to Eugene ONeill)
In 1968 I
could only think of my exotic exciting journey
into the unknown. A continent with a magical
musical language, Brazilian Portuguese.
Portuguese with sugar the Brazilians would say.
The sound sent shivers up and down my spine and
the enticing throb of the Afro-Brazilian music
coupled with the Bossa Nova, almost unknown in
London in the late 60s, although de rigeur in
Paris where the poet and singer Vinicius de
Moreas had been the Brazilian ambassador.
In the late 60s I was slender with long flowing
golden locks parted in the middle and wore short
mini dresses showing off my well endowed
curvaceous body and good legs. I was about 26 and
full of energy for a new life on the other side
of the world without social connections.
In 1968 I was working as a travel agent/consultant
in Oxford Street for Global Tours, a big tour
operating company with offices in New York,
Sydney and JoBerg. I got a perk, an
educational tourist week in Lisbon with a
colleague Carole and off we sped to be educated
in Lisbon and Oporto.
There I fell in love with the nasal language,
easy for me with my knowledge of Spanish and
Italian but when I saw the colonial baroque candy
pink and pale blue architecture and heard the
Bossa Nova, I was hooked for life. I felt it was
my destiny to emigrate to Rio de Janeiro.
I rushed down to the Portuguese tourist office
with my little Berlitz phrase book and demanded
help with the pronunciation. In turn I was
introduced to the charming friendly tourist
office photographer who took me to Hyde Park for
a photo shoot.
In September 1970 I boarded the plane for Brazil,
my dream destination and a new chapter of my life
I kept the 4 black and white photos forever and
in 2019 do not recognise the slender girl lying
on the grass. Jilliana. Today I still have those
sexy posed photos in Hyde Park which ended up on
my computer screen, frozen in time.
I have been lucky renting out my high-ceilinged
Georgian flat for a couple of winter months in
January and February. I have always been asked to
rent it out by someone with possessions in
storage between properties. Thus my tenant would
only come with the clothes on his or her back. We
would usually come to a friendly financial
arrangement with a reduced rent in exchange for
looking after my lovely black and white cat Neko,
building work, gardening and in the case of
orange long haired Zac, IT work.
I was computer illiterate in the early Noughties,
and so every time, I had a glitch, as after
renting from me, Zac was renting a flat close by,
I was forever calling him up for help. He was
always at my beck and call and loved to feel
In his mid 30s, Zac never had a girlfriend,
worked hard in IT and must have been very
talented because he was sent to Bangalore to set
up one of the big 5s banking computer
systems. He earned enough to buy his flat for
Sometimes his long bushy hair was pink or orange.
The poor guy had a degenerate bone condition too
and in general was an unhappy soul drowning his
loneliness in strong cider at the local pub. I
always made sure I had some chilled fruit cider
in the fridge to offer him.
One evening he came over to convert my TV over to
digital. when by chance my computer screen was
switched on. Zac gasped when he saw his fantasy
woman lying on the grass.
He sat quietly silently gazing at my image on the
screen announcing, somewhat embarrassed.
Jilliana, Ive got a hard on!
Oh, well youd better get rid of it!
Never had I been in such a situation. Well he
could have jumped on me. Who knows?
I got up and shouted at him to fix my TV. After
all that was why he had come over. I discovered
he liked to be shouted at and obediently obey his
mistress. Being a dominatrix seemed to do the
trick. His erection must have gone down with my
harsh words. Mr fix it didnt stay long,
mumbling he had to meet a friend in the pub and
dolefully left after I had given him a mini gift
- An 80s cork screw called ScrewPull!
I told my best friend Pauline the story of the TV
toolman and the cork/cockscrew payment
gift and we had a girlie laugh. Some weeks later,
I saw Zac coming towards me in the street on his
way to the pub, he had already apologised for his
bad behaviour. He smiled and said a nervous hello
to us both.
Thats the TV guy, isnt it?
Pauline instinctively knew in her wisdom.
Yes, how did you know?
By the way he lusted after you with his
The tool man cumeth! I subtilely
at home in March 2019.
The iceman cometh by Eugene O Neill.
Wikipedia. Vinicius de Moraes - Brazilian poet