analogue wednesday #221

“I am sitting under a sycamore by Tinker Creek. I am really here, alive on the intricate earth under trees.”

annie dillard, via john green.

an empty hospital, waiting for the storm

so… yeah. what a week this has been. truth be told, not much has changed for us, a couple of introverts who have been working from home for over 10 years now. but still, things feel different. we’re hyper aware of everyone around us, where our hands are and which things we’ve touched, how long it has been since we last washed them, or the itch on our nose that we’re resisting to scratch.

still, we’re luckier than many. we stock up on the local bio farm, where we can get fresh stuff without the claustrophobia of supermarket visits. we have a little garden, and can easily walk around the countryside behind our home without meeting anyone. the boy can still run, and the mail still goes in most countries. we are healthy and thankful. reminds me of this notice from neukölln.

we broke the self-isolation to go to the hospital this week. i got a message on wednesday morning from the local hospital saying they were EXTREMELY NECESSITATED (their caps) of my blood type. they are usually running low at the best of times, let alone when everyone is avoiding going out, or to a hospital. :(

i called them to make sure i could give blood (usually i’d still have to wait another 1.5 months before going again), and they said “yes, please, just be careful and come!!”

so we drove 50kms to faro, while every information panel on the highway screamed at us to “STAY HOME!”. we gave blood while staying as far away as possible from everyone, touching the least amount of things and disinfecting the hands after touching anything + showering afterwards.

it was a rather stressful experience, but the people were nice, and the hospital itself was eerily quiet. all non-urgent appointments had been cancelled, and people told not to come here unless its serious. there was this feeling of “the quiet before the storm” hanging in the air, like everyone is waiting for people to start pouring in — which they will, “little by little and then all at once”, as i heard someone explain exponential growth.

i just hope we’re ready for it.

walking the southwest coast

earlier this winter, we put a few days aside to walk the rota vicentina, a route of (mostly) seaside trails in the southwest coast of portugal. the challenge and the cliffs lured us in, and as soon as we found a string of days promising good weather, we booked some hostels along the way and went for it — first from sagres to aljezur, and then from aljezur to porto covo.

i have trouble summing up the experience in simple words. weeks later, i still feel the pain and boredom of the kilometers stretching into hours, but also the awe of the breathtaking scenery and the freedom of having nothing to do but walk all day.

it’s funny how time dilates when we’re boot-deep in sand, feet sinking with every step. hours stretch into kilometers, another one and another one, and before we know it, a town of white-washed houses appears like a mirage in the horizon. we know ourselves differently after a long walk. we talk at length with the people walking with us, and sometimes with ourselves. we become the people who recognize birds, who stop to photograph another flower or bush — the people who notice stuff.

slowly, running or walking, we’re becoming familiar with this place we now call home.

analogue wednesday #220

this domain turned 16 years today! although i don’t write much these days, i’m still happy to have this collection of stories and images, from so many years of adventures past. onwards, to the next 16!

one second everyday — february 2020

february went by in a blur.

the big thing this month was finishing the rota vicentina hike, from aljezur to porto covo. a few days of sun, sand and cliffs, and the freedom to just walk with a backpack on our shoulders… bliss! i’ve tried to keep up the pace, reviving my half-dead fitbit and squeezing in some steps everyday or biking to town instead of driving — so far, so good. towards the end of the month, we took the train north, to check on family and plant some trees with other postcrossers. :)