Saturday, 23 September 2017

Foie gras...

...is not better than shoes. In fact, most times, duck liver pâté makes me gag... so, when it comes to the table at a restaurant (usually as part of a surprise menu or in an otherwise good dish) I always ask my boyfriend to taste it and tell me whether there is a slight chance to perhaps be able to stomach it... and he does... and he is wonderful for it but this post is not about him. This post is about relationships in general and all those small things that sometimes go unnoticed but which, in reality, are the glue that keeps two (or more, I'm not judging) people together... not foie gras...

Usually, when it comes to relationships, we are aware of the big things... I mean, we know whether our relationship has a sound foundation because we agree in basic, fundamental issues with our partner. We know whether we love our partner, respect them and care for the and where we stand on politics, religion, kids, work, money, future... but we tend to let the small things go overlooked, like, when they remember that we hate spinach and take it out of our plate if the little devil sneakily finds itself there by some sort of tragic accident... or when they silently acknowledge that we are terrible at keeping up with all the software updates and they do them for us... or that we don't have to even ask for some water but just holding up an eampty glass during dinner signals them to fill it up... or that they offer to go get breakfast on a Saturday morning in the pouring rain... or warm up our cold feet or make us some tea after dinner...

Yep... these are small things and maybe these alone would not be able to hold two people together if the big things were not there... but, then again, without them I doubt that a relationship would last either... I mean, these little things I think are the everyday tokens of love, little manifestations that our partner is thinking about us... and, ok, I don't know about you but I do think they are a true blessing in a relationship! They are our daily dosage of reassurance, the "all systems go" in stead of the "Huston, we have a problem" when we ask ourselves if we (still) are with the right person... and, as there are no guarantees ever when it comes to love, I guess these little things are what confirms an ever going love story... and, as far as I'm concerned, they are better than shoes!

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Grilled sardines on bread...

I have never been a fan of sardines... which, given that I'm in love with a Portuguese, has not made me very popular many a time... I mean, they are small, full of tiny fish bones, messy to eat... no, never have been a fan of the little silver back fish, not even when neatly put in a can...

But... in the right setting... imagine a little fishermen's village in the Algarve, in the south of Portugal, having just started a long craved and well deserved holiday, after a wonderful day by the pool and while the creepy, milky whiteness of the winter skin has already given its place to a rather healthy glow.... no, not a tan yet... we have a long way to go... imagine all worries have started to fade away, work and stress feel so far away and the only thing to be taken care of is the afternoon/after lunch nap... now imagine a lovely Portuguese man who ever so gentlemanly offers to clean a sardine, put on a slice of bread and offer it generously for my delight!

Mmmmm... as I sink my teeth in the juicy, salty grilled fish and continue to reach the bread underneath, I savour both the taste of sea and land, with the olive oil bringing it all together in a marriage made in heaven! So much has been written for the sardine, the Portuguese worship the silver, chubby nymph of the ocean and I don't think I could ever match their eloquence in describing its devine taste... but that does not stop me from praising it once more today in this post! Because it was so good, so incredibly good in its simplicity! Perhaps it was the loving offer, perhaps it was the holiday magic... no matter what the reason, today, I tell you in all my honesty, grilled sardines on bread are better than shoes!

Friday, 25 August 2017

My girlfriends!

Yep... they all are better than shoes!!

My mother used to say "beware of the girlfriends... they will betray you!!"... she was dead wrong! She still thinks it and she still is wrong... and lonely, I think... I never took her up on that. I always liked having girlfriends though I was just as easy hanging out with boys, running around with them on my bike during summer holidays, pretty much of a tomboy... but I always had girlfriends as wel, and yes, some of them did "betray" me over the years (very dramatic description...) but frankly, every time it happened, whether 30 years ago or last month, I did learn something from it and I did move on and I'm still alive and I still have great, wonderful girlfriends and I'm making new ones every day and this post is dedicated to them!

It is dedicated to S, who is also family, for always being there for me, my whole life, and guiding me with her wisdom and sharing her incredible sense of humour with me! To A, who's been a friend since we were two ten-year-olds on our way to our French class and who has always brightened my world with her larger-than-life personality and has taught me to not be so afraid to show some feelings! To M, who is not such an old friend but is a really good friend, who teaches me how to relax, to let go, to focus on what I want, to see the big picture and who doesn't get mad at me when I'm always sluggish over the weekend! To the other M, who is never tired listening to my nagging, offering advice, putting up with my mistakes when I speak Portuguese and chatting over a cup of tea in the afternoon! To S, with the most amazing blue eyes ever and her calm hilarity who makes me laugh with my heart and taught me that we all have crazy families and we need to just let go. To newer friends, to S and E, for their big smiles, open hearts, positive attitude and generosity! To even newer friends, to E and A and A, girls, having lunch with you all today was a delight! Thank you for all the laughs and fresh ideas! To P, the amazing mother of my amazing niece, the calmer, sweeter person I know, with her big smile and beauty! Oh, I will be devastated if I discover I've forgotten someone...

To all of you, my dear girlfriends, thank you! Thank you for being in my life and allowing me to be in yours, thank you for being the wonderful women you are making the world a better place, thank you for your diversity, for being different than me, thank you for teaching me so many things and for allowing me to share with you my knowledge... I say, knowledge which is not shared, is worthless... Thank you for proving my mother wrong! Thank for supporting me when I needed you and for trusting me enough to ask for my help when you needed it! Thank you for the immeasurable hours of chatting and laughing and drinking and dancing and traveling and talking shoes!
You are a real treasure in my life, you are priceless!!