Winter

Brazil x England – (Ding Ding!)

It’s now been over two months since I arrived back in the UK from my holiday in Brazil. I’ve had enough time to analyse how the trip went, although when you go to see family and friends it’s bound to be good anyway. In fact, it seems like it happened ages ago and I miss he place and everyone already!

As you may/may not know, I live in the UK and all my family and childhood/teenage years friends live in Brazil, so every time I go I try to see as many people as I can to make sure that the bonds that are so important to me stay as they are: strong.

This time, there was a difference, though. I took the boyfriend with me. I was a little anxious as to what he would think of Brazil… but let the trip run its course without asking him a million times whether he was having a good time or not. I could actually see for myself that he was happy, but I didn’t want to keep on asking the question and annoying the hell out of him.

It turns out that he loves it, which is fantastic! It was funny to watch him around my family and friends. Lee is a naturally quiet person and he’ll only really let go when he has known the person for a little while (or if he is drunk, ha!). Even so, it seemed like he felt pretty comfortable being around everyone, which was a relief. At the end of the holiday, I left Brazil with my parents and friends telling me what a catch he is (and because he now knows what they think, I’ll have to look at his smug face forever!).

Anyway, this post is not about that, really, it’s about me thinking of Brazil and REALLY thinking about the reasons why I chose not to live there. I have written about this here before, mainly about not being able to explain why I chose to live in England over Brazil.

Now here’s the truth: these are two completely different countries in so many ways… age, politics, society, culture, economy, etc. Even so, I find that a few of my top reasons for not living in Brazil are quite shallow considering other issues that could well tip the balance in England’s or Brazil’s favour.

So here they are:

1. Hay fever

Who suffers from this sneezing-evil condition will know what I’m talking about. In Brazil, I am ALWAYS sneezing, my nose is always running and I find that this has a massive impact on my quality of life. In England, I only suffer from hay fever for a couple of months during spring, if that.

England 1 x Brazil 0

2. Security

In England, Lee and I go out at night and walk back home, no matter the distance or the time. I do not worry and I am not scared walking around in England. In Brazil, as everyone knows, the story is very different. Lately, it seems to have been getting  even worse.

England 1 x Brazil 0

3. Food

In England, a much smaller country than Brazil, there seems to be so much more food variety. And although the fruit and veg do taste a lot better in Brazil, England’s selections of cheese make up for it in one go.

England 1 x Brazil 0

4. Travel

In Brazil, the airports can be quite disorganised and the air fares are not always the most friendly on the pocket. In fact, it can be cheaper to travel abroad than it is travelling within the country! England, on the other hand, proves to be a fantastic connection to the world and the amazing places out there.

England 1 x Brazil 0

5. Salary

This was always a positive about England. Not anymore. 13 years ago, I remember working in a restaurant in London, paying for all my bills whilst renting a room in a house with other friends, going out and still being able to save to go travelling. Now, the same recession that seems to have impulsed growth in Brazil, hit England in a bad way. Having a job is a bonus and saving any money can be compared to performing a small miracle. Having said that, I recently read that the cost of living in Brazil has skyrocketed, leaving people with no choice but to swallow hard and carry on.

Brazil 1 x England 0

6. Organisation

For as long as I remember, getting any kind of document in Brazil is a very good reason for a headache. The queues are never-ending, the forms are not straight-forward and there are always obscure rules that no one knows about. In England, everything is so black and white it can even get embarrassing if you don’t understand how things work. They make it easy for everyone and usually things are done pretty quickly.

England 1 x Brazil 0

7. Politics

In Brazil, we all know how messy this scenario is. Year after year, the same corrupt politicians are still part of the government (how?) and most people still seem to sell their votes to the highest bidder. In England, the majority seems to take much more of an interest in politics. They recognise how it affects daily life and make sure they have their say.

England 1 x Brazil 0

8. The climate

Yes, ok, call me crazy, but I prefer to be in the cold than in the scalding hot weather of Brazil. It drives me absolutely mad to be sweating all day every day, to sleep unfomfortably and not be able to function properly if not in the mercy of an air con. I like the cold weather England has to offer which, funnily enough, is what the English try to run away from at any given opportunity. Yes, I like sunny days, but by the beach. For city living and a working life, I’m happy where I am, thank you.

England 1 x Brazil 0

So, if you have done the maths, England wins 7×1. But it’s not just about this list. There is something else. Still, unfortunately, it’s that something I can’t explain. There must be something in the air. Or I might have past connections with this place – yes, I do believe this is possible! I don’t know what it is. I love Brazil to bits and it will always be my favourite country where a lot of people I love are but, to me,  nowhere else says HOME as England does. For now. (ha!)

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Categories: Brazil, Home, Living away from home, London, My home, St Annes living, Winter | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Winter time!

Having just arrived back from my sunny (and lovely!) holiday in Brazil, it’s no wonder that the icy, snowy and cold weather that welcomed me back to England proved to be a bit of a shock to the system. On my first few days back, I tried to not even leave the house… all I wanted to do was to stay in with all the radiators on full power (was I trying to get the Brazilian sunshine feel back into my life? Probably.).

The radiator trick didn’t last too long, so I just had to come to terms with the change and start embracing it. And when I finally let go off the lack of sunshine in my life, I actually realised that there are many things that I do like about winter.
Here’s my top 10.

1. Hot chocolate

Yum! Nice and hot, creamy and full of marshmallows… who doesn’t love it? But I don’t make mine with hot water only, I always use mainly milk and chocolate powder. This makes it scrummy and delicious!

2. Early crispy mornings

I have been going to the gym in the morning before work (talk about New Year’s resolutions!) and I find myself really enjoying the cold early mornings. They are very fresh and crispy and make me feel really empowered somehow.

3. Snuggling

Of course this one would be on the list. Who doesn’t love snuggling up to someone they love? It’s the perfect time of the year to watch movies in bed, holding each other and fighting over who will get out of bed to make the next round of hot chocolates.

4. Scarves

I’m a scarf-lover and I reckon it makes an outfit most of the time. What better time than winter to try all the ways in which you can wrap a scarf around your neck?

5. Snow

Yes, it’s a nightmare to drive in it, but nothing beats a snow-covered garden, street, park. It’s just so beautiful, calming, quiet… pure bliss!

6. PJs

I’m a PJ girl and by that I mean that if I’m at home, I’m usually wearing pyjamas. The good thing is that in winter at least I have an excuse for doing that and not feel like a lazy sod all the time.

7. Sunshine

There is something about the sunshine in winter. If you care to get up early in the morning when the sun is just coming up, the golden look it gives buildings and gardens is amazing.

8. Books

There is no better season to spend time reading than in winter. I usually do a lot more reading in winter than in summer. It just feels right to be lying down, under the blanket, lost in a good story.

9. Hot baths

Ahhhh, this is always a winner for me in the cold weather. Some candles, some nice bath oil and a good magazine. I say magazine because although I love baths, I’m not patient enough to stay in there too long. Still it’s one of my favourite things in winter.

10. Thinking time

Winter is a good time to think about life, choices and the future. We are usually not so busy and can just chill with the extra time in hand.

So there you go… I love all seasons, really, and I can’t deny I do like the cold weather. My body seems to like it too. I feel energised and ready to take on the world, even if lots of stops happen for a much needed brew along the way.

Categories: Winter | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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