Thursday 23 April 2009

Hello Again!

Well it's been two years and two days since I last wrote in this blog and I doubt if anyone bothers to check it anymore - although I see someone left a comment as recently as 23 January: thanks for that.

Since I last wrote, the palheiro in our garden has been renovated into a nice holiday studio apartment if anyone's planning a visit. More details on my website -

I've also got quite a lot of pictures of the island (mostly Faja Grande, inevitably) on my flickr photostream which you may wish to have a browse through - This also has some photos, old and new, of Scotland where I'm from and used to live.

I'll try and write something more soon. The big thing going on in Faja just now is they're at last laying the new pavements (sidewalks - passeios). Does that sound interesting? Well it is to us!


Katharine Baker said...

Woo-hoo! I'm so glad you're still there (had just about given up hope), so let me be the first to say Welcome Back to the blogosphere -- Bemvindos! Have you picked up a bit of the Portuguese language in the interim?

I visited Flores for several days on my first Azores trip in 2002 -- turns out both of my paternal grandparents were born there (Grandma in Ponta da Fajã Grande, Grandpa in Fajãzinha, although they did not meet till they were young adults in California!), but alas have not made it back out to Flores on subsequent trips. Perhaps I can manage to remedy that glaring deficiency next time. Meantime, I'll just have to "matar as saudades" by checking out your flickr album of Flores photos, as you appear to have an impressive collection.

Did you ever see the English translation I did of the post by Gabriela Silva (of Fazenda das Lajes das Flores) re the lançamento of her book of poetry "ILHA" (launched during Flores' July 2007 Festa do Emigrante) with photos by Kristie McLean and translated by Florentina Sandy Ventura and me? Here's its URL:

Gabriela also posted some great photos of that rare snowfall you got on Flores this past January:
What a terrible shock this must have been for the natives, who don't normally encounter this meterological phenomenon, as well as for transplants like yourselves hoping to escape such wintriness!

Parabéns no palheiro! And welcome back. Kathie.

Epicyclic said...

Welcome back!

While I cannot say I have checked your blog recently, I did check for activity for quite some time! Nice job on your Flicker site, well done!

Thanks to Kathy who I first met first met here in the Spring 2007 today's email from her made mention of your return, No more disappearing acts please! lol:)

Nice to see you back!

Bob and Lynn (formerly "azoresdream")

Kathie said...

Hi, Bob & Lynn! Glad to see you've already stopped by to check out Neil & Carol's beautiful job on their revived blog. See you here again soon.

Neil & Carol, I love your "Big fish, small cat" photo:
Your kitty reminds me so of a dear old furry friend of ours, now departed.

= = = = = = = = = =
Here's a definition of "Fajã" (à propos a comment in one of your photo captions) -- they're very common on São Jorge (which I've already visited three times, as it's where the father of my Ponta de Fajã Grande Grandma hailed from):ãs

"Fajãs are a geological feature of the island of São Jorge in the Azores.

"The island is volcanic in character with steep cliffs down to the sea. The fajãs are small areas of flat land by the sea caused by the collapse of cliffs. The fajãs are fertile and used for growing many plants including yams, maize and vegetables. It is possible to grow coffee, vineyards, tropical fruits and beautiful dragon trees in some of them.

"There are fajãs on both sides of the island. On the lower, sunnier southern coast, you will find the fajãs of Velas, Santo Amaro, Almas, Grande, Vimes, Bodes, Além, São João, Cardoso and Alabaçal. The north is a succession of tiny fajãs at the bottom of ravines that are hundreds of metres deep; the outstanding ones are those of Caldeira de Santo Cristo with an underwater cave and a lake which is the only source of cockles in the Azores, Cubres also with a crystalline lake) and Ouvidor."
= = = = = = = = = =

"Fajã é um termo de origem obscura que designa um terreno plano, em geral cultivável, de pequena extensão, situado à beira-mar, formado de materiais desprendidos das arribas ou por deltas lávicos resultantes da penetração no mar de escoadas de lava provenientes da vertente. António Cândido de Figueiredo, no seu Novo Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa, define fajã como como toda a terra baixa e chã ou como pequena extensão de terreno plano, susceptível de cultura, junto a uma rocha, geralmente à beira-mar, formada em regra por materiais desprendidos por quebradas ou acumulados na foz de uma ribeira e assentes quase sempre num banco de lava muito resistente..."

Neil King said...

Hello Bob - I'm very touched to think that Kathy bothered to mention the revived blog in an e-mail to you. I have to say my first loyalty is to my flickr photostream but I'll try and keep posting here as well.

Kathy - yes, I've been to Sao Jorge and we went to Faja do Ouvidor and Faja dos Cubres. In Scotland, we have a word for faja in Gaelic but not in English!

Kathie said...

Re your photo "Big fish, small cat":

An amigo angrense to whom I sent this link replied, "o peixe é cherne, delicioso grelhado" (the fish is called "cherne," and is delicious grilled). If I were on Flickr I'd add his message there, but maybe you could amend your comment accompanying the photo to reflect this clarification.