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


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! :)

wiksten tops

i bought a sewing machine some years ago, and despite my good intentions at the time, ended up using it only for hemming stuff. it felt like a waste, and i wanted to do more, so one of the things on my 101 list was sewing something i could wear. worst case scenario i thought, i could always make a scarf or something simple like that…

but then summer came and the lovely wiksten top my friend C did for me some years ago became my favorite piece of clothing: it was fresh, simple, not too tight… it seemed perfect for a first sewing project, so i asked her if she could pretty please show me how to make one, and make sense of all the instructions – and she did!

pablo, rolling in the pattern

we went fabric shopping on the turkish market and then got cracking! for a whole afternoon we cut, pinned, ironed, fought the sewing machine… even our guest pablo wanted in on the action.

in the end, the wiksten emerged, and it was a thing of beauty. who knew i could sew with a little help!

wiksten #1

it turned out so nice, that the next day i immediately started on wiksten #2, this time sans professeure and with a darker fabric – so you cannot see my mistakes and the times the sewing machine jams! :)

wiksten #2

it turned out slightly wonky, but equally nice. they’re so light and practical that i don’t think i could ever buy an ill-fitting t-shirt again! i feel empowered and i want one for every day of the week… and maybe a tova as well :D

one second every day – may 2014

may was… all over the place! :)

some highlights:

- a short (but lovely) trip to guernsey, to launch their postcrossing stamp
- making cheese for the first time
- and then relocating to the countryside, studying, clocking in lots of family time :)

the bucolic experiment

one month ago, we temporarily relocated to the middle of nowhere in order to help my cousin daniela get through the national exams (and, fingers crossed, into college). so it’s been a month of synecdoches, trigonometry and mitochondria… but it’s also been a month where we’ve eaten loquats straight from the trees, dipped our feet on the ice-cold water of the water tank, saw my grandpa celebrate his 90th birthday, watered my mom’s vegetable patch and watched the bees buzz around in the afternoon sun…

carrots

everything here is simpler, cheaper, sunnier. it all feels foreign and yet, so familiar, so natural. i miss my friends and i miss the big city, but i feel almost… content here. it’s nice, this countryside life.

airport night run: my first 10km race!

the blog has been in a bit of a lull… april was a whirlwind of adventures and trips – i’ll try to catch up :)

first things first: earlier in april i’ve finished my first 10k race ever, without stopping nor fainting – a mighty accomplishment for my chubby self! :D

i even got a medal to prove it:

berlin airport run medal - 2014

(that funny shape on the medal is the outline of the race track, part of which are the airport’s runways!)

running a 10k race had been on my latest 101 things in 1001 days list, but i never thought i’d do it so soon, since up until very recently the most i had ever run was around 5km. but the airport night run sprung up on us and i grabbed the opportunity of running on what will one day become berlin’s shiny new airport. i mean, how often do you get to run on a future airport’s landing strip? :)

well, we do have the privilege of living next to a former airport, so i had run on a runway before… but i’d kind of forgotten that the new ones are much longer, around 4km in total… it felt like it went on and on forever! i forgot to take my ipod with me, and so spent the whole time running a speech in my head in several languages, in order to keep busy. i seem to need a sort of distraction to run, and missed my beloved podcasts dearly.

but it was ok in the end – in fact, it was actually rather nice! the race started around twilight, and by the time we finished it was completely dark and all the airport lights were on, giving the track a bit of an otherworldly feeling. volunteers cheered us on enthusiastically in the dark, and gave people high-fives… it was magical! i just kept running and running and running until the finish line… it took me 1:10 to do the 10km, at a very relaxed 7:00/km.

so yay! it was good and i’m glad i did it… but now is time to finish this airport, ok berlin?