Tablet radio and sundry notes

We have finally found a use for our Motorola Xoom: it’s a portable radio. The connection speed and unreliability here render it pretty useless for anything else, but happily 9 times out of 10 it will run BBC Radio 2 (for Naice) and BBC Radio 4 (for me) without a hiccup all day long. So that’s it – switch on, load up Tune-In, select your station and away we go. Happy days.

The flooding in the Amazon is being widely publicised, at least on the internet. Most of the reporting is banal nonsense. Stand by for a piece on this within the next couple of days. I feel the river has probably peaked today.

We’ve lost two dogs in the last month: Kelly, who got bitten by a scorpion;  and Ozzie, of old age and complications from a tick-borne disease. Very sad – don’t want to talk about it. We are left with Toto, our only genuine guard dog, who has taken chunks out of one or two people already; and Bolinha, a young stray – possibly the world’s ugliest dog, who’s had so many litters in her short life that her tits are almost dragging on the ground – incredibly good-natured and very good with Aaron. Domestic life is suddenly much simpler – but poignantly so, we find…

We’ve had great fun recently sorting out our garden. The phenomenal rate at which stuff grows here means that the trees we’ve planted in the last few years have reached heights of anything from 6-10 metres (I well remember nursing a weeping cherry from year to year in Ireland – if it put on six inches in height and a few extra twigs in a year I was pleased). So, machete in hand, and with help from a few locals, we’ve felled three coconut palms and trimmed everything else back pretty hard. Even the magnificent Pau Brasil which I prize so highly is about to come in for a bit of serious surgery.

The weather is on the turn – wet to dry. We’re still getting rain, but it’s a bit half-hearted now. Within the next month, the rain will disappear and we’ll have 5 months of unrelenting, will-sapping, sweat-inducing sunshine. Strangely, this makes my favoured form of transport – my bike – much less appealing: sitting in traffic in 40 degrees of humid heat, it’s a bit like riding a radiator.

This month marks our fifth year here. I miss friends and family, and – as I have complained previously – it is a source of disappointment that no-one has come to visit. On the other hand, we are certainly living life unencumbered by the vagaries of a society which is arguably on its last creaking legs, and so far have been able to take the prodigious ups and downs of a more vibrant/basic culture. Was it the right decision? I don’t know – pass me another beer while I get in the pool, and I’ll think about it…

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3 Responses to Tablet radio and sundry notes

  1. Pete says:

    So sorry to hear about Ozzie passing on, I remember him as your 10k running companion.
    I’m sure you do miss home and we look forward to your next visit, but I suspect your existence will see you living well beyond the rest of us in this bankrupt hellhole they call civilisation.


    • Maninmanaus says:

      Thanks Pete and Garry – appreciated. Pete – I agree that civilisation over there is in terminal decline (I think the current stage society has reached is “denial”), as it were, but I can assure you that living in a frontier country free-for-all is no picnic… 😦 In fact, you’ve just inspired me – see next post…


  2. Garry Yule says:

    Morning Clive, as Dawn has just refused to fly (losing all money) for a weekend in Barcelona the prospects of a Brasil trip look further away than ever !! Not the first time this has happened.Remember ?

    We saw you on the TV (Walking the Amazon) last week.WELL DONE. Ed walking through hell for 3 years, you walk 10 yards along a Tarmac road and get on telly sharing the limelight. It did make us chuckle !!!

    Take care.

    (sorry about Ozzy,no more poop for me to pick up)


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