Saturday 2 May 2009

House Numbers

I'd promised a couple of posts back to tell you all about how they're putting house numbers up in Fajã Grande so here goes:-

They're putting up house numbers in Fajã Grande ...

... and in case you're thinking this is like the moment in Blackadder where Sir Walter Raleigh says to the Queen "Perhaps, Ma'am, I could entertain you with the tale of the time I fell into the water and was almost eaten by a hammerhead shark?" and with Her Majesty's assent proceeds "Well, ma'am, I fell into the water and was almost eaten by a hammerhead shark", there is actually more - but not a lot - to be said on the house numbering saga.

I'm not sure who is carrying out the house numbering initiative but, whoever "they" are, they've chosen discreetly classy uniform brass numbers which are being applied to all houses. Here is Number 7, Rua Senador André de Freitas (you've got to look closely, it's to the right of the door but a bit squint I think):-

Now I can tell you for a fact that José António Ramos Teodósio has been successfully receiving parcels addressed simply to "JART Flores" for as long as - well - as long as he's been old enough to receive parcels. Indeed I myself have received a letter (from the Inland Revenue, inevitably) addressed simply to "Mr N King, Main Street, Flores". That's the sort of place this island is. Someone told me that the usual postie knows where everyone lives but, when he's on holiday, the relief postie struggles a bit and will appreciate the house numbers - but I'm reasonably certain that person was pulling my plonker.

Anyway, the main street, Rua Senador André de Freitas, has been all "numbered up" as has Rua da Tronqueira - which until the recent orgy of putting up the street names (see posts passim) we just called "the street where José Grande lives" and the house at the end of which bears the highest number yet seen, 43 - but there the numbers run out. In particular, they haven't yet started on our street:-

We've counted up the road and reckon we're going to be in the high twenties RdA - the uncertainty is whether some houses down little side caminhos (lanes) will count as being on RdA itself. I'm also slightly gutted to find that it's spelt AssOmada as I had always believed it was AssUmada - although you do see it spelt with a "U" as well. So I'm not sending out any change of address cards yet.

Actually, I think it's great the way they just get on and do things round here. If Fajã Grande was in Scotland where I come from, it would undoubtedly be a conservation village which would mean not a single house number could be put up until the Planning Commitee had received reports from Historic Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage (who of course would need to consult with their statutory consultees) and a risk assessment had been commissioned from the Health & Safety Exectuve and ... ... ... (yawn, snore) Here, they just send a couple of geezers with a wheel barrow to get on with it.


Anonymous said...

Love your blogs and very much looking forward to hearing at what number R Da A you find yourselves!

Kathie said...

Speaking from personal experience, street numbers can be useful even in the Azores' smallest villages for tourists whose first language is not Portuguese, who are trying to find specific places in the town but have difficulty comprehending street directions from kindly Portuguese-speaking natives. I welcome the new system, even if it does seem to reduce a resident from personhood to merely a number ;-)