Wednesday, 13 October 2010


If I did tweetering or twittering or whatever it's called (and thank heavens I don't, said in the same tone of voice as "and thank heavens my house isn't built on contaminated land"), today's twit would be:-

took tumble dryer to shop in SC might be ready by weekend not holding breath

Experienced twats will doubtless be rolling on the floor laughing (ROFL-ing, I expect) at the unhipness of that putative (dare one say purported) twitter due to its residual nods in the direction of English grammar as taught 40 years ago (such as "to" instead of "2") but this is simply by way of introduction to the fact that autumn has hit Flores with a bang this year as witness picture below.

Consequently not a good time to be without a maquina a secar as I learnt today tumble dryers are called. In fact, describing the symptoms of the maquina's malaise was another example of extreme sports in Portuguese for which there is no guidance in any of my phrase books. These are replete with such unhelpful banalities as "Senhor Tavares goes into a cafe and orders a coffee" and "Joao stays off school because he has a sore tummy" but annoyingly thin on things that do actually happen to me in real life. In the end I had to cannibalise "Ana-Lurdes pulls over into a gas station because her windscreen wipers aren't working" (as limpa para-brisas nao funcionam) in order to attempt to convey "Neil's tumble dryer is fucked."

I'm just grateful I wasn't called upon to express to a non-English speaker what we found ourselves privately remarking upon entre nous the other day, namely: "My dentist's waiting room smells of shit" (nothing even in the sore tummy conversation to assist with that.)

Anyway, I've digressed, where was I? Oh yes - the very sudden onset of autumn, this year. Not with a whimper but with a bang in the first fortnight of October. 

That perfect storm last Thursday raised a salmoura (salt spray) which has trashed the vegetation more effectively than a squadron of B-52s over Dien Bien Phu and also brought in its wake the full gamut of the Azores winter experience such as SATA flight numbers beginning with 3 (these are extra flights sent out to clear up after weather related cancellations) and prolonged (2+ hours) power cuts. I've a notion it was one of these outages that did for the dryer but even more seriously one of them interrupted the episode of Eastenders in which the Queen Vic is torched and Peggy Windsor gets written out.

The more I watch Easties, the more I become convinced that the only characters with a shred of credibility are Charlie and Patrick for just every now and again saying "Actually it's my house ..." (although I do emphasise the word "shred" meaning a very very small amount of something because usually in the next breath they say bizarre things like "Of course I don't want you to go, Stacey/Denise [complete as applicable]"

Him off "Love Thy Neighbour"


Luís Henriques said...

Stormy weather... I enjoy reading your posts related to my island. It's a different view of Flores, especially Fajã Grande (which is near my homeland, Fajãzinha)

Best wishes,

Kathie said...

Luís, you're from Fajãzinha? So were my grandfather and his brother, who immigrated to the US, and they were also Henriques! Perhaps we're distant cousins?

Kathie said...

Oh, and Neil, in the US the verb for one who sends messages via Twitter is "tweeting." (Not something that interests me)

Luís Henriques said...

Hello Kathie! Probably. Do you have any relatives that you know, living there? My grandfather was Luís Rodrigues Henriques. He had a brother and a cousin who emigrated to the US. Their names were Davide and Daniel (I don't remember who's who). my public e-mail is musicologicus[at] Please e-mail me.

Kathie said...

Luís, I don't recognize the names you mention. My grandfather was José Frederico, his younger brother (half-brother?) was João Frederico Henriques. Will email you later. Até já.

Kathie said...

Back to clothes-drying:

On my visit to Flores I recall walking daily past the statue of Flores poet Roberto de Mesquita in Santa Cruz, and each day the same items were still hanging on the line of a nearby house. The weather then was mostly misty, occasionally rainy, so the laundry wasn't really making much net progress in getting dry. Guess the residents weren't in a great hurry to get their clothes dry.

Speaking further of laundry, off-topic:

Azorean author Álamo Oliveira's latest play, which debuted Dec. 27 in Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira, is titled "Enquanto a roupa seca" (While the Clothing Dries). It consists of two women talking about various topics while hanging their laundry out on clotheslines. You can read the play's synopsis here:

There are also two videos re the play online.
News story from RTP Azores:

Slide show from opening night:

You can read more re Álamo at:

Kathie said...

Ack! Some of those URLs failed to reproduce correctly on my last post. So let's try again (you'll have to copy/paste the sections into the window consecutively without spaces to make it work):

Play's synopsis:

Video of RTP Azores news story:

Slide show from opening night:

Álamo info:
English: http://www.inolongerlikechocolates.