete workforce, as per usual they say two weeks and then try to do the lot in one, leaving me in the end with not all the work being finished satisfactorily, it is a story that always reprats itself since no one has the pride in their work or the ability to finish a good job, they are only interested in how quick they can get the money in their pockets. Still it will hopefully resolve the damp problem and I can in the future leave the house and apartment knowing that it will at least be dry inside when I return, the fine details will have ti be accepted as not defined. Having cleared some of the capinsanta, a plant that is excellent for tea, from aroud the gate and spotted a good collection of maracuja, passion fruit, under the foliage, i also spotted that Cupim had returned to the corner of the servants quarters, so I had bought some venom to kill them off. This was a different sort to the one I have used before and is applied by brush to the timbers, so I entered the front of the flat and moved the folding chair to get access to the corner of the roof, an open tiled roof, and as I reached up and placed the brush full of venom onto the small colony of termites, I became aware of a scene a bit like Star Wars, I was not wearing my glasses but could see a mass of flying insects, it was a hive of small wasps that had stuck themselves to the underside of the sink, I backed off quickly but could feel the stings in my arms, feet and hands, thankfully just in those places, it has left my fingers a bit numb and some sharp pain at the point of the stings in my legs, feet and arms but not much more, a lesson to be more careful when entering a place that as been empty for some time, here as in France there are snakes and bees, both can bite rather quickly and without warning.
I am now starting to settle in to the Brazillian lifestyle and get back to conversation in Portuguese, also my self catering and just a few weeks now to the World Cup......

sábado, 17 de abril de 2010

You can be fairly certain of one thing, if you are honest in your life then life it will be honest with you, there are always good reasons for assuming that you should lie, but avoid the simple benefits in short term and see that in the long run you are the master of your destiny and that is best to build on good virtue and not lies. Clarity helps ones self and not just in your dealings with others, to see clearly is to judge clearly. Dreams can help overcome adversity but can also obscure reality, do try to always see truth before you see opportunity, not always the same thing and having results that can be very different. When you want something badly you may well allow for obscurity and never want for the reality, yet the essence of your dreams is to obtain what is correct for your psychological balance , if you try to obtain something different it may well haunt you for many years and never give happiness. Pleasure is not always a state of contentment but can have attitudes set into it that counteract what seems correct, often there are hidden agendas to our smile, we do not have to obey the reason but it may help to have some knowledge of their history. When another does injustice it may not be done with full knowledge, but that may still have the authority of the person, they simply allow behavior to disguise their actions and continue to believe that they have no moral come back, as is stated in all is fair in love and war.
I have always tried to live by the principle that it is better to lose my face or money than my moral attitudes, take the slap across my face and know that I have not lost anything by not responding in a manner similar.I have no religion, have no expectations of life or death, I do not expect reward although I like to receive respect for my being here and being a friend. Your life is not to be one that is alone but it is not dependent on any one person for its welfare or happiness, in being respectful you are respected, but not by everyone, be content with those that respect the most and to them give equal respect, for me this is the base to build a life and have happiness. I am as truly happy with my lot as I think I could be, often puzzled by what others do and by what I do, but at the the dawn of a new morning I am comforted by the fact that I will not have done bad too any one the day before.
today has been a very warm and sunny day in the Gers and I have listened to the insects and birds during the moments when my machines have fell silent, to you I wish the same, Spring is such a blissful time.
Simple pleasure is in my small carving done for a friend...

terça-feira, 30 de março de 2010

Francofileness needs language skills

Well I have been off beat for some 6 months or so, the situation with my vision has had a fair effect on me, it as ben quite difficult to get any focus that did not leave me feeling some what queasy, and the general run of life in Brazil as also left me some how not prone to writing about it, the news on the TV often seems to consist of the latest body, usually mutilated, that had been left by the road side or dumped on some even more waste than waste ground, the daily life in Jau has become some what monotonous of late although there are a few exceptions to this, but I feel that they would involve people that I know and I cannot see how I can tell their stories in my blog, but they do some how show the side of life that is very selfish and insular.
On a general theme I have now got another English person living in Jaua and one Australian, also a charming couple from Italy, the English chap was complaining about rubbish on the beach, a sad fact that I have mentioned several times before, his house, like my previous one, butts direct to the beach and for that reason he can see the litter being dropped as well as the after effects. I had told him that i have tried to write letters to the news papers and the TV stations, but have never received a reply to say that they would even get back to me with a response.
Well we decided to have a go at motivating the local representative to see if he could start up an action group and get the local firms and bus companies to take small hand bills and to then try to get a campaign that would go along the beach at weekends to challenge the litter.
I have had to leave Brazil after our first meeting and i am not so sure that anything will be done while I am away, most people say things and do not wish to use their time to get the ball rolling suficiently to get the ideal momentum. I was rather hoping to see if Unilever would act in setting up a recycling plant near to Jaua , one that could take in several of the small towns and therefore create jobs as well as clear the streets and beach of rubbish, this I felt would give incentive to a campaign and attract the larger local businesses, like Ford and the Millenium company. A form of advertised beach theatre could be put on over the weekends when there is a local influx of tourists which I thought could have the actors gathering children to collect rubbish along the beach so as to show the locals that their children have an interest in the environment even if they do not, this could be accompanied by the setting up of message banners, much like the Buddha flags in Tibet, along the length of the beach at weekends and for the beach bars to have T shirts with anti litter messages so that the message was taken direct to the table when serving beers and yet not necessarily verbal in your face as it were.

Still thats for the return along with me trying to see if I can get my house in Brazil sold and some cash liberated for my French project.
Here I am, in Courties just on the edge of Saint Puy, it was cold when I arrived several weeks ago but has had days of beautiful sunshine, some of it quite hot, although today as I sit at the table and look out at the garden, it is raining and windy, I am reluctant to think about going out, where has yesterday had a temperature of at least 17 degrees and was very sunny.
The house at Rue da Chateau is now mine, I signed the final documents the other day and picked up the key, now I am measuring and wondering how on Earth I can fit what I need into such a tiny space, worse because there is so little head room inside, 2.1 mts to the underside of the joists and 20 cms less for the large beams that hold these. The roof is new but put up in a manner that is some what strange to say the least, I think the roofers could not be bothered to cut the old timbers and get rid of them so have worked around them to create what I am sure is strong enough construction but not a classic roof and not one that can be opened up for visual inspection. I have had my foot through the loft floor on two occasions so that rules out using the existing boards in the loft and the ones in the downstairs are sitting on horrible beams, so that needs to come up as well.

The loft was a sad find, it is good that it is new but not in the way it as been done, so i will i think leave it as it is and replace the loft floor with newer timbers. I had so hoped to remove the upstairs ceiling and have the roof timbers visible, only putting a mezzanine on top of the new to be constructed bathroom, it would have given a sense of space and open the construction up, as well as giving me a small paint studio under the eaves....sadly not now.
The gable wall is also of a construction that amazes, it is a partition wall that is not tied to the front or back walls, made from 4 cms clay block which is only partly fired, thus not weather proof, and at the eaves under the roof, the roofers have knocked down a large section thus opening the loft to the elements.

I am now entering the stage of finding what regs I need and who to apply to and what I can do about the fact that my flimsy wall seems to be by all accounts a party wall. Also I have been negotiating for work, this seems sensible if I am here and needing money to do my project, I have been pleasantly surprised by how much work may be available and that for the restauration work that I do, I may well have very few rivals. I will need to now get registered for work here in France, a Siren number is what i am told, it will act as a registration for life and gives an idea to otehrs of what type of work I will undertake and where I am based.

sábado, 6 de fevereiro de 2010

Tigre ano

Along with the trio eletrico I have another celebration this year, now starts the Chinese new year, the 14 February, and this year falls to the Tiger, the Chinese sign is my birth sign so I hope that will give me some bonus points this year...
2010 is the Year of the Tiger,
which is also known by its formal name of Geng Yin.
My sign is within the Tiger descending the mountain, which thankfully is meant to be a good omen, I suppose it may mean that I have experienced the climb, dealt with problems and descending with more knowledge and serenity, who knows. any one with the right knowledge please leave a comment to help me get the most out of this year.

Carnaval trio- eletrico

This site gives a good explanation of the changes that have made the carnaval now a completely comercial affair, almost without samba and certainly without any good dance music. It happens that the move to electric music on board a car and then a lorry, coincides with the month of my birth, so it is interesting to see how people seem to expect the Carnaval to be all electric and all advertising, either self promotion of the main pop bands or that of beer companies, both of which have made their names on the back of the changes in the traditional
Here is the article taken direct from the site.

On January 29th 1951, a Monday before carnival [1], Dodô and Osmar had a key experience while witnessing a parade of the famous brass band Clube Carnvalesco Misto Vassourinhas, who performed in Salvador on their way from Recife to Rio de Janeiro. The Vassourinhas were specialized in Frevo music, an up-tempo marching band style from Pernambuco that had become popular all over Brazil since the 1930s. The performance of the Vassourinhas in Salvador was an important and much anticipated event, amply covered by newspapers, welcomed by the authorities and supported by sponsors and radio stations.

[...] Almost the entire city went to see the parade on Avenida Sête. [...] I was there in the crowd, jumping and dancing behind them and next to them. It was pretty crazy, everybody was dancing. [...] It was then when i said to Dodô: Dodô, lets go out and play this kind of music. I already knew some of the songs. Compositions by Nelson Ferreira and Capiba, Frevo Rasgado", that kind of thing. The main theme is still played today, you know the one [sings the tune "Vassourinhas"]. This was when we set up the "Fobica", using a Ford '29."
O. Macêdo, 1995 apud PAULAFREITAS (2005)

The ensuing events are of great importance in the history of Bahian Carnival: Osmar's retired Ford '29, used to haul metal parts for his workshop, was transformed into a moving stage, in order to enable Dodô and Osmar to perform brass band Frevo tunes with their exotic pau elétricos during the upcoming festivities. Equipped with a 2 kW generator, decorated with carnivalesque motives and speakers mounted on front and rear, the musical Ford, nicknamed Fobica ("road hog"), entered the scene around 4 pm on Carnival Sunday, prime time. Backed by 6 percussionists and Osmars' father in law Armando Mereiles Costa dressed as a Hula dancer, it entered Rua Chile street at the height of Castro Alves square, mingling with the official parade (the car corso).

"..we messed up the corso, for we were followed by a compact crowd of people, jumping around and having fun like you'd never seen it in Bahia, [...] It was very exciting. More than 200 meters of people following the Fobica [...] When we were almost past Castro Alves Square, I asked Olegário Muriçoca, the driver, to halt for a while since the square offered more space. We asked him various times, but he just wouldn't stop. Already mad, me and Dodô started yelling at him, upon which he replied that clutch and breaks had broken a while ago and that the car had he motor turned off . It was being pushed forward by the crowd."
O. Macêdo, 1978 apud GÓES (1982)

This was the first time that popular carnival, usually restricted to backstreets and surburbs, had succesfully taken over the space of the offical celebrations which, although public, remained reserved for the activities of the Bahian elites. In hindsight, the parade of the Vassourinhas orchestra had served as a full dress rehearsal for the triumphant ride of the Fobica a few days later, including the enthusiatic reception of Frevo music by the entire city, the particular tunes, and the crowd that spontaneously followed the music around in a jumping dancing style. The episode had left everyone with their jaws down - including Dodô and Osmar - and marked the birth of both of a new musical genre (Frevo do Trio aka Frevo Novo aka Frevo Baiano) and a new form of celebrating carnival in Bahia, soon to be known as Trio Elétrico.

In the following year, Dodô and Osmar replaced their Fobica with a Chrysler Fargo pick up truck and added a third electric instrument to their set up: a triolim or tenor guitar, played by their friend Temístocles Aragão. Consequently, their name changed from Dupla Elétrica to Trio Elétrico. In the next year, they were back on a lorry featuring 8 speakers, flourescent lights and generators, sponsored by the local soft drink producer Fratelli Vita [2]. By the mid 1950s, when other bands had copied the concept, the term Trio Elétrico became generic.

"... a Bahian industrial by the name of Miguel Vita noticed that the Trio Elétrico had great advertising potential. [...] From thereon, the thing started growing, and other Trios appeared on pick up trucks, with lights and speakers everywhere. These people all played instruments that Dodô had built for them, since you couldn't buy them anywhere as you can today. There were at least 3 other bands then: "5 Irmãos", "Ipiranga", and "Conjunto Âtlas" [...] People would start to say 'Here comes the Trio Elétrico' when they saw these blinking vehicles playing frevo music. Eventually, the term would refer not just to our band, but to all these bands ...." O. MACÊDO 1978 apud GÓES (1982)

The years to come brought a landslide of vans, buses and trucks transformed into moving band stands, with an ever increasing sophistication in size, sound and decoration. Today, 60 years later, the old Ford'29 of the first Trio Elétrico evolved into the brontosaur sized road trains Bahian carnival has become so famous for: Mobile concert halls carrying 200 db (!) amplification on all four sides, a 25 piece band plus dancers stomping away on their roofs, very large crowds of people partying all around them and scientific articles published on the long term effects of exposure to their sound. The Pau Elétrico/Guitarra Baiana can take credit for having been among the principal raisons-de-être of these machines - which are still referred to as Trios.

When Dodô and Osmar withdrew from performing in 1960, the tradition was
firmly established and continued to grow in in the hands of other trios, most notably the Trio Tapajós, organized by Orlando Campos
since the second half of the 1950s.

quarta-feira, 3 de fevereiro de 2010

Return to the Cold

I have not written for some time and amfeeling guilty because of it, it has partly been caused by change in perspective, with the result of my catarct operation leaving me with one eye set at 0.75 and the other at -3.4, this left eye ie also messed up with glaucoma and a rather large floater that seems to prefer to float in the middle of my eye and never rest at the side or bottom, although i am told that this is possibly a good thing since it may damage the retina if it was to continually scrape along it. I was given advice to have two sets of spectacles, one for long and one for reading, which i duly bought, but it has not given me good or comfortable vision, rather it seems worse since the images that the eyes are now sending to my brain are of a different size and the lens are leaving me with a distance problem. The spectacles for close reading are almost set at 30cms exact and that does not allow me to move my head or the reading matter, as well as having the two eyes looking at different sized text, so any close work is better done without lens, this means that I am totally out of focus on the left side and not in true focus with the left eye since its new lens is for a distance of 3 metres and more. I hope that i will now buy another pair of spectacles that are varifocal and set for reading and up to 4 metres distance, this is the general range that I need for all my work and daily life, I can change the spectacles for driving and use the other for the odd close up.
There have been many things that I have seen and read that have occurred to me to be causes for verbalizing but with the vision problem and a few others that have needed attention, I have not felt the urge to sit at the computer and write. Also so many things in Brazil at the moment are covered by tragedy and problems due to global warming, that i feel that it would seem like I am writing a missery and complaints blog and not an informative and chatty one.
The other reaso around Christmas time, for my lack of internet use, was a virus attack that seemed to be set by one of my readers to stop me writing more blog pages, only kidding but i had a personal email that contained a virus and it stopped me getting internet connections, ended up with me taking everything off the computer and restarting from scratch. It is fine but you do lose a lot of detailed information and some small details that affect you for a time.
I have lost some small programme details that I had down loaded but not got backed up, and anther thing was the anti virus software had all my quick link details and the favourites, all lost.
I do a back up every week but that does not get everything saved.
Another friend in Brazil, as recently got a virus attack and I for one have been removing his emails without opening them, thus I have no idea how he has caught that virus but it is still sending out emails from his email address, which is the worst of it since an email from a strange address is far more likely to leave you apprehensive about opening it, but from a friend you are almost opening it before you read the introduction description, and I find that if you open an email and then move it to a file, the next email on the list will open automatically, so make sure you delete emails before hand if you do this as well as me.
I will try to move myself to write some thing a bit more educational and interesting, it may well be soon as I am leaving for Scotland at the end of the month and then back to France, hopefully I will be back in St Puy on the 14 March 2010, soon.
I had thought i would go straight to France but when I enquired at the British consul in Rio de Janeiro as to sending my passport for renewal, they replied that they no longer do that, they do not make renewals or new passports now, evidently since September 2009, and that now I would be required to send my passport to Washington DC in the United States of America. If I am not mistaken that is not my country of origin or the one where I live, so why should the consulate in the States want to do my passport , why not send everything back to Britain? so i am going to return early to Scotland to get a renewed passport , it will allow me to see friends, go to the dentist, possibly get a medical check up ( if I am allowed that) and buy some new spectacles for work and blogging.
It is good to know that I will be soon back in France, friends,good food and back to my machines, although the idea of returning to cold weather is worrying, I do not like the cold, my time in Brazil as put me off the idea of freezing, just the beer needs to have that. I will also be seeing my new house, or rather my very old house, that I have just bought in St Puy, I am not sure what the word is for a St. Puyian, but I am glad to be one, such a friend place and such beautiful countryside. I am slightly worried after my landlady in St. Puy, Nadine, told me that she would let me have the same room as before but make sure that it had a heater in it because of the cold weather, here I only cover the mattress with a thin cotton sheet and not myself, even I sleep with out any clothes since it is near 21 to 25 centigrade at night here. Still all for a good cause and I will have to toughen up to last the three months there, also my French as not progressed so I will be criticised for having not learnt any more before returning.....