About

Who are you?

I’m an ordinary bloke from Yorkshire who moved to London in the 80s, became an English teacher, moved to Rio in 1992, went back to England with a Brazilian wife 3 years later, had a son, then packed up and left Blighty for Porto Alegre in February 2011.

Why did you move to Brazil?

I love Brazil and I felt like one last big adventure…after more than a decade of paying a UK mortgage I realised we would never own anything – at least in Brazil you can actually buy a modest place.

What do you miss about England?

My family and friends, of course, and sausages, cheese, real ale and record shops…but really, I try not to dwell on my old life.

Why did you start a blog?

Writing is a discipline and a kind of therapy…it concentrates my mind and keeps me out of mischief.

What are you passionate about?

Collecting records, my hi-fi, Miles Davis, the Rolling Stones, Bach, second-hand books, George Gissing, D.H. Lawrence, poetry, lit-crit, kitchen-sink films, World War One, fishing, cooking.

What’s your favourite novel / film / album?

Sentimental Education (Flaubert), Billy Liar, ‘Very Extremely Dangerous’ by Eddie Hinton

Which famous people, dead or alive, would you invite to a dinner party?

I would throw a Dixieland jazz party and invite four great fans of the music: George Melly, Jeff Nuttall, Philip Larkin and Woody Allen.

Do you have any travel plans?

Well, it has to be exploring the rest of South America as I’m living so close to Uruguay and Argentina.

(Thanks to Newton Tweedsdale for kindly agreeing to interview me, as preparation for my forthcoming appearance on ‘Desert Island Discs’)

 

12 Comments

12 thoughts on “About

  1. eric fairchild

    i bought “very extremely dangerous” at Bradford HMV sale, probably in the 80’s. I guess this will have been one of your buys? I will dig it out and give it a spin.

    best wishes,

    eric fairchild

  2. I once did a poll asking people what their all-time favourite “obscure” album was (one that nobody else seems to have heard of). The journalist Mick Brown (Telegraph) chose ‘Very Extremely Dangerous’ and so did I. What a cracking album it is. Shame that the reproduction on vinyl is a little thin, despite it being a US import. It’s now available on CD, for those who go in for those things. Let me know what your revisit experience is like!

  3. I love reading about people that have moved to Rio! I spent 6 weeks there in 2010 and it’s hands down my fave place on Earth. I’m now living in Mexico City but literally all the time contemplate heading south! Have you spent the entire time there teaching? I gave classes for a bit when I first came to Mex, but am editing books now, am just curious as to what all us expats get up to!

    • Will,
      Thanks for the comments. Yes, I teach English mostly. I enjoy it now, but 20 years ago I got fed up of it and went back to England to try my hand at writing, ending up as a newspaper and radio journalist. Now I’m too old to worry about career paths and all that baloney. Life’s too short. I would take Cyril Connolly’s advice and, if you really want to write, find a rich wife to support you (ho ho).
      Cheers.

      • good for you! I don’t think I could go back to the teaching, but I absolutely don’t want to go back to England. Hah yeah a nice sugar mamma would be alright, wouldn’t it… In the next few months I want to try my hand at a bit of freelancing online, just to see if it can be worthwhile, and eventually knock my office job on my head. Starting to feel a bit like ‘this isnt why I moved abroad’ recently and not sure where to go from here.

  4. janeykate

    Great blog, loving it!
    Jane x

    • Thanks, Jane.
      I like your blog too (me and many others, it seems!).
      I too have had a few heartbreaks…don’t know if it shows.
      But you are very positive – that’s the hardest part.
      Martin x

      • janeykate

        Hello Martin, thank you for reading my blog, I was pleased to stumble across yours. Some of the things you said about Yorkshire made me smile, being a Yorkshire girl myself, albeit North. In reply to your question, yes it does show just the tiniest amount in some of your posts. I think you are great at seeing the positives and funny side of life, but yes, I can see a tiny hint of sadness sometimes. I’m just working my way around your blog, so I don’t yet know if you have actually written about heartbreak yet. But hey, we have all had heartbreaks right? At least we have lived our lives and loved, and taken risks! It’s taken a while for me to get over having my heart broken, and if I’m honest, there are still days when a memory can make me feel really low. But when all is said and done, I was lucky to have my ex in my life for the time that I did. Just because he doesn’t love me any more doesn’t mean that he is anything less than one of the nicest men I ever met. He was perfect really, and I will be forever grateful that I had him in my life.
        Jane x

  5. Jane,
    I made a feeble attempt at bearing my soul in my post entitled “The Green-Eyed Monster is Coming”. It’s about jealousy and hardly does justice to the sadness that you have experienced. The fact that you can still call the man who left you “perfect” is a thing of beauty in itself – something I can only aspire to.
    Martin x

  6. Damien Steward

    Hi Martin. I’m not sure if you’re the Martin Fletcher I knew in Bradford in the 1970s. Though I think there’s a very good chance. Looks like we’ve followed some of the same paths, you to radio and papers, me to the much more intellectually rigorous discipline of TV journalism… I also lived abroad for many years but, unlike you, am now back in the clammy embrace of Bradford. Saltaire to be exact.

  7. Damien Steward

    To continue…For the past few years I’ve been working on a project about the historical connection between Bradford and Brazil. It’s a little known story and I hope it might pique your interest. I’ll content myself for the moment with saying it involves trade union militancy, slavery, six guns, sex and death. Too early for rock n’ roll I’m afraid. Do let me know if you’d like to talk about it. Now off for a pint or ten of Landlord…Call me a sadist. Damien

  8. Becky Ryan

    Hey Martin .. what a blast from the past! I think you gave me that photo of yourself!! ( the first in your pictures!) Glad to see you are happy with your lot.. Bradford to Brazil , that somehow doesn’t surprise me! Always knew you would end up somewhere exotic! Glad to read that you are still into your music .. both our kids.. now not kids really 27 & 24 are big into there music and you have come into my mind on and off because our Jack loves a Vinyl and everything that goes with them! I always remember you playing Strawberry Letter 22 brothers Johnson over and over again.. Michael Henderson Wide Receiver and Chico Hamilton … Funny the things you remember.. Home is Hammersmith but i do get up to Yorkshire regularly to see my 90 yr old dad.. good to read what you are up to

    Becky

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