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Sunday, April 29, 2012

STREET MARKETS - Berwick Street Market - Soho

Cada vez menos gosto de "planear" com muita antecedência o que vou fazer no dia a seguir. Claro que me refiro aos finais de semana, porque durante a semana, convém saber o que se vai fazer - minimamente - , pelo menos no local de trabalho. No entanto, também a esses "working days" podemos imprimir uma certa... incerteza nos acontecimentos "after-work".

Na noite de 6ª feira pensei qual dos (muitos!) mercados iria explorar pela cidade, este fim-de-semana. Queria ir a pé. Andar a pé em Londres é obrigatório. É a única forma de conhecer a cidade por "dentro", isto é, tonar-se familiar com as ruas, os pequenos cafés de esquina, o comércio de rua, as grandes cadeias de lojas, o trânsito frenético e os pequenos oásis que de repente surgem no meio da multidão tão multi-cultural. Também os sons são importantes para se deixar absorver por esta gigantesca cidade. O Mundo inteiro cabe aqui e para além do Inglês com variadíssimos sotaques, misturam-se todas as línguas que possamos imaginar. Uma Babel cosmopolita, electrizante e cativante ao ponto de nos deixarmos apaixonar por esta.

Voltando ao meu fim-de-semana, em particular o meu Sábado... decidi que iria conhecer o mercado de Berwick Street. Conhecido não só pelo facto de ter sido capa de um dos mais conhecidos álbuns dos Oasis - What's the Story Morning Glory - , é um reconhecido mercado de legumes e frutas frescos e também frutos secos. Para além das tendinhas coloridas que se estendem pela pequena rua que dá nome a este mercado no coração do Soho, este é também famoso pelas suas lojas de música alternativa em Vinil (includindo Vinyl Junkies, CD City, Sister Ray, and Mr Bongo's).São já poucas, uma vez que a digitalização da música veio acabar um pouco com o negócio e apenas algumas se mantém graças à fidelidade de clientes que veneram o Vinil. Esta rua também alberga uma série de Estúdios e Agências de Publicidade, Lojas para Adultos e pequenos restaurantes e bares.

Para os interessados em conhecer este pequeno "Oásis" de frutas e legumes frescos, o mercado está aberto de Segunda a Sábado, das 9:00 às 18:00.

Já agora... sabiam que a Berwick Street foi construída entre 1687 e 1703, sendo que o mercado surgiu no século XVIII? No entanto, este mercado só foi reconhecido em finais do século XIX?? Hummm.... será que na altura já existia a ASAE cá do brugo?! Fica a dica, e não, não é uma mentirinha para se contar a Turistas. ;)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

BIRDIE'S TALK - Long Live to Arinca!

Comer algo que se desconhece leva-nos sempre a querer saber mais sobre "a coisa". Com o estranho nome de Haddock fish por todo o lado, decidi que era altura de saber o que afinal tinha comprado para comer. E graças à maravilha da Web, do Google e da Wikipédia, descobri muita coisa. Como por exemplo, o facto de ser um peixe que me faz muito bem porque é rico em vitaminas B12 e B6 (as que mais necessito) e também em Selénio, Sódio e Potássio. Tudo o que mais me faz falta. Viva a Arinca!

"A arinca é muito popular no norte de Europa, como por exemplo na Noruega e no Reino Unido, onde é comercializado de diversas formas, tais como fresco, fumado, congelado, seco ou em conserva.


A arinca fresca possui uma carne branca de boa qualidade, que pode ser cozinhada das mesmas formas que o bacalhau fresco. A frescura de um filete de arinca pode ser determinada pela sua firmeza. A carne fresca deve também ser translúcida. 
Ao contrário do bacalhau, salgar a arinca não funciona bem, sendo, em alternativa, seca ou fumada. Na Escócia, existe uma variedade de arinca fumada denominada Finnan haddie, frequentemente servida cozida em leite ao pequeno-almoço. Nesse país, existe outra variedade denominada Arbroath Smokie, também fumada, que pode ser consumida sem cozedura adicional.
Na Noruega, a arinca é o ingrediente principal das almôndegas de peixe locais, denominadas fiskeboller.
No Reino Unido, é um peixe muito utilizado na preparação do prato Fish and chips.
A arinca é uma excelente fonte de proteínas, contendo também uma porção considerável de vitamina B12, vitamina B6 e selénio. Contém ainda uma dose equilibrada de sódio e de potássio. No cômputo geral, a carne é extremamente magra." - Wikipedia

Thursday, April 12, 2012

BIRDIE'S TALK - Learning How to Share a Flat - All Together Now!

Dear all,

I'm sorry for being absent for such a long time. Last days have been really busy which is good.

After Easter the City got back to it's usual "fast pace" and it has been difficult to seat for a while and share more things with you. But the next days will be better.

It's funny because this week my flatmates and I became closer for a cause: We need a Plumber! :) apparently our shower is not working well. Our baths are bipolar and we are getting crazy! We start the bath with warm water and in a sudden it becomes cold as ice! Then, we stop the shower and start again. And we get burned!! We stop the shower again and scream! But we keep trying until we get the bath done!

So, instead of geeting nuts and call a shrink to all of us, we've decided that we needed a Plumber... two weeks ago. The agency that rents the house is the one that is in charge of these kind of dilligences. So, the Plumber was supposed to come so many time and never did. We got mad but then again we didn't call the shrink. We bombed the agency with loads of emails. Hot emails, mild emails... then freezing emails... just like the shower. They felt our aggressiveness that had its exctasis yesterday when we threaten to call a Lawer! (Not a shrink!).

Tomorrow we expect Mr. Plumber to come... let's see if it really happens this time. At least, now the Agency is also freaking out with our emails. :)

The "We Need a Plumber" Cause definitley brought a really mild temperature to the relationship among flatmates. So, I realise that sometimes, something like a Bipolar Shower can approach people and turn the environment around more casual, friendly and relaxed... and very funny as well.

Sarah, one of the girls that lives here - apart from me (lol) - made a dessert this evening and share it with the "Flatties". Hummm.... No comments. I just leave you with an image of the last piece.

Take care.
Love,

Birdie

Monday, April 09, 2012

TRADITIONS - The Easter Bunny

Rabbits, due to their fecund nature, have always been a symbol of fertility.The Easter bunny (rabbit) however may actually be an Easter hare. The hare was allegedly a companion of the ancient Moon goddess and of Eostre.

Strangely the bunny as an Easter symbol seems to have it's origins in Germany, where it was first mentioned in German writings in the 16th Century. The first edible Easter bunnies appeared in Germany during the early 1800s, they were made of pastry and sugar.

In the UK children believe that if they are good the "Easter Bunny " will leave (chocolate) eggs for them.

Sadly hare hunting (hare coursing) used to be a common pastime at Easter. But this might please some of the more fundamentalist Christians, who consider the fluffy fellow to be unchristian.

Take care.
Love,
Birdie

TRADITIONS - Easter Eggs

Easter eggs are a very old tradition going to a time before Christianity. Eggs after all are a symbol of spring and new life.

Exchanging and eating Easter eggs is a popular custom in many countries. In the UK before they were replaced by chocolate Easter eggs real eggs were used, in most cases, chicken eggs. The eggs were hard-boiled and dyed in various colors and patterns. The traditionally bright colours represented spring and light. Sadly, nowadays if you gave a child in Britain a hard-boiled egg on Easter Sunday, you would probably end up wearing it!

An older more traditional game is one in which real eggs are rolled against one another or down a hill. The owner of the egg that stayed uncracked the longest won. Even today in the north of England, for example as at Preston in Lancashire, they still carry out the custom of egg rolling. Hard boiled eggs are rolled down slopes to see whose egg goes furthest. In other places another game is played. You hold an egg in the palm of the hand and bang against your opponent's egg. The loser is the one whose egg breaks first.

Nowadays people give each other Easter eggs made of chocolate, usually hollow and filled with sweets. On TV you will see adverts for Cadbury's Creme Eggs, a very sweet confectionery. The catchphrase for the adverts is "How do you eat yours?" And Britain children hunt for (chocolate) Easter eggs hidden about the home or garden by the Easter bunny.

I hope you enjoy your chocolate eggs, now with some insights about it! ;)

Take care,
Love

Birdie

Friday, April 06, 2012

BIRDIE'S TALK - Lisboa Pastry

Hoje descobri um cantinho de Portugal, um pouco mais à frente da esquina da Camden High Street e a Plender Street: a Pastelaria Lisboa.

Depois de um cafézinho matinal no Costa Cafe - um ritual de luxo só em dias especiais como o de hoje - passeei pela Camden High Street que vai dar ao famoso mercado de Camden Town (na realidade são seis mercados num). Apesar de ser feriado, apercebi-me que parecia um dia quase como os outros. Grande parte do comércio tinha as portas abertas, havia gente na rua e dentro das lojas.

Fui até à loja do Paquistanês - como lhe chamo, porque na realidade nunca percebi qual o nome da loja. Precisava de uma panela para fazer sopa. Os British é mais frigideiras e caçarolas... E neste passeio com um mix de compras pelo meio, regressava a casa quando pouco depois de ter virado a esquina com a Plender Street olhei para uma montra repleta de bolos... Portugueses! Sim, era mesmo verdade! Parei, dei dois ou três passos para trás para ver o nome da loja e... voilá: Lisboa. Inevitável. Tive de entrar. Meti conversa, olhei os bolos, conheci o Augusto e o Roberto, ambos de Guimarães mas em Londres há cerca de 30 anos.

Fiquei a saber que existem quatro "Lisboa's Pastry" em Londres: aqui, em Chelsea, em Portobello e também em Stockwell. Também vendem produtos portugueses, numa pequena mercearia na parede colada à pastelaria. Saí com belo pastel de nata... Estava muuuuuito bom!

E neste cruzamento de linhas da vida em que nunca se saber o que se pode encontrar ao virar da esquina, descubro uma pastelaria portuguesa onde agora me posso mimar e matar saudades de Portugal, just around the corner. :)

Take care,
Love,

Birdie

TRADITIONS - Good Friday

On the Friday before Easter, Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is a day of mourning in church and special Good Friday services are held where Christians meditate on Jesus's suffering and death on the cross, and what this means for their faith.

Calling it 'Good Friday' may seem a bit bizarre, but some people think that it was once called God's Friday or Holy Friday.

Enjoy your Good Friday. No meat today. :)

Take care.
Love,

Birdie

Thursday, April 05, 2012

TRADITIONS - Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter. Christians remember it as the day of the Last Supper, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and established the ceremony known as the Eucharist. The word Maundy" comes from the French word, "Mande," meaning "command" or "mandate” and is taken from the command given by Christ at the Last Supper, "love one another as I have loved you.”

In Britain, the Queen takes part in the Ceremony of the Royal Maundy, which dates back to Edward 1. This involves the distribution of Maundy Money to deserving senior citizens (one man and one woman for each year of the sovereign's age), usually chosen for having done service to their community. They receive ceremonial red and white purses which contain coins made especially for the occasion. The white purse contains one coin for each year of the monarch's reign. The red purse contains money in place of other gifts that used to be given to the poor.

In the 17th century, and earlier, the King or Queen would wash the feet of the selected poor people as a gesture of humility, and in remembrance of Jesus's washing the feet of the disciples. Suffice to say that doesn't happen any more, in fact the last monarch to do this was James 2.

This is how the Royal Mint explains Maundy history:
"...The Royal Maundy is an ancient ceremony which has its origin in the commandment Christ gave after washing the feet of his disciples on the day before Good Friday. The commandment, or mandatum, 'that ye love one another' (John XIII 34) is still recalled regularly by Christian churches throughout the world and the ceremony of washing the feet of the poor which was accompanied by gifts of food and clothing, can be traced back to the fourth century. It seems to have been the custom as early as the thirteenth century for members of the royal family to take part in Maundy ceremonies, to distribute money and gifts, and to recall Christ's simple act of humility by washing the feet of the poor.

Henry IV began the practice of relating the number of recipients of gifts to the sovereign's age, and as it became the custom of the sovereign to perform the ceremony, the event became known as the Royal Maundy. In the eighteenth century the act of washing the feet of the poor was discontinued and in the nineteenth century money allowances were substituted for the various gifts of food and clothing.

Maundy money as such started in the reign of Charles II with an undated issue of hammered coins in 1662. The coins were a fourpenny [groat], threepenny, twopenny and one penny piece but it was not until 1670 that a dated set of all four coins appeared. Prior to this, ordinary coinage was used for Maundy gifts, silver pennies alone being used by the Tudors and Stuarts for the ceremony.

Today's recipients of Royal Maundy, as many elderly men and women as there are years in the sovereign's age, are chosen because of the Christian service they have given to the Church and community. At the ceremony which takes place annually on Maundy Thursday, the sovereign hands to each recipient two small leather string purses. One, a red purse, contains - in ordinary coinage - money in lieu of food and clothing; the other, a white purse, contains silver Maundy coins consisting of the same number of pence as the years of the sovereign's age. Maundy money has remained in much the same form since 1670, and the coins used for the Maundy ceremony have traditionally been struck in sterling silver save for the brief interruptions of Henry's Vlll's debasement of the coinage and the general change to 50% silver coins in 1920. The sterling silver standard (92.5%) was resumed following the Coinage Act of 1946 and in 1971, when decimalisation took place, the face values of the coins were increased from old to new pence. The effigy of The Queen on ordinary circulating coinage has undergone three changes, but Maundy coins still bear the same portrait of Her Majesty prepared by Mary Gillick for the first coins issued in the year of her coronation in 1953..."
Quite Interesting!

Take care.
Love

Birdie

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

BIRDIE'S TALK - A Room with a View... and a LARGE Window! :)

Dear all,

hoje até me sinto a Carrie do Sexo e a Cidade! Tenho a minha secretária virada para a janela gigante, o que eu sempre quis. Digam lá se não está a ficar like "home sweet home"? ;)

Image
Agora que tudo começa a ficar organizado... falta mesmo o mais importante, o motivo que me trouxe aqui.
Mas já consigo trabalhar sem ter de estar em cima da cama... As minhas costas queixam-se disso. :( Alguém se oferece para uma massagem????.... :))

Take Care.
Love,
Birdie

TRADITIONS - Easter in the UK

In the UK Easter is one of the major Christian festivals of the year. It is full of customs, folklore and traditional food. However, Easter in Britain has its beginnings long before the arrival of Christianity. Many theologians believe Easter itself is named after the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn and spring - Eostre.

In Britain Easter occurs at a different time each year. It is observed on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. This means that the festival can occur on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25. Not only is Easter the end of the winter it is also the end of Lent, traditionally a time of fasting in the Christian calendar. It is therefore often a time of fun and celebration.

The Friday before Easter Sunday and the Monday after are a bank holiday in the UK. Over Easter schools in the UK close for two weeks, just enough time to digest all the chocolate. :)

Take cre.
Love,
Birdie

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