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, 10/24

what a week.

– we saw dune 2 in the cinema, and it was great, all deep rumbling noises and majestic desert landscapes.

– it was an intense week for language learning, with lots of chinese but also french, because i’ve been helping my cousin daniela practice for an upcoming exam. i hope she does well!

– the boy turned 43, and we went on a 15km birthday walk, from faro to quarteira. we’re very close to completing the “walk the algarve coast” objective, with only 60 or so kms left! this stretch was particularly nice, because it was done half through the ludo area (where we saw 2 new ducks!) and half through the beach, on a gorgeous sunny morning.

– i’ve been watching young royals lately, and it made me curious about learning swedish. i don’t want to get sucked into the lure of yet another language, but i kind of like how intriguing it sounds — the long vowels, the deep RRs and just the cadence of it, like a staccato of words. i’ve added it to duolingo, just to see how it goes.

– on sunday we went voting, and as the night went on and the results started coming in, a kind of darkness spread over the region like an oil spill. i feel a little hopeless, but mostly just angry. the future which people around me are trying to build is not the one i imagine for the children i love. the first instinct is to leave… but then, who would do the work that needs to be done for things to improve? i guess it’ll have to be us. 💪

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.