just life

weeknotes, 32/23

… what a week.

– the boy’s doctor appointment was like one of those meetings that could have been an email. we’re no closer to discovering the cause of his asthma, but at least we know some of the things that are not causing it, i guess β€” more tests will follow.

– my caffeine sensitivity has risen to new levels: i now get heart palpitations after 1 coffee cup. it would be almost comical, if it wasn’t a little scary. my heart seems fine (i had it checked by a geeky cardiologist, who showed me the ecocardiogram machine’s features in all their glory), and the flutters seem to wear off a few days after the last coffee. (maybe i should start looking for another domain name? a caffeine + lactose intolerant “meiadeleite” is a little silly πŸ˜…)

– we launched the world postcard day card for this year… and then promptly recalled it 2 days later, when we found out the work submitted to the contest was not original. sigh. :( we’re currently working on releasing the second place design, but what an unpleasant experience the whole thing.

– in need of stress relief, i found myself drawn to ali hazelwood’s stem-themed novels, that read a bit like academia fanfiction. i’ve read the love hypothesis in a couple of days, and am halfway through love on the brain.

– the good news is that we came back home after three weeks in the north, and it feels amazing to be here, in our quiet (but very hot) place. hurray!


weeknotes, 31/23

– our niece is here! 3kgs of tiny baby LJ, already a champion of the eating-sleeping-pooping triathlon. :) we’ve barely seen her awake, but she seems perfect: healthy, pink and squirmy. looking forward to many cuddles and future adventures with her!

– the pope is also here for a week to celebrate world youth day, and the country seems to be under some collective spell. we’re still up north at the parents, which means TVs stay on at mealtimes… the coverage is constant, overwhelming and a little hallucinatory. going by the street interviews, every passerby seems to have their life changed by the mere sight of the man (it reminds me of this). i start to sound like a grumpy old atheist lady, so i’ll spare you further whininess.

– did you know that the largest trilobites in the world were found in portugal? usually these fossils are just a few centimeters long, but in a shale quarry in arouca, specimens have been found with 70cms! we’re staying nearby at the boy’s parents, so we had a little road trip to see them and to try arouquesa meat (and top up the iron reserves). both recommended!

– the bad news is that the boy is still coughing his lungs out, and his doctor suggested we investigate other causes of the problem, so we’re making time here while we wait for blood test results. it seems farfetched… but if at least we had a clue as to what is causing this prolonged cough, we could at least try to address the root of the issue.


weeknotes, 29-30/23

– we came north to celebrate the boy dad’s birthday, and got invited to the birthday picnic of an 8 year old cousin. summer birthdays seem to be the perfect excuse for family to get together, and i’m here for it. plus, we’re all on baby watch, waiting for my little niece to be born any time now!

– because of the 8 year old’s birthday (and because we were in the center of porto), i went to a big bookshop and got a bunch of children’s books, including a couple of translated janosch books! <3

– i’ve been reading outlive, a massive book about the science of longevity, and it’s been a big eye-opener. i knew, in theory, that exercise was important… but i guess it didn’t quite register for me just how important it was. i took a lot of notes, and will probably re-read some chapters again soon.

– it feels so much fresher here in the north! it’s amazing the difference that 500kms can make.

– it’s summer and both parents’ farms are brimming with produce. pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, blackberries, plums, peaches… there’s a bounty out there, made of love and perseverance.


weeknotes, 28/23

– in the middle of this very hot week, our AC broke with a very loud bang. :( it seems like a relatively straightforward fix, thankfully, though arranging this in the middle of july in algarve is tricky.

– tavira has a mini street theater festival going on in the first half of july, with a little show taking place in town every night. it’s just nice to go, grab some ice-cream and watch the nightly shenanigans with friends. the boy got roped into one of the performances to play piaf’s la vie en rose with bells, and he did really well! :D

– i celebrated my 15000th day on earth this week! i really recommend checking when one of these nice round dates happens for you, and marking it on your calendar, for future celebrations. speaking of which, Postcrossing also celebrated 18 years this week… 18 years!! whoa.

– every morning, a trio of iberian green woodpeckers wakes us up with their loud laughter.

– i’ve been toying with midjourney, the image-making AI tool. its capabilities are mind-blowing and it’s just lots of fun to play with! discovering the right prompts, playing with the parameters and seeing what everyone else is doing are some of the interesting bits for me. here’s a study on risographs of coffee mugs, in tones of blue:

and a girl posting a letter, in a more anime style:

i did this with a text prompt, after reading a bit of the documentation and seeing what other people are doing. it’s astonishing what technology can do.


weeknotes, 27/23

– a boring week, with a lot of overwhelmed workdays, but also ice-cream to cool down! :)

– the whole week, i could not get this song out of my head:

let new zealand into eurovision already β€”Β they clearly understood the assignment and delivered!

– game night with friends, old and new. we played the game of thrones boardgame, which was amazingly complicated… i think we spent the better part of the night just trying to understand the rules. but now that we more or less know them, we’re ready for a rematch!

– i learned the expression “reading trombone” β€” did you know it? it’s this dance that people do when they’re trying to read the tiny ingredient list on the side of a package, pushing it away from their face so they can read better. the official name for this is presbyopia, and it’s something that happens to people over 40… and like clockwork, here it is! i need to get myself some glasses.