Neighbours ~ #MemoriesSunday

#MemoriesSunday Childhood

This week’s #MemoriesSunday is a “recycled” post from The Writing Shed. I spent the whole week searching the memories cupboard in my brain, and sometimes even got down the stairs to the one in my heart, but the memories stored in this one are still a bit raw, so I decided to leave them alone for a bit longer.

I usually make comparisons (who doesn’t) about life “back in a time when…” with how my life is now. One thing I really miss is having my best friends and accomplices (yes, because when you are a teenager, that’s what most of your friends are anyway) all living close to me.

I had a wonderful childhood and teenage years, in a house designed and built for my parents and that my mother made more beautiful until the day she died, in Feb 2013. We moved in when I was 5, I left at 32, and my father decided to let it in 2013, as the house became too big just for him.

“Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age. The child is grown, and puts away childish things. Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.”
Edna St. Vincent Millay

The house was quite big and comfortable, but according to my mother, when I was a teenager, whenever you wanted to hide from me, that’s where you had to go. I was rarely there! 🙂

What brought my memory this week was finding an old book in one of my #memories boxes:

A street like no other ~ The Writing Shed


“A street like no other” (original title: “Uma rua como aquela”, by Lucilia Junqueira de Almeida Prado, Brasil, 1977) is a book I read over 25 years ago. This book talks about the daily life of people living in a cul-de-sac in a neighbourhood of Sao Paulo, in Brazil circa 1969. There were children and teenagers, whose parents were pilots and engineers and housewives. There were the three old ladies, sisters, living opposite a field where they used to play football. And there was the old man, who seemed to be Uncle Scrooge himself, who lived in a “castle” squeezed between the field and the orchard. There was friendship, arguments, crushes, family problems, parties, a lot of mischief, and a lot of solidarity.

This book symbolises my childhood and teenage years… I grew up in a street like that… It wasn’t a cul-de-sac, but it was a quiet street. We were about 20 children who would together play ball, hide and seek, tag (remember, “if you wanted to hide from me, go to my house” thing my mother used to say?), who would dance to slow music and discover love and jealousy, and get grounded by our parents every now and then. It was like there was no worries in the world!!! Having grown up and moved abroad, I am still friends with most of those people, or at least keep in touch on Facebook and stuff (God bless the Internet), but becoming an adult and living in a different country (with a different culture) got me thinking about friendships and how much easier it was for us back then (in the 70s, 80s, 90s…). I had my best friend in the street, Fabiana, and we used to visit each other (visit is too formal a word here, we would just show up and ring the bell, really) all the time. Actually, my best boy friend, who lived just across the street from me, wouldn’t even ring the bell; he’d jump over the gate, walk up the stairs and just knock! It used to scare the hell out of me!

* just a quick note: in Brasil, when we live in a house, we tend to have this very tall gates, and our “door bell” is actually outside this gate. That means that if someone knocks on your door, they’re literally already inside your house. Understand now, why the scare of someone knocking on your door? *

Fabiana and I used to spend hours on the phone, minutes after saying goodbye to each other… We would talk about boys, make plans, go to the cinema, lie to our parents together, just so we would go to that party or stay a bit later in each other’s houses. There were the parties… the slow dance, first kisses, broken hearts, friends who were cupids and also mothers who were cupids and defended their offspring like lionesses. My mother was one of those, but let’s not go there yet. She’s one of the memories that are deeply hid in my heart memories cupboard. 😉


I live in a great place now – a cul-de sac of my own, just like in the book!!! And my memories for this autumn Sunday are nearly like a fantasy: I wish I could have all those people back! All living in “my cul-de-sac”!  Them and their spouses, children, pets, bikes and skateboards. Doors would be always unlocked, kettle would be always on, smell of coffee all over the house… We’d have parties in our gardens, in our street, go to parents meetings together, footbal (or rugby) matches… 

To my childhood/teenage years friends… Giuliano, Lucio, Fabiana, Fernanda, Netto, Otavio, Tatiana, Marcelo, Marconi, Felicio, Cristina, Patricia, Lucimara, Fabiano, Fred, Cecilia, Vinicius, Tayssir, Daher, Hayssan, Jandra, Marilia, Thais, Simone, Carol, Isabela, Agnez, Beto… and of course my sisters, Isa e Xu… without you, life wouldn’t have been so fun! =)

[ctt template=”8″ link=”c9xVb” via=”no” ]”We didn’t realise we were making memories; We just knew we were having fun.” #MemoriesSunday #quotes #childhood[/ctt]

Thinking of Brasil ~ #MemoriesSunday

Brasil… 8,700 Km from where I am. I am missing my people. Not in a bad way; in a “memories we built” way. I’m out in The Writing Shed today, preparing/pre-planning  a new project (my very own #bulletjournal! Watch this space! 🙂 ). The weather is a bit changeable, and while I cut away labels and paper hearts (no, I’m not 16 years old, you guys, but just for the record: young girls, keep on journalling! 😉 ), some Brazilian music playing on YouTube, I think about Brasil.

So, today on this website, I launch  #MemoriesSunday.

Memories of my family, and my friends, and my pets, and schools/uni, and teachers… Well, you know… One string of memory brings another, which brings another, which brings another… and all of a sudden, I’m about 10 years old, at my great-auntie’s farm, playing with one of my sisters and loads of cousins. I’m up in the mango tree, eating mango like a “native”, pulling the soft peel with my teeth, in extase with the intoxicating sweet smell. I don’t even care about the yellow thick mango juice running down my hands and arms, though I wonder whether Mother’s going to give me ~ and my cousins ~ a bollocking. Will it be because I’m filthy, or because I’m up in the tree? Hummm… This mango is amazing!

[ctt template=”8″ link=”CfrT4″ via=”no” ]Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others. ~ Rosa Parks #MemoriesSunday[/ctt]

I remember that back then, the farm was so simple, that the toilet was outside the house! I was terrified of my parents telling us that we’d have to spend the night. What if I needed to use the toilet at night? I’m giggling now, and remember squatting over a hole no bigger than 10 cm of diameter, praying I wouldn’t fall into it. Children and their imagination…

When it was lunch time, we’d have chicken casserole, which either my great-auntie or one of her children would have killed that morning. She would make this awesome pasta with tomato sauce, and we’d have it with salad from her own vegetable patch and fresh juice. The pasta was a tick type of spaghetti, with a hole in the middle, which I much later in my life, when I lived in Napoli, found out was called Bucatini. We used to suck the spaghetti, just to hear the sound it would make.
I haven’t been back to the farm for over 25 years. My great-auntie is no longer with us, and to be honest, I have no idea if the farm is still in the family (question for dad! hehe). However, and I promise you it’s true: one of my aunties lives on a farm in Brasil, with one of my cousins. I absolutely love them, and whenever I go to Brasil, it’s a place I must go. My cousin shows us the cattle, the chickens and pigs. My auntie makes the most delicious food in her wood stove, and desert is always whatever fruit is in season when we visit.

Clockwise: dad and auntie peeling huge oranges; wood stove; Hubby and I meet cow! 🙂

Here’s my Brazilian music playlist:

Thanks for stopping by. See you next Sunday 🙂


The Writing Shed




Now it’s your turn: what’s your #MemoriesSunday today? Write it down in the comments. 🙂