Falta-me o Pedro

É a segunda vez na minha vida que vou para Portugal sem lá estar o Pedro. A primeira foi quando me embarcaram no “Alcantara” no dia 11 de outubro de 1952 com destino a Lisboa. A 23 de fevereiro de 1954 nascia o Pedro. Desde então fomos irmãos. Passámos 14 anos como irmãos primeiro crianças e depois adolescentes. Passam- me muitas imagens desses tempos pela cabeça. Tivemos como todos momentos bons e maus. Coisas que me marcaram talvez não o tenham marcado tanto. Nunca o saberemos. O Pedro não se abria muito. Quando os nossos pais se separaram foi um rude golpe. Estávamos em idade difícil. Não entendíamos muito bem o que se passava, mas as brigas dos nossos pais eram difícil de lidar.
Fomos parar ao colégio Valsassina como alunos internos e no verão fomos para a colônia de férias na Praia das Maçãs. Para mim esse tempo foi dramático. Como irmão mais velho sentia que tinha que proteger o Pedro.
As coisas acalmaram quando fomos para Carcavelos viver com a nossa mãe, irmã Joana e avó Bua. O Pedro era muito generoso. Sempre nos lembrávamos quando íamos à Feira Popular e ele sempre tinha uns tostões para fazermos qualquer coisa extra. Na Praceta de Carcavelos o Pedro adoptou cães abandonados e fez comércio com bichos da seda.
A qualquer jogo de mesa que participasse tacitamente e irremediavelmente ganhava. Não havia hipótese. A escola no entanto não era para ele e nunca percebeu muito bem o que lá andava a fazer. Preocupava todos quando desaparecia para pescar ou fazer campismo. Nunca deu nenhuma importância aos confortos caseiros. Preferia mesmo era uma vida simples e sem complicações. Mais tarde aderiu à vida de praia e gostava de dar mergulhos no nosso mar Atlântico.
Quando era pequeno lembro-me de o ver jogar ao berlinde com grande entusiasmo e de cócoras. Da varanda a minha avó preocupava-se com o Pedro e seu futuro. Talvez pudesse ser relojoeiro?
Não foi para muito longe. Foi para a montagem de filmes. Gostava daquele ambiente que requeria paciência e ambientes fechados . Foi nos filmes que conheceu a Maria João e com ela teve as duas maravilhosas filhas Marta e Catarina.
 O Pedro integrou-se na nova família. Cumpriu o seu papel de pai acompanhando as filhas quando cresciam. Penso que foi um bom pai para as meninas e que se esforçou por fazer o melhor. Sempre mostrou orgulho por elas sem precisar de o dizer diretamente.
A vida do trabalhador da área do cinema não é fácil. É um ramo para entusiastas sempre com pouco dinheiro. O Pedro nunca ganhou grande coisa no cinema e quando as montagens passaram para a digitalização não sei se acompanhou as mudanças. Para dizer a verdade nunca percebia grande coisa quando falava da sua vida profissional. Sei que tinha alguns amigos nos filmes. Estava sempre disposto a ir com eles por esse Portugal fora fazendo diversos trabalhos ligados às produções cinematográficas.
Mais tarde na vida quando se separou da Maria João conheceu a Sara e com ela teve o Miguel. Este filho passou a ser o motivo principal da sua vida. Andava sempre com o Miguel e ajudava a Sara. Teve um amigo no Andy que apoiou a família nos momentos difíceis. Faleceu no passado dia 12 de maio após prolongada e dolorosa doença que enfrentou à maneira da sua personalidade tentando envolver outros o mínimo possível. Era o meu irmão e sinto a sua falta.

O senhor da Praceta

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Fui percebendo aos poucos que o João Paulo Henriques era o senhor da Praceta. Nasceu lá, cresceu lá e lá morreu. Vamos ter saudades dele, já as temos…Os meus velhos amigos da Praceta sabem que os deixei muito cedo e só nos ultimos anos recuperei os cantactos e fiquei a saber que já tinhamos perdido alguns como o Luis Lacerda e o Mário Simões. Se alguma coisa aprendi foi que os nossos amigos de infancia não são iguais a nenhuns outros. Tratamo-nos por tu e não nos deixamos influenciar por politica ou religião. Quando nos encontramos agora é para sermos um pouco do que éramos. Irresponsáveis, brincalhões e principamente para nos recordarmos dos tempos da juventude quando tinhamos toda a nossa vida pela frente.

O João Paulo era companheiro do meu irmão Pedro. Andavam juntos na escola os dois mas não era para aí que estavam virados. Preocupávamos-nos certamente com eles lá em casa. Se andavam bem, se não faziam asneiras… Como irmão mais velho do Pedro devo ter tido as mesmas preocupações que a Paulucha tinha com o João Paulo. Quando eram mais pequenos jogavam muito ao berlinde mesmo em frente da nossa casa. Gostavam da praia, da pesca. Reencontrei o João Paulo a trabalhar num bar e penso que tambem trabalhava num banco. Nessa altura nem me apercebi que ainda vivia na Praceta.

Não sou a melhor pessoa para fazer um apanhado da vida do João Paulo. Alguns de voces leitores, poderão dar a vossa contribuição e ajudar-nos a recordar quem fez parte das vossas vidas. Afinal foram mais de 60 anos de convivencia. Aqui não há que sair longe da Praceta, de Carcavelos, da bela linha do Estoril. Foi aí que o João Paulo viveu e onde continuará a fazer parte da nossa memória.

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Travels with Grandpa 2010 (12)

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Day before last in Lisbon… We played cards the whole day and ordered dinner from a restaurant across the road. This restaurant is owned by a man from Bangladesh.
Helena isn’t feeling so well so she stays in as Uncle Pedro, Grandpa
and Patricia travelled to S. Pedro to meet Great grandma Pamela. In the evening the grownups went to the Fado in Rua da Rosa. Fado, we were told is typical Portuguese singing. It was not of the best quality according to Grandpa but the food was OK at the Forcado restaurant.
After that they still had time to sit in the Chinese Pavilion and recover with a drink. -Cheers, Grandpa!

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Last day in Portugal… Andrea arrives in the evening and Grandpa invites everybody back to the nice Nepalese restaurant. Grandpa opens a bank account in a bank in Portugal. We spend most of the day packing and planning on how to get to the airport and if we will get there on time.

Getting to the airport was a piece a cake thanks to Grandpas meticulous planning. We arrived at the airport in good time after catching two separate cabs. After the usual waiting periods we could at last go on board. This plane was called Alexandre O’Neill. When we thought we were about to take off, the plane turned back. The explanation was that the luggage hatch had not been properly closed. O’Neill had decided to pull one on us”-Ó Portugal se fosses só tres silabas, de plástico que era
mais barato”. We left Portugal as always with mixed feelings and already with some melancholy and longing to this country where only the unexpected can be expected. –”Onde só o imprevisto é previsivel e onde um
Portugal desconhecido sempre espera por si”. In Stockholm we were met by floods of rain.

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Travels with Grandpa 2010 (9)

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Portugal is a fantastic country where unexpected things happen all the time! One needs to experience it in order to understand. Patricia believes it is all about holding on to high levels of adrenalin and that people get addicted. For Swedes who do not want everything organized and predictable (if there are any?) it might be seen as relaxing. Grandpa can cope, but gets irritated at times, like when they went to buy train tickets to Viseu and there were no people waiting- but the internet suddenly died. It all eventually started to work again but a lot of time was wasted…

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Time is something that we cannot administer very well in Portugal because of the high rate of improbabilities. We were invited by Great grandpa to eat at the “El Corte Ingles”. We were there at the agreed time. Even Great grandpa was there on time but was waiting at another place and had forgotten his cell phone. Grandpa solved the whole thing by contacting Uncle Pedro who in turn rang Leonor. In any case, Jonatan and Liv were given each a check for 30€ by Greatgrandpa and his wife Leonor. Jonatan bought a pair of football shoes
and Liv a schoolbag. We travelled as fast as we could to S. Pedro and Great Grandma Pamela. She was irritated about several things, which had to do with her health. Everyone went off to the beach, as Grandpa stayed with Pedro to go through some papers with a Notary. Great grandma gave a flat to Grandpa. Maybe we will be able to stay there when we come to Portugal next time. So, thank you Great Grandma!

Travels with Grandpa 2010 (8)

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Finally the much awaited day at the Lisbon Zoo! As everybody loves animals the family grew thicker by the minute and eventually we were 10 people all running in different directions and curious of different things, thirsty and hungry at different times. Must say that the best moment was when the sea lion got it in his head to kiss Grandpa! This happened at the Delfinarium, where we were offered quite a decent show. Even the other program with the birds flying in the open was good. It was a hot day and the animals were lazy until the late afternoon. That was when the group started to split up. First it was Pedro and ML that disappeared, then David and Vótetta. A few minutes later we discovered they had not progressed further than to a McDonald’s inside the zoo.
We the others, went home and cooked spaghetti that according to Jonatan was the best meal, since arrival. After this Patricia and Helena went to bed so we went with Grandpa to the Estrela Park with a football. We played there for a long and intensive period until Grandpa blew the whistle and we all went home. It was 9 o’ clock.

resan17resan 18   David and giraffs!

 

 

Travels with Grandpa 2010 (3)

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Sunday presented the opportunity, to once again visit other family members. It took us
to Parede where great uncle Pedro lives.There we met a whole new bunch of people. Hope we don’t forget anyone, Great uncle Pedro and his son Miguel, his two daughters Marta and Catarina and their boyfriends João and Guilherme. Miguel’s mother Sara and Sara’s mother Ema were there. Besides Anna and her son João an Englishman called Andy turned up!  With three called João it was rather confusing because Grandpa thought everyone was yelling at him and accusing him of things he hadn’t done like for example beating up Miguel or throwing hammers, stones and so on.

To compensate for all the confusion everyone got to eat sardines, chops and salads. The whole thing finished up at the café next door with snails and ice cream. Grandpa and Jonatan spent the rest of the evening together with a bunch of Spaniards helping del Bosque to his World Cup gold. Patricia and Grandpa went for a walk as the children stayed at the hotel bar sipping long drinks of water on the rocks!

resan 7 Loud Spaniards celebrate

It is now Monday on our fantastic adventure. We returned to Greatgranny’s home in
S.Pedro. D & D had not met grandpa’s mother so it was all a nice new
experience. Grandpa was asked to speak to a 99 year old from Sweden. They discussed
complicated matters and Grandpa got to know that the old gentleman was called
Arne Hulthén. He had worked for the steel industry and was originally from the
island of Gotland. Even though he was both deaf and blind they could converse
with each other. Uncle Arne thought grandpa had a strong dialect which must be
explained because of Grandpas many years living in Sundsvall. We met Maddy who
is John’s cousin and after bathing at the beach we all went back to the pool.

resan 8  Outside Greatgranny’s home in S. Pedro

Jantar de Praceteiros

CIMG0120 (2)Teve lugar no passado dia três de agosto um jantar de confraternização com a presença de doze Praceteiros e afins, da década de sessenta!

A abrir o evento, surge a futura presidente da Junta de freguesia de S. Domingos de Rana, Sra. Maria Fernanda Gonçalves, em plena campanha para as autárquicas de Setembro. Aproveita para dar as boas vindas!

-Na Suécia onde resido desde 1973, costuma-se dizer, à laia de brincadeira que quando três suecos se juntam, escolhe-se logo um presidente, um secretário e um tesoureiro. Ficou por fazer! Declara João Pinheiro ( Staffordiano), iniciador deste evento.

O jantar efectuou-se no restaurante Melita em Rana e foi excelentemente organizado por Ana Barreto ( Pauluxa).

Os convivas trataram de diversas questöes,do foro das memórias do tempo de adolescencia, que passaram juntos na Praceta do Junqueiro, em Carcavelos. Além dos já referidos tomaram parte: José Manuel do Carmo e esposa Consuelo, que fizeram questão de vir expressamente do Algarve, Marina do Carmo, Pedro Lacerda e Cristina Santos, Betty Casqueiro, de Washington D.C., as irmãs Maria de Lourdes e Teresa Matos além de João Gouveia (Johhny) e do Pedro Pinheiro.

Segundo pudemos apurar, ficou decidido, que o próximo evento anual, será a 4 de agosto de 2014.

– A ideia até lá é fazermos outros eventos, para juntarmos mais pessoas, para o próximo ano- diz-nos João Gouveia!

O espirito da Praceta ficou bem demonstrado, neste evento, em que tambem sobresaíu a  boa comida e alguma sangria, que ajudaram à excelente boa disposição em que todos se encontravam, lá pela meia noite, quando os proprietários do restaurante simpáticamente convidaram os barulhentos Praceteiros a ir para casa!

Travels with Grandpa 2010 (1)

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We left Sweden spot on time, on a plane called Florbela Espanca!
This because grandpa drove at a record time from Sundsvall. The newly updated GPS functioned to perfection and for the first time, correctly showed the new road north of Uppsala. The trip went well and we were lucky, to get Jonatan a vegetarian meal, on board. Grandpa offered to land the plane but the captain declined politely but firmly.
In Lisbon there was a huge crowd waiting, in what must be described, as a sort of welcome committee.People ran around on different directions in great excitement as Grandpa held welcome speeches and gave out some information on Lisbon’s history and geography! The group then split up into three different vehicles. Grandpa and Jonatan went off with Greatgrandpa and Leonor (Greatgrandpa’s wife). This was also the first car to arrive at the hotel after a speedy trip with Leonor as co-pilot and Greatgrandpa holding the wheel, in what made us think of the Lisbon rally in WRC. We arrived at the Londres hotel on time to see the second half of the match between Spain and Germany. We saw this, surrounded by loud Spaniards, screaming for joy. The goal scored by David Villa was enough to put Spain on the finals for the first time ever. As the brothers D&D had disappeared for a few hours, Patricia could fulfill a much awaited dream and shared 4 sardines with Grandpa.

Next day Jonatan and Liv went off with Grandpa to visit Greatgrandma. Pamela. Before that, they picked up uncle Pedro, at the beach so he could guide the whole expedition. Pamela was well and stayed at a luxurious home for elderly. Grandpa later invited all for pizzas which was very well appreciated by all concerned. All, were also, very thankful to Grandpa who had managed to acquire tickets for the local train, which seemed to be very complicated in Portugal. Then it was decided that everybody should eat dinner at Vótetta’s. We travelled speedily to Algés. During this trip we all listened to scenes and tales being told from Grandpa’s life to everyone’s overwhelming interest.
Arrived in Algés we got a message that Vótetta was waiting for us at another station. Nothing to worry about…After a while she appeared and all could get into a small car. Grandpa who got to seat in the front offered to push the car on a steep hill but it was not necessary. Everyone was very satisfied with Vótettas wonderful cooking.

Resan2  At Arlanda Airport- Daniel Meneses

The spectators in Mérida

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It was as hot as it generally gets in the town of Mérida that august of 1972. It was on this old capital of the Romans- Lusitania province- that we spent some time and met some of my family having reached the nearest point to the Portuguese border we would get to, on the Interrail stretch.

Mérida is an interesting place: founded in 25 BC by order of Emperor Augustus it preserves to our time the longest remaining bridge from the Roman times, the one over the Guadiana River. Some of its remaining monuments are the amphitheater, triumph arch and theatre.

“In 713 it was conquered by the Muslim army under Musa bin Nusair, and became the capital of the Cora of Mérida; the Arabs re-used most of the old Roman buildings and expanded some, such as the Alcazaba.The city returned to Christian rule in 1230, when it was conquered by Alfonso IX of Léon and subsequently became the seat of the priory of San Marcos de León of the Order of Santiago. A period of recovery started for Mérida after the unification of the crowns of Aragon and Castile (15th century), thanks to the support of Alonso Cardenas, Grand Master of the Order. In 1720 the city became the capital of the Intendencia of Mérida.” Wikipedia.

It was sitting on the seats of the ancient theatre that we chose to immortalize our family gathering in the Spanish Extremadura. My sister Joana, a 14 year old teenager, by brother Pedro 18 and my mother Pamela 43 can be seen in the picture together with me João, at 20.Mona, 20 holding the camera!

Nobody could tell when we would be able to see Portugal and being so near was a special feeling for me at any rate.

From now on our return trip was on and our holiday beginning to end. We got in touch with our Spanish cousin Martinho and it was decided we would pay him a call when we arrived in Madrid!

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Spanish hospitality

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After the long stretch between Barcelona and Valencia we were convinced that we had done the worst trip that the Spanish railway company RENFE could offer her passengers. In Valencia we booked ourselves at the Hotel Europa to get a much needed rest. This hotel was spot on in the centre of this important Spanish city with a view towards the Plaza del Ayuntamiento.

Our destination now was Andalucía in the south. I am sure we touched on Sevilla and spent a few hours there before heading for the coastal town of Huelva. Once there we were looking for somewhere to stay. Since entering France I was left in charge of communication, as I knew the languages.

I approached a young couple and asked them if they knew where we could stay. They promptly invited us to their home. There was no question about it… They just would not hear of anything else. Mona was very impressed as this couple with a small child prepared their own double bed for us to sleep in. They somehow settled somewhere else. This beat all records of hospitality before or after. We talked about it many times later and sent them a postcard thanking them and inviting them to visit us, although we had not settled anywhere at this time.

We were now prepared to meet the Pinheiros as they planned to arrive. My father came by car bringing Bua along and perhaps Pedro. It was a much awaited moment this one of seeing my grandmother. It was decided that my father would drive us to Merida where we could meet the rest of the family, somewhat like the changing of the guard. We took in at a hotel in the old Emerita Augusta, important Roman town, in its day.

Pleasantly enough there was a swimming pool at the hotel to cool us down!