Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Change the World Wednesday – 21st Aug


I don’t need one of these, I have a bladder

*Looks at clock* 2am!

I am insane, yes this week I needed an early morning pee, earlier than normal.

One of the problems of getting old, your bladder loses it’s clock function.

So one tends be up at all hours, bladders don’t have any respect.

It’s a good thing my split days have finished, so I get to sleep in when & where. Time is again mine.

I had another sign that I am not getting any younger. Saturday night, I got dizzy lost my balance, and again more seriously on Sunday morning. My neighbours took me to a local medical centre where I got a jab in the bum and some pills and told to rest.

What’s this ‘rest’ thing? Teachers don’t just ‘rest’. If teachers just ‘rested’ whenever they wanted, the world would come to an end. I went to work Monday night, dopey but I managed to teach without falling into an undignified anamorphic heap on the floor. Although, I nearly did last night because my pill taking got out of kilter with my teaching times. Lesson learned; take pills to work.

Last week, I wrote about my modest garden and preserving. I snapped a few photos for you.

Tomatoes are ripening

Tomatoes are ripening

Already eaten one, made two lovely salad rolls, another is in the vege stand and I am looking forward to making a little ketchup.

You can't see them, but there are little peppers growing

You can’t see them, but there are little peppers growing

Just look at all those little white flowers, each one will become a robust red cayenne pepper.

Modest at the moment

Modest at the moment

But I have already plucked and used some of my parsley.

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Let’s get on with this week’s CTWW.

Canceling Subscriptions.

Cancel magazine subscriptions. Instead, read magazines online or at the library. Have any old publications sitting around your home? Donate them to libraries, medical/dental offices or recycle them.


OR …

If you don’t subscribe to any publications, get your name off catalog and junk-mail lists. Check out Catalog Choice, National Do Not Mail List or contact companies and ask that they remove your name from their mailing list or ADD your name to their “do not mail” list (whichever they use).

Okay, well, this one is easy. I don’t have magazine or newspaper subscriptions. ALL my reading is via the net. I work on the basis that if it’s not on the net, it’s not worth knowing.

I don’t get junk mail from companies, that’s rare in Brazil, but we do get little fliers (A6 size stuff usually). If they are on plain paper, they get tossed on the compost as I walk past (‘ashes to ashes’ theory); if they’re glossy, they go in the rubbish; if they are bigger supermarket fliers, they go back to the supermarket.

Problem solved, challenge met!

The world still needs real books

The world still needs real books

I do like books, though. If I had access to books in English, I would buy them (secondhand). I just love the feel and the smell of paper. I have read one novel on the net, and didn’t like the experience; there is something cosy about curling up with a book in bed for that twenty minutes before lights out. Laptops, etc, just don’t cut the mustard, they’re not comforting like a real book.

Just a language note here. I mentioned “books in English”, I can read books in Portuguese and Spanish, but because they’re not my first language and I don’t have the same intimacy in the other languages despite being proficient in both.

The world does need books. Electronic means for recreational purposes is just too stark and sterile for an old romantic.

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.


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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