A minha Lista de blogues

quinta-feira, 31 de maio de 2012

International Children´s Day

June 1st was proclaimed International Children’s Day by The World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland in 1925.

It is a day to celebrate childhood. 
Despite their rights, many children still suffer from poverty, homelessness, abuse, neglect, preventable diseases, and unequal access to education and justice systems which do not recognize their special needs. These are problems that occur in both industrialized and developing countries.

The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) advocates the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.

There are two lasting gifts we can give our children: one is roots; the other wings.

quarta-feira, 30 de maio de 2012

English Showcase X

These showcases are dedicated to the British Monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 60 years as Monarch. From Saturday 2 June to Tuesday 5 June 2012 many activities will take place in UK and across the Commonwealth.

quinta-feira, 17 de maio de 2012

International Museum Day

May 18 has been International Museum Day for 35 years! It is a great way of increasing public awareness of their role in society. Therefore it is important to know that this year’s theme is: Museums in a Changing World: New challenges, New inspirations.

As the main idea of my blog is to introduce my students to English-speaking cultures, I decided to search my photo album to look for some photos taken during my visit to museums (of art, because they are my favourite) in the Americas. Since one of the New York museums I find more interesting - The Frick Collection - doesn´t allow photos to be taken, I can´t include it. Yet there are other great museums in the Big Apple.

Van Gogh. Starry Night. Moma

Duccio di Buoninsegna. Madonna and Child. Met

I still recall my enthusiasm when I saw “Starry Night” by Van Gogh for the first time in the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA,New York) or when I watched “Madonna and Child” by the early Renaissance master Duccio di Buoninsegna in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met). In fact this painting was purchased in 2004 and was the biggest purchase Met had ever made. At the time Met paid more than 45 million dollars!

 As for other museums in that big city, the Guggenheim Museum of Art owns one of the most beautiful works of Braque I know.

When we talk of art in the USA, New York can’t be given all the credit. We mustn’t forget the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, or the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the former house of an eccentric millionaire woman.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

In the Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of the biggest museums in USA I made acquaintance with a painter who was born in Portugal: Manuel Joachim de França (1808-1865)
Manuel Joachim de França. Portrait of Matthew Huizinga Messchert.

Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) The Rock of Hautepierre. c. 1869.

In Chicago I was very much impressed with the Art Institute of Chicago with its huge collection of European painters.

Tom Thomson. In the northland.

In Canada I was overwhelmed with the Musée des Beaux-Arts Montréal, where I found the beautiful painting by Tom Thomson, who influenced the Group of Seven, a late impressionism movement that revolutionized art in that country. (read ART IN CANADA in my blog.) 

If you really want to know a city well you have to visit its museums! Despite being excellent sources of knowledge, they can also be a lot more. For instance, one can always have a pleasant stroll along a Museum’s exciting galleries. Moreover, although I love art, other exhibition halls can also show amazing things, such as dinosaur fossils or scientific innovations. So, when entering a Museum we are not just learning; we are also indulging in the culture of a city/town, relaxing, looking bemusedly at what most fascinates us and recalling details which we might have accidentally put out of our mind in our busy day-to-day lives!

Paul Newman and I at Madame Tussaud´s, New York

terça-feira, 15 de maio de 2012


It is the second largest country in the world. It consists of ten provinces ( Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan) and three territories ( Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon). The Canada-United States border is the longest border in the world. The capital is Ottawa.

Canada is a Commonwealth Realm, which means Queen Elizabeth II is its monarch. Perhaps the most familiar Royal emblem is the portrait of the Queen, which is featured on the obverse of all Canadian coins.

The flag of Canada is also known as Maple Leaf. It symbolizes the nature and environment of Canada. As a matter of fact maple forests are the pride of Quebec and Ontario with their annual autumn display of beauty. In springtime the trees provide their most famous product: maple syrup.

Maple forests in Canada

Maple Syrup: before and after 

 Canada´s French- speakers make up about 25% of the total population. They are mainly based in just one of the ten provinces, Quebec.

VICTORIA DAY 2012- May 21
Canadians celebrate this holiday on the Monday before May 24 in honour of Queen Victoria´s birthday who became the longest reigning monarch in British History. She was only 18 when she took over the throne in 1837 and she ruled until her death in 1901. In some cities, fireworks displays or parades are held to mark Victoria Day. One of the most notable parades is held in the city of Victoria, British Columbia, which was named after Queen Victoria.

This holiday is also called May Long Weekend and marks the unofficial start of summer with many outdoor activities.  
In 1957, Victoria Day was permanently appointed as the current Queen's birthday in Canada.
The national Day of Canada is celebrated on July 1 to mark the anniversary of July 1, 1867- the Constitution Act, which united three colonies into a country called Canada, part of the British Empire (originally called the Dominion of Canada).

domingo, 13 de maio de 2012


St Andrews University is Scotland´s first university and the 3rd oldest in the English-speaking world.

The University is currently celebrating its 600th Anniversary.

Sir Sean Connery has returned to the screen to tell us the history of Scotland´s University. On Wednesday 16 May 2012 he will be in New York for the US premiere of "EVER TO EXCEL".

" I´m proud to be an honorary graduate of a place where good is never good enough. Ever to excel. Happy Birthday St Andrews"

Sean Connery

Watch the trailer of " EVER TO EXCEL":

sábado, 12 de maio de 2012

Queen´s Diamond Jubilee

Queen Elizabeth II is going to celebrate 60 years as sovereign.
The celebrations of the Queen´s Diamond Jubilee will take place from Saturday 2 June to Tuesday 5 June 2012.

sexta-feira, 11 de maio de 2012

Art in Canada

The “Group of Seven”

Thomson, In the Northland

The Group of Seven was created in 1920 as a movement of self-proclaimed modern artists, who started a long revolution in the conservative Canadian art. Tom THOMSON (1877–1917) had a significant influence on the group and was included in the circle of friends, but since he died in 1917 he never became a member of the Group. The “Group of Seven” chose subjects which revealed the beautiful landscapes of Canada, and that may be one of the reasons they are nationally beloved.

The Group of Seven seated around a table at the Arts and Letters Club, Toronto. From left to right:
Varley, Jackson, Harris, Barker Fairley (non-member), Johnston, Lismer, MacDonald. Carmichael was  absent.

 The original members were:

Franklin CARMICHAEL (1890–1945)

Carmichael, Waterfalls on the Way into Lake Nellie

Lawren HARRIS (1885–1970)

Harris, Shimmering Water, Agonquin Park

A.Y. JACKSON (1882–1972)
Jackson, Early Spring, Quebec

 Franz JOHNSTON (1888–1949)

Johnston, High Park

  Arthur LISMER (1885–1969)

Lismer, Pacific Coast

J.E.H. MACDONALD (1873–1932)

MacDonald, Autumn, Algoma

F.H. VARLEY (1881–1969)

 Varley, Stormy Weather in Georgian Bay

 Invited members:

A. J. CASSON (1898-1992) joined the Group in 1926.

 Casson, Bon Echo

Edwin HOLGATE (1892-1977) joined the Group in 1931


L.L. FITZGERALD (1890-1956) joined the Group in 1932

Ftzgerald, Doc Snider´s House

Emily Carr (1871–1945), another famous artist, after meeting members of the Group, changed the direction of her artistic life and was strongly influenced by them.

Carr, Tree in Autumn
The Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto holds one of Canada´s most extensive collections of fine art and modern sculpture.

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection:

Murray, Joan. Northern Lights. Masterpieces of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. Key Porter Books, 1994

quinta-feira, 10 de maio de 2012

Adventures abroad 4


Niagara Falls is actually two waterfalls that are divided into twin channels: the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, named for their shape, and across the border the smaller American Falls.
Although the imposing rumble of the falls can be heard from miles away, there is nothing like the spectacular and breathtaking view of the water crashing over a 52m cliff as they produce dense clouds of bubbling spray. You can also walk down through a series of rocky tunnels that lead behind Horseshoe Falls, where the noise from the crashing waters is simply deafening.

Niagara Falls is a welcoming little town renowned as a honeymoon destination. It is in the American/Canadian border. I visited Niagara twice in autumn and winter. Although it is beautiful in both seasons, there is nothing like the view of the astonishing falls with snow (if you are that lucky). 
If you go to Niagara Falls don’t miss the charming little town of Niagara- on- the- lake where the mouth of the Niagara River empties into Lake Ontario. I am fortunate to have Canadian friends who showed me the area around.

segunda-feira, 7 de maio de 2012

Exposição Fernando Pessoa - Plural como o Universo

Dedicada a Fernando Pessoa e aos seus heterónimos, esta exposição foi uma colaboração entre a Fundação Roberto Marinho e o Museu da Língua Portuguesa de São Paulo (Brasil), com o apoio da Fundação Gulbenkian.

Esteve aberta ao público de 10 de fevereiro a 6 de maio em Lisboa, na Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

Agora, seguindo a exposição:

A primeira sala “ EU SOU MUITOS” é dedicada a Fernando Pessoa e aos seus heterónimos. “Tive sempre, desde criança, a necessidade de aumentar o mundo com personalidades fictícias, sonhos meus rigorosamente construídos, visionados com clareza fotográfica, compreendidos por dentro das suas almas".
FERNANDO PESSOA em 1935, descreveu-se como segue…

Nome Completo : Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa.

Idade e naturalidade: nasceu em Lisboa, freguesia dos Mártires, no prédio 4 do largo de S. Carlos (hoje do Diretório) em 13 de junho de 1888.

Filiação: filho legítimo de Joaquim de Seabra Pessoa e D. Maria Madalena Pinheiro Nogueira. […]

Profissão: a designação mais própria será “tradutor”, a mais exata a de “correspondente estrangeiro em casas comerciais”. O ser poeta e escritor não constitui profissão mas vocação. […]

Educação: em virtude de, falecido seu pai em 1893, sua mãe ter casado, em 1895, em segundas núpcias, com o comandante João Miguel Rosa, cônsul de Portugal em Durban […], foi ali educado.

Dizem que finjo ou minto

Tudo que escrevo. Não.

Eu simplesmente sinto

Com a imaginação.

Não uso o coração.

Tudo que sonho ou passo,

O que me falha ou finda,

É como que um terraço

Sobre outra cousa ainda.

Essa cousa é que é linda.

Por isso escrevo em meio

Do que não está ao pé,

Livre do meu enleio,

Sério do que não é.

Sentir? Sinta quem lê.

( “Isto”, 28-2-1929)

ÁLVARO DE CAMPOS nasceu em 15 de outubro de 1890, em Tavira, no Algarve, terra da família do pai de Pessoa. Segundo conta o poeta este heterónimo teve “uma educação vulgar de Liceu; depois foi mandado para a Escócia estudar engenharia, primeiro mecânica e depois naval. Numas férias fez a viagem ao Oriente, de onde resultou o “Opiário”. Agora está em Lisboa em inatividade."

Pode ser que para outro mundo eu possa levar o que sonhei

Mas poderei eu levar para outro mundo o que me esqueci de sonhar?


A minha pátria é onde não estou

“Opiário”, 1914

RICARDO REIS , nascido no Porto, em 19 de setembro de 1887, estudou num colégio de jesuítas, onde aprendeu latim, e formou-se em medicina. Estudou grego por conta própria. Em carta a um amigo, Pessoa informa que Reis “vive no Brasil desde 1919, pois se expatriou espontaneamente por ser monárquico, na sequência da derrota da rebelião monárquica do Porto contra o regime republicano”

Segue o teu destino,

Rega as tuas plantas,

Ama as tuas rosas,

O resto é sombra

De árvores alheias.

A realidade

Sempre é mais ou menos

Do que nós queremos.

Só nós somos sempre

Iguais a nós próprios.

BERNARDO SOARES, na definição de Fernando Pessoa, era um “semi-heterónimo”. Comparando-se a ele, o autor afirma: “não sendo a personalidade a minha, é, não diferente da minha, mas uma simples mutilação dela. Sou eu menos o raciocínio e a afetividade.

Se imagino, vejo. Que mais faço se eu viajo?

Só a fraqueza extrema da imaginação justifica que se tenha que deslocar para sentir.

ALBERTO CAEIRO foi venerado como mestre pelos outros heterónimos e até pelo seu criador, Fernando Pessoa. Nasceu em Lisboa, em 16 de abril de 1889, mas passou a vida no campo, como “guardador de rebanhos”. O seu rebanho, esclareceu num poema, eram os seus pensamentos, e seus pensamentos eram sensações. Pouco instruído queria ver as coisas como as coisas são, sem filosofia.

Quando vier a primavera,

Se eu já estiver morto,

As flores florirão da mesma maneira

E as árvores não serão menos verdes

Que na primavera passada.

A realidade não precisa de mim.

Além dos heterónimos, Fernando Pessoa criou ao longo da vida dezenas de personalidades literárias. Entre elas:

Charles Robert Anon, poeta e prosador de língua inglesa.

Alexander Search, poeta, contista e ensaísta de língua inglesa.

Joaquim Moura Costa, poeta satírico e militante republicano.

Vicente Guedes, poeta, contista e jornalista.

António Mora, filósofo, sociólogo e teórico do neopaganismo.

Raphael Baldaya, astrólogo e filósofo.

Barão de Teive, prosador suicida.

Maria José, autora de uma carta apaixonada.

Gaudêncio Nabos, jornalista e humorista.

Na entrada para a sala seguinte o retrato mais famoso de Fernando Pessoa de Almada Negreiros (1893-1970), que faz parte da coleção da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian e um painel cronológico de Pessoa.

Podíamos ainda admirar pintura de Amadeo de Sousa- Cardoso (1887-1918) e Eduardo Viana (1881-1967) numa zona dedicada aos modernistas portugueses.
Amadeo de Sousa-Cardoso

Eduardo Viana

Motivo de grande interesse constituía a mostra de originais manuscritos, blocos de notas, o fac-simile da obra Mensagem digitalizada e ainda a própria arca onde Fernando Pessoa guardava os seus trabalhos.

Lisboa, 7 de maio de 2012