This week [24.12-30.12]

The second week of holidays flew by, with a few highlights.

First, Christmas. It was a busy Christmas, with a lot of cooking (I made octopus salad and it was one of the best things we ate, with my broa de milho), toddler-managing and hopping from one place to the other. My grandfather was with us, some of my cousins as well, and Toddler was excited with all the attention she got. On Christmas Eve, she put out some milk and bolo rainha for Santa. It’s not at all a Portuguese tradition, but we like to adopt traditions that make things more fun. And fun it was to see her face on Christmas morning when she saw the milk was gone, the plate only had crumbs and Santa had left many gifts under the Christmas tree.

Besides all the eating, I even managed to watch a film! We watched Don’t Look Up, suggested by my sister, without having a clue that it was the film of the moment. It’s not at all the kind of film I usually love, but I found it hilarious. I liked how it made fun of so many ridiculous situations that go on in our world right now, and that humans can find themselves in, making it a ridiculously funny movie which really made my day. Or maybe I was just happy to watch a film from beginning to end.

The second highlight of the week was definitely the two days off-parenting that we took. We booked a hotel room in one of our favourite places in this world, which is very close to our homes. Shamelessly, we hadn’t been there in years. The weather wasn’t great, but we managed to walk a little, breathe the mountain air that smells different from anywhere else, and reminded ourselves of some priorities that we need to re-establish. We also slept like babies and until late.

Then we met J & Co, who were around to visit Ponte da Mizarela and it couldn’t have been better if we’d planned it. A perfect walk in the Autumnal colours of Minho, with green moss, leaves and a little blue sky that even showed up amidst the enduring grey.

Despite my plans, reading and running was not at all an accomplishment during these holidays. But I did manage to collect some books to bring back to add to my stash and I even finished one! Balada para Sophie is a graphic novel, so I guess it’s cheating a little. I loved it very much, though. It’s a sad story about the rivalry about a pianist, his rivalry with another pianist and how his life unfolded around jealousy and being forced into a career he despised, ultimately facing his regrets in old age. Superficially, it’s kind of a corny story, but the drawings and how emotions are portrayed are woven beautifully into the story and I devoured the book.

Other things that happened in this last week: I cut my hair and so did Toddler, I visited my godmother (whom I hadn’t seen in over two years at least), I had lunch with J and M, and met a very old friend from Scouts in the park after way more than a decade without seeing her!

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