one second every day – november 2017

So here is the thing about these 1 second videos – you have the general feeling that the month was just “meh” and then you see a video you put together and realise there were actually quite a few memorable moments. I know. You know. That’s the whole point. But sometimes it hits home that little bit more.

So in November, besides the daily grind, there were some special moments. Beautiful autumn sunsets in Lausanne (which my camera missed for the most part, but I caught some glimpses during hurried commutes and they were glorious). We opened the Münster cheese we brought home from Alsace and it was super stinky and delicious. I tried to get out and about in some cultural activities and I saw a theremin concert (I’d never even heard about the theremin and was amazed). Not pictured, in the same evening was a series of talks about dreams in animals, in the brain and in the movies and all of it got my nerdy vein really giddy. There was a PhD defense and it is really nice to realise you have made enough friends to actually go to their PhD defenses. We say Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds in Arena de Genève (a huge concert venue) and it was one of the best concerts I ever saw. There were kids growing up and making me smile all the time, as usual. We saw friends we hadn’t seen in a long time. I tried my hand at doing something new and out of my comfort zone – watercolour painting – and it was exciting.

November ended cold and snowy and I really feel like crawling away into a warm little hiding space with knitting and movies and no real world stuff to deal with. Looking back, it is nice to find some nice memories to keep, as well as a promising start for a really snowy winter. I can’t wait to get my skis out!!

 

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random things from these days

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Very much in love with the croissants from the portuguese bakery further down our street. Perfect for long breakfasts at home during cold, rainy and sick days in November. They’re not just the best portuguese croissants I have tasted in Switzerland, they are better than many, many croissants I have eaten back home. They are moist and dense inside, a little crunchy on the outside and they unwrap perfectly. Because that’s what you do – unwrap croissants. You also may or may not spread some butter on the dissassembled parts. Anyway, not really bothered about socially correct when eating croissants.

8 year old Mathilde has been consolidating her reading skills by turning into a boowkorm. This makes me smile. At her age, I also devoured book after book from the library, I snuck books under my pillow and my matress, which I read with the faint light coming in from the corridor. I fell asleep countless times over with the lamp on, and wasted away many many flashlight batteries for the same reason.  I smiled even more when I found a french version of Roald Dahl’s Matilda in Mathilde’s room. I read Matilda in English, I gave it to my baby sister in Portuguese, and now I asked Mathilde to lend me the french version. It might just end up being the first french book I manage to finish.

Speaking of Roald Dahl, I have been listening to Desert Island Discs archives and I found the episode with Roald Dahl. I find his dark sense of humour amusing.

Also in the DID archives, Edmund Hillary.

Something else I’ve been reading: Thinking in Pictures, by Temple Grandin. A few years ago, I went down a curiosity rabbit hole on autism, and I read Catherine Maurice’s book about her experience with two autistic children. I saw the movie about Temple Grandin and I also borrowed this book from the library. At the time, it gave me a glimpse into the autistic mind and it was all out of sheer curiosity, but right now I am re-reading all of this because it is directly related to my work.

This week, I went to a friend’s PhD presentation about her pharmacogenetic and clinical study on the metabolic side-effects of psychotropic drugs and her presentation was as fancy and interesting as it sounds. In the apéro, I found myself stuffing my face with grandma-made bricelets, some with poppy seeds and others with cumin seeds. Everyone who knows me knows how much I love all things grandma-made, all the more so if they are local specialities. Because of things like this, there is a growing space in my belly and in my heart bearing a white cross over a red background.

I have been eating a lot of supermarket soup, which doesn’t sound very good. It actually is and this minestrone is my favourite. I have been thinking about what I can cook that will make dinner simple on Tuesday and Wednesday nights when we have sports until late, and which are precisely the eve of the working days when I need to pack a lunch for work. Last Sunday, I tried my hand at Rachel Roddy’s minestrone and it really hit the spot, reheated on Tuesday night and on Wednesday lunchtime. The recipe linked here is from Rachel’s Guardian column, but I followed the one in her book, which Jo gave me a couple of years ago.

one second every day – october 2017

Here is October. The month flew by and I was mostly absorbed by work. I forgot to film quite often, but it was a good month.

It was sunny most of the time and, while the cold crept in slowly, we were gifted with beautiful, golden afternoons to match the leaves on the trees.

The month started off with a classic Swiss race: a 17.17km run from the lake-side town of Morat, up to the city of Fribourg. It was a tough race, mostly uphill, but the countryside part of it was so pleasant, with many spectators cheering us on with cowbells, music bands playing, a bit of sun to keep us happy.

In the end of a month there was a half-marathon, in which I didn’t enjoy myself at all. Cheers for the yarn-bombing on the trees in the village where the departure was though. I suffered so much in this race and was pretty bummed with myself, so I have been trying to push myself a little while training after that. I even found myself running by myself by the lake one cold and rainy Sunday MORNING!

There was also a little trip up to Alsace to celebrate Zs birthday. I forgot about the videos a little bit, but I kind of fell in love with the landscape, the wine, the food, the golden colours on the vineyards. We treated ourselves to an amazing culinary experience and we had a beautiful time for a few days.

Other than that, there were day trips with the kids and Z has also been adopted by them, R turned 3 and blew out the candles with his sisters. On a less positive note, I was sad and shocked by the news from Portugal and this got me thinking quite a bit.

 

one second every day – september 2017

November is already here and I have some catching up to do. September flew by. I was really concentrated on my new job, which has me spending some time on trains, buses metro. It takes up a big part of my life theses days, but I cannot film any of it on my 1s videos.

I go to Geneva twice a week, every week, and even though I haven’t really had the time to roam towards the old city and visit some of the neighbourhoods I like the most, I like the buzz that the city has and all the different people I see. It is definitely different from Lausanne and it inspires me.

There is a Japanese supermarket right behind where I work, so my sushi cravings have been well taken care of. All those Japanese ingredients spark my curiosity and it’s been fun to discover some of them and a different culinary culture.

Speaking of culinary culture… moelas. When z’s mum came to visit us, she gave me her recipe (or her modus operandi) and, good pupil as I am, I took notes. They are delicious. Infallible.

My sister went back home after a few months here – she will be back soon though! Autumn creeped in and we polished off the beautiful hiking season with an amazing hike on one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland.

Looking back, I am quite happy about how the month went by, as I have been working a lot in a few different jobs and haven’t had that much free time. I guess that it is when you have less time that you actually make the most of it…

 

one second every day – august 2017

Here is August. Crazy, crazy August.

Something that comes to mind while piecing together this video is that it doesn’t really reflect the memory that I have of this year’s month of August. A crazy month, during which I struggled a little, bounced around a LOT of different jobs, got a little bit anxious about all of it, and tried to focus on the new job which will gradually take up most of my time and hopefully bring me enough stability to stop bouncing around.

The good thing about this video in particular is that it reflects the times when I was more relaxed, moments we tend to forget if we rely only on memory and on the general feeling of the month.

All in all, it looks like a pretty relaxed month, which started off with a day’s hike in deep Switzerland and a bonfire to celebrate August 1st, the Swiss national holiday.

As a result of a panicky decision-making process, I took on a funny and unexpected job as a cashier in a supermarket, one day a week. It is quite alright, but it didn’t help to add another plate to the already difficult job juggling. I’ll survive, though.

While I was busy making August the most stressful month of the year, everyone else went on holiday and a few friends asked us to mind their houses and their gardens. That meant we had a huge garden for BBQ and to relax in, as well as a gigantic surplus of tomato, cucumber, green beans and courgettes which kept us on our toes thinking about what to cook and eat so that they wouldn’t rot away. I ran less, but I went swimming a few times, went climbing, went to the gym and restarted Pilates classes, and pretty much every weekend we went hiking in the Alps.

I finally got around to taking some time to visit Bern with my little sister and, in the last week of August my auntie came to visit us and it was great that she could get a glimpse of our life here.

We spent a lot of time with the kids that I look after, who are in love with Z., and we even took them to the zoo, where we got to see a young lynx family with two babies!

Towards the end of the month, I slowly started my new job as a psychologist, which is making me quite nervous, but in a good way. I am learning a lot, and I am feeling challenged in every way. I am quite curious to see what September brings about!

one second every day – july 2017

When I created yet another blog for myself, I was looking forward to posting a little bit more about life other than these videos of one second of my daily life. However, this daily life of mine has been quite a handful lately, so here I am, back with at least another video to document it.

July July. What a month it was! Started off with one of the nices family moments of the year, even though half the family was missing – a sweet summery evening with grilled sardines in grandma’s backyard. While at home, I spent as much time as I could with my grandad, accompanying him in his precious daily routines.

Back to Switzerland, tying off loose work ends before going to Seville for a conference. I am really proud of the work I presented, but my shift in my work orientation was quite evident when I realized I was not that enthusiastic about most of the presentations. Either that, or the quality of science produced has suffered with massification and the pressure to publish and to produce results. I digress, but it is something that has been turning in my mind for most of the year.

Anyway, Seville was HOT. When we were planning our trip, I wasn’t really bothered about the hot weather, Portuguese as I am. In all honesty, I was not prepared and thank goodness for air conditioning (never thought I’d write this). It is a lovely city nonetheless, and a small road trip through Andaluzía has me wishing to go back in Spring to enjoy it a little bit more.

And back to Swiss life again. I went swimming a few times, got stung by a bee, enjoyed the summer evenings eating outside, actually fit in some running, tried out a new cool gym in one of my favourite neighbourhoods, went on a camping trip and generally went about trying to navigate through life’s challenges without forgetting to have some fun, and appreciating my human and feline company.

one second every day – june 2017

June 2017 was a month for change. There were new professional endeavours, closing cycles, and overall it was a completely disorganised month. There were some difficult moments, but there were also some beautiful times. We went hiking in the Alps a couple of times. Z played in two gigs. R., who I hadn’t seen for 2 years, came to visit me and there was plenty of time to catch up with her. I went home to Portugal for a few days and we saw our family and our friends as much as we could.

Junho de 2017 foi um mês de mudança. Surgiram novas empreitadas profissionais, fecharam-se ciclos e, no geral, o mês foi a desorganização total. Houve momentos difíceis, mas também os houve muito bons. Fomos caminhar nos Alpes algumas vezes. O Z. tocou ao vivo duas vezes. A R., que já não via há mais de 2 anos veio visitar-me e tivemos tempo q.b. para pôr a conversa em dia. Fui a casa, a Portugal, por alguns dias e estivemos com a família e com os amigos tanto quanto pudemos.