weeknotes 45/21

so much going on this week!

– got some quotes to paint & fix the house, which felt very adulting. the last rains brought the sound of water dripping inside of the office wall though, so there’s that to fix too.
– we turned on the fireplace a couple of times this week, just because we wanted a bit of warmth and it was really nice. the logs last for ages compared to the previously opened fireplace, and the difference it makes in comfort is substantial. yay!

– i don’t play games but i watched a friend livestream his playing of life is strange, and it was both beautiful and heartbreaking. i didn’t even know games could use storytelling like this, in such a heart-wrenching way. also, i didn’t expect myself to be the kind of person who watches games being played in livestreams, but here we are.
– plus, the music used in the game is just the right combination of indie and instrumental that is perfect for work. i’ve been playing it non-stop since.
– i got myself a little fitbit, to count steps. with the treadmill and the long walks we’ve been doing, it’s kind of fun to try to see the stats at the end of the day. the new one feels much more advanced than the old one i had, and gives all kind of fancy scores, that i still have to explore.
– we also did a big walk… but i’ll tell you about it in another post. :)

algarving weeknotes

weeknotes 44/21

– after a break of almost one year, i’m back to chinese lessons in preparation of the level 5 exam. the deadline at the end of march is a bit ambitious and i don’t think i’ll be able to keep it up until then, but it’s something to aim for. i found a coursera that should help, and still do skritter revisions every day. wish me luck!

– we tried the flying jacob, a swedish recipe, invented by someone who worked in the flight industry. combining chicken with bananas and peanuts was unexpectedly nice.

– another long walk, this one of 25kms or so, between vila real de santo antónio and tavira. we took the train early in the morning, and walked our way back home. the weather was perfect for it, and walking in urban environments (instead of just the hills) was fun for a change. we had a stop in a café to recharge, and also had time to check out some eurasian coots along the way!


weeknotes 42-43/21

forgot to write last week, but there’s been much going on!

– 2 hikes in 2 weeks! we went around the seven hanging valleys to finally see the benagil cave from above. it was a nice walk, with lots of pit caves poking the limestone karst landscape. the second walk was an 18km trail around the countryside in bensafrim, as part of the walk&art fest. the countryside hills are always more demanding and less fun than the coast, but it was still a nice walk.

– in the first walk, i went to the bathroom midway through the hike in some random beach café, and left my phone there. fast forward to an hour later, when i suddenly couldn’t find my phone. we walked back and it was still there! :D pfeeew!

– spent a day in sagres, soaking in the good food, catching the sunset and resting our muscles after the long hike. we love sagres for the birdwatching potential (we saw northern gannets and griffon vultures this time), but also for the mix of hippie and old school that coexist in its streets and bring a different kind of vibe to the place.

– over 2 years after the last time we entered a cinema, we finally went again and saw dune! i really enjoyed the movie, and hope to read the book at some point.

– boardgame nights return! :D we played kill doctor lucky with friends, and it was nice to have them over after so long. i hope to see many more of these game nights in the horizon.


weeknotes 42/21

“we’re home. we’re home. we’re home.” like a mantra, repeated to exhaustion.

– just before the pandemic started, we bought a newer car and left the old one in porto. the plan was to take more public transportation on the south-north-south trips, and then use the old car to move around in between our families in the north. this should help us make these trips more eco-friendly, save money and also allow us to have more relaxed trips without the stress of driving. but then the whole pandemic came around, and it took us 1.5 years to be comfortable riding public transportation on long trips again. we finally did it on this last one, and boy did we save money. :| we scored some €5 flixbus tickets to go from porto to faro, which, even adding the fare for the train to get us to conceição is still several times cheaper than driving a car up. the trip does take longer, but there’s electricity and internet, and i’ve also read more in these 2 rides than i’ve done in ages, so i’m pretty much sold.

– i finished reading blockchain chicken farm, about the surprising ways in which technology is changing rural china, which was interesting — i wish we had a bit more of that rural entrepreneurial spirit around here. started reading ready player one.

– we didn’t even consider these factors when we rented (and then bought) the house, but having access to trains and long-distance buses less than 5mins from the place where we live is amazing.

– other than that, it’s been a pretty crummy week. moving right along!


weeknotes 41/21

late, late weeknotes.

– the week has been rinse and repeat. we’re still up north and our days are spent accompanying the family, running errands, making lunches and dinners of soft food, trying to keep our cool, keep work going in the in-betweens… and trying to sleep at night, despite the relentless onslaught of mosquitos in the countryside.

– did you know that pharmacies can prepare weekly medication for people who need it? we didn’t know about it until recently, but it’s a godsend of a service, especially for the elderly or those who take lots of pills. everything comes in the right box for the whole week, and you just have to follow the order. magic!

– we’ve had a francesinha! it’s been 1.5 years since we’d had it, and i think not even when we lived in china did we go so long without one. our bellies are happy and sated now.

– we’ve played azul summer pavillion with my brother and his girlfriend, and it was fun. it’s different from the original game, but in a way that makes it interesting and less predictable.

going back home next week, hurray!