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  Azores-Journal 12 e-mail Inge at ladyauthor@sapo.pt

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Refer to Azores Journal Entry Nr. 1 – nothing has changed and there is no Christmas STRESS, there are NO mall-shootings or any others. The world keeps turning at a slower, more pleasant pace. Irrespective of what happens in the rest of the world, Natal is a family holiday mostly concentrating on togetherness, good food and drink. The traditional meals are prepared, imported Christmas candy mostly from Germany and Switzerland line the supermarket shelves, housewives are cleaning with a vengeance and men are getting into precarious positions installing the lights over the roads leading through every town, village, hamlet and naturally beautifying the multitude of churches.
When we took a trip to mainland Portugal, Lisboa, Porto and Coimbra to be specific, I must confess that on the first day in Lisboa I was homesick for the Acores. Life was too hectic plus there were too many people who seemed less friendly and helpful than the Azoreans. To my great amazement, few Portuguese we met had actually been here to visit these islands. So far the Acores have been sort of looked down upon as the “poor cousin” but nothing could not be further from the truth, given the large sums of money pouring in from the EU for infrastructure and building as well as renovating purposes. Actually it is like living in a different country altogether.

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If the reader is interested, click on my husband’s poster and view some of the photography taken during our trip, it will be worth your while.
The weather was glorious but too dry as they had not seen a drop of rain in nearly 3 months, while in the Azores right now we have again reached the unpredictable but delightful off-season (harvest-time) with temperatures in the high 50s or low 60s at night, while during the days we have entered what I refer to “onion clothing phase.” By noon the temperatures usually rise into the mid to high 70s – here it is the middle of December and we are shedding layers, there is no need to heat. The house has been staying at a comfortable 70 degrees at a minimum.
Again a profusion of flowers is growing more varied by the day, Camellias and Azaleas are beginning to come into their own as well as many others. But THE best and most spectacular this year are the Poinsettias. Sitting on our upper terrace the other day I looked up in the late afternoon sunshine from below into a truthfully huge bush of Poinsettia blossoms about a foot across with a cerulean sky as backdrop and the warm sun illuminating every leaf rendering it the deepest red you can imagine. It was magical. Such is pre-Natal on the Azores. The lights are adorning the streets en masse but yet again but there is NO Christmas frenzy. We love it.

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There are no words to describe the feeling of sitting under huge Poinsettia blossoms looking up and seeing a cerulian sky..

A

VERY

MERRY

CHRISTMAS

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