Fashion and politics

King's Rd

Needless to say if you were young and lived in London you couldn’t miss King’s Road, Chelsea.

This was one of the London streets where the sophisticated liked to come and show off. There were plenty of boutiques, pubs and restaurants. I have some vivid memories from my time in London that I can associate with King’s Road. Mário Soveral and I certainly went there quite often in late summer- autumn of 1970.

How did I bump into Mário? Well quite naturally… My mother knew his mother the actress Laura Soveral. Laura could very well have taken lessons at the British institute, so when they came to London it was only natural that they should get in touch with me. As Mário was a little younger than myself-he sometimes called me “Papá Pinheiro” – I was seen as someone who could give him support and calm him down a little! Whether this is his picture I do not know as I have lost track of him, but am convinced and hopeful that he will get in touch with me, as I have initiated a search all over Portugal to get hold of him.

It was in King’s Rd that I was invited for lunch with Laura and her husband José Maria. We went to one of many small posh restaurants along the street. We got into talking about the situation in Portugal and I clearly remember criticizing the regime and the relatively new Prime Minister Marcelo Caetano. I noticed that José Maria tried to say that things were developing and a process of democratization had been launched. -Yeah, sure…Was my comment! When we left the restaurant Mário had the courtesy to inform me that José Maria was the son of Portugal’s dictator Marcelo Caetano.

4 thoughts on “Fashion and politics

  1. Is this accurate?
    When I moved to Lisbon in 1970 Laura was not yet married to Ze Maria. She still lived with Paula, Mario and Rui in the Travessa do Jasmin, although of course she may already have got together with him… That was when i first met the children too and Mario was around then so maybe his trip to London was either earlier or later than 1970..?
    I don’t think you can apply the term ‘dictator’ to Marcelo Caetano. I don’t believe anyone thinks of him as such. It’s true that he did replace Salazar as Prime Minister but he was quite different, I believe.

    • 1- you might be right about the year that Mario first came to London. If you see my text about Caetano and Gil they came over in 1969! I have letters from him from end of 1970 when he wanted to come back but later changed his mind when he met a girl and fell in love.
      I do not necessarily think Laura and Josė Maria were married when they came to London but they were a couple!
      2- what to call Marcelo Caetano? In democratic countries if you are not elected to your post the term used is generally dictator. He belonged to the Party that did not allow other parties and sent people to prison. If he had called for general elections let’s say within 2 or three years and allowed for other political parties he would never be called a dictator. Instead he stuck to power and finally was chased away. How would you describe him?

      • Hi, Jo… Always a pleasure to see you… Ever was… You and your family (my beloved little cousins!) are ever positive memories.
        Just so as you don’t think I am only here now for to flatter you… 😉
        I’ve got to agree with Daddy here: The position/staged role the guy held in the intact power-structure (whether willingly or nauseated) is what we have got for to relate to, no matter what his personality may have been.

        Mmm… I am actually despondently “fed up” with the very common assumption that the “good will” is more important than the outcome. Everyone has a “good will” if you ask them and they don’t need to tell a lie for telling you this.

        And now in my epoch and country, when someone says to me that it is important whether the blues or the reds win the election I go “Yeah, sure…”
        There is some analogy here not to be underestimated(though I grant it is not complete) and I’m glad to see that I do take after my father…

  2. Really a delight to partake of these memories!
    I have begun reading the entries “in order of appearance” from the bottom to the top.
    The Portuguese is a bit of a struggle for me and to some extent passes me by and my Brazilian pocket vocabulary is not fully “fit for the fight”

    I choose this particular anecdote for to make a first comment, as it delights me particularly. I love it!
    When I told it to Jeanette her reaction was that it sounds like a story out of the memoirs of Luis Buñuel – the Spanish film director who was a part of the group of radical surrealists in the 1930s. Yes indeed!
    Whenever I pick it up and turn up any chapter in his book – “My last sigh” – I’m hooked and I’ve read it “innumerable” times since I was 20. I like to think of Buñuel as my “favourite atheist&anarchist” and I’ve always felt a peculiar kinship to his attitude/sense of humour.
    Though I’ve never heard related memories such as this one from my father it does not surprise me when I now see it. It fits into something as is hardly more than unconscious expectations, a “missing world” as has got to be there though it is not seen.

    So… I am very grateful for these memoirs (though the technical format is not optimal. I’d sure prefer it on paper for the screen tires my eyesight, but…)
    I am very happy to discover that my father’s writing has the qualities that are the basis of good literature of any kind (whether it be called “fact” or “fiction”):
    An invitation to a share of thoughts and impressions in a cheerful and courteous manner.

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