For those who appreciate my posts, I apologize.
The ones that don’t like it, I know, just delete it. If you haven’t read any yet, read one and decide which team you will join. I can’t see the present score.
We ended up here, in Águas de Contendas, a neighbourhood in the Municipality of Conceição do Rio Verde, State of Minas Gerais, to be close to our son, his French wife, a seven-year-old daughter, Jasmin, and a 2-year-old son, Samuel, who was born here.
We, and the Chihuahuas, had already followed them from Guarujá, State of São Paulo, where we lived in the neighbourhood of Pitangueiras, by the sea, to which I already wrote my ode “In Pitangueiras if the moon is full…”, when they sold their nice, cosy apartment, 80 meters from the beach, with wonderful views of the beaches of Pitangueiras and Asturias.
They bought, in Ilhabela, a large land full of native forest trees, a stream in the background that formed a small lake where they swam and so did I.
They built their house; at this time, Jasmin was one and a half years old; her first birthday party was crossing the South Atlantic sea, on the sailboat on which Pedro, Louise, Jasmin and Zion − an Epagnol Breton — a brave and experienced sailor — that Pedro won, two days old, breastfed and raised, came from France to Ilhabela.
Ilhabela, with a population of 35,600 inhabitants, received 756 billion Reais per year in royalties from oil production in 218; with the new redistribution, it will receive in 2022, 572 billion. A very rich municipality- country.
I explain quickly why I can only write very little here.
We bought this house to quickly be close to Pedro’s little family and for the price that was a bargain; as in the case of the house we bought in Ilhabela (details on the next post), the bargain turned out to be very expensive!
We had to renovate almost everything: cracked walls, moisture infiltration through poorly waterproofed grade beams, in the first rains, the upper terrace was soaked, slabs were poorly made, the floor was cracked, the ceiling in the living room, from the hallway to the bedrooms, from the two bedrooms on the left, all wet; in the dining room, water was dripping through the fan, we had to turn it off.
In the large space at the back, where we placed the large table brought from Ilhabela, rugs, the second stove and refrigerator, groceries cupboard, table chairs and extra chairs, rocking chair, wide bench, small table with four chairs, from the roof was raining almost as much as outside; all flooded with six to seven centimetres of a pond with little trim for a single tiny drain.
This roof — which was made of wood — had to be completely dismantled and another one was made, in a metallic structure, with the correct trim specifications for the type of tiles.
Today, after eight months of work, external and internal painting is finished, a lot of money has been draining our savings − with the competence that the tiny drain should have −, it looks beautiful and delicious.
But, the house is big; the cash inflows are the undignified and infamous retirement payments by the INSS — Social Security (INSS — Instituto Nacional do Seguro Social): we pay during 25 or 30 years with the maximum; today, due to unfair and segregationist methods of correction, we receive 30 per cent of the amount we received in the first year. We supplement the inflow with the monthly net free dividends of an investment that we made by selling a piece of an old asset.
We can’t have a maid: I help Julieta in everything I can, I take the Chihuahuas for a walk two or three times a day. I attend delivery people, mail, telephone and broadband connection technicians, bricklayers and painters for any new repairs; and the house seems to be a “Posto Ipiranga”: due to the location, in front of the avenue, few houses around, many people come to ask for help to find an address or a person.
I also spend a lot of time as a computer services agent for needs that Julieta doesn’t have time to do, agent for handling and controlling bank accounts and payments.
− Flavio! A snake!
It was a baby Coral, 35 centimetres. But everyone here says that the venom of younger snakes is more potent than that of those already adults. With a machete, I cut off his head.
We and our neighbour in the back we hired a jack-of-all-trades.
He weeded all the bush around us, piled the cut grass and set fire to everything.
− Flavio! Another snake!
It was a big and well-nourished worm…
The cost of living here is low, many times lower than in São Paulo, much lower even than in Ilhabela, which helps us a lot.
At my age, physical and mental exercise wears me out. At night, after dinner, that is the time when I could write, the E-mail and What’s Up inboxes are crammed, I receive Medium’s marvellous texts…I have to read what I can and, of course, comment and reply: I comment what I can, I reply to everyone I get commentaries from (if I failed with you, please let me know).
Did you understand?
I will continue in another post “How we came to face each other in the middle of the bush in Serra da Mantiqueira, in Minas Gerais”, in which I will include a little about the paradise that is Ilhabela at the end.
Otherwise, it would be too long, even those who like it would not read.
Thank you for your understanding and patience.