just life weeknotes

weeknotes, 11/23

– after all the packing and the cleaning, we arrived at the train station at 6am on wednesday, only to discover the railway workers were on strike and our train wasn’t going to come… so we drove north instead, which feels like a waste of gas and reading time, but it’s not the end of the world.

– we spent time at my parents, whose love language is cooking up a feast every time we’re home. this weekend was the camellia’s fair at their hometown, and the whole place was brimming with people and excitement. children were dressed up with flowers and marched in the main street, tv channels interviewed people… everyone seemed happy.

– the four-book saga of lila and lenu has finally come to an end, and i feel a little empty. i’ve been reading and listening to these books for three months now, following their lives as they unfold like a violent soap opera. the naples of 50 years ago felt like a vicious place, with forces pulling in all directions and conflict taking place in everyone’s doorstep. how small the world was back then (the size of a neighborhood), and how things have changed since, especially for women… i’ll miss these two, and their love-hate relationship.

– as a sidenote, it’s amazing how much i’ve read since i stopped reading fanfiction… which is to be expected, but i’m kind of blown away by it nonetheless. books are still not as satisfying as fanfiction for the most part… but i’m trying to branch out and explore different styles, find my way to the things and authors i like. it’s been fun!

– the new camera is here! it’s unbelievably slim, and unlike most cameras i’ve owned, the film rolls from right to left. i loaded it with a long-expired ilford pan that has been languishing in the fridge for years, and have been snapping away with it. can’t wait to see what comes out!

– this is a little ridiculous, but i’ve become the kind of person who is so sensitive to coffee that having tiramisu for dessert at dinnertime will keep me awake at night. sigh.

– one week until taiwan!!!!!

analogue wednesdays in italy

analogue wednesday #279

bright autumn days in merano, last year.

just life weeknotes

weeknotes, 10/23

the boy turned 42, and we celebrated with bolas de berlim!

i sent a couple of forgotten rolls of film to the lab, and the scans came back this week — both not great. failing cameras have been killing my photography mojo for sometime now, so while searching around for a new 35mm point and shoot, i stumbled on the reto ultra wide and slim (a remake of the old vivitar uws). the price was cheap, and the camera looked so thin it could probably fit into any pocket… so i went for it and ordered one. can’t wait to get it and run some rolls through it!

it’s two weeks until leave for taiwan, but we’re going to the north in a few days, so we’re in full packing mode already. in the middle of the frenzy, i got myself my first pair of paez, with a funky print. i really like alpargata-type of shoes for the sunny months.

this week has been all about interviewing people to help me with support at postcrossing. i’d never done this before, and it felt huge and difficult — conducting the interviews, choosing the person (and the prospect of telling others they’re not the chosen ones), mentally preparing to let go of bits of the job… we’re still very much in the beginning of it, but i have some hope that by this time next year, my days will be better.

our part-time cat, checking out the newly finished succulent garden.

just life weeknotes

weeknotes, 9/23

– our friends from russia came to visit us for a few days. it was really nice to see them again, to chat and to meet the newest member of the family, a 2-year old who is chatty and happy to engage with strangers, happy to lead them by the hand while saying “tuff tuff” (let’s go!). her vocabulary is really sweet — for instance, “ffff! fff!” (the sound of blowing air through her lips) means “to sleep”, and “miam miam” means “to eat”. even with the language barrier, we got along brilliantly!

– they brought lots of things from russia and uzbekistan for us to try, and one of them was half a kilo of pine nuts! pine nuts are just normal nuts in russia apparently, but here they are such a special commodity that their price is just astounding… i had never seen so many pine nuts together in my life! my favourites are definitely the sushkis though, the slightly sweetened hard cookies that you eat with tea.

– the boy’s allergies have been acting up a bit, which means a lot of wheezing in the night… and a lot of waking up for me. because of this, i thought to get myself some earplugs… but i don’t like that most are single use. while researching, i stumbled on reusable silicone earplugs that you mould to your ears and decided to try them out. they’re a bit like children’s playing putty: you roll them in your fingers to warm up and then just kind of stretch them on your earlobes, pushing a little to make a seal. the soundproofing is quite noticeable, and i’ve managed to get a few good nights of sleep this week. hurray!

– i also got a new bag and water bottle that i’m quite happy with. the back pain has been a bit bad this year, so when i saw this bag at ikea that looked like a cheap copy of the fjällräven that everyone seems to love, i went for it. the water bottle is just something i found randomly browsing online. it’s really light, and fits the bag perfectly. win-win!

– all the books i “read” this week were children’s books: todos fazemos tudo, um dia na praia and where the wild things are… but the book the kid most enjoyed was dr. seuss’s fox in socks, which our friends twisted their tongues to translate into russian, with hilarious results! :D


weeknotes, 8/23

– the gardens are finally done, hurray! the front bit became the succulent garden, and the back is now covered in little white stones. even though the expanse of white stones makes everything look a bit alien and desolate, it also makes it feel clean and tidy. at last, i feel like all the maintenance weight of keeping a backyard has been lifted off our shoulders, and i’m thankful for that. neither me nor paulo have big green thumbs, so it’s better this way.

succulents have very little maintenance though, so that i can handle!

– some men appeared in the wilderness that is the back of our house one day this week, and started putting some poles and wires on the ground. scared that some weird construction would start there, we asked them what they were up to… cows, they said! sure enough, a few days later the cows came. i guess we have new neighbours now!

– with tiny bit of cheating, i got myself a library card from a US library… which, as if by magic, opened up access to thousands of books in audio and digital format, downloaded straight into my ancient kindle. the digital loaning system from US libraries is amazing and i don’t understand why european (or is it just portuguese?) libraries don’t have this feature. it is game-changing, and i’m enjoying it immensely.

– that said, the book that i finished this week was physical and from my local library: i read “o duelo“, by local illustrator inês viegas oliveira. it’s the story of two men who have a disagreement and decide to fight it out in a duel… but as they walk away from each other with their guns in hand and their backs turned, one of them just keeps walking and walking and walking… until the world around him seems to filled with life, there’s so much going on and slowly the will to fight is gone. so in the end, the whole book turns into a letter to his rival, inviting him to come check out this nice place he ended up at. it’s beautifully illustrated, with a message that feels ever so fitting to the times we’re going through.