this is the archive for the ‘just life’ category:


month of letters: done!

so, finally, this was the year i wrote a postcard or letter for every day in february, successfully checking that item off my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days… yay!

the recipients were a mix of old and new friends, which gave it a nice twist — conversations were started, continued or kickstarted again by means of a random mail item. owed replies were sent, and people were cheered up, or thanked or remembered. it was fun, and it had the unintended benefit of giving me something else to think of during some trying time. i wish i had the stamina to keep it up the whole year! :)

omni-impatient

small update just to say that we found a place! to be honest, it’s not at all what i had imagined it would be… but i think it’s growing on me slowly.

the backyard (!) is wild with overgrowth and the house eerily quiet and empty, our voices echoing on the walls and the tiled floor as we pace it, anxiously waiting for all the paperwork to come through.

IMG_0056

there’s a terrace on the roof (!!), from where you can savor the expanse of blue sky all around and even catch a glimpse of the sea, glimmering in the distance… it’s perfect to bask in the sun and the knowledge that this is it, this white canvas of a house this will soon be our home for the foreseeable future. we’re almost done.

sunset

the sun warms our skin and it feels luxuriously novel… like a silent blessing. i hope to always remember this.

no choice is good choice

it’s been a few months that we’re back in berlin after our spring stint in celorico de basto, a place hidden in the middle of vinho verde land.

everyone thought that we, the globetrotters, were going to hate being holed up in there for two months.

minho

well, the truth is… it was oddly refreshing. i wasn’t expecting it to be so soothing, and i think a big part of that stemmed from not having much to chose from. there was one of everything: one restaurant, one supermarket, three bakeries (this is portugal after all) — and that was enough. it was just pure simplicity, those unadorned, undemanding days where we did the only things we could do.

plus, our internet allowance was limited and thus kept strictly practical: no videos streaming, no music playing in the background, no images cluttering the pages. we did our job and then switched it off and went outside. the inbox got close to zero a few times. my skin regained a bit of its southern shade.

(i had the same feeling once, on a tiny apartment we stayed in where everything was white, clean and uncluttered from the usual paraphernalia that seems to sprout on every surface. no superfluous decorations, nothing in sight… everything was there, but hidden in its right place. i, the queen of messy desks, felt relieved, serene, in peace.)

levada

of course we missed lots of things: friends. the convenience of online retailers, combined with the efficiency of deutsche post. our bed. reliable film shops. the café around the corner. diversity. proper internet. a quiet place to call our own…

but it was strangely refreshing to be away and really focused on a task. no main distractions going on. everything was secondary to the main goal and so every decision became easy, barely a yes or no process.

i don’t know if this makes sense for anyone else… i just wanted to remember this feeling.

one second every day – august 2014

august was made of cats, adorable newborn babies and friends.

what else could one possibly need? :)

a list update: 22% done!

i’ve crossed quite a few random things off my 101 things in 1001 days‘ list in the past few months, so it’s time for a list update. let’s see…

- riding a paddle boat: check!
i spent my birthday this year in amarante with friends, munching on traditional sweets and paddling up and down the tâmega river. the trick to paddle boats is to go slowly! don’t put all your muscle into it, just relax and take it easy :)

- make cheese: check!
we made delicious cottage cheese! the hardest part was locating fresh, unskimmed, unpasteurized milk…
cottagecheese

- reduce our energy consumption in 10%: check!
in 2013, we spent an average of 7.44 kWh/day, but in 2014 this number dropped to 5.32 kWh/day, a 29% reduction! :D

- visit an island: check!
guernsey was all kinds of lovely and we must go back someday.
vrguernsey

- see Daniela get into a university: cheeeeeeeeeeck!
all of that studying back in june/july paid off! the kid managed to get into the nursing school closest to her home, which means she now has a proper chance to finally get out of the village, and do something for herself.
sometimes it’s still hard to believe i saw her come to the world 18 years ago, changed her first diaper in the hospital and all… and now, she’s become this amazing person, a fighter, someone who knows what they want, someone able to make a plan. i’m currently bursting with pride! :)