Natal estival

Natal em Sydney é um pouco como a imagem do Natal americano, só que com calor. Uma corrida à mais profusa iluminação de jardim, agravada pelo facto de os turistas locais acorrerem em molhos nas noites quentes do verão.
Na 2nd street em Ashbury, consta que um recém-chegado é avisado pela comunidade de vizinhos de que tem que preparar um espectáculo de luz no seu jardim, tal é a reputação desta rua no circuito de iluminações natalícias.
Todas as noites de dezembro há uma procissão de carros, peões e mesmo autocarros que trazem espectadores ao bairro. Para a ocasião vem um carrinho de venda de gelados e cachorros quentes.
Os transportes publicos também não escapam à tradição, havendo um prémio para o autocarro mais bem enfeitado da cidade.

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Le Mans cranks up the sound

This weekend in Le Mans, I'll be participating... Free acoustic demos, concerts and scientific concerts, a concept introduced not long ago in a revolutionary presentation in Braga ;)

Autumn holliday

11 november. A holliday in France commemorating the Armistice of the 1st World War, or its end. In the news, today is a historic day because it's the first year no veteran from this war is alive to commemorate it. It is also the first year that the German Cahncellor accepted to have a joint commemoration in Paris, cellebrating "l'amitié entre la France et l'Allemagne".

From Sarthe

Also a good day to wake up late and recover from 2 heavy weeks of teaching. And to go for a bicycle ride to burn the excess callories gained in 5 meals in London.

From Sarthe

Off to the north of Le Mans, roughly along the Sarthe river, out through Coulaines, a residential area of Le Mans. Beautifull Autumn colors along the road

From Sarthe

From Sarthe

Ballon is a small village 20 km to the north of Le Mans. There is an old dungeon on the top of the hill which dates from the 13th century. Everything in the village was closed though

From Sarthe

From Sarthe

This is what the countryside looks like around here

From Sarthe

From Sarthe

Beaumont-sur-Sarthe, another 10 km to the northwest of the previous village is somewhat bigger and a bit more active on this day. Many of these small towns put an effort into improving tourism, so that there was some information about the history of this town, which was founded in the 10th century with a small castle that is now in ruins.

From Sarthe

Can't remember any more of the hsitory because I was having the picnic, badly needed by this time.

From Sarthe

and crossing the Sarthe on the romanic bridge to get back home

From Sarthe


No post today

Lab projects at 8:30, tutorials at 10:30, research meeting at 14:00, lecture at 15:30, soccer at 18:00, then finish preparing tutorials for tomorrow...
Soccer fields in Uni are nice, too bad the player is not worth of it... I guess my partners wonder how can such a great soccer nation can produce such a lousy player... I do wonder...


Les plantagenêt

Before arriving here I hed heard about the "vieux Mans"and its typical houses, which I visited as soon as I could (not hard to find, just go straight to the highest building, the Cathedral). However most of the signs and indications in the tram call the place "Cité Plantagenêt". I didn't bother much figuring out what that meant as my mind was occupied with more urgent matters.

When I first stayed in my new old house I arrived already at night, and the streets were still inhabited by these little creatures that escaped a Bosch painting and colonised these pavements and buildings. When I arrive in a new place and have to absorb a lot of information while being worried with practical matters, many new things stick to the brain in a subliminal form. That's why for me the Plantagenêt will always be these strange little figures. They are no longer projected in the streets, but I'm sure they're hiding in my attic (which I didn't visit yet).

Anyway the official story is that the Plantagenêt were a royal house that originated not far from here (in Angers) and ruled most of France and the Brithish Islands in its apogee. The house of Anjou was the ruling dynasty in England until the late 15th century, providing 15 kings. Le Mans is apparently an important place for this house because the first Plantagenêt king of England was baptized here (and their parents living around probably, but wikipedia doesn't go that far).

About the little creatures, they are remaints of a light show which is an important event in Le Mans called "la Nuit des Chimères" in which all the facades in the old town are projected with colourful paintings. I missed this this year so you'll have to wait till next year for the pictures.


Singularités d'une culture gauloise

Which other culture would allow you to see a film from a small country on the edge of Europe, in its original language, and in a small town as Le Mans? I'm not sure that even in the country of origin of the film that would be possible.

Well it is true that Oliveira is the oldest living cinema director in the world, still producing movies after his 100th birthday and almost 80 years of career... But its not your mainstream production that reaches every corner of the globe... It's a simple story, with simple almost mechanical characters. The end is so sudden that the whole theatre remained seated, waiting for an explanation or a conclusion...

French title "Singularités d'une jeune fille blonde", in the Cinema des cinéastes, your (litterally) underground cinema in Le Mans


Il était une fois...

A town that had a central role in the poiltical plot of western europe (more to come)... A few centuries followed where not much seems to have happened (at least from the point of view of who has just arrived), while neighbouring towns were becoming more and more present in the history of the country...

The twentieth century arriving, someone decided that the town had to be famous at least for 24 hours, so a car race was created to last just that long. The cars went round a few times, but people were not satisfied with a day of fame per year. So other races followed, in different sets of 24 hours, adding a theme day for trucks, motorbikes, bicycles, roller skates...

But indeed why stop at 24 hours? Why not a 25th hour? What for? What is missing? Culture! So the 25ème heure du livre saw the light!

In a beautiful setting, between the old town and the Sarthe river, on the quays, a 200 m long tent is erected, and 30000 people in a town of 140000 come to browse, read or buy... As a plus, an exotic theme... Mongolia, from which I retain wonderful tunes and voices


New home in old building

It is as old as it seems, however it has many conforts of a modern house: a fridge, a toilet... that's enough for the basic needs I guess.
Couldn't fit a bed through the staircase (I'm occupying both floors with windows), but I hope the wonders of swedish furniture design will solve all my problems soon.
Windows don't have double-glass, which worries me a bit because winters are supposed to be cold around here... i thought... someone told me today that it doesn't snow as often as in Paris... I'm not convinced. Well, weather has been quite warm for the moment.

Reviving this blog

Ok, I'm picking up this old blog once again. I will write in english french and portuguese and whatever language I get to learn next... So that as many friends can read me, and so that I don't forget how to write in any of the languages.

I feel that it's easier to post here (hopefully posts will be more frequent than before), and also since I moved places I had to move blogs as well.

Keep visiting!

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