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!!


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Ten years of love...

I started this blog about ten years ago... my then new boyfriend had urged me to write and the first post was dedicated to him, sharing with you all how much better than shoes he was... is... because, ten years later, we are still together and I still think he is better than shoes! In fact, I now know for sure he is and frankly, I would give up on shoes altogether if he would ask me to... he wouldn't... he would never have me choose between him and shoes but he would prefer I cut down a bit on those, rightfully so I might say... often I get carried away and I would be broke if it wasn't for him... I need him to keep me focused on other things in life as well, like retirement and life savings, I'm not getting any younger surprisingly...

Ten years... ten years of laughter and travelling and amazing experiences and great food and cuddling on the sofa in front of the TV and being part of a new family and arguing and seeing the world change and seeing us change and silly selfies (when we first got together those were not a thing, imaging that...) and cooking and weekend sluggishness and Sunday blues and sharing ideas and stupid fights and morning smiles and (mild...) depression and (great) joy and tears and excitement and fear (yep... there were boats and cable carts involved...) and indigestion and... and... and... Ten years of life... ten years of love and care and respect and trust... ten wonderful years!

Relationships are not easy, they are fluid and ever changing and require a lot of work and compromise and humility at times and, by definition I think, challenge our egos every single moment when we are choosing "us" instead of "me" and that's hard... but when one has the luck to meet the right person, it's all worth it... now, who's the "right person"?... one said it is the person we fight well with but, though I do fight veeeeeery well with my partner, I'd say the right person is the one who sees us for exactly what we are and loves us anyway... you know, like the song... like my partner loves me and like I love him... and I'm perfectly aware that this post has gotten a bit on the cheesy side but, oh well, bear with me on this one...

Next week I will finally be on holidays and hopefully will be able to share more "better than shoes" stuff with you... stay tuned 😉