weenotes, 19/22

a good, quiet week.

– rode my bike twice to the pool and saw some birds on the way there. the usual waders on the salt ponds, but also bee-eaters which are back from their winter migration! their bubbly noises make us look up as by instinct, trying to locate their funny shaped wings in the sky. sometimes, i’m still amazed at how many beautiful things are hiding in plain sight.

– seems like we’re in a taniguchi roll lately, as i’ve read another one of his books this week (land of dreams). the library’s comic book section isn’t very big, but there are some interesting things lurking there. next up: the solitary gourmet.

– i did a little presentation about our volunteering group (which picks up unsold food from supermarkets and distributes it) to a senior university class, and it was ok. the seniors had lots of questions and some healthy skepticism too, but it was fun. senior universities were not something on my radar, but they seem interesting — the people there study languages, philosophy, theater or tai chi… which sounds like all best parts of university! :)

– we found a new organic farm some months ago, practically next to our house. the girl who runs it is a ball of energy, and she makes veggie baskets and delivers them around once a week, on her solar-powered electric van. i don’t think it could get any better than this.


weenotes, 16-18/22

finally, a few of weeks where i could actually see the metaphorical blue sky behind all the stormy clouds. there’s still so much to do, but somehow i feel a bit more hopeful now, not so bogged down and depressed about… *waves hand* everything.

to recap:

– we went to sagres to celebrate our 16th anniversary, and it felt good to get away for a day, solve a mystery game, eat nice food and watch some birds. the boy says that sagres, being in the corner of the country, has this feeling of a “place very far away from everything”… and i guess it’s true — it’s like our little hideout.

– picked up a few books from the library, and read the walking man in one go. it’s a bucolic japanese graphic novel about a man who walks around, noticing things. the perfect antidote to these last few months.

– at work, we had a bit of a meltdown, and then some planning on how to move forward through the mess that continues to pile up. it feels like we’re just swimming in place these days, struggling against the current and trying to keep afloat, not really going anywhere. hoping to see the light at the end of this tunnel soon.

– after much insisting, the stove guys came and replaced our gas stove by an induction one. they had to cut the counters to fit the new stove, and made a truly spectacular mess of fine dust that stuck everywhere. we’re finally free of gas in the house though, and the new stove is soooooo easy to clean! i sound like my mom, but both things make me very happy.

– movies-wise, we watched coda and also re-watched american splendor and ghost world, two movies i had fond memories of.

– after some testing, the boy got diagnosed with asthma, triggered by allergies to dust mites (and their droppings). we’ve turned the intensity of house cleaning up to 11, and i think the washing machine has never seen this kind of action in the years we’ve been living here. 😅 fingers crossed, things will slowly improve for the poor wheezing boy.

– and almost exactly one year later, my saga with a toenail fungus has come to an end, and my nails are finally fine again. hurray! to celebrate, i’ve bought a pair of birkenstocks, something i wanted to do for ages. :)

just life weeknotes

weenotes, 12-15/22

not much to say. everything still feels pointless, and the weeks rush past in a rinse-and-repeat cycle. too many conversations, the same dialogues, fears and concerns repeated ad nauseam. i’m tired. i’ve stopped all my on-going projects and don’t feel like learning, exercising, blogging, sending postcards or leaving the house. the parents are staying with us for a week, and i’m just glad they’re here to cook and distract me — we chat and watch cheesy soap operas together while waiting for better days to come.


weeknotes 10-11/22

same… same. the days blend into one another without anything standing out, nothing much to tell them apart.

the saharan dust turned the landscape into a mexican movie. i’ve returned to the pool to try to give my back some form of light exercise and ended up with a clogged ear. ariana grande’s “thank you, next” has been playing inside my head on repeat. the war drags on and because of it, we’ve speeded up the idea of replacing gas in the house with electrical stuff and solar panels — we got some quotes this week, but it feels like no one is in a rush to do anything… while we just want to get it done. we’ve been watching episodes of midnight dinner on netflix, and it’s just nice.


weeknotes 7/22

– we took a couple of days to explore évora, a place for which i have a soft spot that i can’t quite explain… it’s just nice. i enjoy walking up and down the cobbled streets in the town center, eating nice food (and sweets!) and just looking around the old facades, the churches and the roman ruins. speaking of ruins, we drove to the cromeleque de almendres, a nearby group of menhirs placed in a circle, from around 6000 ac. although not all stones are still around, it’s really impressive that so many of them are. what were our ancestors thinking?

– new birds! we checked out a couple of new spots on our way to évora and struck gold at the lagoa dos patos, where we saw a black stork and swamp hens (and later northern lapwings and corn buntings). the black stork has been a kind of “wishlist bird” for me, and when we rounded some trees and it flew away from us, i could barely speak in my excitement! :D we need to go back and check out the many duck species around there too, which are all still new to us.

– a friend’s baby turned 1 year old, and we had a little happy birthday singing on zoom, which was sweet. i hope we’ll soon be able to cover those cheeks and belly with kisses!

– inspired by a postcrossers’ post on the forum, i’ve tried my hand at making silly stitched postcards, and it was so much fun! with the pressure of making something perfect (or even good) completely off, i just went for it and laughed at the result. i had the perfect “polaroid-card” cover for it too, which made it look like proper art and added an extra layer of silliness to it. i see more of these in the horizon!