Saturday, December 31, 2011


Right, it's that time of year again when one looks at what the past year has brought, so fasten your seatbelts and off we go!

The bad

I always like to start with the bad stuff first, so that I can get it out of the way and then savour the good stuff. This year was probably the hardest I've ever had, the toughest, the most stressful and the most heart breaking. Still I don't consider it to be a bad thing, quite the contrary, actually, because it made me grow up so much and because it brought along a lot of big changes. And that's good. So the only bad things that come to mind are my uncle's death and me being away from most of the people that I love, living in a place where I have almost no friends yet (key word being yet).

The good

There's a lot to say on this matter. I've started 2011 in a long distance relationship and am glad to report that we're still very much in love and are now living together in our own flat (rented, but you get the point!). I did an internship in a tranlation agency and absolutely loved the entire experience (we even had a week of workshops and training in a château in France). Despite many pitfalls I managed to write my internship report and had an oral examination that I passed with flying colours, thus finishing my masters once and for all (massive hooray there!). I did a Spanish A2 level course. I read 24 books. I ran errands for practically every member of the family (especially my uncle) and took care of all that was left on my mother's side of the family (not that I think this is a good thing per se; I just believe it to be worthy of praise). I saw Spring Awakening and Wicked live. I walked around London all by myself (again, not the greatest of feats, but still note-worthy). I grabbed as much of my belongings as I could and I moved to the UK, living the experience of a lifetime.

All in all this has been a great year and I can only hope that 2012 will grant me such good fortune as I had in 2011.

Leaving and coming back

The UK is the place where I live. Portugal is my home. So far this is where I stand. In the upcoming years it'll slowly change and eventually I will feel like this new place is my real home (or so I hope so). But right now I don't. Not just yet.

I've spent a month in Portugal and now I'm back in the UK. Being back is nice. Leaving Portugal, however, was soul crushing. I dare to say that leaving the second time is worse than leaving the first, because you know it's gonna hurt, you've been through that before and so you know what lies ahead. I don't want to dwell too much on it (or I'll start crying again and I don't think I could take that), so I'll just say I miss the sunshine. And most of all I really miss my family. But as the new year approaches I have to start looking ahead and start planning and living a brand new chapter. A better chapter. My chapter.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 - The readings

  1. António, Maria, Julieta Monginho **
  2. The hammer of God, Arthur C. Clarke ***
  3. Therapy, David Lodge ***
  4. Patagónia Express, Luis Sepúlveda ****
  5. Heart of darkness, Joseph Conrad ***
  6. Shakespeare, Bill Bryson ***
  7. The well of shades, Juliet Marillier *****
  8. The colour of magic, Terry Pratchett **
  9. Harry Potter and the deathly hallows, J. K. Rowling ****
  10. At home, Bill Bryson ***
  11. Charlie and the chocolate factory, Roald Dahl ****
  12. Pena de viver assim, Luigi Pirandello ***
  13. The caves of steel, Isaac Asimov ***
  14. The name of the wind, Patrick Rothfuss *****
  15. Por este mundo acima, Patrícia Reis ****
  16. One day, David Nicholls ****
  17. Twilight, Stephenie Meyer **
  18. Never let me go, Kazuo Ishiguro *****
  19. Slaughterhouse 5, Kurt Vonnegut ****
  20. O mandarim, Eça de Queirós ****
  21. New Moon, Stephenie Meyer **
  22. How to be a Brit, George Mikes ****
  23. The Twits, Roald Dahl ***
  24. Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes *****

Friday, December 23, 2011

Adapt or forever clash

People grow up. People change. If these two facts can be taken for granted, then it's easy to accept that families change too. This Christmas mine is facing a new dinamic. I live far away and I now have a boyfriend and a second family to consider. And it's hard. But that's the way it has to be. And people have to be willing to adapt. If not, if everyone decides to bury their head in the sand, shove their fingers in their ears and keep on with their lives without consulting the rest of the family, then clash is bound to happen. And in our case someone is bound to get hurt. And it would all be so much easier if people just talked it out with each other. I get so frustrated over this! It really enfuriates me... Stupid status quo...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Thursday, December 01, 2011


Leaving is bittersweet. For the past three months and change this house has been my home. I'm the one that buys the groceries, that washes the dishes and the one that plans our meals and checks the laundry. And I like it. I've grown accustomed to falling asleep to the sound of his breathing, to kissing him goodbye when he goes to work and to our evening routine. Even though it's just for a month, I'm sure I'll miss it all dearly. Most of all, I'll miss him.

And yet I can't keep myself from looking forward. I'm relieved that I can finally finish the MA (if all goes well, which I pray it will), but most of all I'm happy. I haven't seen my family and my friends for three months. I can't wait to meet them all and tell them all about my new life and all the little adventures I went through and the wonderful people I've met. I miss my things (the tons of books I left behind), my car, I miss the food, the places and I miss strolling around the city without having to think where I'm going. And then there's Christmas. All the little traditions and all the preparations for the holidays.

So here I am. I don't want to leave but I can't wait to be back.