January started off sunny and on skis, with my little sister learning her first moves.
Then, I went back to Portugal for a week, fully booked for all dinners and lunches, I met most of my family and many friends I hadn’t seen so much over the last couple of years around the table. There was pica-no-chão, papas de sarrabulho, polvo à lagareiro, the most tender costelinha in the country, I tried aged beef for the first time, conventual sweets… a very appropriate menu for an emigrant missing the food from home (not that I actually ate like this when I lived back in Portugal, but… details).
I went with my grandpa on his daily newspaper-coffee-analysing-the-changes-in-the-street route. I ran errands, met up with people. The first S. Silvestre race in my town took place and, even though I hadn’t been running for a month, my pride made up for the lack of training, especially because the race passed in front of my grandparents’ house twice.
Back to Switzerland, and back to full steam at work, which is a good thing. January brought really good news work wise. I spent a lot of time with the kids and C is learning to read, which both amuses and astonishes me. Watching kids learn what you take for granted is a very humbling exercise.
We went for a weekend to the high mountain to learn skating, a technique for cross country skiing. Ulrichen, the village where we stayed, was beautiful and white, but it snowed so much during the night in the whole country, that they closed down many roads due to avalanche risk. We had to leave our car for a week’s holidays in the mountain and luckily caught the last train home. After that, they shut down the train lines as well!
The next week brought one of the best skiing days of the year, and after getting our car back, we joined the kids in the mountain for the most perfect day on skis. On my way to the mountain, I had pizza on the train after a rough work day, and I felt very gluttonous, but it made me very happy.