Monday, 19 February 2007


People say to us "I don't suppose there's much difference between the weekend and a weekday, is there?" Err, WRONG! Our local shop cum bar - Sala de Convivio as it's rather nicely called - closes at 3pm on a Sunday (c.f. 8pm the rest of the week). Which means we can frequently be caught napping if we want to fit a couple of beers in between getting up and catching Eastenders on BBC Prime. Nobody said it was going to be easy out here!

Below is a gratuitously gratuitous picture of the sea breaking on the rocks at Faja Grande where we live.


Anonymous said...

Hi Neil & Carol, it's always grateful to watch pictures from Fajã. I'm Marisa, and i'm 35, i'm from Graciosa but live in S Miguel. My mother was from Fajã, actually, my house is in the picture, in front of Pierre's e Padre Soares.The first time i went to Flores i was 8 months, we use to go by boat, because in Graciosa there was no airport before 1981. Every summer i went to Fajã to stay with my grandparents. I love Fajã, now i don't go there so often, and retirement is very far away, eehhe. It was great, there was no Tv, there was a lot of people, believe me, now they are in America and Canada (or dead) It's quite sad. But that's life. I was going there this summer, but got pregnant, so, maybe next year, Looking forward to meet you.
Best compliments. (the english it's not perfect, i suppose that's ok). Give a hug to José António e Linda.

Anonymous said...

Bom dia, Carol & Neil!

I live near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, but was born and raised in northern California. Three of my father's four grandparents were from Fajã Grande, Ponta de Fajã Grande or Fajãzinha, Flores (the fourth was from Topo, São Jorge; I haven't completed all my genealogy yet, so don't know precisely where everyone in my Azorean family tree was born/married/died). Some of my Florentino family surnames are FREDERICO, HENRIQUES, GEORGE(probably JORGE originally), SILVEIRA, FURTADO, VALADÃO, ARMAS, LIZANDRO and FAGUNDES (I notice that your previous commenter, also with Fajã roots, has Fagundes in her name, so I wonder if she's related).

I visited Flores on my first trip to the Azores in June 2002, and couldn't get over how gorgeous and unspoiled the scenery is there -- I took tons of photos, and had a wonderful young bilingual tour guide named Sílvio Medina, if you know him (he might be from the south coast). I was also impressed by how kind the residents were to me, considering that I didn't yet know the names of my Florentino ancestors nor their hometown(s), and I still spoke comparatively little Portuguese (and since they teach Brazilian where I take classes, thank goodness the European Portuguese watch Brazilian telenovelas!). The first clue I got as to where on the island they were from was that my father's family traditionally made Watercress Soup, which I learned was characteristic of Fajãzinha and Mosteiro, because that's where the Watercress (Agrião) grows wild.

On my next two trips to the Azores I was unable to travel out to Flores for reasons of logistics and time, principally having to do with wanting to spend time in the Archives in Horta and Angra do Heroísmo searching for records of my Azorean ancestors. But I certainly hope to return again someday. BTW, how long have you lived on Flores?

You might be interested in the English writings of Alfred Lewis (born Alfredo Luís in Fajãzinha in 1902, but immigrated to California in the early 1920s, never to return). His published novels include "Home is an Island" [1951] (a thinly veiled autobiography of his boyhood in Fajãzinha) and "60 Acres and a Barn" [posthumously, 2005] (about Florentino settlers in the San Joaquin Valley following WW II).

I collaborated with Diniz Borges on last year's English translation of Álamo Oliveira's novel "I No Longer Like Chocolates," about a family from Terceira who immigrates to California's San Joaquin Valley, and their experiences trying to adapt to their new culture, as well as returning to visit their homeland. (It won't surprise you to learn that the author is from Terceira!). I hope you'll visit the informational website I've created in suppport of the novel (plus some ancillary info, including dark and white chocolate truffle recipes in both English and Portuguese -- how neo-ironic!), at: I have three Flores photos on the Cultural Tourism page, which I hope you'll like (use button bar at bottom of each page to navigate the website). After you visit my website I hope you'll send me an email letting me know how you like it (even though there's not much about Flores there, I'm afraid)!

Abraços, Kathie.

Anonymous said...

P.S. You might enjoy this tourism article about the Azores, the first half of which is dedicated to Flores (and the reporter even had the same tour guide as I did!):

Neil King said...

To Marisa Fagundes Pereira

Hi Marisa! Thanks for your feedback. I hope you will come to Faja (with your new baby) soon and please come and say hello to us. Your English is perfect but our Portuguese is very bad! I would try and explain where our house is (in Assumada) but there is no point because JA or Linda will tell you more easily when you arrive. We give JA and Linda a hug every day because they are such kind people but will give an extra hug from you!

Kindest regards, Neil & Carol