It has been an interesting year, what with one thing and another, and here we are 5,028.14 miles from Bangor (approx.) We have found a house and the bits and pieces required to get by, still have a bit of money in the bank, my knees are hairy again, Naice is Amazon-coloured again, and Ozzie has survived. What more could one ask?
Two things stick out from the last week (apart from my ears). No – three. First of all, we found a humming bird (a big humming bird, too) stuck under the canopy in front of the house. It had flown itself silly trying to get out and was so exhausted it was (barely) hanging on upside down to part of the structure (shades of Monty Python). So I got the ladders out and climbed up to it, and it was so weak it let me carry it down (pic). After holding for a while and trying to give it some water, I’m happy to report that it flew off to the nearest palm tree and is once again doing its rounds of the banana flowers on a regular basis. Isn’t that nice? Oh, and on the subject of wildlife, we now have an entirely new group of monkeys visiting us every day. After detailed reference to our I-Spy book of Brazilian primates, we finally identified them as Monk Saki monkeys (pic). They come as a group of 3 females (brown) and two males (black) and are really quite impressive.
Secondly, I had a mole removed. It was really bugging me and we went off to see the dermatologist. Of course I was fearing the worst and making my funeral preparations etc., but after a quick look, the doc informed me it was nothing to worry about, but it should be removed – and would I like it done now? Uh, well, actually… Anyway, I agreed and was led off to a small room down the corridor, where I was instructed to lie down, injected with something which made my throat numb (somewhat disconcerting when you try to swallow) and scorched with some instrument or other by the quack. In, out, R$300 please. Talk about easy money…
Thirdly, we went to see our friend Charlie play in his blues band Tulipa Negra. The venue was a “genuine Blues bar”. By “genuine”, the owners mean that a) everything in the bar is total junk, including the tables and chairs, and b) substance abuse is de rigeur. But it actually works very well indeed. Between the doped-up bar staff and the strung-out clients, the atmosphere is, well, relaxed (man). The beer is cheap and you don’t need to go through the usual ridiculous charade of queuing to buying a beer token from one inconveniently-placed counter where the staff have no change and then queuing at another equally inconveniently located counter to exchange your token (hell, it’s not even a token – just a piece of paper) for warm beer and a plastic cup. And of course the music was excellent. I was cajoled into singing Black Magic Woman with the band, and I must admit – it was good to be back! They’re after an harmonica player for the band, so I’m practising now and hopefully if I don’t find anything else do to in 2008 at least I can go and get spaced out and play some music on a regular basis.
For Christmas, we’re going across the river to Naice’s parent’s place, where we are in for a quiet day and an early night. And what’s wrong with that, I say. Ozzie will probably accompany us, as he is now feeling better from his tummy bug – see pic of Ozzie recovering in his new bed. Although we’re not buying presents this year, we have in fact got Ozzie a small bone (shhh). Then on New Year’s eve we’re going out with the Cavadini family on a boat trip on an old converted paddle steamer to watch the firework display at the Ponta Negra beach. Meal and beer included; wine and champagne extra. And that’s it for 2007. Roll on 2008.
So let us wish you, your friends and family a very happy Christmas and may 2008 be an excellent year for you. Cheers!