Just a thought....
Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Monday, 15 March 2010


Saturday morning found us going shopping. About half a mile from home is a shopping centre with a Walmart inside. Yes, it is the same company as most of you are familiar with, but the products and prices are vastly different, I think. It's not a bad place to shop. I think we'll use that from now on. The walk there is flat, past the smelly river, past a litter-strewn tributary (we pretended the water was sparkling... it could be pretty), past the rubble someone dumped on the sidewalk, past the football club where the norm is to park on the sidewalk so pedestrians get the dubious privilege of sharing the highway with trucks and other monsters. In all, though, not an unpleasant walk, if we ignored the persistent heat.

When we got home, I'd just sat down to some cold water when Romany started barking. We had a visitor, the same cousin from last week. He promptly usurped my chair in our tiny front room, rejecting the visitor's chair, but moving in such a way as to render the third chair useless. Guess who ended up with no seat again. I was a little more than peeved. It was my seat *insert temper tantrum* I felt bad about my annoyance afterward though, as he only stayed a short while and his sole purpose was to offer Jurgis a business proposition. That was... until he got kissy and huggy. He's a bristly bearded man in nylon shirts. I discovered I still have major reservations with the Brazilian custom of kissing and hugging virtual strangers and he was rather effusive in his displays of this particular custom.

When he left, Jurgis got stuck into the cupboard upstairs. It was alive with termites and had to be removed. I supervised with camera in hand. We ran out of bug spray and resorted to chlorine in the end.

Termites are a huge problem here....

termite damage_3569

Though the patterns they leave can be pretty. Jurgis said it looked like a map....

termite damage_3572

Today, Jurgis put up a couple more shelves in the bedroom. With less stuff on the floor, we discovered the room is actually fairly big. It will be nice to sleep in there tonight. My dilemma now is to decide what to pack on which shelf. Choices, choices!

Last week, a student gave me a movie he wanted me to watch, so that we can discuss it. The movie, Into the Wild, was at once an inspirational and depressing movie. It was based on the true story of Christopher McCandless. The cinematography was breathtaking, taking the viewer across America up to Alaska, a place I've long wanted to visit. The young man moves relentlessly towards his goal, leaving a trail of heartbreak.

The movie opened with one of my favourite quotes:

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods;
There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...
                                         Lord Byron
A quote from the movie I enjoyed... so much truth in this:

The sea's only gifts are harsh blows and occasionally the chance to feel strong. Now, I don't know much about the sea, but I do know that that's the way it is here and I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions.

Romany, I think, was bored with all the movie stuff...

romany sleeping

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