algarving weeknotes

weeknotes 12/24

funny, how coming back home is strange in the way we just smoothly slip back into our routines, into the netflix series and songs we were obsessed with before we left — and into the worries too. it’s like taking a week off from life, and then coming back… but everything is still here, still the same.

the first half of the week was overwhelming. chinese classes are going well, but each 2-hour class requires another 2-3 hours of prepping in advance… and to do that twice per week gets really intense. so much so that i didn’t go to the pool at all this week. :( i need to be better at managing my time, the eternal struggle.

the skies have been yellow for days now, and a thin layer of dust makes everything a dull color. the air quality this week has been amazingly poor, and the wheezing boy has been safely hiding inside, blasting the air purifier all-day long. it looks like we’ll get some respite next week, and hopefully some rain too, to wash it all away.

because of insomnia, i finished reading bride (which was quite a bit more explicit than anticipated 😳), and also listening to an artist of the floating world (which featured more post-war political guilt than expected). we also watched a couple of movies, barbie and the man who knew infinity.

the boy found out about some guided tours in a local olive processing factory, and so we went to check it out. we were the only portuguese among all the americans and dutch doing the tour, but it was quite fun to see all the things that go into processing olives for consumption. plus, the tour guide (one of the workers there), besides being super knowledgeable, was really funny too! and at the end, there was a feast of olives for tasting, as well as bread and folar made by her mom. truly, a delight! i want to see it again, once the olive season is in full swing.


weeknotes, 11/24

this week, we escaped to france to spend a few days with friends! it was the most glorious week — the first in years in which i was able to completely disconnect from work, forget which day of the week we were in and just… be.

we saw a diane arbus exhibition, explored arles and a few cute towns in provence, ate an enormous amount of cheese and bread, read (finally finished country driving and also book 3 of the scum villain self-saving system), walked the countryside soaking in the sun… but mostly we spent time with our friends and their adorable 1.5 year old, who demanded our attention quite vehemently. :) it was bliss!


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. 💪


weeknotes, 9/24

i started the week by cycling to the swimming pool and being chased a ferocious (though tiny) dog. 😅 the whole swim i was thinking about the dog and on the way back, i did a detour through the main road just to avoid it. because of this detour, i saw an otter!

signs of spring: the countryside smells of orange blossoms, and the black-headed gulls’ heads are turning black again!

i found some advanced chinese classes online! they’re by the university of aveiro, and they’re hard, but also kind of perfect for me. the teacher is really nice too, and patient with my rusty skills. this is such a lucky find, because i was struggling a lot with self-learning and motivating myself to study on my own. with the classes scheduled, the rhythm is set and i have to study in advance, in order to actually follow the class. they started last september, so i’ve missed out on a lot of stuff, but i’ll get there!

i collected 2 beetroots, lots of chard and the last of the broccoli from the garden this week, planted some lettuce and zucchini, and seeded some tomatoes and more chard. unexpectedly, one of the beetroots was the stripy kind!

i went running with the boy for the first time in years! just 2kms, with lots of stops in between, but i did it!

to wrap-up the week, we went to an event that launched a movie the local eco-group i participate in made for april 25th. turns out, the carnations given away in lisbon during the revolution day in 1974 were grown in tavira! no one knew about this, until the technician who grew them got interviewed for a book someone was writing about the local agricultural experimentation center, and the story was resurfaced. how cool is that?

one second everyday

february — one second everyday

february was also plenty nice! we planted thousands of little trees, kissed niece’s chubby cheeks, cuddled some baby goats, gave blood (and i got a medal for my donations!) and i also learned a bit of crochet at last! :)