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

the plant thief

i’ve mentioned a few times how much i want to bring home all the plants, and how i admire “collection gardens“… so perhaps it was sort of inevitable that i would become one of those people too, grabbing a cutting here and there to bring home. :)

a few years ago on a hike with friends, i noticed the sides of the path we were walking were covered in tiny succulent plants, growing and thriving on slates of schist. they looked like little pinecones, thriving despite the harsh conditions. i was in love…

… so i did something not-so-good and brought a small rock home with me. i ended up hiking the rest of the path with a 2kg or so rock in my hands or in my head, portuguese grandma style, to the amusement of the boy and our friend a., who took these pictures.

but look! three years later, this rock is still thriving in a shady corner of the garden, its little “pinecones” now having other species of succulents as neighbors!

i’m really happy about this! every time i see them i can’t help but smile and remember the story that brought them here. may your gardens and plants be filled with interesting stories too!

one second everyday — may 2020


the month was spent mostly working, cooking (baking even!), and doing random things around the house and garden. the boy’s computer suddenly died early in the month, but cousin d. had a spare one that tied him over until the new one arrived. the tomatoes keep growing, and we now have mini-butternut squash and physalis growing in our own garden (!!!). we had a slow “deconfinement”, with the return of game nights, some walks on the beach, and a trip north to stock up the family. no kisses, no hugs… but happy to see that everyone is doing ok.

it feels like summer, and june stretches languidly ahead, without any plans or expectations. i approve.

one second everyday — april 2020

april was the homeliest of months, calm and quiet, and just what the WHO ordered. after coming south, we did nothing besides work, study, eat and putter around in the garden.

improbably, there are now pumpkins, tomatoes, physalis, sage, mint, lemongrass, chives and lettuce growing… as well as an ever-expanding collection of succulents, and passionfruit. :| the hands want to keep busy, i guess, and things grow, little by little. i’m ok with this.

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.