weeknotes 27/24

a hot week spent mostly at home, catching up with work, eating tiny tomatoes from the garden and not much else! :) i guess we needed some time to reset and rest, after last week’s excitement.

i cut my hair really short, which feels like something i do every few years. i hate dealing with hair, and when it’s long, it’s just a huge hassle every time i have to wash it (and particularly in the swimming pool). short hair is so much easier!

we had pizza night, and saw good will hunting. i’ve been making my way through circe and enjoying the ride through greek mythology. it’s the time of the year in which there are street performances in town every night, and yesterday we watched desanuda with some ice-cream. feels like summer has really arrived now, and we’re here for it!

one second everyday

june 2024 — one second everyday

june was a full month! the parents were here, we met with friends, voted, got a new bike, saw baby niece, celebrated 42, went to lisbon for a week…


weeknotes 26/24

we spent week 26 on a houseswap in lisbon, mostly catching up with friends, visiting bookshops and filling our bellies with good food. it was brilliant! we were spoiled for choice, and ended up going out everyday to try some exotic dish, or check out a bookstore, bakery or chocolate shop that we had previously bookmarked.

right now, i think i love our quiet southern corner too much to consider living in a big city again… but these escapades feel like much needed field trips into a different dimension. the people! the metro! the diversity! stuff happening everywhere! whoa! it’s almost too much.

the bookshops were very nice and particularly it’s a book, which has just illustrated books! kids’ books are my soft spot, and it’s amazing to be able to look through the books before buying them (as opposed to getting them online, which is why i have to do back home). needless to say, we brought home quite a few to gift to little niece, when the time comes.

we also saw rodrigo leão’s concert, our initial reason to go to lisbon. it was a soothing show, with voices and tunes that we are so familiar with, songs that we used to have on repeat 20 years ago.

sadly, i got covid at some point… four years after the start of the pandemic, the virus finally got to us. it wasn’t that bad though, just some fever, throat pain and malaise. a lot of napping! we watched the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, and i read half of sally rooney’s normal people from our host’s bookcase… now i need to find the book in the library to read the rest!

just life weeknotes

weeknotes, 24-25/24

the most exciting thing these weeks was probably bike upgrade. i’ve taken it on several rides, and it’s just pure joy!

because it’s the end of the school year, the chinese teacher thought it would be a good idea to do an exam on the last week of the course, and it was a disaster. i don’t know if she realizes the only reason i do ok in the classes is because i spend hours preparing for each of them, meticulously looking up every word in the lesson that i might not know. 😅 anyway, the class is now over, and in the summer ahead i want to try to focus on speaking practice, because i feel it’s the area where i am less good at. i can read ok at a basic level, and i understand when people are explaining things to me… but speaking is a whole other beast.

speaking of chinese, this week we were watching the 3 body problem on netflix, and i understood this screen that showed up!

i guess most of the time i don’t feel like i’ve been doing much progress at all in this language learning journey, because the process is just 99% work and frustration… but then, 1% of the time something like this pops up and it feels like magic!

also these weeks, the boy had the second shot of the miracle injection™, and it was my birthday too! i turned 42, had brunch with my brother, and then kidnapped niece LJ for 24 hours, so we could kiss those chubby cheeks to our heart’s content. 🥰

she’s still the most chilled baby ever, and loves tomatoes with a passion but can’t quite manage the tiny ones yet… more for me! :D our tiny raised bed in the backyard is now entering tomato season, and i’ve planted some soy beans after the last peas were gone. hoping to have some edamame at some point!

just life

bike upgrade

i’ve been riding my bike more and more in recent years. even with a car that rides electric up to 40kms (which is enough to go into town a couple of times), and even with knowing the battery is charged with renewable energies, it still doesn’t feel right to drive it on a whim for short distances. plus, all the time it takes to remove the car cover, deal with gates, finding a parking spot… blergh. so, bike it is! a few times a week i take it to go swimming in town, or ride to cabanas for knitting club, and it suits me fine.

the ride into town though, while not particularly challenging, has a small hill that demands the lowest gears of my órbita, and is just… annoying. sometimes it’s annoying enough that i don’t want to go swim at all because of it. i’ve been hearing about electric bikes for ages, but the price tag on them was always a little too daunting for me to consider one. plus, it felt… lazy? in my head, only older people were allowed electric bikes, for some reason, and i barely knew anyone my age who had one.

lately though, i got over it. i tried a very basic electric bike in the netherlands for a day, and like craig wrote, “I went to climb a hill and it felt as if a giant had gently placed his hand on my back and pushed me forward.” YES, exactly! i realized that i wanted that ease every day, so that my head did not add this extra friction to the trips i wanted to do with the bike. i wanted to use it more!

i looked for one OLX for some time, but then by chance, i found out a friend had one in her garage that she wanted to get rid of… so i guess the universe was telling me to go for it, and i did! meet the new kid in town, a foldable conor maui:

normally, this wouldn’t be the kind of bike that i’d go for, as i prefer the comfort that curved handlebars and bigger wheels give… but it was practically new (a mere 180kms on the odometer, and barely a scratch!) and the price was a steal. plus, it’s kind of cool to try a small folding bike that i could potentially bring with me on the car or the train. for now, it’s just been such a joy to ride it, and i find myself picking longer or uphill routes just for fun.

i just realized this is the sixth bike i’ve bought as an adult — the love affair for this kind of 2-wheel transportation continues! :)