Why write this blog

My photo
It is a way of giving my other self, my unconscious and perhaps artistic self, a way of expressing itself, and thereby helping me working things out. It is somewhat cathartic in a positive way. :)

29 March, 2010


I believe I experienced true hapinness today, sadly not my own, but that of my best friend, the great Telmo.
I've known Telmo all my life, we were inseparable whilst we were growing up despite the couple of years age difference. As grown ups we've maintained that strong bond, he's one of my true friends, always has been and I suspect always will be, even though our lives have gone through different paths entirely and we live very far apart. It saddens me that I don't get to experience more of his company and life due to this but such is life.
It was (is) his wedding today. I admit I almost got emotional a couple of times, he's so very happy, and all day Telmo and Irina have demonstrated why they've been together for 12 years. Their happiness is almost palpable, I am so very jealous in the best possible way!
Right at the end they've made a movie montage of pictures of them growing up and pictures of them together. It was lovely, they're so good together, I want that. It's at times like these that I can feel my loneliness catching up with me, life was made fit being enjoyed with someone, life experiences, situations and adventures are so much better when shared with somebody else, especially if that someone you love...
Today I experienced happiness and I'm chuffed for my friend, he deserves it. I'm glad.
Today I experienced happiness, but it wasn't mine...

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18 March, 2010

Russian Circles in Lisbon

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Algarve Day 3 - Carvoeiro

It's cold today, or colder. There's a cold wind out there. It's easy to forget out here with temperatures of 18•C that it is still Winter time for another 6 days!
It was a little bit windy yesterday but not so much to prevent me spending some hours on the beach. Today it's just that little bit too cold.
And so I decided to stop short of the Vale de Centianes Beach and spend the day at Carvoeiro, the closest village. It's beautiful out here, there's a lovely little plaza and a small little beach just off it, just in between two sharp edged cliffs.
I've decided to get some food (sardinhas assadas = grilled sardines) in this restaurant overlooking the beach, sea and village, restaurant of Tia Ilda.
The sun is warm on my back, I can hear the sound of the water crashing against the nearby rocks, seagulls float in the gentle waves ruffled by the chill wind. From up here I can see the change in the waters color, the transition from the shallow light sandy grey to the deeper dark blue.
Ah, holidays, Portugal, Algarve...!

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17 March, 2010

Wedding Day

After an incredibly cold night in which I couldn't move afraid I would hit a cold patch despite the seven blankets on top of me I got up at 8am.
Freezing my ass off I quickly hit dresses and rushed outside on search of a little bit of sunshine to warm up, really, it's not until it's that cold that you quite apprecciate a bit of sunshine. The sun shining on your face, the smell of pine trees, the quietness of the country, is all just so peaceful.
The wedding ceremony itself at the church was ok, quick and fuss, no big speeches or lectures from the priest, just a few well placed words and advice.
The setting for the wedding reception was very nice, not very big but then we weren't that many. They've done well the place, a little bit of garden, a few well placed ornaments, a little roman style small pool, a couple of statues and a small little portico of Greek columns. Very simple but really nice. The view from up here however was fantastic.
Food wise everything was delicious, it was a portuguese wedding after all!!
The wedding cake was pretty good also and the day dwindled away by about 8pm.
I convinced my cousin to go out later to a bar somewhere in Viseu. She agreed, and the idea was to go somewhere where we cam smoke our fat cigars, somehow her other cousins, aunts and uncles decided to come as well, which is just lain wrong! Anyone over the age of 40 with kids should not be allowed out!! Although, I may think differently in a handful of years...!

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So I'm back. To be fair I am always made feel welcome. Didn't get to see much of my cousin Luís as he looked a bit stressed and still had things to do. But his sister, Sandra, was pretty cool. Actually let's retrace my steps, their younger brother Álvaro came pick me up from the coach station and we had the longest conversation we have ever had, he us after all about 12 years younger than me, so it was great to actually talk to him as adults.
As I was saying my cousin Sandra took me around the newly refurbished school village where sh now works and wow, what they've done to the place is astounding, really really good conditions, something that would not be amiss in a large city let alone in our little village, I was shocked and impressed, it saddenned me to know that after all the work that has been put into its future gangs in the balance as the councils have nor decided what to do it because there just aren't enough children around.
After that I went to see my other grandparents on the other side of the village, Fundo do Povo we call it. It was good to see them both well.
I went for dinner at my cousins parents, all the other side of their family there most if whom I recognised and a vague recollections of. My cousin turned up at the end and you could see that he was clearly happy to see everyone together for his big day, it is after all all about him tomorrow.
I am so tired I left early 10:30pm, and I've just managed to stay awake to write this, whilst it's still fresh.

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On the way to Viseu

On the coach on the way to Viseu, the capital city of Beira Alta and the biggest city around for miles. I didn't take many pictures, don't know if it's because it was quite difficult to take photos from the moving bus or whether I just remembered differently from last time around or maybe I was just on the wrong side of the bus.
I read for a bit and just under two hours I was arriving, half an hour before what I was expecting. Had to wait for my lift for ages, the longest in the whole trip but even so only 20 minutes or so.
As I was waiting I bought a sports newspaper, but it was windy and quite cold (I was outside so that my cousin could see me and didn't have to park) so I put the newspaper to zip up my fleece and lo and behold the wind was taking my paper away!! Doh!

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12 March, 2010

On the way to my roots

Eventually my cousin turned up and I begun the last stretch of my journey.
Back to my roots. Family. All my blood ties lead there, Corga, a little village in the middle of the northern portuguese countryside, in the shadow of Portugals' greatest mountain Serra da Estrela (Star Mountain).
I always thought it was funny, weird and in equal measures reassuring that all my family us from this tiny little place, both my parents and their parents are from this village. I used to come here on holidays every single Summer when my dad had a month off.
The happy memories I have of running around the village and playing in my grandparents cottage with my younger by a year cousin Luís. We would climb trees eat all sorts of different fruit straight from the trees, and wild berries, and went fishing, good childhood I had.
And I'm back here this time because my cousin Luís is getting married tomorrow. Can't quite believe it. It was only three years ago that we were both single at our younger cousin's wedding, Elisabeth. Now he's getting married and Elisabeth has a kid.
I'm lagging behind, all my friends are married and now so is my cousin. Only my younger cousins aren't yet but they're still under 25.
I never worried too much about it but every so often it gets away. Especially as my best friend Telmo is also getting hitched in two weeks time (hence my extended holiday period in March of all times) even though he has been dating that girl for eleven years and living together for the last six.
But oh well, onwards and upwards.

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On the way to Portugal

So far so good, got to Porto on time and I'm now in the last leg of the journey, coach from Porto to Viseu, through the beautiful countryside of northern Portugal. I'm at the ready to take some pictures!
The journey in England was fine, I was dreading having to catch the tube to get the connecting train but it was pretty straightforward, taxi was on time didn't have to wait long for the train got a tube pretty quickly and didn't have to wait long for the connecting train either.
Checking in with RyanAir could have been a bit more organised but it was ok. Boarding the plain amused me, we had to wait, literally, for all the passengers from the previous flight to come out of the plane before we were allowed in, ah cheap airlines!!
Anyway, arrived at Porto 15 minutes early, to be fair the bags were out very quickly, got some euros out of the ATM and got myself a taxi to take me to the coach station, taxi driver amused me, he asked me where I was going, I said Viseu and he promptly replied that he could have taken me, I had already bought the coach ticket on the Internet but I asked him how much it would cost anyway, and he says, with the straighest of faces, only 75 euros not expensive at all, I played along, my coach ticket cost me 9.50, not expensive indeed!!
First experience of buying anything online in Portugal didn't go very well, there's this tiny little collection machine hiding in the corner of the waiting room of the garage ahem..., coach station!, and it gives me completely wrong tickets luckily the kiosk attendant was very helpful and gave me the correct collection number.
With half an hour to kill, I went to get some food, a coffee (galão) a savoury (pastel de bacalhau) and a croissant with ham and cheese, even something so simple as this is delicious in my home country, abs the coffee!!! Oohhg, divine, just what I needed!
Right, in the coach now, a couple of hours, my cousin (who's getting married tomorrow and the reason I'm on holiday) is picking me up, I need to start thinking in Portuguese pretty soon.
Lastly, my iPhone us useless as a phone over here because of the nature of my contract, but, it us also a digital camera, a notepad for my writing and more importantly the iPod I think has just made the whole journey a whole lot more pleasant and relaxing! Happy days!