Tag Archive: students


A ‘do nothing’ day.

Apart from this my seventh post for the day, I have cooked lunch and washed the dishes…

And now I have 20 minutes to post before making that trek hobble to work. I hope my students arrive today; they didn’t last week.

Yesterday I had a new student. Class confirmed at 9am and relayed to me via the bossette. 1pm, I was at the course, 1:30pm I rang bossette, student hadn’t arrived. She rang him and he had cancelled and just not bothered to tell anybody… bloody lovely. Some people are just so considerate.

Pasadena Refinery, Texas

Pasadena Refinery, Texas

Screwed… Yes, Brazil was screwed. Apparently, Petrobras (the oil giant here) bought half a refinery in Texas. Pasadena was valued at $42.5m in 2006 when it was bought by Astra of Belgium. Later it was obliged to buy the other half by US courts because of a clause in the contract. Petrobras has to date paid $1.321bn… Now that’s being screwed big time!

Well, the time has gone… Must put on my big-boy pants and look like a teacher.

It’s going to rain. Ominous clouds out there. I only hope it holds off till I get to work.


Well, Bugger Me!

That was used as an expletive, it was not an invitation!


Loteríca blindada – Armoured glass, these places get robbed regularly

Today it was raining heavily until about half an hour ago, then some respite. I decided that I should race hobble around to the Lotérica (TAB with lotto, no horses) and pay the bills. But, I procrastinated, then changed clothes and made to leave; poked my head out the door, and it was raining again… Bugger me!

So, I have changed my plans, I’ll call a taxi and go to the supermarket, which has a Lotérica next door. I have to pay the bills today, the power bill came yesterday with an expiry date tomorrow… It’s all part of the plan, hoping that many people won’t make the deadline and be lumbered with interest and a fine on next month’s bill. Great way to bleed the people.

If I go tomorrow, the queues will be huge because Brazilians always wait until the last minute, so I have to go today if I want to remain sane.



Humpday - One should never miss an opportunity

Humpday – One should never miss an opportunity

Humpday proved fatal, or at least nearly so.

The queue at the lotérica was long. Nearly an hour long.

The supermarket was expensive, and didn’t have a lot of what I wanted.

3:30 came around, headache, but went to class in the rain anyway. Got wet. Student didn’t arrive, another cancelled; I was cold and wet with a headache, I cancelled the last class and went home. I couldn’t face a two hour wait. I felt like the cat on the bottom… totally taken advantage off.

Amaretto del orso

Amaretto del orso

Whenever I go to this particular supermarket, I always take advantage of they liqueur & wine aisle. This week I bought a bottle of Amaretto del orso, that helped bump the price up a little, as did the three bottles of wine.

But I don’t mind paying, it’s all therapy, and cheaper than a therapist.

I bought some boring food as well, to help the self-esteem of my refrigerator, it was feeling empty.

Cloro is bored today, it’s raining and she cant’ go out and play. So far she has almost been successful in putting me flat on my face, she has tried digging up the carpet, shredded some papers for class, retrieved last night’s cockroach for come more fun and wondering where her meat is (the supermarket didn’t have minced beef).

She has this delightful habit of sleeping on the printer at my side. When I lie on the bed to take a nap, she wakes up, jumps from the printer to the bed to go to sleep too. It’s a bit like the old story – ‘wake up, it’s time to take your sleeping pills.’

So now I will toddle off and post some more. Still four blogs to go.



The Purrfect Hunter

001084H1Last night I had an invasion.

No, not the body snatchers.

Cockroaches, three of the damned things. Haven’t seen one in months, and last night three!

Guess who had a ball?

Take a bow, if you said Cloro.

He ran around, he teased, he ricocheted off furniture, he bounced, he pawed and he dispatched those horrid things. It was almost more fun than watching the Brazil vs Portugal friendly on TV. BTW, Brazil won 3-1. So it was Cloro 3, Roaches 0.

He is the purrfect hunter, starting small, after all, he is small.

lello_tinto_ptDuring the game I enjoyed a half bottle of Lello red wine from Portugal, Me 1 Portugal 0.

I accompanied the wine with blue cheese, gouda and a bag of crisps (chips for our American cousins), so a good time was had by all, except the Portuguese and cockroaches.

I went to work as normal, my second student didn’t arrive, I waited and waited, but to no avail. When I go home there was an e-mail from my bossette, the student has quit. I was a bit miffed, because now I lose some pay.

Along with the news that my student had quit, another two student have taken a hiatus, one is going to France, the other had a big project land on his desk and can’t spare the time, both will return, so I don’t lose the pay, it is just delayed. Such are the ups and downs of being an English teacher.

Russia is taking credit for a Kerry (US) idea spoken in jest on Syria. Looks like WW III has been averted for the moment. Maybe Obama avoids more egg-on-the-face for now.

Mince on toast for breakfast, with fresh orange juice and, of course, coffee; lots of delicious coffee.

No lunch today, I am saving myself for BBQ and beer tonight.

Still, must blog along. Done my CTWW on Eco-Crap, but more to go yet.


Dishes Done



Dishes Undone

I took one look at the kitchen this morning… and it scared me!

I made coffee and ran back to the safety of my ‘puter.

I made another coffee, then another, but my hopes that the dishes will disappear have been dashed.

I'll be doing a lot of this later

I’ll be doing a lot of this later

itaipava 4

Straw-flavoured water

The BBQ was a success, lots of meat, salads and pickles. The pickles were the first to go and all the ladies wanted to know how to make them; and many had never seen coleslaw before.

I drank my straw-flavoured water, while everyone enjoyed real beer and wine.

Locals and some students helped me celebrate my sixty-twoth (as one of my students said) birthday. We need to do some work on his ordinal numbers.

Cloro has discovered he can fly. I now have a kitten who is in line for the ‘Leaping Supreme Award’ as he flies across from the small sofa to the big sofa then takes a flying leap to land on me using his needle sharp little claws as brakes on whatever part of my anatomy he happens to make contact with.

It appears that Cloro maybe a Clora, a girl. It’s hard to tell the difference at that age between a clitoris and a penis, they’re so tiny, and I’m no expert in feline gendering. I nearly said “I was no expert in pussy”, but after having 12 kids, that would be a mistake. Writing posts ‘off-the-cuff’ you can really make serious faux pas.

Still having the odd spot of bother with Dizzy Lizzy, although the spells between are getting longer. I managed seven hours of BBQ yesterday before she came to visit about 10pm, which I thought was pretty good; albeit a sign for home and bed.

Lunch today is already made. I have leftover shepherd’s pie that I made on Wednesday, has to be eaten today. Then there is thawed chicken that needs to be cooked, and leftover meat from BBQ, the meat will do another BBQ tomorrow, there’s enough.

I see that David Cameron (Britain’s prime minister) got egg all over his face, most embarrassing when parliament doesn’t go along with your plans to help the Americans attack Syria.

Although I do sympathise with the Syrians and their problem to oust Bashar al-Bastard.

afirefoxI have been plagued recently (last few months) with malware type thingies highjacking the search engine capabilities of Firefox, I tried many methods to get rid of them without having to remove the oil sump and pistons (the inner workings scare me almost as much as the dishes) with no success.  Something happened the other night, can’t remember quite what, but it was suggested that I reset FF to its original parameters. I did and lo-and-behold both malware disappeared. All my passwords, bookmarks and history were saved, so you don’t loose anything. You go to Help, Troubleshooting Info, Reset FF and follow directions, as simple as that. So there’s a solution for you that doesn’t involve removing FF’s pistons and getting your hands dirty.

There’s that’s my social service for the day.


Just to irk you

beer-memory-demotivational-posterI know, I promised I wouldn’t post today. I didn’t think I would have the time, but shit happens and students change their minds.

So just a quick note to irk you.

Cold today, I have my long fur on; even Lixo is looking strangely at me.

I was in a hurry today at the supermarket, I bought a bacon pizza for lunch. That was before my student changed her mind making it not necessary to have pizza to be quick.

I opened the pizza and it looked boring, just a sprinkling of bacon bits; so I threw on a handful of mushrooms, some tomato slices, olives and a sprinkling of oregano… that was much more appetising and even smelled like a pizza.

Surprisingly, I have more than half my blog load done today.


Lethargy & Stuff

WhatADayYes, lethargy and stuff. It’s been a mixed up week. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday blogging was only superficial at best.

Thursday and Friday were the worst.

I had an offer to teach mornings again, and my financial situation dictates that I accept. It’s only two hours, 8 – 10, but it means getting up early and although I am a morning person I don’t do compulsory waking well anymore. So it takes a bit to get me firing on all cylinders.

DepressoCoffee to be made, blogs to check, comments to reply, links to follow, etc. You’re bloggers, you know how it is.

Then there’s making myself presentable, that means looking like a teacher before 10am, not an easy task.

That’s not the end of it. I have to catch the bus, remember where to get off, walk into the factory…. Oh depresso! To top it all off, I’m expected to teach!

I get home about 10:45, and I’m stuffed, I just want to sleep again. Blogging, don’t even think about it.

I have the next week off mornings, my student has a prearranged trip away, and I have class with him only on Friday, so the ‘normal’ drive will kick in, providing I can get over Monday, that’s usually a rough one.

So, absences like the last couple of days, maybe become necessary. I certainly hope they will not be days in succession like this week. Got to keep a stiff upper lip, that’s my British forebears coming out. Cant’ go whimpering to Mum, sadly she’s not with me anymore.

notatstelikebaconApart from my rant, there’s not a lot going on. My Mean Green Leaf Eating Machine is still out of sight. Lixo has got the snots with me, last night I went to throw out a couple of slices of ham that had been in the fridge a few days too long, he wanted it, he got it, and he ate it. This morning cat biscuits just didn’t cut it, he wanted ham. I should buy a big pig and out it in the yard; “You wanted ham… that’s ham!” and see what he makes of that.

After blogging today, I got all blogs posted, I sat in the praça after lunch, and the BOA Antarctica van turned up at the botequim and started blasting preamble music. Just damned peachy! That means at least four hours of deafening music aimed at my house, reason to evacuate. I went home and had a nap, on waking, it was delightful silence, the van had gone. Someone is smiling upon me.

*Looks at clock*

Must be beer o’clock.


Day Off

dayoffcalendarYes, today is a day off.

While having days off is pleasant, one doesn’t earn enough to ensure that the beer money jar is always full.

My day off is due to the fact that my student broke her hand while on holiday and has been off work for more than a month. As she lives a long way away, it’s not possible to get to class. Hopefully she returns next week.

The other niggling factor is this week already has a public holiday on Thursday for Corpus Christi.

Finca Terranostra Riesling 2011

Finca Terranostra Riesling 2011

My plans involve cogitating, and a high possibility of a bottle of wine being sacrificed in the process. I have chosen an Argentine Riesling from FincaTerranostra in Mendoza.

Can you believe that google doesn’t have a piccy of this wine. So I took one. You can tell by the shitty quality it’s my photo, I hope the wine is a better quality. I tried to get the bottle upright, but failed, so you have a ‘Leaning-Tower-of-Pisa’ effect.

My demon feline (Lixo) watched the process with interest. I could almost hear him laughing as I slowly got up. “That’ll teach you to sit on the floor!” I don’t often get down to floor level, in fact I pretty certain that’s the first time he’s seen me down there.

My mean green leaf eating machine is still eating leaves. I’m sure he’s green, no not the colour, that’s obvious, but he denudes a branch almost totally leaving the leaves at the very end alone.  He poops a lot too, I hope it’s good composting material.

I took a small video clip of him today. Compared with the one I posted on Nature Ramble on Sunday, this is an action movie. The swaying motion is due to the slight breeze, I haven’t hit the turps yet; later.

Now that he’s turned himself upside down, I want to see him turn inside out and become the glorious moth that he’s destined to become.

Could be this…


Or this…


From the images on google these appear to be the most likely options. The caterpillar is not the right colour for a Death’s Head moth, which is also a hawk moth species.

I find the whole process quite fascinating. I feel like an expectant father…

Oh, I measured him, rather than guessing; he’s almost 5″ long, that’s 12.5cm. Bigger than I guessed.

Breakfast this morning resumed ‘normal’. I had marmalade on toast, I don’t always stoop to lowest levels of debauchery like yesterday. But it is fun sometimes, if only to see the reactions of the locals.

The day has been productive, I have blogged on all except Genes.

For those of you with a musical sense of humour I posted something different on Tomus Arcanum yesterday, Music … or Flatulence? It may/may not appeal to those of you with an  earthy sense of humour.

Lunch time, and there’s nothing substantial in the fridge.

Pondering the possibilities.


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.

A Monday in Disguise

ablog-postit-noteTruly, I must.

I didn’t yesterday, but then it was Friday and Fridays are normally a messed up day for me.

I have a private student on Friday morning and I have a nap in the afternoon after lunch, that is if I have lunch.

When my student hadn’t arrived after an hour, I rang him unsuccessfully. Soon after he returned the call and explained that I had woken him, then further explaining that he’d had a heart attack the previous Tuesday and was on medication that made him sleepy. So an English lesson was the last thing on his mind. I was surprised at the news because he is younger than me by at least ten years and had always appeared in such good health. You just never know.

So, no student, I went to pay my rent and buy the necessary items, an extension cord and remote for my ‘new’ TV.


New TV, complete with hat on top, it’s where I keep it

The rest of the afternoon was doing my planned reorg of the living room. One sofa upended to create the platform for my new behemoth, because I didn’t have faith that the previous computer desk that supported the old one would have the strength to support the much heavier ‘new’ one. Now I had to shift the other sofa, the one I recline on to watch TV, but before that, the ‘drinks cabinet’ had to be moved. The old computer desk was now redundant and went outside and I finally arrived at a solution that would do. Of course with each piece of furniture moved it required the obligatory spring clean.

By the time I had finished there was no time for a nap and I had to go to work. Two students had already canceled which left just the 4pm class. Eventually, he rang me 45 minutes late. He was returning from an in-state city and was taking longer than he anticipated, so he canceled. There was only one solution, walk home again.

The botequim has been painted blue and has a new sign

The botequim has been painted blue and has a new sign, pesky little dog that barks incessantly on the veranda above

By the time I got in front of the botequim, I discovered it was beer o’clock.

The beer company AMBEV have paited the botequim frontage in corporate colours and mounted a sign announcing to all and sundry that this is Raimundo’s Bar. Rather redundant, we all know that.

Later after answering comments on my blogs, I felt sorely in the need for sushi as I hadn’t eaten all day, just coffeed and beered.

Taxi to sushi restaurant. All was in darkness, it had apparently shut down, so off to the next sushi restaurant. Oh no! The sign on the corner had gone, had this restaurant shut down too? Was there some epidemic, some hideous virus that was attacking sushi restaurants?

Luckily we got in front to find the lights on and all was well.

Once inside and settled, I ordered beer, only to discover the price had gone up, then I discovered the price of the rodizio had also gone up, and not by a little. I enjoyed my sushi. But my troubles weren’t over, I had ordered a taxi with the first driver for 8:30, it didn’t arrive; somewhat miffed I rang, he hadn’t passed the message on and it would be another 20 minutes before a car was free. Gnashing my teeth I waited in the light drizzle, finally lights on the horizon and I was taken home.

So while I got some things done, it was a bit like a Monday for things going wrong.

*Sigh* Friday

Like a Whirling Dervish

OCDYesterday was cancelled!

I was suffering…

It was all due to a lack of that nectar from heaven.

I got a little blogging done, then at 10am, as arranged, my student arrived to pick me up and take me to Universidade Rural (Federal University in the country) so that we could check his presentation for an upcoming trip to China. Well, it certainly is a well named university, it’s waaaaay out in the rural.

Long drive, about an hour an a half. He took me by a way that I had never been before so, I saw another part of Rio.

Tilápia, edible apparently

Tilápia, edible apparently

We arrived and the university is lovely, green, fresh air, courtyard with pond full of fish (tilápia, which is a kind of perch) and I lamented that I had brought my camera. I have already planned to do that next Friday when we repeat the exercise.

Lixo decided to chase a butterfly around the sitting room while I was napping. I didn’t hear a thing. It wasn’t until I woke to find the floor covered in dirt and my samambaia (fern) on its side that I knew of the mayhem caused by my feline.

A whirling dervish, whirling, it's what dervishes do

A whirling dervish, whirling, it’s what dervishes do

No it’s started to rain again, putting paid to any chance of having an outside class in the praça when my students arrive in 15 minutes, which means I have to run around the house like a whirling dervish and do some housework, or be suitably ashamed.

Do you know about whirling dervishes? From a western point of view dervishes are often associated with evil. They are, however, a devotion to Allah, from Turkey about the 13th century.

It is believed that Rumi heard the dhikr,  “There is no god but Allah (The God)”, spoken by the apprentices beating the gold, and was so filled with happiness that he stretched out both of his arms and started spinning in a circle. With that, the practice of Sama and the dervishes of the Mevlevi Order were born. – Wikipedia

Here’s some whirling dervishes.


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