just life

2021 books

looking at my goodreads, these were the 14 books i made my way through last year:

some themes definitely pop out — there’s a bit of china stuff, some productivity or time-management, the green brothers new books… and some trashy stuff too that i made my way through as well, in a time when i was just craving distraction. not featured are the many, many fanfics i read in the wee hours of the morning, when i couldn’t sleep.

my trusty old kindle still does the job, and most of these were read on it. a couple were audiobooks, and the get together book was a hardcover freebie from stripe. i’ve just finished the first book of 2022 (meet me at the museum), and i hope this “new year reading energy” lasts for a bit!

just life one second everyday

one second everyday — december 2021

december at last!

long walks, guests, volunteering, traveling north, spending time with the family… a bit of everything thrown in the mix. :)

just life weeknotes

weeknotes 49-50/21

so much, so little.

– the most exciting thing about these past 2 weeks was that we finally did the marathon walk! omg, we did it. 42kms, lots of bakeries, birds and blisters too. more on that later.

– a local non-profit cooked a warm meal for their neighbourhood and i volunteered to help serve. it was a nice event, filled with music, laughing kids running around, and lots of elderly neighbours chatting and getting to know each other. i think strengthening the bonds within these small communities is super important especially in times of need, and events like these help that happen.

– we packed and left for the north, where we’ll be for the next 2 weeks. on the surface, i’m ready for christmas, as we did all the shopping in advance… but i feel tired and impatient. though i love family and seeing friends, it feels like this whole year has just been stretching me thin, pulling in different directions and not leaving me much room to process. i want some weeks to call my own, to recharge and recalibrate.

– plus, it’s cold here. :( my toes and fingertips are frozen and it makes me supremely grumpy. as an adult, i have very little patience for this kind of endurance sport that the portuguese turn winter into. sigh.

just life weeknotes

weeknotes 40/21

week 40 has been… tough.

– still recovering from the world postcard day’s backlog, and we’re already back north again to accompany p.’s parents to doctor appointments. some upcoming changes mean that the family has to adapt to new realities and ways of doing things… which are not easy at the best of times, but are especially hard when you’re in your 80s. sigh.

– the fig-leaf gourd jam was laborious but amazing. i’m not sure what is it about making jams that gives me this immense satisfaction. i could stockpile on these till my cupboards were full and i don’t even eat that much of it.

– said goodbye to my long-expired passport and made a new one. not really sure when we’ll be able to use it, but it feels good to be a little bit ready.

– for now though, i just want to go home. i want long stretches of weeks without plans to go anywhere, i want quiet routines and hours spent reviewing characters. i want time for what i read to sink in, time that i decide how to spend. soon, i hope.

just life weeknotes

weeknotes 39/21

it was a busy busy week — the busiest of the year. the world postcard day took place, and it feels impossible that something we worked towards for so many months can come and go so quickly. it was a joy to see postcards being celebrated though, and thousands of them being sent all around the world. but now i’m tired and could use 2 weeks to recover from all the excitement.

– we have a closed fireplace, at last! now that the house is ours, this was our #1 priority on the long list of improvements, and it’s finally done. i hope it helps us have a nicer winter, which before was only manageable by layering up as much as possible and turning up the AC. despite everyone’s denial, it gets cold in algarve — and especially so when you’re sitting around the whole day.

– i made spicy quince jelly (basically throwing some peppers in the jelly-making water) and it’s lovely! somehow, jams give me a lot of pleasure to make and gift. i got some gila (fig-leaf gourd) from my mom, and shall attempt to turn it into a jam next.

– today is the first meeting of the new “community garden committee”! we’re making a new food garden in a nearby abandoned terrain that the town hall made available for this purpose, and it’s really exciting to be able to take part in something like this. wish me luck!