Monthly Archives: October 2012

52 objects: week 11

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  • What it is: My bed
  • Where it comes from: IKEA (did you know that 1 in 3 babies born in Great Britain was conceived in an Ikea bed?)
  • Where it is: My bedroom
  • Why it was chosen:I love my bed. I love sleeping. Together with the laptop and a fridge, it’s probably the object I can’t leave without (no, I can’t do mattresses on the floor – at least not happily)
  • What else: It’s a king size bed – very important before, extremely important now that we have Laura (as you can see on the photo, she is a common guest in your bed). It takes too much space in our bedroom, but we can’t afford having anything smaller. Next in my to do list: get a decent mattress.

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52 objects: week 10

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My brother & I, in 1979 (ish)

  • What it is: A portrait of my brother & I
  • Where it comes from: It was taken sometime between late 1978 and early 1979, in Vitoria, where we lived.
  • Where it is: In my mum’s bedroom
  • Why it was chosen: If you know me, you know I’m not the type of person who spread personal pictures around the house. Not that I don’t like them, but I find it hard to choose photos that deserve a spot – and I’m too lazy to rotate photos on the frames. So this is a picture that definitely would be on my walls, as it tells a lot to me.
  • What else: Another item I inherited, but I’m not allowed to have it yet.

Laura’s stories

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Laura climbing on the coffee table to put her paintings on the high shelves:
Laura: Mummy, Laula on table, cleaning painting, up there.
Mummy: well done, but be careful.
L: Laula be “car-full”
M: Laura wants help? Mummy can take the painting to you.
L: No need, I’m fine, it’s all fine. Stay on sofa, mummy, Laula do it.

Little Miss Independent climbs up and down chairs and tables, being careful but not afraid.

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Laura: Stopy, please?
Daddy: what?
Laura: Stopy!
Daddy: You want stopy?!
Laura: NOOOO, S-TO-PE-RY
Daddy: Strawberry?
Laura: YES!

Laura: mummy, boucouto, please?
Me: Potato?
Laura: NOOOO, boucouto en cockete.
Me: ahm?
Laura: Cookie, mummy!
Me: Ah, biscoito (*)
Laura: YES!

(*) biscoito is biscuit/cookie in Portuguese.

She knows exactly what she means, although she cannot say it clearly. If we repeat what we hear and it isn’t what she meant, she gets very frustrated. If she knows the word in both Portuguese / English, she tries first in one language, than the other – it normally works. In her mind, we don’t understand because we don’t speak the language, not because she is saying it wrong.

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We think it’s cute when is mispronounces words, but we always repeat the correct way. Some words, though, we make sure we correct her to avoid embarrassing moments.

Two of these words that spring to mind:
Cock – clock. She doesn’t get it right.
Fock – fork. British people say the “r” in words very subtly and Laura isn’t different. But in this case we try to emphasize the “r”.

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One of these days when I picked her up at the nursery, she came over to me with a friend, Callum.

Laura: Mummy, this is Callum.
Mummy: Hi, Callum.
Laura: Callum, my mummy. Hug mummy! Mummy, hug Callum.

To be honest, Callum seemed like he could use a hug. The poor boy was pale, shy, a bit sad I would say. I thought it was so cute how she was willing to share the love of her mum with a friend.

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This week I was wearing a maxi-dress I brought back from Brazil and Laura didn’t recognize me when I got to the nursery. I think she thought I was a random mum waving and smiling at her as she got all shy like she always is when a stranger makes contact.

Later on the train she touched the dress.
Laura: Pretty dress.
Mummy: Thanks, Laurinha
Laura: Linda, mummy linda. (*)

(*) beautiful

Everytime we dress Laura on new clothes, we always say how pretty the dress is and how beautiful she looks. So it was time Laura returned the compliment. As we can see, she learns fast. 😉 mummy loves it!

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Some old photos, taken at the Airport in London, waiting for our flight to Brazil. There’s a Harrods mini shop there, with giant teddy bears at the entrance. Of course Laura loved them and spent hours running from one to another.

By the way, these are for sale, to those who have big houses.

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Why London?

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From time to time I have to remember myself why London. And here are the reasons of the moment:

1) Europe is central. Although not too close from Brazil, it is still the best place to be to make both side of the family happy. Unfortunately, my dad cannot visit me because of health problems, so I have to go back if I want to see him. My mum comes every year and my in-laws can come whenever they want as the flight is less than two three hours long.

2) Language barrier: yes, we could have chosen another country with a decent weather, but we are not in a position to learn a new language from scratch to be able to work.

3) Economy. Although the UK is not in it’s best shape, it is still one of the best countries in Europe to find good work. Add language + work + salary, and I rest my case.

4) We bought a house and we are still paying the mortgage. Although a house doesn’t attach anybody to a place, I do feel this way. For me, when you chose a family house and decide to buy it, it’s a long term commitment. If you have no plans to stay, to just rent and save money for something else. This is why I can’t get rid of my flat in Rio. It is my attachment to the city. Deep inside, I know that it is in Rio that I belong, even if just in my dreams. You know the cheesy “home is where the heart is”? There… my heart is in Rio.

5) Despite loving Rio more than words can express, I don’t feel I can go back there. Not yet, not for several years. The place is crazy expensive, good schools are only private ones (I can’t see why move from a city where public schools are good to a place where public schools aren’t and the private ones are so expensive – plus, there’s university as well, with very few public ones). It is just too expensive to raise a child in Rio.

6) Unfortunately husband doesn’t share with me my love for Australia, and migrating there is not an option.

7) We don’t have any desire to move to the US. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the US, visiting it, but living there is something that doesn’t really attract us. I think there’s something about the European lifestyle that attracts me most.

8) Moving cities/countries/life is something that has to be agreed by the family as a whole, and needs to take into consideration all the needs of the family as a group and individuals as well. It seems that at the moment, I’m alone in my “I can’t leave here anymore” protest.

9) Normally I completely dislike the UK when winter is approaching, the days are darker and colder, everybody is in a bad mood, etc etc. I am not a winter person, will never be and have no interest in trying to be friends with it. And let’s be honest, London is not a pretty place in winter, unless it’s under snow. When summer comes (IF it ever comes that is), I’m a completely different person.

10) I’m not in a very positive, happy-happy-joy-joy phase, so everybody is blown out of proportion.

The family is back

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We got back today, after a long and tiring flight. None of us had much sleep on the plane, so no surprise we are getting ready to bed at 6pm – Laura is already fast asleep.

These holidays were extremely short. The weather was nice, but it got bad towards the end of the trip and as we were leaving it got better again, even better than when we got there.

Holidays to visit family are always a bit weird. It’s not really proper holidays, as we don’t do and see much, but we have lots of pair of hands to look after the little one, which is a bonus. I love to see how Laura was so adapted to the climate, the people, the fun. I wouldn’t say she particularly loved the food in general (she loved pastel and pao de queijo (she wouldn’t be my daughter if she didn’t love it), but didn’t eat much else – maybe it warmer temperature reduced her appetite? Also great to see that everybody loves her. It’s true that people normally love children in general, especially around this age, and they particularly love the kids of their own family, for obvious reasons. But I could see that friends and family were really enjoying Laura and her great mood and all the funny things she says and do – not because she is my daughter, but because of her personality.

Mr. C. managed to fish and visit Buzios, and also worked a lot on his new business. He also spoke lots of Portuguese with the family. And ate loads! Unfortunately for him, the trip is not more enjoyable because of the language barrier.

As for me, I always like to rest as much as I can when I visit my parents. I barely do anything, include thinking. This particular trip was slightly different, because it was my dad’s 70th and he hasn’t been very well. My mum also is not in her best shape. I don’t like to talk and think about these things, but since I turned 30, I started noticing more the people around me and although I want to deny as much as possible, it’s not just me getting older. It kind of depresses me that my parents are getting older and older and soon won’t be as energetic as they are now. I know nobody is ready to lose a loved one, even if they are older and are meant to go before you, but in my case, I’m sure I won’t handle this very well. Actually, I’m sure I’ll be pretty in deep shit.

Hmmmm, this post if becoming a bit depressing, isn’t it? I’m sorry, but returning to London didn’t go down as well as I thought. If before I used to think “why am I here?”, now the feeling is that I am a prisoner of this place and there’s nothing I can do (well, nothing good at least) to get out of it. Very depressing, I know. It will be even worse tomorrow, when I go back to work, which I am NOT looking forward at all.

52 objects: weeks 8 and 9

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* This week’s post is a bit of a cheat. I missed last week’s post due to lack of time, objects, inspiration and opportunity, so this is a two-in-one post, including two different “objects”, but around a similar topic. So this post covers 7th and 14th October – hopefully we will be back with normal posts from 21st Oct.

Tea set/ engagement gift

Dining & Tea set / wedding gift

  • What it is: Tea / Dining set – 2 different sets – the top one is just a tea set; the bottom one is a full tea-dining-desert set, with over 100 pieces
  • Where it comes from: The first was my parents’ engagement gift, the second was my parents’ wedding gift
  • Where it is: In a cupboard, in my mum’s house
  • Why it was chosen: I have enherited both – I told my mum ages ago I wanted them both. We are now trying to figure out how to send it to London. You can’t tell from the photos, but the tea cups in the first set is quite small, almost like a toy. I love it! The second one is normal size.
  • What else: My parents got married in 1969 (the engagement was before that, not sure when), so these sets old, my people. I love tea sets, always did. I hope that I can have a tea party when they get to London. Thing is: I have to either wait little Laura to be less wild or have an adults-only tea party.

Photos from Búzios

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We spent a couple of days in Búzios, around 80km from my mum’s town. It was windy, but sunny and warm, so we managed to enjoy a little bit. Shame the boat trips were all cancelled due to the wind, but we took the trolley tour around the place, which was quite handy when you are a group of 5. The tour can be done by car, without having to pay, but if you have some few Reais (R$) to spare, I recommend going on this tour on the first day. Then you can select the beaches you want to visit properly. My recommendations (if you want a nice beach with tranquil sea): Joao Fernandes and Ferradura beaches. There are loads of pousadas in Búzios, at all sort of prices, same for places to eat.