…life is, sometimes. I had a few bad ones lately, and some events which werent surprising to me at all (like my parting from Betty, which this time should be for good, and I reckon I have now understood the meaning of the good riddance English expression) and finally a good one, surprise, I mean.
And also that weird feeling, that one you get when suddenly, from out of the blue, you are thinking about someone you haven't spoken for years, and then they get in touch with you, or you hear something big time about them….
So last month I had a couple of things in mind that wouldn't go away. One was the tune of that song Joan Baez sang centuries ago, about the two innocent anarquists American-Italian guys who were executed in the 20's, Nicola and Bart…but that was it, I could only remember the line of the song that went Here is to you, Nicola and Bart, live for ever in our hearts (or something like that, anyway) but couldn't remeber their last names, and every time I thought about googling it, I've either just turned of the PC or was miles away from it. Well, I remember to google it today, Sacco & Vanzetti, and as iy happens, on the 23/08 completed 80 years since they died…. I remember crying with that Baez song (though I was never a big fan of her).
The other thought was about this girl, Cristina, a Brazilian girl who was (when I met her, begining of the 90s) married to a guy friend of Andy (Sarita's dad) and all the bunch who played in the band, when we were organizing partys (well, raves, more like it) at The Vicarage, this huge squat, ex vicarage of a church (of St Mary Magdalene…), the building that was the reason of me meeting Andy, an amazing building in the edge of Camden/Westminster, very near Regent's Park, making lots of serious money. She had a son from a previous marriage to a Brazilian guy, and had a daughter (2 years older than Sarita) with Tim (our friend). We used to visit with Andy, she had a nice flat in Westbourne Park, near Portobelo, and we kept in touch over the years, even after she split up with Tim, I remeber her coming to my 40th birthday and even to Sarita's first birthday in the UK, in 2001, after we came back from living in Trancoso, and us meeting for coffee….
Before we left for Brazil, I was working for the local NHS trust as an interpreter and health advocate, and at certain point I started to get called by other agencies, many times to go to her side of town. As I wasn't driving at the time, was still breastfeeding Sarita in between appointments, Andy driving the car and me in and out of it, I couldn't really take all the work, so I called her. She was a bit insecure about doing it (you could get into interpreting without a diploma in those days, not anymore) but I encouraged her, showed her the ropes, and she did well.
The last time I heard from her, probably in 2002, she came for coffee here,I was getting ready to have the hip replacement, she was starting a counselling course of 2 years. And then everything went mad in my life, with the failing of the first op, and all the problems I had with Andy and all, I had my landline changed twice, my mobile stollen, and with that many numbers of people whom, though I knew I could find out where they were, were my last thought then…..
And then a few weeks ago, this girl comes to my mind, strongly. I kept thinking that her ex Brazilian hubbie could be contacted through the Brazilian magazine, I could even put an ad for her (we all read Leros, is free), but for one reason or another, didn't. And then we went for feijoada at the Barraco in Camden, and bought a flour mixture to make pao de queijo (cheese bread). When we ate it, Sarita said it could be much better, and I (again) thought of Cristina's ex, who's bussiness is actually making pao de queijo , and said out loud, I wonder what Cristina is up to….?
The day after we come home and there she is, in my answerphone: Cynthinha, minha querida, cade vc!!!! achei o seu phone, me liga, to louca pra falar com vc!!! and the numbers. It took me over 24 hs to get in touch as I understood the numbers wring, so did Sarita when I made her listen to the message, so I had to try all possible combinations.
She is getting married again, we are invited. What is with these women around me that like so much the marriage thing? I don't know, but Sarita sure was happy (an excuse to do her hair, dress up, do her nails and all that). The wedding will be in a castle in Sommerset, she said lots are staying as they dont want to drive after drinking, so she would be sending all the info. Great, I said, an opportunity to take Sarita for a weekend in Glastonbury….and I was happy too. That was until I checked prices and made my calculations. It cost more to stay 2 days in Sommerset(without breakfast, in a simple guest house) than 5 days in Paris (or Belgium, or Spain) with transport + hotel+ breakfast , and I had to think in either petrol or train….so I decided not to go.
When she called us and I told her, she said No no no, stay put, I ll call you in a bit.
Off we went to Lizzy's (my sister in law) and on the way back the phone rung. She has aranged everything, we are going in the coach they hired for the family & friends that are coming from Brazil, she made some people who were gonna go in it but have cars take their cars, moved some girls whom she had alocated a room together in the hotel to sleep with their mums and, there! we have a room, are coming back with their coach too, all these at no cost at all for me. I'm surprised, touched, happy, speechless (well, probably not that, judging by the lenght of this post, but hey, I'm latin and a bit trelele in the head, + you dont have to read if you dont want to)
She says she owes me her carrier, she wants us to be there, she wants to share this with people that mean something to her and have not seen her for a while….and it really touches me, all this. A nice surprise, for a change, in my life…..Sarita, needless to say, is over the moon. We've been out today to try buy her something to wear…didn't get anything (for the wedding, that is, we did spent a bit of money in £2 tops, a bag and two pair of earings….bad girls!), we'll keep trying, got until saturday to shop, though she is very busy with after school classes in the week…
We had bagguettes at Burger King. We laughed. I'm now stuffed with pain killers, almost happy….