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


advance care directive

this is a bit of a heavy topic and the middle of a pandemic is probably a weird time to mention it, but… have you thought of how you want to die?

these days, many countries let citizens choose in advance what kind of healthcare treatment they want to receive, in case they’re not able to decide for themselves at the time the treatment is required. it’s called an advance care directive.

in portugal, the testamento vital specifies a bunch of situations on which you can decide things in advance. perhaps you don’t want to participate in clinical trials or experimental treatments, don’t want to be reanimated, or maybe you just want to delegate these choices on someone you trust. you print this sheet of paper, fill it out and take it to a health center for it to be checked and registered. after that, it stays valid for five years and your doctors can access it along with your medical history (you get an email when they do).

we did ours some years ago, mostly because me and the boy were not married but still wanted to make sure we could decide for each other, in the worst case scenarios. i encourage you to think about it and make a plan. we’re all going to die sooner or later — better do it on our own terms.

bonus material:

analogue wednesday #224

14 years on, there’s no one else i’d rather self-isolate with. :)

from R4R-97, double-exposed in collaboration with gianni, in australia.

slug disposal

the garden has been filled with slugs and snails lately, which have been steadily eating all my succulents and stunting their growth. :| i hadn’t paid them much attention in previous years, but this year they’re everywhere and really making some damage. i don’t like the idea of using pesticides and the plastic covering on the ground didn’t allow for beer traps… so this is our current method:

it’s been working more or less, and the succulents seem to be recovering a little. pffew!

ps – don’t worry, they land on a patch of clover on the other side of the wall — no harm done! :)

a 600km grocery run

we were up north last week, doing some grocery shopping for p’s parents. they’re over 80 now, live in the countryside without a car, and don’t quite seem to grasp the magnitude of what is going on around them, or the basics about infectious diseases… which makes it hard to explain why the supermarket is a minefield, or why they shouldn’t get close to acquaintances they meet on the street. so, off we went.

being outside (even with a legitimate purpose like shopping or helping relatives) feels incredibly stressful, especially in a city. the supermarket is huge and yet inexplicably crowded at a fraction of its normal pre-pandemic capacity. my hands clam, my eyes and nose itch to be scratched, i’m hyper aware of everyone’s spatial location or the things i’ve touched. i just want to drop everything, go home and scratch my skin out in the shower — groceries be damned. i know it’s all in my head, but going out is what fills me with anxiety and dread these days, like a reverse cabin fever.

we dump the groceries in the in-laws with clear instructions not to touch anything non-perishable for a few days, catch up from a distance, and hope for the best. we stay a few days more, just in case.

on the way back, the highway is blissfully empty, a boring line that stretches north-south. we see partridges on the asphalt going their merry way and the police stop us on the last roundabout before home, just to make sure we’re locals.

we arrive, wash, disinfect and breathe a sigh of relief. it’s good to be home, safe and sound.

one second everyday — march 2020

march was… the longest year. i didn’t even remember we had been up north in the beginning of the month until we started compiling these seconds.

the first half of the month was fine. we played games, met with friends, went to a concert, walked the hills… and then the world changed suddenly, and we hunkered down to weather the storm. we spent our days struggling to cope with the constant changes in the postal world, fighting the slugs in the garden, and catching up with friends online. at the end of the month, we drove north again to help p.’s parents with groceries. we’ve been in my parent’s empty apartment ever since, and i can’t wait to go back home.