"There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method". Herman Melville

"I know nothing but miracles." Walt Whitman

segunda-feira, 28 de novembro de 2011

Persimmon fried in butter

I just invented this and it´s delicious. I pilled and sliced a hard persimmon and then fried it in butter until it became soft. I finnished it before I finnished typing this...

domingo, 27 de novembro de 2011


Yesterday in the afternoon I went to pick mushrooms in the forest.

There weren´t much, either edible or not, because the autumn rains came too late this year. Finnaly I found these Lactarius deliciosus.

I drove back home in the sunset.

I fryed the Lactarius tempura style and they were deliciosus.

.......oooooooooooooo........THE END.......oooooooooooooo.........

And now, for something completly diferent...

...a short-short story I wrote a long time ago. I translated it into english, with the precious edditing of Resa Alboher and Dean Thomas Ellis.


A short short story by Jaime Braz

On Friday I met Arsuaga at the café Ordorika, across the street from the the old Teatro Ricardo Cortazar. He arrived five minutes after the appointed time. He hung his umbrella on the coatrack by the door, talked to the waiter and came to my table. We shook hands and he sat down.
-Sorry I’ve kept you waiting. Last Wednesday I wasn’t able to give you more details. I know that your organization also cares for the Basque country and I´m sure you will not refuse my request. It requires little from you but it will certainly yeld many benefits and save many lives in the years to come. Please don´t look at my lips. I don´t suffer from any muscle paralysis, thank God. It´s just a precaution in case we are being watched by someone who can read lips, and probably we are, but regardless he won’t even know I´m speaking Spanish to you. You can answer me in Spanish. What I want to ask you is very simple: it´s absolutely necessary for the police to strenghten their patrols in the Eguzki gorge, along the rural road between Olabe and Lizarrusti, on the last weekend of this month . The deterrent effect of a police presence in that zone, at that time, will be vital. I´m certain it will be easy for you to abide by my request. Your organization has access to high-resolution satellite photographs that can spot very small objects on the ground. All this technical prowess is very useful, no doubt, but it is of no use if the resolute power of our minds cannot divine the moral consequences of even our smallest diurnal actions within the diffuse moral spectrum that governs our actions.
The waiter delivered a cup of cafe au lait. Arsuaga paid his bill and mine. He poured some sugar in the coffee, stirred it with the spoon, took a sip and continued:
- So, what I´m asking you to do is very simple and I´m sure you can do it with little difficulty: strenghten the police patrol in the Eguzki gorge, this month on the 25th and 26th. That´s all.
I took out a small notebook from my coat pocket to jot down a note. Then I noticed that Arsuaga had gotten the dates wrong and I told him:
- I just noticed the last weekend of this month, Saturday and Sunday, falls on the 28th and 29th. Did you get the dates right?
A few seconds later Arsuaga answered me with a question that left me astonished:
- But isn´t this 1956?
My agenda was open to the pages of Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th. I turned it for him to see. On top of both pages it was written 1998. He looked at the pages for a long time, then he took another sip of coffee and fixed his gaze towards Portugalete and the greyish green hills with the top covered by a blanket of clouds that was hanging over Bilbao. I saw his face in profile. He must have been sixty-something. His grey hair was the colour of his raincoat. There was a sad and stubborn resignation in his eyes. Finally he stood up and excused himself while he shook my hand:
- I´m sorry I’ve wasted your time. Now there´s nothing we can do. It was all my fault. At any rate, allow me to thank you for your time. Good night.
I saw him snatch his umbrella at the door and leave the café. On the sidewalk he turned right and I never saw him again.
The officer who had introduced us told me Arsuaga was an excellent professional with an enviable track record, and that he would retire in three months. In spite of that I remember him as a loser, bent under the weight of the failure of what might have been his last assignment , in which I should have played an important role.
The next day I spent all morning and afternoon at the Bilbao Municipal Library, going through the press from the autumn of 1956. I browsed all the magazines and newspapers I could find, both local and national. From such an arduous task I gathered little relevant information and nothing conclusive. I found no news about any incident at the Eguzki gorge. On the 27th of September there was a general strike in the Bilbao shipyards that ended with a bloody repression by the police. On the 7th of October a train derailed in Arzak, quite far from Eguzki. I decided not to return to the library because I realised that the task before me, besides being huge, was in vain. It´s impossible to know when occurred, or what exactly were the consequences of the actions committed in the Eguzki gorge, in that weekend in the autumn of 1956, that Arsuaga so desperately wanted to prevent. Maybe the bloody consequences that he feared hadn’t even happened yet.
On the following Sunday I took the plane back to Buenos Aires.

(the plot of this story was dreamed up on the night of the 6th to the 7th February 1998)

quinta-feira, 24 de novembro de 2011

Leonel da Silveira

These are works from my portuguese-french-australian friend Leonel da Silveira. Most people have one, some two, cultural references, being born and raised in one country then, eventualy, migrating to another... He´s the only person I know that can claim three cultural backgrounds, and he´s equaly at ease with many aspects of portuguese, french and english languages and cultures. Besides being an artist, he used to fly helicopters and he´s probabily the most cultured person I know (literature, visual arts, cooking, history, classic music, cinema, etc.).
All 50cm by 50cm, acrylic and colage on wood. Click to enlarge:

quarta-feira, 23 de novembro de 2011

Photos from last weekend

I should have brought this pine roots home. A natural ready-made sculpture of two fighters on the floor:

In the dunes by the sea there are lots of these shrubs that produce slightly acidic and sweet edible white berries, this time of the year. I remember eating them in my childhood. They are called "tamarinhas".

A couple of meters to the right, in the previous photo, I found this old portuguese coin!!

terça-feira, 22 de novembro de 2011

Domingos Bagage

Last weekend I went to Nazaré and met this 93 years old street artist, Sr. Domingos Bagage. He writes this poems and carves them in limestone on the seafront promenade. He has published at least one book of poems. He told me that sometimes he dreams up a poem, then tries hard to remember it in the morning. I adviced him to have a notebook and a pencil next to his bed. Click to enlarge and enjoy:

sexta-feira, 18 de novembro de 2011

Let´s dance... or surf

While the time hasn´t arrived for us to give our souls back to the Creator and our bones to the ground, LET´S DANCE:


quinta-feira, 17 de novembro de 2011

Pied bleu

I went to look for mushrooms in the forest, this morning, but there aren´t many yet. Brought six Pied Bleu (Lepista nuda):

sexta-feira, 11 de novembro de 2011

Pregnant Praying Mantis

I like Praying Mantis, they look like creatures from another planet. Tonight I just saved this female from drowning in the rain. She was laying on the sidewalk (12ºC) bearly able to move, and I brought her inside, cleaned the water from her body with a tissue paper, and put her in a box. I hope she will be able to lay her eggs soon. If she does, I´ll take care of the eggs and I´ll watch the little praying mantis when they are born next Spring. My little step-sons and daughters...

This insects are good pest controls in the garden. In the USA you can buy eggs, watch them hatch in June, and release the little insects in the garden. Some people keep mantis as pets, feeding them flyes, aphids and a variety of bugs.

terça-feira, 8 de novembro de 2011

Art to be seen in Porto right now

Isaque Pinheiro at Galeria Presença. Big pieces of Pop art directly from the saw-mill:

Pedro Lucena at Gallery Anemona. You should see this live. The details are awsome: