Brazilian Slate

Slate house signs engraved in the English county of Kent on slate quarried in faraway Brazil. The craftsmen engraving the slate house signs often thought of the long journey from their country of origin to the studio in Kent. And they thought of the names they would engrave on the slate house signs before sending them off to their final destination. The names were of never failing interest to them. Some names conjuring up pictures of idyllic scenes, some so unusual that they wondered at the story behind them.


“Slate house signs”, thought Nuno Da Silva, his eyes squinting in the hot sun of the Paraopeda Valley near Papagaios in Brazil, as he stood gazing at the stacks of slate that were being put ready for shipping to the United Kingdom. Strong, dense slate to be used for many purposes but Nuno’s imagination was captured by the thought of the slates that would become slate house signs.


Nuno longed to travel. He had read many books and stories about Great Britain. He had paged through English magazines bought from the large bookshop he had visited on his one and only trip to Rio de Janeiro. One of the magazines had a section of houses that were for sale. Thatched cottages with climbing roses round the front door or trellised on the walls. Stately manor houses, an old rectory, a converted barn, an old schoolhouse that had been turned in to a family home.  And outside so many of the photo’s of the properties were slate house signs with names that made him think longingly of a green and friendly land many thousands of miles away.


He dreamed of travelling round that country. Visiting the houses that had Brazilian slate house signs engraved with names like Cherrywood Lodge, Honeysuckle Cottage, Bluebell House, The Coach House, The Old Vicarage. How wonderful that would be. Would he ever be able to visit that faraway island?


Perhaps one day Nuno will realize his dream. Perhaps he will meet the men in Kent who turn the slate into slate house signs and he will be able to tell the men about Brazil and how the slates were quarried. Sometimes dreams do come true.

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