As you can see, internet access has become even more spasmodic. This is due mainly to us moving permanently into our new house, which is in an area which is relatively remote in Manaus terms – so we have no mains water or sewerage, no telephone (yet), and our electricity is a “gato” or ‘cat’, which is an interesting euphemism for ‘stolen from the nearest electricity pylon’. Anyway, I’ve borrowed this connection from our friends Zaira and Flavio, who have limited broadband access in the nearby (very posh) Ponta Negra area, so I’ve taken the opportunity to provide here the first pics of the house and attendant wildlife. Speaking of which, everything seems to come in biblical porportions here, which is to say all the animals come two by two – we have 2 Sauim de Coleiras, 2 Iguanas, and 2 toucans. We’ve only seen one sloth, but the other one was probably just too slow to capture on ordinary film… The moth in the pictures measured just over six inches from wingtip to wingtip, and there are lots of other equally monstrous insects, but it’s difficult to get close enough to them to do them justice on film. I’m still working on getting a shot of the beetle that keeps knocking at our wee small door (Walter de la Mare..?).

Since my last post, we have had great fun trying to get a few things organised, predictably with only limited success. And Brazilian beauracracy (help – I can’t spell in English anymore – oh the shame of it…) continues to try to keep pace with continental drift (the continents are pulling away easily). Notably, our goods remain locked up by the local sheriff(s), although we’re moving (well, pointing, at least) in the right direction. In the meantime we’ve managed to get some necessities for the house (vis. one mattress, one fridge, one microwave, two plastic chairs and a TV), and have finally got the pool clean (at least we had until some nocturnal visitor crapped in it last night – strange to say the least!). [Note – to he who offered to come out as pool attendant (you know who you are), I would just like to point out that I have now spent 4 days cleaning the thing out and not only does every bone in my body ache, but the skin that was underneath the skin on my back that was burnt, is now burnt. So where were you…?] I now know how to operate the water pump and the pool pump, and yesterday we invested heavily in a small lawnmower B&Q wouldn’t be seen dead giving away. This is for our gardener, who threatens to come today to cut the grass and tidy the garden up a bit. We also have an electrician lined up to come and sort out some of the last occupant’s ridiculous DIY connections, and after that we may even be able to get an air-conditioner.

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