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.

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