Wednesday 7 December 2016

Comedy is better than shoes!

So, hear me out...

I went to see a show by Eddie Izzard a few weeks ago; it was the third one this year (already had been lucky enough to see Trevor Noah and, my personal favourite, Louis CK) but this one was the most unexpected! I mean, I knew he was funny but I admit I had no idea how cultured, traveled, well spoken (in many languages, I might add) he is! He generously gave me two hours of laughter, two hours free of worries and stress and my work problems and my exhaustion after a looooong year and a particularly tough few weeks.... two hours of pure joy! And I honestly would have no words to thank him enough!

Moreover, I started thinking... I have loved standup comedy for many years now, I get my news from comedy shows because, really, the news lately are so bad that I can only swallow them coated in a thick layer of jokes... and I would always choose a good comedy over any other genre of films. But only now I start to realise how intimate comedy can be! A comedian chooses to expose themselves on stage, to share personal stories and details about their lives with the audience, chooses the road of laughing with their sadness, pain, embarrassment or heartache... and I keep thinking "why"?!... do they need to exorcise the traumas this way? Do they just do it for us, a selfless act of kindness for people like me who need the laughter desperately? Is it just for the money?... All of the above?... no, this last one is very improbable, surely there are easier ways to make a living that stripping your soul naked in front of a full theatre! 

I don't know... I can understand the need, though, to look at tragic moments in one's life through comedy tinted glasses, to focus on the funny side (it's always there, just difficult to see) and cure this way the pain... but that doesn't make comedians' offer to me less valuable! It's priceless! And, in the times that we live in and with everything that's been going on on this planet (no, I refuse to go into details...), it is indispensable! I have no doubt we will need comedy and comedians more than ever and, hopefully, they will be there to make sure that we all together heal the pain and fight evil and fear with a good dosage of laughter! 

And that is absolutely better that shoes! And I will always be thankful to them 😉

Monday 5 September 2016


...or tiny clams, are definitely better than shoes!

I have rules when it comes to food: I don't eat anything that is not entirely dead (so, no oysters, thank you), I don't eat food that comes with it's house (snails, yeah, that kind of stuff) and I don't eat food that comes from inside other food (offal is out of question). Also, I don't like to get acquainted with my food before eating it, so no, I do not want to choose my lobster, thank you, you do it and then cook it and then present it to me on a plate, please, I'm not a monster!! (OK, slight exaggeration there...)
Oh, and I don't eat anything I don't like, life's too short for that and my mother does not control me anymore...

So when I first came to Portugal, nine years ago, and was presented with one of the local delicacies of the Algarve, the "conquilhas", my initial reaction was "no, thank you, it comes with it's little house"... But, I was assured by my boyfriend that it was entirely dead, cooked and all, and that it was really delicious and I was going to like it. I believed him. I usually do. At least enough to give it a try. And that was it... I fought him for the last one! And since then, they have become the symbol of my Portuguese holidays!

They are tiny, they are cooked ever so quickly in olive oil and garlic and fresh cilantro and lemon and the sauce they come in is just devine! You need a lot of bread, forget the diet; the conquilhas have very little meat anyway and, in all honesty, they merely serve to help the sauce travel into your mouth while adding a suttle hint of the sea to it. Just the right amount of sea, their flavour is not strong as that of bigger clams. You need bread, did I mention that? And you need to dig in with your hands, pick the minuscule clam, suck the deliciousness out of it and wipe out every little drop of sauce from the plate with your bread... Oh, believe you me, it's sooooo good! 

If you add to that you most probably you will be enjoying them while at holidays by the coast in the beautiful south of Portugal with the spectacular views it has to offer, you will be in your flip flops, you will have a cold, cold beer to accompany them and after the meal you will take a nap (yep, try them at lunch, that's my advice), you will find yourself in heaven! 
And you will agree with me that they are indeed "better than shoes" 😉