Tag Archive: birthday

63 years ago…

At 4am in the morning I was but a squalling nappied infant three hours old.

Happy Birthday to me…

Knee deep in BBQ juices

I should be knee deep in BBQ juices

Yes, today is the day!


All my plans this week come to fruition.

I am up early so that I can get my posts up for the day, then it’s back to bed, because I won’t have much time for Nap-fu practice.

BBQ starts at the botequim about 4pm, if past years are anything to go by, I’ll still be cooking meat well into the night, I’m figuring 10pmish, by then I’ll be pretty much knackered and ready for bed. It’ll definitely be a case of ‘bugger the dishes’.

I’ll have photos tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I must blog along.

Later! Much later.

I am sorely tempted

NotaDrillTo go back to bed.

It’s Monday!

Now what can possibly go wrong today?

So far, the worst to happen is that I forgot to put sugar in my coffee, but I fear that could pale into insignificance when you consider the possiblities.

My standby monitor is threatening to close down, it just shrank the image a little more. Now that is worthy of Monday type crap. The monitor repair guy still hasn’t got my LCD monitor going. I’ll have to go see him AGAIN! What’s the bet he’s not home… of course he’s not, it’s MONDAY!

A cultural tomor

A cultural tomor

Cultural tumor – What a wonderful sounding phrase. I saw it over the weekend. It was referring to a British politician. Cultural tumor, doesn’t that just roll off the tongue?

You could also use it to describe social web sites, like FB.

“My husband left me!” Complained a headline in a major newspaper. This set me thinking… you OWN him? Does one human own another, isn’t that slavery? Actually, that’s what marriage is all about, slavery; one human owning another.

I see the new Dr Who started. People flocked to watch it. Sorry, for me Dr Who started and finished with William Hartnell; none of the others come close to cutting the mustard.

Ebola has escaped West Africa, there’s been two deaths in DR Congo.  It’s spreading. Even the UN is worried. England was reported as not fearing contamination, myopic bastards. This is going to explode into a global problem.

criancaWe have a big push here in Brazil for Criança Esperança (Children’s Hopes) on TV. It’s been a big thing here for twenty or more years. All the big name (read Brazilian) stars are behind it. And it does a lot of good. But why do we need it? Because the government isn’t doing its job! It’s the same with any charity anywhere in the world. If governments did their job, we wouldn’t need charity. They flog our money through taxes, and then expect us to foot the bill under the guise of charity. The governments are once again taking the people for a ride. And the people fall for it.

Sunny day out there, slight breeze, I’m due to go out for some therapy at the supermarket. If I don’t, I don’t eat. House full of wine and beer, but no food. I seriously need to reevaluate my priorities.

This week is birthday week. Friday I turn 63. What a great excuse for a BBQ! In fact, I plan two, one on Friday at the botequim, the other on Saturdy for family. I’m afraid next weekend will be another case of diminished responsibilty. So my head is full of plans.

I must toddle off…


We Joked about it

My Mother - Happy Birthday

My Mother – Happy Birthday

Yes, my Mother and I joked on the phone about about her getting to 90, like her two sisters,  two days after her 89th birthday, 24 hours later she collapsed on the bathroom floor, her innings was over.

Then I got that dreaded phone call from my brother.

Had she not, today she would have been 90.

I never knew her as she looked in this photo. I hadn’t seen her for 17 years, the last time I was in NZ. I remember her as a younger person, a vital person.

So today is not an easy day for me. I had a restless night, I was up several times, most of my day’s blogging was done about 3am.

With my blogging completed, my day is already different. I was out watering my plants early before the sun had risen too high. I had to, because of the earlier than usual class yesterday, they didn’t get their evening watering.

Yesterday was hot as I said yesterday, today the forecast is for even hotter, so I may look for an air conditioned restaurant and while away the day in the company of a bottle of chilled sauvignon blanc, it’s the only sensible thing to do. Not to get drunk and forget about the significance of the day, I don’t do that; but a bottle of chilled wine merely goes wonderfully with a meal on a hot day.




Yes, it’s playtime… at least that’s what Cloro thinks. My house resembles a kitty-nursery, toys everywhere. Plastic bottle cap, a screwed up foil top from a beer can, a screwed up pizza brochure, a coin, a toothbrush used as a ‘puter duster, a cigarette packet retrieved from the rubbish, a clothes peg (that I stood on and heard crack – I thought, “OMG, I’ve broken his little leg!”).

Last night he sat on my leg (warm place on a cold night) watching the football and I found myself explaining the game to him, “yes, game for silly men to kick their balls around”. It was at that point I stopped talking and watched the game.

He’s just discovered, during one of frequent romps, that if you run and land in the polystyrene tray I use for his meat, it shoots across the floor like a sled.

I am steampunk Virgo

I am steampunk Virgo

Today is birthday. Mine. So I am writing this post first or the chances are, it won’t get written later.

I am feeling, generally, better this morning. I feel such a fraud at the prospect of having my birthday BBQ after three straight days of cancelling lessons; almost like I was throwing a sickie.

6am and the meat was out of the freezer. I have so much to do, change the kitty litter  (dirt), wash poopified towel, blanket and tracksuit pants from the days before Cloro figured out what the pizza box top was for. Then I have a trip to the supermarket, need more 0.0% beer and some other stuff. Have to make a coleslaw, I am going to make some carpaccio rolls (blue cheese, capers and olive oil). I already have pickled cabbage, onions and beetroot in the fridge. Wine, I must put some wine in the fridge… There, fresh coffee and I have fridged bottles of  Australian, New Zealand, Chilean, and Portuguese wines.

I got interviewed. If you want to check that out… Do so here Nothing startling, just some thoughts on life.

I took a day off

day-offSo, bite me!

Many would say that bloggers don’t deserve a day off, but we do. We are hard working people, dedicated and most of us even have real jobs that we have to squeeze in between our blogosphere rantings.

I managed a Caturday post and two coffees before my students arrived for their allotted two hours, then an hour later, another student rang to confirm a previously arranged invitation to yet another students birthday BBQ, he would be around in 15 minutes.


He arrived with family in the car and after an hour we arrived a couple of suburbs away in Bangu and found the right place. It was a sitio (basically a large property with all the trappings one needs for a big party outdoors). There were aviaries with exotic chickens, a swimming pool and a football field.

The pavillion, we arrived before many of the other guests

The pavillion, we arrived before many of the other guests

My student was there for a reason, he was the churrasqueiro (BBQer), and unwittingly I, by default, became the assistant BBQer. Together we were the directoria (managers) and thus secured various privileges, like our glasses were never empty and we got the juiciest tidbits from the grill.

BBQer and Junior Assistant lighting the BBQ

BBQer and Junior Assistant lighting the BBQ

We also had a Junior Assistant. The Junior Assistant’s main duty was playing on the pula pula (jump jump – the kids trampoline) and eating.

Junior Assistant shows us how to eat a chicken wing correctly

Junior Assistant shows us how to eat a chicken wing correctly

While the Junior Assistant was attending to the pula pula, we had the BBQ going nicely.


BBQ going nicely

So that’s what a blogger does on a day off.

Today, is the first Mother’s Day that I can only think about her and not be able to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day in person. It is on such days that I am reminded that Mother is no longer there and leaves a great hole.

I read a great story today on another blog, Where’s my Sparkly? If you need a lighter moment, hop across and have a read.

And, on another blog (my first visit there) Audio Sexxx, I learned about ‘eargasms’.

Later, it’s lunch time.

I’ve got Polygonum cuspidatum

Yes, I have; and if you had it, you’d be as worried as I am.

Japanese Knotweed

That’s it. Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), I’ve got it and if I hadn’t read about on The Guardian, I’d have never known it.

It’s an invasive species brought from Asia as an ornamental.

Then they found that once you got it… you’ve got it.

Apparently, this plant is so dangerous, that if there is any sign on your property, mortgage holders aren’t interested. In fact, if there is any sign in your neighborhood, they will not be interested.

It grows from it’s root system, and it’s root system is the problem, it can damage foundations and once established the root system is so wide spreading that it’s difficult to get rid of.

Yesterday was another BBQ.

This time Reimundo’s (the owner of the botequim) birthday. I got rather involved, hence the lack of a Sunday Travel post.

It all started like this…

Walk into the botequim at 11:30 “Good morning Reimundo, happy birthday!” He is twenty years my junior.

The greeting was returned as he served me a bottle of beer, got a chilled glass from the freezer and put the bottle in a camisinha; all without asking, this was normal. I absently-minded said nothing.

I poured my beer. Then I thought…

Conversation continued.

“Today is Sunday?” I asked.


“We are in Brazil?”

“Still,” Reimundo confirmed. He is a man of few words.

“I didn’t come here to drink beer,” I said, “I came to wish you happy birthday and then go and buy a loaf of bread.”

Reimundo laughed.

“Be careful about getting older,” I said, good advice for a birthday.

It was then that Reimundo informed me that the BBQ guy hadn’t arrived and he wanted to get the BBQ going.

No, problem, I volunteered to get things moving until Val arrived.

There were a lot of locals around, who watched me with interest. I lit the BBQ using my time honoured method of ripped cardboard. Ronaldo told me to use alcohol, never, this was cheaper. I soon had the BBQ glowing, much to Ronaldo’s surprise.

Still no Val.

Got meat and sausages on and in the space of 20 minutes had the first tray of BBQed meat circulating the locals. Many expressed surprise at how fast I had got things moving.

“I’m old, not slow!” I said turning a large slab of pork leg on the grill.

My kitchen pocket knife

So that’s where I stayed until Val arrived well more than an hour later. I handed him my kitchen pocket knife and steel, told him it was sharp and got another beer to relax.

And that’s what I did. Relax and savour the meat tray as it was passed around.

In fact I was still relaxing at 8:30pm after having shared 3 bottles of wine with the ‘ladies table.’

In most countries, the ladies gather together in the kitchen at parties. In Brazil they tend to gravitate toward one table.

Finally, I stopped relaxing and went home. Read my e-mails through drooping eyelids and decided sleep was the next move.


I Still Smell

Yes, despite a shower and several hours passing, I still smell like a BBQ. I tried my cheap deodorant and that just made me smell like a cheap BBQ. You can read about my cheap deodorant here, I made some surprising discoveries about it.

Early part of the BBQ

My birthday BBQ was a success, started at 3pm, finished cooking some pork ribs for the local kids at 10pm. I got home at 11.30, which is way past my normal bedtime. I drank lots of beer, smoked far too much, talked a lot and generally had a good time. I had a lot more meat than was needed, so much was left over that I may do it again on Friday.

I went to pay my bill at the bar and Reimundo charged me for the bag of charcoal; I asked about the beer, that was when he told me one of my students had picked up the tab. Sometimes, despite frustrations with them, I do really like my students.

My alarm went off at 5.30am, I wasn’t pleased. I didn’t really want to get up and go to work. My mind was fuzzy, not from the beer, but the lack of sleep. I had to force myself into action, whereas I normally spring nimbly stagger lamely, but willingly out of bed.

I had fish & chips for lunch and then it was nap time. I have not long woken, and now I have about a half hour before I am off to class again.

So, I will see if I can squeeze another post or two out.


Closer to Extinction

An aurock

Aurochs are extinct.

They are sort of an old species of hairy cow.

Tomorrow, I take a step closer to extinction.

Yes, it is my birthday. Having completed 61 years of my allotted span of X years.

Death is not a case of if, but rather when. It is the only guarantee that we have in life, we just don’t know the ‘when’ factor.

Would it help to know the ‘when’?

I think not.

Would it be nice to live forever?

I think not.

One of Sean Connery’s very early films, way before 007, Zardos, in which people live forever and yearn for death as a freedom from the desperate boredom of forever. It certainly portrays forever as not being much fun.

I am posting this today, because I will not be blogging much tomorrow. I am instead having a BBQ at the botequim (neighbourhood bar) next door. There will be a lot of cooking and BBQs involve a certain level of  ‘social lubrication.’ By the end of the evening I should be suitably lubricated. I won’t get drunk; that is for fools. I stopped getting drunk many years ago when I realised that I wasn’t actually a fool… most of the time. We all have lapses.


364 days to go…

AV and student

Yes, officially there are 364 days until I do it all again.

The birthday bash is over. All went well, I managed 7 hours of BBQ for the regulars at the botequim. I have enough meat left over to do it all again; and I mat do some tonight.

The photo was taken last Friday  with my student at his farewell, not quite flattering, but the camera does usually lie, and I guess that is how others see me which is not quite the dashing image I have of myself. But then, we are all a bit like that, I suppose, unitl the brutal truth hits home.

Bohemia Camisinha

By the evenings end, 10pm, my right leg was aching and I was pleased to pack up my cutting board and knives and go home with my ‘booty.’

Yes, I got a present, in fact two. One was the cervegela (for keeping bottles of beer cold) pictured. Normally referred to colloquially as ‘camisinhas‘ (literally little shirts = condoms). Lucio has been promising me this for over two years, I never said anything, but always lived in hope. Last night I was drinking Bohemia beer and he asked me if he had ever given me the promised gift. Sheepishly he went to his car and got a glass goblet, and later went home and came back with my camisinha.

Bohemia Goblet

The glass goblet is also a prize. Lucio works for the big South American bottling company, he is a rep, so he is able to get these things easily. It’s the thought that counts.

Now, all I have to do is the dishes, freeze, what is freezable, and get ready for work. I must mention that yesterday before I BBQd I inaugurated my Nether Region of the Earth III here on WordPress. For some reason, I can’t post the link here, it freezes the page. But the link is available in the footer with my other blogs. Sorry about that.

I will make more coffee, and try to bring some sort of order to that disaster area called the kitchen.


Two Thirds

That’s what I reckon, two thirds of my life have now passed, which means I am banking on living until I’m 90. Both my grandfathers did, although my father didn’t fare so well; they say that family traits often skip a generation.

To me, from me, with love. That’s about it for me today. My sister wished me a happy birthday via Mum’s regular phone call on Saturday, and Mum put some extra money in my bank account (even at my age, aren’t mothers wonderful?)and I plan to buy a new pair of trousers (whoopee!), isn’t that exciting.

But today is the day of my planned BBQ, I can’t sit here all day chewing the fat with you guys, I plan to do plenty of that at the botquim and I mean beef fat. I have to buy some bread rolls for the garlic bread and I forgot to buy liver yesterday, slices of liver go well on the BBQ. The rest of the shopping was done yesterday. I got a 3kg (6+lbs for our American cousins) slab of rump steak, sausages, franks, beef ribs, smoked sausages, chicken hearts, wings and drumsticks, so there will be plenty.  I have to make a small coleslaw as well and some kebabs, they will have chicken hearts, cocktail sausage, mushrooms and olives, I had hoped to have cherry tomatoes, but alas none to be found.

Kibe is typically Brazilian

I also have to make some meatballs, they will be mint flavoured, so a little like kibe (which is a very Brazilian savoury, although I have the feeling they are of Arabic origin). I just checked, it is traditional in Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iraq and across north Africa, so my hunch was right. I will put a recipe on Fizz in the next couple of days. But I am not making kibe today, just kibe flavoured meatballs.

Now for the most important part of the day, any day. That first morning coffee, coffee is essential, especially when it is Brazilian coffee, hot and strong. Once I have had that it will be shower and off.

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