weeknotes 18/24

brother’s wedding (+ niece’s baptism), at last!

i got sick at some point during the week, and spent the whole wedding with a sore throat and a clogged ear, pumped with ibuprofen and paracetamol. it didn’t stop me though! it was a nice ceremony, and an even nicer party afterwards. we saw friends and family, talked to lots of different people, ate quite a bit and were happy! i forgot to take pictures, but here’s one our friends took of our little friend group + my brother:

during the wedding, i sneakily asked the guest to write postcards to the newlyweds with well-wishes, or to share a memory of the day or something they did together. over 40 people wrote a postcard, and a few children drew something too! i plan to send these postcards to my brother and his wife throughout the year, and i hope they’ll enjoy this extension of the wedding!

one of the guests of the wedding couldn’t make it, but had a non-refundable booking for a room in aveiro, which they gave to us. as a result, we unexpectedly spent one night in a 5-star hotel, being very pampered! the hotel was all about eça de queirós: there was a reading room with his books and some artifacts, the rooms were named after characters from his books, and there was even a vhils mural of his photo on the patio! 😱

i confess i would have enjoyed it more if i wasn’t feeling so sick. after checking out, we headed to the emergency room, where i was diagnosed with a throat/ear infection and given some antibiotics.


weeknotes 17/24

this week it was our 18th anniversary! :) we celebrated by hiking a bit more of the coast, between portimão and benagil. it was a really nice day, overlooking the ocean, made even prettier by all the wild blooms that show themselves this time of the year.

later in the week, we went north by train on april 25th, and i wore my carnation to celebrate 50 years of democracy!

because the boy is still only eating a reduced set of things, i cooked and packed our meal, but forgot to pack some utensils… so we ended up eating it with coffee sticks from the train’s bar… 😅

and then up in the north we spent 3 days taking care of this chubby little piece of joy!

we and the grandparents took on babysitting duties to give my brother some peaceful time ahead of the wedding, and it was great. how is she so happy all the time?! it feels implausible that an 8-month old should be this easy to care for… but she’s just a delight, eating, sleeping and charming us all.


weeknotes 16/24

where were we…? i’m writing these weeknotes some time after the weeks they describe and they feel like ages ago, which isn’t ideal as my head tends to forget things quickly. still, i don’t want to let the habit die, so here we go!

on week 16, we went to the vernissage of a friend’s exhibition in tavira. he takes pictures and modifies them with digital filters to get something new. a lot of the images focused on birds, which is always a nice thing on my book. i got the idea that i could also do something like this for my double-exposure shots… but i think i’m too lazy to set everything up — and also to stay in the gallery all day, waiting for people to come by. maybe something for retirement!

after much stress about the upcoming wedding we went to loulé to buy a dress, after a recommendation from the knitting teacher, and it was wonderful! the lady runs a shop that specializes in this kind of fancy gowns, and immediately understood what i would be more comfortable in. so i was in and out of the shop in half an hour, which was bliss. :) the boy also found a tie in the same color, so we’re all set.

i also did the first run of the “couch to 5k” zombie program, which was cute. not sure if it will stick, but i think i’d like to give it a go.

at the knitting group, we made some crochet carnations, and i was so proud of mine!


weeknotes, 14-15/24

a couple of slow weeks.

the good news is that the boy’s blood markers have been excellent lately! they’re better than they’ve been in the last year and a half, which is amazing. the boy did take a higher dose of OCS for a while, and is now tapering it off… we’ll see how it goes.

we’ve been keeping to the potato diet, while slowly adding other ingredients to see the reactions. the first was dairy, which was a disastrous reintroduction on the first day, but quickly improved. the second ingredient was chicken — so far, so good. it’s nice to discover these flavors again, one by one. the diet has slowly transformed food from something that was always on my mind, to more of a background thing. i no longer think about going to places with the perspective of eating something there, which was something i’ve always done… it’s weird, but also kind of refreshing.

we’re crocheting carnations in the crafts class, and i’m so pleased with how it’s turning out. i hope i can wear mine proudly on april 25th! speaking of flowers, i bought some tulips at the market, and they made me very happy.

this week, i also installed a watering system on the raised bed, that will hopefully help the garden endure the harsh summer. the system came as a pre-made kit, but was missing some pieces… which made putting the whole thing together a very frustrating experience, with sub-optimal results. :( hopefully we’ll be able to find some more connectors to expand it.

we’ve seen a couple of nice movies these weeks, perfect days by wim wenders (which was so, so beautiful), and at eternity’s gate, about van gogh’s last years. since returning from france, i’ve been curious about his life and work — maybe we’ll go see a few of his paintings on an upcoming trip to the netherlands.

and just today we went to a birdwatching activity in the sapal of castro marim, and ended up seeing a couple of new birds: a red-crested pochard and a pallid swift. swifts are notoriously difficult to tell apart, so it helps to have the experts nearby to point them out. on the way back home, we made a detour to check out a lake that the boy had run by once, and ended up seeing another new bird: a great-spotted cuckoo! we also saw a mama coot with her 2 babies, and the bee-eaters are back in town, their gurgling chirps filling the sky once more! <3


weeknotes, 13/24

there’s not much to report, and yet (or maybe because of that), this was such a nice week.

the chinese classes took a break (easter holidays) and so the pressure to study and prepare also eased. the boy upped his medication and stopped coughing. it rained most days (a welcome change for algarve), and i tried to battle the caterpillars that plague my kale plants. we played a frustratingly difficult (yet hilarious) game of robo rally with friends and i came out last! and we watched oppenheimer at last.

i guess the biggest thing this week was that we started an elimination diet, in the hopes of ruling out food allergies that the boy couldn’t test for. basically, we eat just potatoes for a while, and then slowly re-introduce foods one by one, to measure and see the reactions (if any). this is not our first potato rodeo (just a more extreme form of it), but since i like potatoes, it’s not a big deal — i actually find it rather soothing not having to think what’s for lunch or dinner… it’s potatoes all the way down! :D