weeknotes, 7/23

– went to alentejo for a couple of days, to get out of home a little bit and explore different places. we stayed at a cheap-ish farmhouse with a super nice caretaker, got pampered by her breakfasts, got lost in the unpaved paths of the montes there, ate our weight in pork and migas, spotted some flocks of wintering golden plovers, and even took a selfie with the great bustard! well, not the real thing… sadly, the big bird continues to elude us, but we’re not discouraged and shall come back. 

– we watched the queen’s gambit, which made me realize chess seems to be much more of a game in which you study and memorize, than one where you just… play. it’s a little disappointing, but also intriguing. i still want to learn it.

– we ordered the little stones for the garden, so now all that is left to do is to put them there… all 7 tons of them. :| kind of eager to see the end result!

– we watched a tom scott video about chatGPT that was a kind of a fascinating wake-up call. i’ve tried the engine a few times and i’m still in awe of it — but like tom, it’s the kind of awe that makes me reel with the possibilities, that brings about the feeling of being on the edge of something big. being the kind of person who mostly writes (emails, posts) for a living, it’s dizzying to see a machine grasp the context of a query and draft a perfectly toned response to it. the implications of it are huge, and we’re only getting started.

– we went up to the hills here in tavira to have d. fernanda’s açorda de galinha, a soupy dish that mixes chicken, bread, chickpeas and mint. we hadn’t had it a long time, and it was really lovely to taste it again. it made me think that there are nice things to taste and explore at every corner, even in the corners we already know by heart… something we sometimes forget in the sameness of our days at home.

– i finished the third book of the neapolitan novels, half of it by reading the book itself, half on audiobook while i took care of the garden. some things in lina and lenu’s lives feel more settled, now that they’re adults with children, yet it all feels fragile and off at the same time… now only the final book is missing, and i’m ready for the conclusion. 

physicsgirl, one of the youtubers we subscribe to and enjoy, caught covid last year, then had long covid symptoms that morphed into me/cfs… which, to me, is one of the scariest diseases out there. :( it’s been on my radar for some time, as i interviewed someone with it some years ago, and ever since then, the random cruelty of it often comes to mind. out of nowhere, a virus attacks your body and leaves you debilitated and drained of energy to the point where you cannot walk, eat or even talk. it’s a disease that is relatively unknown and understudied, and for which there is no cure. it’s just heartbreaking.

1 reply on “weeknotes, 7/23”

Que bom relato. A açorda de galinha fez-me crescer a água na boa e ainda nem acabei de tomar o café da manhã. A minha filha mais velha (3 anos) ia adorar ajudar-vos a espalhar as pedrinhas! 7 toneladas? Seria um sonho para ela :D

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