Tag Archives: mark hillary

A birthday surprise in São Paulo!

It’s been a week now since a group of friends surprised me in São Paulo with an Elvis-themed birthday celebration party. I thought I was on my way to the theatre to see a play when my wife said that we needed to call in at a bar to collect a friend.

Only once we got inside, the pub was packed full of friends and family all waiting to celebrate my birthday!

It was a really special moment. I know that Angelica visited São Paulo several times arranging this now and she must have been emailing and chasing people for weeks. When I saw everyone there and realised that we were not going to the theatre I was a bit stunned – I think I probably just looked shocked when everyone was singing ‘Happy Birthday’.

It’s at times like this – when you can see a big crowd of friend who all got involved to set this up – that the importance of friends and family really hits home.

I’m really looking forward to my brother, sister-in-law, and nephews all coming over to Brazil next Easter. I have lived in Brazil for over three years now and nobody from my family has visited. It’s really expensive – I’m well aware of that – but this is also why it felt nice to just see an entire pub full of people all singing happy birthday.

The pub we went to doesn’t even open on Saturdays usually – Angelica convinced the owner to open up because a big crowd would be ordering food and drinks at the party.

I’m really grateful to Angie for arranging this. It’s one of those crazy moments in life that I will never forget. And it was also really fantastic to see everyone who came – some had travelled hundreds of miles to be there.

Thank you everyone for making my birthday weekend a lot of fun, I really enjoyed it and I appreciate all the effort that went into arranging the party and just being there!

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Only an Englishman would write about pubs in a book about Brazil

Anyone who does anything creative is always interested in seeing what others think about their work. Not just the supportive comments from friends and family, but the online reviews and comments from those in the media – and just regular readers. I’ve got musician friends and I know that they are just as interested in how people react to songs as I am when I publish a new book.

Reality Check: Life in Brazil through the eyes of a foreigner [Kindle Edition]

I have been really delighted with the reaction to the Reality Check book. There has been some good press coverage, many journalists are looking at the book now because they have expressed an interest, and all the reviews on Amazon itself are 5 or 4 star. It all looks good. And knowing that it has been spending some time in the number one slot has also helped. To see that it’s the best-selling book in English on the subject of Brazil is quite something.

But one review on the Amazon UK site really stood out for me. It’s by someone named Socrates – I don’t know who Socrates is and what country he is from, but he has clearly read quite a few books about Brazil as he references them in the review. He wrote an interesting comment on the book and how it has a certain ‘charm’ though:

“Any faults with the book are part of its charm. It’s does feel like a sketch for a longer book, but at the same time this is a great example of how self-e-publishing means a book like this can get on virtual shelves without an advance from a publishing house. It is also very fresh. Many of the issues discussed, like the June 2013 protests, are still news. Also Mark’s guide to bars and drinks is something maybe only an Englishman would dedicate a chapter to in such a brief guide, however as someone that also lived in London for much of my adult life I found this very useful and charming.”

I like this comment. The reviewer has noticed that maybe there are some quirks in the book. It’s more focused on the reality of my own induction into Brazil rather than some laborious run through the last 1,000 years of history, or a detailed analysis of the work visa application process.

I think there is plenty of useful information in the book and it really does include stuff on visas and going to the pub – because as a Brit moving to Brazil, these were both topics that fascinated me.

The idea of it as a sketch for a bigger book is interesting though. I have published big fat books with regular publishers and I deliberately wanted to avoid that experience in this case. As the review mentions, I really did manage to keep some of the comment right up to date – making some final edits just before the publication button was pushed. But it is a full-length book that feels short – it can be read pretty fast because it is punchy and direct, but it would be almost 200 pages if it were a regular paperback so there is some meat on the bones.

I felt that the personal nature of this book and my desire to release it globally as soon as I possibly could meant that it had to be released using Amazon. But it is doing well. There will be a lot on attention to Brazil in the next couple of years so if a big publishing house came to me now and suggested I add some additional content so they can release it as an airport paperback then I wouldn’t refuse – how could I?

But for the moment, I’m already working on a new book anyway. All my writing projects stretched into the future are exploring how work is changing – with the Brazil one fitting into that agenda just by exploring the difficulties of moving across the world and trying to slot in.

It was never meant to just be a sketch, but maybe it could be a stepping stone to a much more detailed analysis of Brazil? Maybe that’s an idea for 2014…

Reality Check

June 1 2012: British Pub Quiz at the Queens Head in São Paulo

***VEJA ABAIXO PARA VERSAO EM PORTUGUÊS***
The “pub quiz” is a tradition of British pubs. Over 22,000 different pub quiz events take place every week in the UK making it a common way to enjoy a pint – and possibly win a prize.
http://j.mp/pub-quiz… Mark and Tim are both British, both are married to Brazilian girls (the best, right?) and both live in São Paulo – and love a pub quiz! So they would like to invite you to come along to test your knowledge of the UK, win some great prizes and have some British style fun at the Queens Head pub in Pinheiros.The quiz takes place on the eve of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II (60 years as Queen), a few months after the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, and just a month before the London Olympic Games – there is a lot for the UK to celebrate in 2012!The quiz will include six rounds, each one focused on a specialist area, with ten questions in each round. You enter the quiz as a team (maximum 6) and stay in the same team all evening – you can win prizes for coming first in a round as well as winning the grand prize for the best total team score of all rounds together.

The tradition of British pub quizzes is that your team name is amusing, so think carefully about what you want to call your team – there might be a special prize for the best name on the night!

Each team can play one round during the evening as their “joker” round – meaning your points for this round will be doubled. You must announce in advance of the questions that this will be your joker round, so pick the round you expect to do best on!

The rounds will focus on these topics:
. Movies
. Books
. Music
. Sport
. God Save the Queen (Royal Family)
. UK in Brazil

The quiz will start at 20:00 with the first three rounds, then there will be a break for 20-30 mins followed by the next three rounds – it should be complete by 22:00. You can enter even if you miss a round, but it will affect your chances of winning the grand prize.

During each round there may also be a question using London ‘cockney” slang with a link to the round topic:
http://j.mp/cockneyslang

Points to remember:

1. No cheating. This is fun, remember? Any team using Google on their phone or calling a friend to get answers will be disqualified and asked to go to the boteco over the road. There is no need to cheat and you won’t go to Heaven if you do.

2. The questions will be inclusive and reflect the British culture that many Brazilians will be familiar with – so you don’t need to be a professor of British history to come and enjoy this quiz!

3. The questions will be asked by Mark and Tim in both English and Portuguese – you can answer in either language. So even if your English is not fluent, you can still enjoy the quiz.

We look forward to seeing you. Please indicate on this event that you plan to come, please pass on the invitation to your friends, and if you already know who will be in your team then please post your team details on the wall here! See you at the Queen’s Head!

Please sign up soon – there are only 75 seats available so we need to know the numbers of people and teams planning to come – thanks! The quiz will end at 2200 and live music will start at 2230 until late : )

Click here for the Facebook event page so you can sign up…

Mark Hillary, CEO, IT Decisions
http://www.itdecs.com/

Tim Lucas, CEO, The Listening Agency
http://www.thelisteningagency.com/

——-

O “pub quiz” é uma tradição dos pubs britânicos. Há mais de 22.000 eventos desse tipo todas as semanas no Reino Unido – é uma boa desculpa para se desfrutar uma cerveja – e, possivelmente, ganhar um prêmio. (http://j.mp/pub-quiz)

Mark e Tim são ambos britânicos, casados com mulheres brasileiras e vivem em São Paulo – e adoram um pub quiz! Agora os dois estão convidando vocês para testar o seu conhecimento da cultura popular da Inglaterra e do Brasil, concorrer a prêmios bem bacanas e se divertir à moda britânica no pub Queen’s Head em Pinheiros.

O quiz acontecerá às vésperas do aniversario da Rainha Elizabeth II de 60 anos no poder, poucos meses após o 200º aniversário de Charles Dickens, e apenas um mês antes do Jogos Olímpicos em Londres – há tantas coisas para o Reino Unido comemorar em 2012!

O quiz incluirá seis rodadas, cada uma focada em uma área especializada, com dez questões cada. Você pode participar como uma equipe (máximo 6 pessoas) ou simplesmente aparecer no pub e a gente acha um time para você. Haverão prêmios para a equipe que ganhar cada rodada e um prêmio maior para a equipe com a melhor pontuação de todas as rodadas.

A tradição do pub quiz britânico inclui escolher um nome engraçado para sua equipe, então comece a bolar um nome legal para a sua equipe – você e seus amigos podem ganhar um prêmio especial para o melhor nome da noite!

Cada equipe pode jogar uma rodada durante a noite como a sua rodada ‘especial’ (o “joker” ) – ou seja, os seus pontos para essa rodada vale o dobro. Você deve anunciar antecipadamente qual será a sua rodada escolhida.

As rodadas serão sobre os seguintes temas:

. Filmes
. Livros
. Música
. Esporte
. God Save the Queen (Família Real)
. Reino Unido no Brasil

O quiz começará às 20:00h com as três primeiras rodadas. Em seguida, haverá uma pausa de 20-30 minutos, seguida das três últimas rodadas – precisamos terminar às 22:00h.

Lembrando que você pode entrar depois do inicio do quiz, mas isso vai afetar suas chances de ganhar o grande prêmio.

Durante cada rodada pode haver também uma pergunta usando “gírias” inglesas vinculadas ao tópico da rodada: http://j.mp/cockneyslang

Pontos para lembrar:

1. Jogue Limpo! Isso é só diversão, lembra? Qualquer equipe que for flagrada usando o Google ou o celular para obter respostas será desclassificada.

2. Não precisa ser um expert sobre a cultura britânica. As perguntas
refletem a cultura britânica que muitos brasileiros conhecem – você
não precisa ser um professor de história da Inglaterra para entrar e
se divertir neste quiz!

3. As perguntas serão feitas por Mark e Tim em Inglês e Português –
você pode responder em qualquer idioma. Assim, mesmo se o seu Inglês não for fluente, você ainda pode participar do quiz.

Queremos ver vocês lá! Por favor, nos diga se você gostaria de
participar e, por favor, repasse o convite para os seus amigos. Se
você já sabe quem vai fazer parte de sua equipe, por favor poste os
detalhes aqui. See you in the Queen’s Head.

Reserve seu lugar! Há apenas 75 lugares disponíveis e precisamos também saber quantas pessoas/times estão planejando vir. O quiz terminará às 22.00 e a música ao vivo começará às 22.30 até tarde : )

Clique aqui para a página do Facebook

Mark Hillary, CEO, IT Decisions
http://www.itdecs.com/

Tim Lucas, CEO, The Listening Agency
http://www.thelisteningagency.com/

Rose & Crown pub

My wedding, on the BBC…

BBC Technology Editor, Rory Cellan-Jones, is launching his new series on Radio 4 today. Titled ‘The Secret History of Social Networking’ it is a three-part documentary exploring the origins of social networking, going back to the 1970s.

The programme starts with my wedding to Angelica, and there is a trailer film on the BBC website today promoting the radio show and featuring several minutes of film from our wedding day!

Click here to watch the film

BBC Radio 4: The Secret History of Social Networking

BBC Technology editor, Rory Cellan-Jones, is launching a new radio series on BBC radio 4 on January 26th titled ‘The Secret History of Social Networking.’ It’s a view on how far social networks have come, where they came from, and where they might head to in future.

What is particularly interesting for me is that my wedding in Ealing on December 3rd last year features right at the start of the series, as an example of just how far things have come… I used Facebook to invite guests to the wedding and communicate the agenda for the day.
Angelica-and-Mark-wedding_DSC4104

Facebook was useful because almost all my family and friends are on there. It’s true, there are some Facebook refuseniks and I had to update them by text message, and some partners of friends are not always on my friend list, but on the whole I managed to update everyone using a Facebook event.
Facebook wedding invitation

It was an amazing day and I’m fortunate enough to have arranged a repeat of the day out in São Paulo soon. The BBC radio crew filmed a large section of my wedding in London for use in website trailers for the radio programme, so I’m going to edit together footage from their video and arrange my Brazilian wedding inside an old city centre cinema. We can watch some of the London footage and repeat the ceremony in front of a cinema audience before getting an old London Routemaster bus to transport us across the city to a restaurant for a bit of a post-second-wedding-party…

I’m looking forward to hearing Rory’s programme, though we had consumed a fair amount of Champagne by the time he started recording questions so if any of it sounds slurred then please forgive me – he should have recorded the speech parts early in the morning!
Mark and Angelica-5017

Farewell Blighty

In my last blog post I listed a few places I will be over my last couple of weeks in the UK before I leave to go and live in Brazil.

I have arranged a couple of farewell events, one for my local Ealing tweetup crowd, and the other for anyone else who wants to see me in central London. Take a look here for details:

Rupert St, Dec 22

Ealing, Dec 23

See you there!
Matilda at South Ealing

A Change of Name

I got married way back in 1995, when I was pretty young. I married a Japanese girl and her surname was Kobayashi. I was never comfortable with the idea that a woman has to adopt a man’s name after marriage. It strikes me as a bit odd, like continuing the idea that a father owns his daughter and passes her on to the husband, so the woman has to only ever have the name of her father or her husband.

So we agreed to hyphenate our names – both of us started using Kobayashi-Hillary as our surname and it was all fine. I wrote several books using that name.

But I broke up with my former wife over three years ago and we have since divorced. So I recently took some time to go and get a new passport, reverting back to my former name, just ‘Mark Hillary’.

I’m undecided what I will do about my next book. The Kobayashi-Hillary name is very unusual and having written several books under that name, I might continue to use it as a writing name for some time, but to be honest I am still undecided on that.

For now though, I’m officially just Mark Hillary once again.

Self-portrait sketchbook - Mark Kobayashi-Hillary