In the UK I was just an ordinary guy from South London doing the 9-5 grind and spending the weekends nursing hangovers.
In Brazil though it seems that I’m something pretty special. Celebs seem to wanna hang out with me every week.
For example, two weeks ago I went to see Grunge legend Mark Lanegan and he decided to do a meet and greet after the gig.
Probably because I was there I imagine.
Thankfully, I played it cool and I totally managed to get this cool photo taken with him.
My friend Mark Lanegan.
Wicked, that captured the moment perfectly. Continue Reading
In The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy the Vogons are described as being:
“one of the most unpleasant races in the galaxy. Not actually evil, but bad-tempered, bureaucratic, officious, and callous. They wouldn’t even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the ravenous Bug-Blatter Beast of Traal without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, lost, found, queried, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighter.”
I often thought, having been frustrated by them both professionally and personally down the years, that this was an apt characterisation for the persistently inept UK Home Office*.
However, a ‘Google’ of Vogons and bureaucracy reveals that there are a lot of like-minded people around the world comparing their own governments to our poetically challenged friends from the planet Vogsphere. Clearly, the Guide needs to be updated.
And, of course, I wouldn’t be writing this unless Brazil warranted a mention. That’s because I’ve discovered first-hand that Brazil’s actually exceedingly good at making life difficult for its citizens – as well as us mere guests. Continue Reading
In November 2009 my wife and I travelled to Brazil, partly because November in the UK is grim but also because I had still yet to meet her parents.
Now, meeting the in-laws / your partner’s family can be a little nerve-wracking at the best of times, but seeing as I only knew survivor Spanish (not very helpful in Brazil) and they knew zero English (or so I thought), I was feeling distinctly edgy.
Would meeting the in-laws be different in Brazil?
The nerves gradually increased as we landed in São Paulo and then caught a taxi – the destination being our in-laws’ apartment.
My disposition was not helped by the taxi seeming to take an age to wind its way through the city’s notorious traffic. Whilst this gave me plenty of time to rehearse my introduction (“Mutio prazer” – Nice to meet you), it also meant that I had even more time to ponder how it was all going to go wrong and I was going to make a complete tit of myself. Continue Reading
In the UK our wildlife is like our weather – and most other things for that matter. Put simply, it is neither extreme nor exotic. For example, go for a walk in the woods at night and you might, at worst, get nipped by an inquisitive badger.
Alternatively, you could be unlucky and accidentally stand on an unwitting hedgehog – and get a spine through your foot for good measure.
Watch out for these vicious little bastards
However, it is probably more common for pet-owners, particularly those of cats, to awake in the morning and find that their beloved has brought them a present during the night – i.e. the disembowelled remains of a mouse or little bird.
Alternatively, you might wake to find that your pet has been partying with a friend overnight. We had a variety of guests down the years courtesy of our cat, including another cat from down the road and occasionally a dirty fox that would gate-crash through the cat-flap. Both typically left their own presents – usually in the form of a big poo on the kitchen floor. Continue Reading