general weeknotes

weeknotes, 4/24

a mixed week, spent at home, working and getting things ready to return north. some highlights:

we watched beef, which is quite different and a bit more angry than our usual fare, but still entertaining.

the boy got a tentative diagnosis for his ailments. it’s not a happy, things-will-be-fine kind of thing… but perhaps it’ll be manageable nonetheless. still testing, waiting and hanging on to the oral corticosteroids to keep his overactive immune system in check.

a trip to ikea to stock on linen and some veggie meatballs. caldo verde with cabbage from the garden.

i made progress on different books, and finished solitaire. i decided to join a friend’s quest to read books in which the titles matched the alphabet — so far, i’ve knocked out G, H, I, N, O, P and S. not bad for january! maybe afterwards, i’ll do the same but with authors’ names.

speaking of books, i bought a few of oseman’s heartstoppers for the grown-up godchild, who hasn’t read the series yet. i hope she’ll like it! :)

and last but not least, a czech friend from my study room group came to visit, and we took a couple of days to show her around tavira.


weeknotes, 37/23

– the only thing that really matters this week is that, after months and months of coughing, the boy’s cough finally seems to be under control… pffeew! it took a regimen of oral corticosteroids (OCS) to bring down all the inflammation in his sinuses that was causing postnasal drip and inducing the cough. OCSs short and long-term side effects are not fun at all, but hopefully this treatment will give us some time to get his triggers under control before the next wave.

– i went back to the pool, and it felt good! looking forward to make it into a routine.

– the rota do petisco started this week! we had a couple of fish dishes in santa luzia, and made plans to try more petiscos in the coming weeks.

– went to ikea and got a stool for my treadmill. it sounds silly, but this cheap treadmill was not built for running continuously for hours on end. when i needed to give it (or my legs) a break, i had to haul the treadmill away, roll in my comfy chair and bring the table down. it was a bit of a hassle to do and undo, which meant i ended up getting lazy and doing the whole process less often throughout the day. now i just put the stool on the treadmill when i want a break and it’s actually not that comfortable at all… so after a little while, i’m walking again. it works! :)

– we also got a cast iron pan from ikea and it seems to work fine! it’s so heavy that it feels a bit like cooking and a workout, all in one. i’m kind of happy to not be using teflon and non-stick stuff so much.

general weeknotes

weeknotes, 12/23

— finally heading to taiwaaaaaaaan! 🇹🇼 i’m writing these words on a delayed train to lisbon… i hope we’ll make it to our flight in time. fingers crossed!

– the week before something big and exciting is always a drag, but this week has been so full with errands and family and work that i feel like it has passed in the blink of an eye. i don’t know where time went. we’ve spent a lot of it with our families, eating, chatting, playing boardgames, visiting sick people… i’m grateful for all these moments.

– incidentally, i’ve been sleeping rather badly lately… so on the upside, lots of reading is happening in the middle of the night. i’ve finished “encyclopedia of an ordinary life” by amy krouse rosenthal (where this quote comes from) and it was a lovely memoir, in an unusual but interesting format. it reads a bit like the book of disquiet, random fragments that float to the top and tell something about a person. i’ve started “green island”, a chunky book that mixes fiction with the history of taiwan, and also loaned “shades of milk and honey”, “mouth to mouth” and “the gentle art of fortune hunting” for the flights. i hope these will be good!

– we had fogaça and regueifa, from bakeries that still wrap their things in beautiful paper! 😍

– and in more food news, francesinha with the boy! ah, there’s nothing quite like visiting our favorite francesinha place to catch up on the familiar flavors.


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.


weeknotes 8-9/22

i don’t even know… the war broke out, and it feels like nothing else matters.

i’m exhausted, disappointed and sad, the kind of sadness that seeps into your bones and doesn’t leave, the kind that puts you constantly on the verge of tears with every paragraph you write. it’s hard to be the peacekeeper of a community when people feel hopeless and eager to direct their helplessness at easy targets. every so often, i run out of empathy, get angry, feel my heart rate go up. then i take a deep breath, lower my shoulders and keep going, because how can i stop, how can i complain, while there are people in bunkers fearing for their lives? my stress and tiredness feel insignificant, compared to their losses.

connecting the world feels sisyphian and pointless — and at the same time, more important than ever. so we keep going.