Saturday, 31 October 2009

Vô Crescêncio e o alvorecer

Southampton, UK, 31 de outubro de 2009.

a foto do Vô Crescêncio eh afanada do facebook da Isabela Pinho, as do livro sao de minha autoria :-)
Book review

de Pinho, Crescêncio Marinho. Do alvorecer ao sol posto: retalhos do passado. Memorias. ABC Editora, Rio – Sao Paulo – Fortaleza. 2007

Acabei de ler esse livro com as memorias do Vô Crescêncio. Eita, nem sei por onde comecar esse meu primeiro ‘book review’. Isso mesmo, a delicia da leitura me fez pensar em compartilhar o conteudo desse livro precioso, que traz as memorias do menino sonhador que saiu de Sobral no dia 16 de julho de 1936, aos 18 anos, 7 meses e 5 dias de idade, para comecar uma outra jornada da vida nos varios lugares onde morou. Durante o livro todo Vô Crescêncio nos conta da vida em seu tempo, no Ceara da Monsenhor Tabosa (antiga Telha). O livro traz historia, aventura, cultura, conversa de gente braba, de gente preguicosa; enfim, de muita gente que cruzou o caminho do Vô Crescêncio.

Eh claro que o menino que, juntamente com a irma Maria pegou caxumba e quase precisava ser amarrado pra ficar quieto, nao ia ser queitinho nunca nessa vida. Uma memoria de Tamboril de quando estava com a familia, todos conversando na calcada, ilustra o espirito do garoto:
“Em dado momento, meti a mao no bolso superior da blusa e encontrei um prego, de uma polegada ou pouco menos. Dizem que em bolso de menino pobre nunca faltam prego e cordao. Da existencia do cordao, naquele dia, nao dou conta; quanto ao prego, la estava ele e quase me mete em encrencas. Retirando-o do bolso, levei-o aa boca, prendendo entre os labios. Talvez porque continuasse falando, o prego, desprendendo-se, escapou goela abaixo, antes de qualquer gesto meu para conter-lhe a descida. Sentindo que ele se me atravessava na garganta, dei o alarme. Foi um deus-nos-acuda. Deram-me a comer pedacos de banana, farinha e outras coisas mais consistentes, que pudessem o intruso na ‘caminhada’. Tal era a minha aflicao que nem sequer sabia o que estavam me dando a deglutir. Tudo, finalmente, voltou aa calma quando senti que nao mais estava sendo por ele incomodado.” (p. 21)

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Clive the clever

28 Oct 2009

Clive the clever & the gold run at the Common

I have a hectic day ahead and decided to gor a little walk in the Common, again following my sister's advice. i hade a sore body, and feel very much out shape, i mean, i AM in a unique / bizarre shape at the moment and i wonder if this is physically only.

well, in the very entrance to the park i saw this man running. i try sometimes to run a little, even if for 5 seconds only, as part of my plan to carry out 'unimagined tasks' :-) . as i attempted to run this smiley man crossed the walking track to speak with me. he said something like:

'never run on this, always run on the grass. i am 80 years old and i've been running for 40 years. if you run on the hard surface your knees are gone after 20 years. always always try the softer ground to run. try and buy the best shoes possible and run or even walk in there (pointing to the grass). it is wet, your feet are going to get wet, but it is much better than spoiling your knees.'

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

the moves of the day

27 Oct 2009

at Lattes Cafe Bar with Hilra and Highfield Campus in Autumn 2009

Today i came to Highfield campus to teach an Academic English class on Management building. After that i came by Hilra's building (Education) to do something with her about my blog. We went up in this super secure lift which only the cool people can ride, such as Hilra and whoever is lucky enough to follow her, like myself today, as you need an ID to make the machine work.

Then we went for our agreed upon nice coffee at Lattes Cafe Bar, the staff club. We had our calories for the whole week (I had a chocolate muffin with coffee and Hilra had this unbelievably caloric fruit cake with coffee) in one single sit and talked about life. . . It is usually inspiring to talk with Hilra, and the conversation always goes on and on and on and on from one topic to the other in a very interesting flow that does not require clear cohesive devices to be coherent. What makes the whole bit coherent is our understanding and the freedom to speak up freely, which we certainly do.

It is amazing how we can find pleasure out of dealing with pain to an extent. It is really a puzzle to me sometimes that we choose to be around the ones with whom we can exactly talk about what worries us rather than just spending time with people to laugh only. . . My meetings with Hilra have been opportunities to explore thoughts, experiences, (im)possibilities and whatever the topic of the day is. Sometimes our conversation is so seriously around concrete worries, not only about ourselves, but also about others who relate to us, and it is so nice, so nice. And we say bye bye with the feeling that we still have this something else to say about whatever. hehehe

Well, today I had to bear with a new feature my friend Hilra is starting to display, which is a sort of neologism, well, not exactly neologism, but more like 'hibridism' in the sense that she, after having been living here for more than five years now does sometimes mix Portuguese with English. We clearly speak only one language at a time, which may in the end be another sort of symptom :-) but the point is we two try to keep being the naturally good Portuguese speakers that we are. My friend, however, is now with this little problem, so funny! She said she feels the need to buy two dictionaries to help her out on this issue, both of them starting with the letter O: Oxford dictionary (for English, of course) and Orélio dictionary (for Portuguese support, obviously).

Anyway, the main point of this post is to emphasize my rationale that no matter how busy you are, if you want to, you can manage to find a moment to spend with a friend and help and be helped in all ways. This Tuesday has been (it's 5.55pm now) a very busy day for me. Still, we had agreed to meet for a coffee today and the new things I had to add to my day to do as well, which represented round trips from highfield to avenue throughout the day, were not important enough for me to cancel our meeting. I am happy because these breaks during the day are so invigorating and should be part of life. It is like being responsible in a more harmonic way.

I feel so tired right now because I came to Highfield to teach 9 - 10:45 in the morning, spoke with Hilra from 11am to 1pm, walked back to avenue campus, grabbed a slice of pizza to eat, taught an EAS class 2 - 3.30pm, met with Chris Sinclair, walked back to highfield for an appointment here at 4.30. I am now free and waiting until the buses are not too packed with people. I need to buy fruits, but am not in the mood to go to supermarkets and queue up and carry heavy bags home.

I have to write an email to this one person to talk about something really bad that is going on now and is having an undesired implication on my personal life. I should stop torturing myself and just go ahead and write the email. duh!!!

Kalina Morena

bus stop at the Avenue, and Highfield Campus in colourful  Autumn 2009

Monday, 26 October 2009

nous allons voyager a Paris

26 Oct 2009

our French class today was so much fun. we were supposed to, in groups plan a trip to Paris. our group planned a trip for a four-day trip. my classmates are all so young and cute and nice, i like them very much. the activity was very  creative and practical. Manu, the teacher gave maps of Paris, a plan for the underground, the informaion about Eurostar, the train that travel through the English channel, and about hotels. well, when we were looking for a hotel my peers right away spotted a hostel, like any youngster naturally does when planning a trip. i found it so cute and smile. i suggested we picked an expensive hotel instead because Manu was going to pay for everything. they liked the idea and we decided to stay at a great hotel very close to Montmarte and to Sacre Coeur. 'au pied de Montmarte et pres de la basilique de Sacre Coeur.' the groups then had a chance to present their plans to class. we had a blast and Manu showed us his pockets were empty actually, with no money to pay for our trip, and said that he stays in Marseille, not in Paris. i told him everything is possible when you dream. he corrected my French to something like 'tout c'est possible quand on reve'.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Stacey Kent at the cathedral in Winchester

from yesteday - 24 Oct 2009

i have a hoarse voice from talking so much with my friends about the concert. i am sooo happy that they after the show asked me to tell them again whenever there is another concert for us to go together. awesome!!!

Friday, 23 October 2009

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

"living word"

from yesterday - 20 Oct 2009

the acude grande - Campo Maior - PI, Brazil

this is about our meeting yesterday from the group 'Living word'. It was our second meeting this school year. This time we had five more students coming along for the meeting. so nice to realize that the rain didn't sahy people away from coming to have this moment of quiet and peace.

Because it was at Catherine and Liliana's place, we took shoes off as we entered the house. This is actually very common around here and i find it cool for it helps keep the house quite clean. The house was by the way suuuper clean. So, we sat together in the lounge and started talking friendly, very nice atmosphere. i saw the people i had met the week before and also had a chance to meet new people, such as this Nigerian guy whose name insists in not sticking in my mind, this Brazilian guy who was adopted by a Maltese family and would love to visit Brazil at some point in his life and to speak Portuguese.

We are from both Solent University and the University of Southampton. Each week one university plans wht we do in our meeting. Yesterday was Solent's day. I like this a lot because it gives equal opportunity for the different uni guys to plan something they / we find interesting. We started off by singing two songs, with Liliana playing the guitar. I loved it. Liliana is in charge of the Solent Uni students whereas Catherine looks after us from the Uni of Southampton. I tried to concentrate in the words of the songs (church tunes) and to listen to the voices of the group singing together. It did feel good. The tunes were followed by a reading from the Bible - Luke 19, 1-10, about Jesus and Zachaeus. The guy who read studies performance and is an actor. He's got such a strong voice. He read the passage and made some comment about it. I honestly did not pay much attention to it. I think the opennes of having him read and make a comment might mean that in the future each one of us, or at least the ones interested in, can do the same.

Liliana then said a few words, making a connection with our talk from the previous week, which was about the reasons to pray, and then we had some quiet moment for individual prayer. this time anyone could speak up and say whom or why we should pray for. i remained quiet but my thoughts and my prayer were all devoted to a colleague of ours here at uni, who died about two days ago now. I will omit her name here because the most important thing for me now is that we reflect about death and why it happens sometimes when it should not have happened really. I thought, really did, of asking us to pray for her but held my piece because i was a bit insecure about the reception of the group on the terms of how her death happen: she committed suicide.

I remember when I was a child in Campo Maior, Northeast Brazil, one day I was told the Catholic church would not ring the church bells for the people who committed suicide. I remember not understanding it quite well, and finding it not so fair. It was a tradition at that time for the church to ring the bell to announce people's death in the city, so that everyone would know somebody died. I reproduced this practice yesterday, when i neglected my colleague of having the group have her in mind while praying. I did and i still do feel bad about it, in spite of my prayers having been devoted to her, for her to find peace.

My sweet Dorothy made a comment about suicide, saying that it is very sad when people make this choice thinking this is the only way out of any terrible situation when in fact there are various possibilities, always. I am left with my prayers.

- i picked a saying from the hand out we got yesterday:
"Prayer in my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us." St. Teresa of Jesus

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

movie "Sukkar banat" or "Caramel"

this is the view from my window, and my feet resting a bit :-)

19 Oct 2009

i should be at uni now doing more reading and writing my literature review. instead, i decided to stay home and watch this very nice lebanese movie called originally Sukkar banat and Caramel in English, about the life of five lebanese women living in beirut. 

i do love and recommend the movie. it is very interesting that through cinema we have the chance for a flavor of other cultures and their peculiar perspectives on life. 'caramel' tells of the life of these five lebanese women who have different personal needs and possibilities and how they struggle in life. it also points out the common things between them, the beauty parlor being the main stage for this. the beauty parlor - with its sweet 'caramel' - i reckon stands for femininity and the inner search for outside look of ok & acceptable & attractive appearance that gives everyone, we all included, the impression that the situation is pretty much under control. but this is not enough, of course, to guarantee that life is indeed under control for them. that is clearly stated throughout the movie, so beautifully expressed in the song that talks about their search for identity. the song that plays in the end was, according to karen, a lebanese girl who is my flatmate, especially composed for the movie. this musician is married to Nadine Labaki, the movie Director. She plays layale, the main character in the movie. caramel is a must see movie.

the soothing song goes a little little this:
'mirror on the wall
listen to my story
tell me who i am'

another point that has drawn my attention is the language. i had no idea the arabic they speak in lebanon would sound very soft and display an enormous french influence. it actually has some french words incorporated to its daily speaking. 'merci' for this extra piece of precious information about the lebanese culture, nadine.

from the movie:
Sukkar banat or Caramel
- Director: Nadine Labaki
- Writers: Rodney El Haddad (writer)
             Jihad Hojeily (writer)
- Awards:3 wins & 2 nominations more
- Cast (Credited cast)
Nadine Labaki ... Layale
Yasmine Elmasri ... Nisrine (as Yasmine Al Masri)
Joanna Moukarzel ... Rima
Gisèle Aouad ... Jamale
Adel Karam ... Youssef
Sihame Haddad ... Rose (as Siham Haddad)
Aziza Semaan ... Lili
Fatmeh Safa ... Siham
Dimitri Staneofski ... Charles
Fadia Stella ... Christine
Ismaïl Antar ... Bassam


movie and book: 'Le scaphandre et le papillon'

 Jean-Do dictating his book. .
                                                               photo from wikipedia

I saw this movie a few days ago. It is impressive how Jean Dominique Bauby (Jean-do) managed to write a book by only blinking his left eye after he had a cerebro-vascular accident. At the beginning of the movie he is waking up from a 3-week coma after the accident. we see the room in the hospital from his perspective, from what his eyes manage to see. It is sort of disturbing. Well, the doctors and therapists come by and talk to him about his problem and explain to him he has this 'locked-in syndrome' and thus will need help for anything he might need or want. There is a strong scene when the doctor stictches his right eye. Jean-do is bedridden but his brain works perfectly. From his perspective we see the doctor coming close to him and saying that he is going to stich his eye because it is dry, no longer good. stitch by stitch we see a wondow being closed.

He start different therapies: physical, and speech therapy. we hear his thoughts throughout the film. he says that after the accident he only has his memories and his imagination left to him. when this therapist comes to help him she teaches him to dictate to her what he wants to say, by blinking his left eye. amazing!!! everyone should watch this movie and, i believe, read the book.

i ordered the book and already got it in the mail. i'll read it as soon as i have some free time.

from the movie
Director: Julian Schnabel

- Writers (WGA):Ronald Harwood (screenplay)
                           Jean-Dominique Bauby (book)
- Awards: Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 40 wins & 33 nominations
- Cast (Cast overview, first billed only)

Mathieu Amalric ... Jean-Do
Emmanuelle Seigner ... Céline
Marie-Josée Croze ... Henriette Roi
Anne Consigny ... Claude
Patrick Chesnais ... Le Docteur Lepage


my 'carbonara, pero no mucho'

20 Oct 2009

I made this pasta carbonara today as part of my project to stay away from number one obligation: my PhD research. no, seriously, every time i cook i do it so that i can eat the food up to 4 times. mostly i cook pasta, with some variations, and add veggies to it.

the menu today:
Ginger, garlic, seasalt, crushed chilli (very hot), courgette, fresh mushrooms, seastick (immitation crab meat in the US and kani kama in Brazil), maybe three slices of ham, fusili, mustrd, olive oil, milk, and cream. i boiled the fusili, stir fried the garlic, crushed chilli, and ginger. Added the courgettes, fresh mushrooms, ham, and wait a little for it to cook some. then i added the boiled fusili, a dash of milk, wait a little. last ingredients to be added were the seastick and the cream. make sure it is really warm. Food is ready!!!
I added frozen (defrosted) veggies to the pasta. these frozen vegetables are very practical indeed. Leftovers are enough for three more meals. YEY!!! it was fine, but not so special. Mark: 7.5. my scale is 0 - 10.

want some?

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Living word - 'what's the point of prayer?'

Sunday 18 October 2009

........dear all,a summary of what's on this week Cathsoc wise...

TUESDAY: 7.30pm at Chaplaincy we'll be beginning the 'Living Word' group.. an informal time of reflection and faith sharing together.. the theme for the first evening will be 'what's the point of prayer?'.

Praying for you all this week,Catherine

what you have above is the invitation from our Catholic Society here on campus. i deleted the other part of the message, as i will talk about our group meeting on Tuesdays only this time. Catherine sends us messages about what goes on every week. finally i managed to go this week to this discussion group. it was really nice. we were a total of eight people: Liliana and two other english students at Solent University (can't remember their names, but one's is Tom). Liliana coordinates for Solent University the same chaplaincy activities Catherine carries on for us here at University of Southampton. Plus Catherine, this other english guy, a girl from Sri Lanka, named Asha (suuuper talkative), and a french guy who came over a little late but still participate in the discussion. i DO want to speak english with a french accent. it is the coolest possibility ever. oh, and myself.

we read, prayed, and discussed. i really enjoyed the time for reflection and the opportunity to get to meet new people around.

Chilly morning at the Common

Sunday 18 October 2009

i went this morning for a very nice walk at the Common, this awesome park in the city. you can in a way get to it from so many different areas. I am in the Hants now, and when i walk for some 20 something minutes i get to Shirley. sooo cool.

when i left the flat it was making 3degrees, very cold indeed. but as you walk for a little while the body warms up and the first impression turns into something more relaxing. i went to bed almost 3 o'clock in the morning, as i was reading a nice article by Dick Allwright about one of his many studies in Brazil. i wasn't really very tired bu decided it was time to go to bed anyway because i had this walk for the early morning today and i know if i come to uni it is very likely that when i leave it here it is already too dark for a walk in the park. plus today i am planning to go to church, to our 6.30 mass in highfield campus.

when i was back from the walk i cooked myself some pasta (fusili) and added stir fried mushrooms and pesto sauce to it. i will have it with vegetables. by the way, the most practicl way of eating veggies aroung - ha!! i bought this bag with four individual packs of a mixture of veggies. i keep the bag in the freezer and whenever i want to eat it i just warm it up in the microwave oven. what else can a lazy soul ask for? but it is good, trust me :-)

the walking this morning was a suggestion Kassandra gave to me the other day. she said i should take a nice walk in the park over the weekend, especially because we are happy for 'things' that are going so right for me these days. YEY!!! therefore, i devote this happy walk to my sister, my lovely sister.

sooo much love, but now i'd better go back to work because i go by deadlines all the time - hellooo!!!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

From Summer to Fall 2009 - changing places

from 19 Sept 2009

this day everyone was expected to vacate their rooms everyone in uni accommodation. i moved out of Montefiore 3 in Swaythling to St Margaret's hall, which is very close to the Common and also to Avenue campus, my main campus.

Montefiore is very beautiful and has nice gardens full of colourful flowers, surrounded by green, large, trees. this days was very busy, with loads of students moving in and out all day long. i was sitting for a long time in a bunch at the entrance, close to the reception, greeting people, chatting with my friend Campi, from Thailand, and taking pictures. the two musliim girls were quite happy to pose for me. i did all this while waiting for Ines.

it was a very smooth moving of houses :-) because i had some precious hands of friends all over the process.

the only belongings i ended up losing in the movinf out and in were my clothes rack, but Ines already gave a new one. and i happy. the other thing i lost was a little beautiful basil plant. i was really sad about it. when i bought it i got so scared of having it could die i realized that i don't buy much of this things is because i am afraid i won't be able to treat them properly and they'll end up dying in my hands. i just bought a new one, and it is in the kitchen now. i ate some of it last night night with my frittata (await for a post on this one).

Thursday, 15 October 2009

A new start

Lovers walk is on my way to Avenue Campus

15 October 2009
6.22pm - Southampton, Hampshire, UK

I am trying to start a new blog, this time calling it The Soton Times, which is the name i informally have been giving to some of my writings about my experience here in the UK since September 2008.

For some reason my writings have had a little downfall these days. I believed it started over the summer, but it will come back as fruitful as it has been in good previous times, so i want it to.

i will add to this post later on, and include a photograph to it eventually.