Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Don't quit...

When things go wrong as they sometimes will;
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but do not quit.
Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you can never tell how close you are
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit-
It's when things go wrong that you must not quit.


Monday, March 05, 2012

The end of the journey

The end of the journey

After more than four years since your brutal and meaningless murder, justice has finally been done. The possible justice. May you finally rest in peace, my dearest friend.

Saturday, March 03, 2012


The sun is out 2

Furzton Lake


Isn't it funny that on the day I'm told my myopia is gone the fog is so dense?!

Isn't it funny that my myopia is gone just when everything is becoming hazier and blurrier in my life?!

Come on, someone try to persuade me that there's no puppeteer up there.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Dali's perception...

I wish I could make time linger when it sprints and sprint when it lingers.

I wish I were a true mistress of time and not just a clumsy juggler trying to keep a lot of hot potatoes in the air.

Written on a day that only comes around every four years. (?!)

Time perception

The physics of ball juggling

Friday, February 24, 2012



Being a few feet away from Piazzolla as he was playing in Lisbon in November 1987 was an unforgettable experience. Right now, in this precise instant, Libertango is one of the tenuous, ember-like-glowing strands of my shambolically tangled feelings. Now is a moment to remember. I know that somewhere along the line I will want to look back to now with a cold and analytical mind.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Credit where it's due

My mother took a photo of this commemorative plaque in the radiology pavilion of the Portuguese Oncology Institute in Lisbon on the 21st of February 2012. We were both glad that the makers and writers of recent history in Portugal let it remain where it belongs.

Placa IPO
Placa IPO 2

English translation:

" The Portuguese Oncology Institute was created by the Public Education Minister, António Sérgio de Sousa, on the 29th of December 1923. In 1927, funds were obtained to purchase land, build two pavilions and acquire a thousand and eight hundred milligrams of radioelement, install four roentgen therapy cabinets and laboratories for scientific research.

The Oncology Institute began functioning in the new buildings, with these materials, on the 29th of December 1927.

The swift progress achieved between 1928 and 1933, the propaganda, the publications, the acquisition of new study materials and the training abroad of medical staff derive, in great measure, from Prof. Dr. Oliveira Salazar’s interest in the fight against cancer.

This pavilion, begun in May 1931, was built according to the principles agreed upon during the 2nd Congress of Radiology (Stockholm, July 1928).

This was the first construction created in Europe with efficient protection against radiation, and its existence is owed, in the greatest measure, to the Minister of Finance, Prof. Dr. Oliveira Salazar."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Sense of an Ending

Looking for a way out

"Later on in life, you expect a bit of a rest, don't you? You think you deserve it. I did, anyway. But then you begin to understand that the reward of merit is not life's business.

Also, when you are young, you think you can predict the likely pains and bleaknesses that age might bring. You imagine yourself being lonely, divorced, widowed; children growing away from you, friends dying. You imagine the loss of status, the loss of desire - of desirability. You may go further and consider your own approaching death, which, despite what company you may muster, can only be faced alone. But all of this is looking ahead. What you fail to do is look ahead, and then imagine yourself looking back from that future point. Learning the new emotions that time brings. Discovering, for example, that as the witnesses to your life diminish, there is less corroboration, and therefore less certainty, as to what you are or have been. Even if you have assiduously kept records - in words, sound, pictures - you may find that you have attended to the wrong kind of record-keeping. What was the line Adrian used to quote? 'History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.'

I still read a lot of history, and of course I've followed all the official history that's happened in my own lifetime - the fall of Communism, Mrs Thatcher, 9/11, global warming - with the normal mixture of fear, anxiety an cautious optimism. But I've never felt the same about it - I've never quite trusted it - as I do events in Greece and Rome, or the British Empire, or the Russian Revolution. Perhaps I just feel safer with the history that's been more or less agreed upon. Or perhaps it's that same paradox again: the history that happens underneath our noses ought to be the clearest and yet it's the most deliquescent. We live in time, it bonds us and defines us, and time is supposed to measure history, isn't it? But if we can't grasp its mysteries of pace and progress, what chance do we have with history - even our own small, personal, largely undocumented piece of it?"

- in The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

Musee d'Orsay

Still, my memory's persistence...

the persistence of memory by salvador dali


Monday, February 20, 2012

Ave Maria

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ave Maria

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rock me to sleep


BACKWARD, turn backward, O time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for tonight
Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of yore;

Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair;
Over my slumbers your loving watch keep;
Rock me to sleep, Mother-rock me to sleep!

Backward, flow backward, oh, tide of the years
I am so weary of toil and of tears;
Toil without recompense, tears all in vain--
Take them, and give me my childhood again!
I have grown weary of dust and decay--
Weary of flinging my soul--wealth away,
Weary of sowing for others to reap;
Rock me to sleep, Mother rock me to sleep!

Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue,
Mother, O Mother, my heart calls for you!
Many a summer the grass has grown green,
Blossomed and faded, our faces between.
Yet, with strong yearning and passionate pain,
Long I tonight for your presence again.
Come from the silence so long and so deep;
Rock me to sleep, Mother-rock me to sleep!

Over my heart, in the days that are flown,
No love like mother-love ever has shone;
No other worship abides and endures-
Faithful, unselfish, and patient like yours:
None like a mother can charm away pain
From the sick soul and the world-weary brain.
Slumber's soft calms over my heavy lids creep;
Rock me to sleep, Mother-rock me to sleep!

Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with gold,
Fall on your shoulders again as of old;
Let it drop over my forehead tonight,
Shading my faint eyes away from the light;
For with it's sunny-edged shadows once more
Haply will throng the sweet vision of yore;
Lovingly, softly, it's bright billows sweep:
Rock me to sleep, Mother-rock me to sleep!

Mother, dear Mother, the years been long
Since I last listened to your lullaby song.
Sing, then, and unto my soul it shall seem
Womanhood's years have been only a dream.

Clasped to your heart in a loving embrace,
With your light lashes just sweeping my face,
Never hereafter to wake or to weep;
Rock me to sleep, Mother-rock me to sleep!

By Elizabeth Akers Allen

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A lifetime

My father-in-law's 80th birthday is coming up at the end of this month. Having no clue as to what to present to him on such an important milestone, we ended up deciding on putting together a professional looking photo book with a compilation of snapshots of his family life, from his marriage 50 years ago to present day. Cousins and nephews in Switzerland were drafted into helping and sent us photos of stuff and people I had never known about. I rummaged countless dusty boxes of photographic mementoes trying to select the more significant ones and scanning them with the highest possible resolution. Michel was in charge of the final selection from the deluge of pictures pouring into his mailbox and giving the whole thing form and structure on his Mac's iPhoto. The finished product looks amazing, I must say. It is also very moving to see his life in pictures, each with a story and part of a conducting thread that hems the fabric of his existence. Two weeks of time well invested. Now let's just hope he likes it as much as we do...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Port and Spice and Everything Nice

During the festive period we baked, cooked and ate like mad, so January is a bit of a avoid-anything-sweet month. Still, if you really have to bake something with carbs and sugar to warm the soul on a cold weekend afternoon like today's (yep, typical January weather has finally arrived, shouldn't have tempted the gods with yesterday's post), this is the thing:

Port and Spice Cake

Enjoy your tea!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Spring in January

Gosh! It's been such a long time I had forgotten how to use Blogger altogether... Too many sites to keep updated these days (most of them pretty useless...).
Early January has been feeling like early Spring around here, daffodils and crocuses are blooming already. Mother Nature is perhaps a bit confused?

These were taken yesterday... with my new camera!

First daffodil 2012


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Starting Over

It's that time of the year again... So, in a bit of a spur of a moment thing, here are my top New Year's Resolutions:

1. Invest a whole lot more in me
2. Mind the news less
3. Always try to see things under a positive light
4. Smile and laugh more
5. Watch, listen, read and learn (a lot)
6. Always be there for those who ask for my help
7. Be more tolerant and broadminded
8. Let bygones be bygones, don't look back
9. Pick up my brand new camera and shoot, shoot, shoot

My children don't figure in any resolution because I'm already totally devoted to them and there will be no change there, I work for their happiness every second of my life.

On a different note, it beats me how this blog still gets 33 hits a day when I haven't posted anything for a year... Life really does go on forever in the Internet... which is a bit spooky.

Happy 2012!

No snow in England this winter...