Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Home Thoughts from Abroad

I just went down to the windy beach and phoned my friend Stephen in England, and he told me that, although he himself had not seen my blog, another mutual acquaintance of ours had read it and found it funny. This has encouraged me to write a new post. I only have one follower who actually leaves comments, and she hasn't been in touch recently, but I now realise that perhaps a reasonable number of people are reading my blog and for one reason or another do not leave a comment. So this is for them.

I hear that the weather in England is marvellous. It is strange how these sudden intensely warm spells seem to hit England in April, or sometimes even in March, again and again. The poet Browning was on to something when he wrote. "Oh, to be in England/ Now that April's there." Do I long to be in my native land now?

In the place where I am we, as it happens, are in an uncharacteristically wet and windy spell. This is a seaside resort, and in this weather it unpleasantly resembles a small place south of the Humber. I pass whole days here when I talk to no one except those engaged in the formal business of serving me with coffee or meals, newspapers or telephone cards.

In Central Sports Cafe they are too busy with the endless passing of drugs to say thank you, but if you can pay for it, human contact is always available in this unfriendly place, and the interchange with a witty newsagent is often as satisfying and certainly more trouble-free than if  a random person had offered conversation without charge.

Life in the Algarve reminds me of when I was in prison. There too all contact was behind a pay-wall. The discipline and rehabilitation workers viewed you functionally, and  they spoke to you for only so long as they judged it necessary to attain their ends. And the prisoners only communicated because they wanted to get a laugh or a sachet of Horlicks, or hoped you might pass sugar under their doors.

Whether your interlocutor hopes to make as much as possible from you, whether he or she earnestly seeks your reform, or is desperate for sugar, the effect is more or less the same. I think of my fellow prisoners these days with more affection than the beady-eyed social workers or the  Algarvian newspaper-sellers. But that may be only because those butch men in prison were often quite sexy.

And now I am in Central Sports again, and the piratical guy with the greasy ringlets who runs the place is approaching in a threatening manner, and my credit is approaching its end, so I will post my blog now and hope that Max reads this one and finds it amusing.


  1. " I only have one follower who actually leaves comments, and she hasn't been in touch recently "

    A very nice day to You and i must say , I am following Your ´s blog, twice LOL. With a twitter account and now with a google.Only now i will can less here some words with my no english. I am a portuguese woman.

    But My Friend less here Her comments and she is from Uk. A very nice person.

    I need to say the this blog is twitted , by Her an d by me also.

    I wish the best to You.




    Good morning Charles and good morning Carmen. Charles, Carmen and I are good friends and drink coffee together in the mornings in our pyjamas....this of course is pure fiction as Carmen and I live in different countries (but we pretend ,I love her very much and although we have never met she is the best friend I have . I do however hope one day to correct this and meet wearing pink silk pyjamas smelling of the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans lol...

    Home thoughts from abroad....has to be one of the most beautiful songs ever written. I have posted you the link in case you do not know the song....close your eyes and just listen to the words and many thanks to you, without the title of your latest post I would have not had the 'moments' of remembering this wonderful melody. I had the same experience a few days ago.. cleaning the house I found a bottle of perfume I had not used in many years when I released the stopper 1001 memories of those years came flooding back just like the title of your post...and for that Charles I thank you.

    Have a lovely Easter Sunday and know that yes people read your work but for some reason too shy to comment.

    Julie xx

    PS...I am youngish and thats as much as any woman will tell about her age. Anyway age is all in the mind, it is the heart that long as it beats there is life, enjoy.

  3. A very nice day to Charles and My Good Friend Julie.

    So much lovely humor and nice words.

    Thank You.

    Oh, why Charles had not a personal computer to not go at a very noise internet café?

    Besos. Hug.


    For Charles....xx

  5. dear Julie,

    At a very difficult coputer, will write more when I reach a better one, best, Charles

  6. Dear Charles,

    A very Happy Easter Monday to you, do not eat too much chocolate. Besos xx

  7. I was really waiting for the information about new 2013 vehicles, and thank you so much for sharing a nice wording with us, please keep it up.

  8. Dear Owner of Advance Technology Tools,

    I have only just noticed your comment on my blog post "Home Thoughts from Abroad", quite some years after you must have posted it. I do apologise for this neglect. It is kind of you to say I have "nice wording". I am a professional writer in a small way so I have worked a lot on my style. The later posts on my blog have become much longer and more complex but I hope the wording is still nice and the subject matter interesting.

    I thank you once again for your interest.

    Yours faithfully,

    Charles Albert Reis Hills