Friday, 29 September 2017

Julia louis-Dreyfus...

...is better than shoes. Period.

Yeah, yeah, I know what you are going to say, a person must be better than shoes, after all they are just "things", right?... nah... not! I could right now, off the top of my head, name you at least a dozen that are definitely not... even when considering the ugliest shoes possible... we are talking crocs, people! Don't believe me? Well, here I go: everyone who's a racist! There! I'm already way above the dozen! People in general are not, by default, better than shoes!

But Ms Louis-Dreyfus, Julia, well she is! Hands down! She is a comedic genius! From her incomparable Elaine who stood as an equal next to Jerry and George and left her unforgettable mark in perhaps the funniest ever comedy in the history of television, the "show about nothing" which was "something" indeed and is always sorely missed ever since, to her incredible Veep, the most hilarious ever fictional politician (and oh, so, so bad!)  who, with her entourage of extraordinary talented actors has made me laugh so hard I literally peed my panties! Oh, and of course, who can forget her SNL days and her "old" Christine! Oh, and her "Enough said", with the amazing James Gandolfini, just gorgeous! She's already a legend in my book!

In a predominantly male profession, that of comedy, she has proven time and again (yes, start counting her awards, it will take some time...) that we girls can be funny! Not just funny, magnificently hilarious! She is not alone, the rest of the ladies are there with her, Amy and Tina and Sam and Sarah and so many others, I love them all and they make me laugh with my heart and that, right there, is the most extraordinary gift because, laughter is life! And I could never thank her for it! I mean, I would love to but, hey, our roads do not really cross... damn...

So, I have been pissed off majorly since yesterday when she shared with me, and the whole world obviously, that she's off to a new battle against some stupid rotten cells but, hey, I would bet a pair of Alaïa high heel sandals that she's gonna win! I predict total annihilation of the enemy! And while doing it, she will also manage to help bring awareness to many of us to take care of ourselves and to fight for everyone's right to health care! That's how badass she is!

Ps. October is breast cancer awareness month, ladies! Get checked, stay healthy, fight for your right to health care! Remember, #fuckcancer

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!!


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 😉


Sunday, 13 August 2017

my niece...

She was born three months ago today in sunny Lisbon... that day was further marked by the city's Benfica securing their fourth football championship in a row (both her father and his brother, my partner, as well as their mother could not be more over the moon that day)  and Portugal winning the Eurovision Song Contest... who would have thought that just one day can bring so much joy to our family?!... and yes, that night, I got sooooo drunk!! So many reasons to celebrate but above and before all, the birth of that little angel with the world's sweetest face and the world's brightest smile and the world's cutest little feet with the cutest little toes! Footsies that I hope will inherent my collection of shoes! Who's her favourite aunt, right?!

I met her for the first time when she was 20 days old.... I had almost forgotten how it is to be totally lost for words and overwhelmed by love and sweetness just by looking at a tiny, tiny person! Now, those who know me, know that I'm no sucker for babies... I mean, I never wanted to have one of my own and I can tell you, usually I'm not happy to meet them when I'm boarding a plane, especially for a long haul flight... but it breaks my heart every time I have to say goodbye to her (story of my life, always leaving home...) and I cannot wait until I have her once more in my arms! And sing to her and speak to her in Greek (need to prepare her for her island hopping in the Aegean, of course) and see the way my partner looks at her, with eyes full of love and joy, when he's holding her.... it breaks my heart that I will be leaving her again and again and the only thing that saves me is the promise that I will always be going back to her...

But aside the honeylike, loving feelings that a new baby brings to a family, and she certainly has brought to ours, she is on top of it a girl! A future woman! And, goodness me, does this world need more women!! I am aware, a certain blond and her "alternative facts" have tried to give our gender a very bad name this year (oh, it's been a helluva winter and the summer has proved even crazier, don't even get me started... I mean, you did notice my long silence, right?...) but at the same time thousands of us have walked together for justice and equality and love and peace, showing that more of us are in this for the good than for the bad! So, although it scare me to the bone that this world has become a looney house and my sweet, little niece will have to live in it because, well, there is no other option (for now), I'm hopeful that we, my generation, still have a chance to fix it a bit for her sake and give her the opportunity to fix it even further! Am I delusional? No. We can. We can all do better. We just have to try. For her sake, for all children's sake! 

Now, how's that for "better than shoes", right? Happy 3-months birthday, B!