O escritório de Salazar


Corria o boato em 1968. A informação corria da clandestinidade. Salazar teria caído duma cadeira no seu escritório da casa de verão. Muito mais não se sabia. Era uma notícia que esperançava o fim da ditadura do Estado Novo. Salazar nacionalista tinha a ideologia que estava na moda. Os portugueses tinham interesses comuns e basta. Só que a ideologia acabou na segunda guerra mundial na Alemanha e na Itália com a derrota.

Continuou em Portugal. Com consequências nefastas para o desenvolvimento do país. Sem alternativas democráticas o país estagnou nas guerras coloniais, na emigração, na pobreza e ignorância dos portugueses. Salazar era homem de brandos costumes. Escolheu como casa de verão em 1950 o forte de Santo Antônio da Barra, forte mandado construir no reinado de Filipe I para essencialmente proteger a costa de Lisboa.

Salazar caiu mesmo da cadeira e o que eram os seus aposentos até 1968 estão agora abertos ao público. O mobiliário já lá não está mas uma fotografia mostra como era o seu escritório. A câmara de Cascais tratou por cedência do ministério da Defesa que se recuperasse o forte, e ainda bem. .. Espero que continue a ser possível aos cidadãos de hoje e do futuro o poderem visitar.

Foto de Salazar lendo um jornal que deveria saber estava debaixo das garras da censura.

Travels with Grandpa 2010 (10)


There is always an unexpected Portugal waiting for you… Or as Grandpa says the unexpected is to be expected. Today Grandpa finished off some paper work and was on his way to Carcavelos when he got a phone call to turn around and stay in Lisbon. He could, after all, visit the Finanças there and deal with the papers and then go off to Cascais. It was already sometime after 5 o’clock when Grandpa and Patricia could arrive in S. Pedro where we were all waiting, since a few hours before. At last and after two weeks in Portugal, Grandpa finally came down to the beach to feel the sand and the ocean’s cold water!

Grandpa showed us children, something of the coast life and we discovered several sea snails, mussels and other creatures hiding under the rocks. Once back we were presented with a spaghetti dish with tomatoes and coriander after a dreadful trip for Grandpa who was dying to go to the toilet ever since we got on the train in S. Pedro.

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Life can be boring without Grandpa nearby! Patricia and grandpa went off early in the morning to catch the train to Viseu. Once there Patricia’s father Julio and his wife Cristina and daughter Joana were waiting at the station. They all took good care of Grandpa who was able to relax. They did not go to bed before 2 in the morning. What we did? Well… We went to the beach ate a Greek salad and on our way back we got lost in Lisbon looking for a restaurant to eat. Guided by Jonatan and Liv we eventually arrived at the place where we had eaten with Grandpa the evening when we had listened to the opera and Jonatan had a stomach ache.

Travels with Grandpa 2010 (4)

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Daniel had had enough after being stung by a wasp and needed a special medicine. His finger had swollen up and it was disgusting to see. Vótetta collected D & D with promises of lots of food and other extras. They went to see Shrek 4 in 3D, which really impressed Vótetta. The others marched off to Cascais under the leadership of Grandpa. There, everyone got to taste different dishes and where there was a place specially suited for Jonatan, as they had a buffet where one could choose from 8 different vegetarian selections. When he sat down his eye caught something that looked like the fish “bacalhau”. We discovered that in Portugal “bacalhau” is vegetarian even though Jonatan did not accept that and gave Grandpa his bits. Patricia managed to find a dress to match an invitation from one of Portugal’s largest municipalities. Even Grandpa had to look for a suit! There was one that Patricia fancied… When we got to hear the price it was €3600. They looked a bit more and then Grandpa thanked everyone for the interest shown. The evening ended with a self composed dinner at the balcony of the hotel.Goodbye Hotel Londres!

The trip to Lisbon was a success. Liv and Jonatan (now with his Torres shirt) pulled a suitcase each from the hotel to the train station. Then we took a taxi that was driven by a man who had owned a construction company. Grandpa and the chauffeur spoke of world matters before we arrived at R. de S. Bento 638. We set up camp there and ate our first home cooked meal. After that, Grandpa had to go to the Finances which is like our Tax office. Liv accompanied out of curiosity as Jonatan stayed behind to recover from a minor stomach upset. Once at the Financas and after waiting for two hours Grandpa was informed that he needed a representative, and who was his representative? This was a complete novelty for Grandpa who was used to represent and not be represented. What to do? The search for a representative started so the group rushed to Great grandpa’s at Guerra Junqueiro. After a short dispute between Great grandpa and Leonor it was decided in favor of Great grandpa. Grandpa had now found a representative. Grandpa and Patricia went to the shops and Grandpa bought two suits. By doing this it was considered he had saved the shop from a pending bankruptcy! As Liv complained of hunger we visited a Nepalese restaurant that everyone was very pleased with.

Look through any window


My first teenage visit to London was in 1965. It was the most exciting time to come to London. The Beatles had made their impact on the world of pop so there was just nowhere I’d rather be.

This was my second visit since my grandfather and Pat who was now my grandmother had moved to Croydon and Hurst View Road. It was a nice house on the outskirts and Pat drove the car to several exciting places around the area where a teenager might find clothes, shoes and music to make the envy of many upon one’s return. One thing, I remember acquiring on this trip, was a pair of Beatles boots with elastic on the side! Gosh, they were trendy!

On one of these outings we visited the Hollands near Streatham common. This was Pat’s daughter Anne’s and Basil’s family. There was Judith, Peter, Michael, Paul and Tracy!  I remember us boys playing conkers as I wondered how such a large family got fed and taken care of. Mother Anne seemed to have everything under control.

The TV programmes in England were so much more varied and interesting than those in Portugal. It felt as if I had moved 100 years forward in time. Top of the Pops and hilarious comedies such as “Till death do us part” and “Steptoe and son”- were the sort of things that would catch my endless attention. On my head remained the songs in the charts and particularly one followed all the way back to Carcavelos- “Look through any window” by the Hollies. Unfortunately I didn’t take the record with me and subsequent searching in the Cascais area gave no results!!

The Hollies