When I began to write this blog, my reason for doing so was the complete absence of information written in English on the internet regarding the area where I live here in Brazil, and my wish to correct this by making information about the Jureia area more accessible to the reader.

As my readers grew in numbers and as I shared my writing through social networks over the internet, my thoughts, views and remarks about wider issues concerning foreigners living in Brazil became popular and so I began to write more articles about life in general.

Most of these were light hearted in content and intention, some quite tongue-in-cheek and some quite cheeky! Poking fun at some of the “sacred cows’ of Brazil, such as ‘aroz e fejun’!

As some of you may know, who have experience of Brazilian’s reactions towards criticism of their culture, not all are keen to accept foreigners highlighting the negative aspects of life in Brazil.
Indeed it is a feature of the relationship between we ex pats and our hosts that is often quite heated and which occasionally reaches incendiary temperatures. I and other Gringos have witnessed reactions to criticism about the more obvious defects in some Brazilians’ character such as rudeness, impatience, lack of customer care, failure to observe regulations etcetera, that can only be described as being in the extreme!

Not withstanding all of this, I found myself to be completely unprepared for an assault on my writing from someone whose opinions I had learned to respect and admire. That was in December 2014, and since then I have found my vontade, ( my wish, desire, intention,), to be lacking.

So, why have I returned my digital pen to the word processor, you may ask?

Partly because I have had time to reflect on my sins as an author who was over fond of glibness, and partly because I came to realise that I had acquired one of the Brazilian characteristics most often criticised by foreigners;- “falta de vontade”. (Lack of determination.)

Now as we approach the end of 2015, I therefore find it appropriate that I should make it one of my New Year resolutions to re-embark upon my journey toward shores yet unseen, to explore parts of Brazil that are still undiscovered by foreign eyes, and to re-aquaint myself with the wishes and recriminations of my readers, whatever slings and arrows that may attempt to penetrate my literary armour.

With all of that in mind, and with all due respect to this great country and it’s incredibly resilient people, whose warmth, humour, vitality and resourcefulness I greatly admire, I raise my glass of Brazilian Champagne to you all, in a toast for the sweetest Christmas, bubbling with effervescence, filled with charm and festive spirit.

May your Brigadeiros be soft and gooey. May your Pastel be crunchy on the outside but filled with sticky cheese. May your Churasco be almost burnt to a cinder and may your Cerveja be throat freezingly gelada.

Brazil I salute you!

Boas Festas para Todos!