Family people

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I made these little figures only a few days ago. Finished, more or less, the male a few hours ago.

Father, mother and child. The child was found in the park during our daily walks with the two Godlike dogs. Or Doglike Gods.Wooden family. Bits and pieces found on our walks.

The wooden figures I also find on my walks and with minor adjustments with sandpaper and a sharp knife they become what they are.Also Godly figures like Angelo and Vinci, the animals. The man is a runner or a tango dancer, the woman stands alone thinking and the baby is just a little plastic doll. Not sure if she has a soul. Of course she has as I chose her to put on a pedestal..

I photographed them outside. Taking them from my incredibly messy room.That's what Clemens always says. He's right of course.

I need help, I need a housekeeper !!!

We, Clemens as I did, were always brought up with servants. In  Indonesia we had baboes and one jongos, a male.with a head band. In Iran we had only house boys. The nicest one was Wah-hap, in his fiftieths and an Arab. Not the loved race by the Iranians. who felt terribly superior.They still do. Ask Gomeini or Kohmeini.

But when I lived in Terena, Portugal, I had a woman to look after my house and myself. Lived there off and on for nearly 20 years.

She was Senhora Rita, commonly called Ti Rita, aunty. She was as old as the hills in my mind. Now I am as old. 65 years.

She'd come into my bedroom at the crack of down and peel off my t-shirt because she'd go with a few other women in the village to wash clothes in the creek.

Also I could hear her from my bedroom picking up the empty beers bottles and counting and every so many she'd say: porko. Pig!!!! Nearly all the men in the village drank too much and women never touched the stuff.

She'd also cook me a meal. I loved that woman. Her husband lived for a few years and the lived absolutely next door. Their tiny house was cemented against my huge beautiful house built in 1630, I think.

Husband was a little senile and would sit in front of the houses under a marble cross where once people were tied to or tortured for some God knows what offence. Luiz, his name, would sit there for hours and my beloved dog Biki would sit next to him.

They had both a slight mental impairment I always thought

But I was so happy there. Albeit alone I had many visitors from Holland and Australia.

One man I'll never forget but dead was John Kyle. He was so fat and huge the villagers thought he was God. Fatness was in the eyes of the peasants, who knew hunger, a sign of wealth and good fortune !!! Funny, in our eyes, most certainly in my eyes, it is a sign of shocking disrespect of oneself.

I went back to Terena after a few years with Paula, a Portuguese psychologist I was living with. As mad as a hatter but very fond of talking to the people in my village. Poor Rita was sitting in her daughters house, not any more next to my big house and not any more under the marble cross. She was older then ever and wanting to die. To follow her Luiz.


I love reading these stories paulo. And how lucky are we to own a pair of Family People! Sans Baby. I remember your address in Portugal so well. I never visited but we wrote to eachother a lot during that time. And somewhere in my collection of letters I have photo's of your dogs and the village, and some slaughtered sheep. Which was a bit full on for my 12 year old eyes but thanks for trusting me to be mature enough. xxx  

Hi Paul, Ook dit verhaal heeft weer veel mooie kanten. Ik weet niet of je veel verhalen hebt geschreven in je leven, maar als het er weinig zijn hoop ik dat je nog veel wilt uitgraven en met ons wilt delen. Tja, en wat is oud? (Ook al lijkt het, dat ik daar het antwoord ook op ga krijgen).

i'm loving these figures Paul, and especially your story with them, i so much enjoy being taken on the journey. xoxo lisa