Yes, here we are again. It’s Christmas Eve. In most Protestant countries Christmas Eve is merely the last chance to go shopping.

Ceia de natal, Brazilian style

But here in Brazil, being predominantly Catholic, they have a ceia de natal (traditional dinner) which I read is 12% more expensive this year and party at midnight whereas I am used to the celebration starting at 5am or thereabouts on Christmas morning with present opening and feverish activity until lunch and relatives arriving and of course more presents, including Aunt Louie’s annual handkerchief, I don’t think that woman had an ounce of imagination, but I had a good collection of handkerchiefs.

I have no plans for today. I have not been invited to participate in any of the festivities. Christmas Eve will be business as usual for me, although I will resort to a whisky or two with friends at the botequim (neighbourhood bar).

Brazilian cigarras (cicadas)

The day promises to be hot. Yesterday was hot, it got to 38⁰C and as the cicadas were making their shrill chirping last night in the trees around the praça it promises to be even hotter today.

My ravioli left over leftovers from yesterday were just fine, there were no added furry bits growing on them, so there was no waste. I chose to have them with some cheap plonk. It was indeed cheap, and it was indeed plonk; I got what I paid for. Serves my scroogish self right. It was a pessago (peach) cooler; a good half the chilled brew was duly donated to Denise, one of my neighbours, who arrived home hot and flustered after last minute Christmas shopping; call it a flourish of the Christmas spirit. She appreciated it because it was direct from the freezer and I know from past experience that she enjoys that kind of drink.

Now a note on English as a language… this has been around for a long time, but it’s always worth a reprint.

English Language

-The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.
-As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as “Euro-English”.
-In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard “c” will be dropped in favour of “k”. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.
-There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f”. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.
-In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where! more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent “e” in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.
-By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” with “z” and “w” with “v”. During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou” and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ets oza.
-Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru. Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.
-If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl…..

The Americans are already well on the way to butchering the language, so this is a real possibility.

I will wish you all the best for the festive season. Political correctness behooves that I don’t use the secular Merry Christmas because I am offending Muslims and Jews. There’s never anything said, however, when Jews have a Merry (or whatever) Hanukka, my sensibilities don’t count.

All this excreta has gone too far and one day it will hit the oscillating cooling device.

I don’t give a monkey’s toss; have a Merry ‘whatever-you’re-having’!