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


lisbon’s mini-marathon

remember two years ago, when i said i didn’t run? well… it’s fair to say things have changed a bit since then. it started while cheering for the athletes on the berlin marathon, last year. some of the people running the course were quite old or didn’t look very physically fit… and yet they were doing this amazing endurance feat! and it got me thinking that i should be able to do it too, at least a little bit. i mean, i’m just a regular person, i should be able to run a few kilometers! so i decided it was time to quit my whining and just do something about it.

i like how easy it is to get going: grab some shorts and an old tshirt, some music, lace your shoes, and off you go. i run with the boy until i get tired (about 5km in) and then i let him go on for the rest of his (much faster paced) run. so far, i’ve ran a total of 155km, and i plan on slowly running my way to a total of 300km this year.

also, i confess i’ve always been secretly jealous of his running medals… which is silly, i know… but now i can enter competitions of my own and get my own medals! :D i truly love how democratic running is: anyone can enter these races, just sign up and run run run!

so i did! here’s my brother and me, heading towards the starting line for lisbon’s mini-marathon:

the race is just 7km, and filled with people enjoying this unique opportunity to cross the amazing 25 de abril bridge on foot, so the pace is slow and relaxed. while the boy sweated his ass off on the half-marathon, the two of us leisurely jogged our way to the finish line, stopping to take photos and admire the view :)

my grandpa helped build this bridge, back in the 60s, and i couldn’t be prouder of him for such a fine job! it truly is a stunning work of engineering.

and of course, there were medals! and ice-cream too, which was lovely! :)

(oh! and the boy ran the 21km in 1:28, breaking his previous record! humpf! :P )

one second every day – february 2014

…is it really mid-march already? whoa! here are 30 seconds of what we did last month:

it wasn’t a particularly exciting month, truth be told, but it included:

- lots of meals with friends – our favorite form of socializing :)
- trip planning!
- postcrossing’s new terms of service (finally!)
- a valentine’s day date to the german technical museum <3!
- lots of studying for edx’s science and cooking course, which is now over (i passed!)
- a freshly painted kitchen ceiling (after an incident with a washing machine upstairs…)

plus, though not featured, there was a lot of practicing both for the tedxoporto talk and the lisbon mini-marathon. more on that later! :)

the pillar box tattoo

so i’ve wanted a tattoo for a while now – i even put it on my last list! the plan was that i would draw something and then tattoo that drawing… but given that my drawing skills didn’t develop all that much in the past years, i asked my friend maria if she wouldn’t mind drawing me one. she did a lovely pillar box, which has taken permanent residence in my upper arm since last summer:

why a pillar box? well, mail is pretty much our life… and pillar boxes are cool, if you ask me! :D


(the other day i dreamt of getting the matching blue one…)

(another) month of letters!

tomorrow starts february, which means it’s time for another month of letters! last year i managed about 20 and ended up a bit short… but this year i plan to do better and actually complete the challenge by writing at least one piece of mail every single day.

i really like the way the world slows down when i take the time to write and think things over – which i don’t do often enough these days. it’ll also be the perfect time to catch up with all the holiday letters that have been gathering dust in my desk these past few weeks!

last time, i asked if anyone wanted a letter, and ended up writing a few aerograms and postcards to random readers, which was quite refreshing. so this year, i thought i’d ask again… would you like a letter or postcard from me? if so, feel free to leave your address on my postable! it’ll be my pleasure. :)

the story of the lactose-intolerant meiadeleite

i feel like this blog (ergo, me) is in need of a swift kick in the butt, to set it back straight. there’s so much to tell you… let’s just get to it!

friends who stay with us often seem surprised to discover that i, miss meiadeleite, cannot stomach milk. it wasn’t always this way. i used to love drinking milk with everything, up until about 3 years ago.

but then, in early 2011 i stopped drinking milk, as part of our diet experiment. i didn’t really miss it, so i skipped it for months and promptly forgot about it. later that year, i received my 23andme dna test results and was a bit intrigued to see this:

“who, me? lactose intolerant? nonsense!”, i thought – i drank milk my whole life!

but then i started to think about it… and some things started making sense. in the last few years, every time we went back to portugal, we ate whatever our parents put in front of us – not wanting to burden them with too many rules and restrictions on our short time there. so we drank meiadeleites for breakfast and ate leite creme to our little heart’s content… and invariably, while we were there, i’d get stomach problems. i would write it off as the consequences of general unhealthy eating… but then it got me thinking… could it be that when i stopped drinking milk every day, my body just gave up on dealing with the lactose? (i imagine it doing it in a overly dramatic fashion, with a big sigh of relief…)

this was a valid hypothesis, so, as scientists that we are, we experimented. the results were quite… striking. a glass of milk? immediate disaster. a tiny yoghurt cup? disaster. cheese was ok in small doses, as was butter, but all the rest was off the table.

and this is how i found that i’ve made myself lactose intolerant. the name of this blog hasn’t made sense for quite a while now, but i don’t mind. i know i could probably re-introduce it in the diet if i wanted, but truth is, i just don’t miss it all that much – and when in doubt, there are usually lactase pills nearby! :)