Change the World Wednesday – 11th April

"Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!"

Like the white rabbit of Lewis Carroll, I’m late. I’m not usually late, but today it is justifiable.

No, Lixo did not have hiccoughs (Hiccups for our American cousins who don’t know the Queen’s English), which had I thought of it, would have been a good excuse.

I wrote a short post earlier this morning on Things that Fizz & Stuff about the full English breakfast and after dithering around a bit decided on a nap, when I woke it was 11am and I had a craving for, yes you guessed, an English breakfast. Succumbing to my pregnancy-like desire for the absurd, I proceeded to cook an English breakfast with what I had available. Two eggs fried, rashers from a left-over scrag-end of bacon, and thermonuclear tomato rings on toast.

Yummy.

Now in the last two days I have learned two things. Actually, I probably learned a lot more, but at 60 one tends to forget minor bits and pieces, or the irrelevant.

No. 1 Soy ink. Yes, there is such a thing as soy ink. I had no idea until I read yesterdays guest post by Brian Knight on Reduce Footprints. I wonder if it tastes as good as the real ink we used to fill our ink wells for our dip pens? Life is full of mysteries. BTW from the further reaches of my childhood memories, blue/black tasted better than regular blue.

No. 2 Thermonuclear Tomatoes. Yes, it’s true. No, they were not grown in Japan. I discovered thermonuclear tomatoes when I got the idea for my post about the English breakfast. It was mentioned in the article on The Guardian. Come on, you didn’t think that I was that intelligent to think of such a description, did you?  <——– Rhetorical question (you will be penalised for answering). But, it’s true; you slice a tomato and put the rings into the pan to fry along with the bacon and other goodies, it’s not until they are on your plate that you realise their thermonuclear properties. Left for a few moments before eating, the eggs and the bacon become cool enough, but the tomatoes can still scold your your mouth stupid, because of course they are basically water.

On with the day…

CTWW this lovely sunny Wednesday morning.

This week take at least one evening, turn off the computer and television … and read a book. This exercises the mind and imagination while saving electricity. Please share what you read and how you read it (book or eReader).

I don’t have a book. *wails in despair*

I don’t have an eReader either. What is an eReader anyway, is that like a Tablet? When I was a kid tablets were things your mother forced down your throat when you were sick, along with idle threats about your future survival on this planet. I’m still here because I took my tablets.

As for a kindle… well, kindling wood was the fine wood we used to light the fire in the lounge and the kitchen incinerator. I’m not so sure that would be good to read with.

Bayeux Tapestry depicting William the Conqueror

The part of Rio de Janeiro that I call home doesn’t have a place to even buy a book in English. Although I can well read one in Portuguese, for pleasure, I prefer English. You see English is a far more flexible language than the Latin based ones. Our ranges of adjectives and adverbs simply outstrip the Romance languages; for that we can thank the French and William the Conqueror. You see English has about 400,000 usable words, whereas Portuguese only 200,000. I tell my students that English is really a mongrel of languages, no idea who the father is.

To get a book in English I would have to go to Barra de Tijuca, the same place I go each month to get my filthy luchre (pay day). As an aside, if you say ‘pay day’ to a Brazilian, hears it as ‘peidei‘ which means, ‘I farted.’ So you never say ‘pay day’ to a Brazilian, if you didn’t.

Kitteh going to hell in a handbasket

Going to Barra twice in one month is just too loathsome to imagine. The expression ‘To hell in a handbasket,’ springs to mind; although you are in a bus, on a hot day the effect is similar.

So now we come to the challenge. How can I compete?

I usually arrive home about 7:30pm. Now that hora de verão (DST) has finished, it’s dark. The first things I do are flick on the PC, and then the TV on the way to the kitchen for a ‘healthy’ glass of fluoridated water from the fridge.

So to avoid the temptation, the only way out is not to go home.

I’ll have a leisurely dinner at Braseiro, my favourite BBQ restaurant and watch their TV because it will be on anyway. No PC, so no temptation.

I know this is not quite in the spirit of things, because I am neither substituting the PC nor TV with a book. But there is an additional benefit. The lights at home also stay off for about an extra three hours. Then, of course, I get to eat all that delicious BBQ and salad. “Heads, I win; Tails, you lose!”

Does that count?

Major Update!

I won! I won! *Dancing insanely around the room*

I won a copy of Born of Blood!

What a perfect day, and now I have to go to work… bummer.

Thank you so much Brian.

The truth is in the blood

.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by littlegreenblog on April 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    No books? Oh man I want to send you a gift from Amazon. That’s just too bad. No libraries either? No friends who like to read English books who could share their wares with you? I’m coming over, with a suitcase full of books – see you in a few hours…

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    • I used to be an avid reader, don’t take the lack of books to mean I don’t like them. I love books. A 300 page book I devour in a little more than three hours; the Da Vinci Code, I started at breakfast one Saturday and finished it before 4pm. But since I have moved to the ‘Old West’ part of Rio (2004) English books are not at all seen here. I used to read each night in bed, fighting with myself that it was time to turn the light out, but the dearth of books and my time on the net I don’t have that battle anymore. I just wake up in the morning with ‘qwerty’ imprinted on my forehead.

      AV

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      • Posted by sbknight on April 11, 2012 at 2:24 pm

        AV – By now I hope you have checked your email. If not, you have the solution to today’s challenge and your problem of not having anything to read waiting for you. Oh, and thank you for the thermonuclear tomatoes, I bet they are really good…and rather dangerous to the mouth but I’m willing to take that risk.

        Happy reading!

        SB

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  2. Posted by sbknight on April 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    By now it is my hope that you have checked your email. In any case, I have fixed your problem. Although you may need to keep your computer on but having the lights off for 3 hours is more than a substitute for that. Oh, and thank you for the thermonuclear tomatoes…they do sound good but dangerous to the mouth. Anyway, I hope you like my little surprise for you today.

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    • @Brian, indeed I have. What a wonderful surprise. I have already replied to your email. Problem, fixed. Liking my surprise doesn’t do justice, I love the surprise! You’ll see why in my email. Yes, thermonuclear tomatoes are dangerous to the unwary, should really carry a govt health warning, everything else does these days.

      Thank you for going out of your way to make my day perfect.

      AV

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  3. Posted by smallftprints on April 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    WhooHoo … CONGRATULATIONS!!! I’m so happy that you won … and would love to see a video of you dancing insanely around the room (lol). Wouldn’t that be a total surprise if Mrs. Green showed up, in a few hours, on your doorstep with a suitcase full of books? Hope you’ll do a post about how you like the book … I can’t wait to hear your comments! Congrats, again … enjoy your prize! 🙂

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    • @SF, thanks. As for the dancing, you should be careful what you wish for (LOL). If Mrs Green turns up, that would really rock my socks off. Yes, I will post later and if I wasn’t writing this reply I would have got to page 15 by now… LOL

      AV

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