2011 in photos and a few words

after seeing year reviews in a couple of blogs i decided i should do the same. it just helps to put everything into perspective. so here's my 2011 (by month):

january: sousa's birthday and a trip to vigo
 february: paris
march: long walks by the seaside 
 april: usual benny means a lot of cleaning and a lot of cuddling
may: going to places and garden almost forgotten 
 june: enjoying the blazing sun in parks (and abbandoned mental hospitals)
july: a  trip to drave - beautiful sights and lagoon, and consequent shoulder sunbun 
 august: exploring the coast of portugal and camping
september: a three day trip and four of the most picturesque little villages i've seen to date
october: farewell to olga by the sea. and a trip to buçaco.
november: a visit to see silvia's new puppy - zazu (and minus a zenit b)
 december: master thesis done and plenty of free time to walk by the sea :)

i've got to say 2011 has been a terrific year!
for 2012 i'm hoping i finally get my masters diploma (that's a done deal!), a wonderful job for tó and i, preferably in switzerland... and finding the lab where i left 4 rolls of film from the trip to buçaco finally open (the damn place is completely closed for at least two months... !)
is that to much to hope for?

happy new year everyone!


zenit's last

these were the last shots i took before falling on my ass and breaking his zenit b.


today i'll drive to my aunt's house near coimbra. there, i'll meet my mom, cousin, grandma, ..., six or seven cats, and celebrate christmas :)

merry christmas to all of you!


last wednesday

it was sunny yet cold and the wind was blowing strongly.
a great oppurtunity for a stroll by the river and the sea.
and what a treat it was! simply magical.
the waves beating the breakwater formed big mountains of white foam, and the water flooding the strcuture almost touching our feet.
the sun crowned a beautiful setting, illuminating and glorifying every bit of water you could see...


from the day we decided to visit some nuns

i love it that we love to explore new places. and sometimes it happens just by browsing books.
this place in particular, we found on a book featuring works by architect fernado távora.
we noticed the location was rather close to my house and i had never seen it before. so naturally the very next morning we were driving to see it.
as soon as we stepped inside the gate, i was impressed by the beautifully mantained gardens that led to the actual building.
inside, the nuns who run the school were so nice to us as they showed the entire school and its chappel.
little trips like this make my heart warm :)

i always find it strange and delightful to get different colors on photos taken at the same place, at the same time...


the tea house

today the weather feels just like on the day we went to the tea house.
it's just a lot rainier.
it's wonderful to be cozy and warm inside, and to look out the window and see a tempestuous sky.


this saturday was tó's birthday dinner.
he got a hanful of nice presents.
he was looking forward to read lev tolstoi's war and peace, so as a group we offered him the 1st of the four books.
silvia had the wonderful idea of giving him a mock issue of the architecture magazine el croquis, featuring him.
just a photo of him drawing and a bit of photoshop made the most original present ever. inside blank sheets of paper make a new scketch book.
my present was a handmade book letting him know we're going to marseille in the end of january, and as a bonus we're staying one of the nights in le corbsier's unité d'habitation.
needless to say i took advantage of his birthday to buy a present for both of us.
another trip in the near future at last.



after such a long time i've finally finished my master's dissertation.
i'm oh so happy i can finally put it behind me. i feel like dancing!
oh lord, i can't even imagine how sweet will be this night's sleep...
tomorrow morning it's off to the printer for the final 8 copies.
a coule of months with absolutely nothing to do except finnishing my (98% finished) portfolio, and an international archtitecture competition just to prevent rust (and the feeling of being a waste of life), will follow.
what a bliss.

i really feel like revisiting this place. how convenient i have free time :)



while searching for some id photos for genevièves' project i also found some old photos of my mom.
i'm used to seeing old photos from my father's side of the family, but not from my mother's (other than a few polaroids from her late teens).
it's nice to see her in such different contexts. 
i really appreciate the amount of old family photos i have!


tea house

it all went great. he has his masters in architecture, and a good grade!
we had a celebration dinner with close friends and had a drink afterwards.
we intended to enjoy a walk outside the next day, but it's just so cold out.
it's already 12ºC, it's windy and sometimes rainy. 
instead we went to siza's tea house for a hot drink.
it is my absolute favorite place to be if it's windy outside. the warm and cozyness inside, with lovely music playing, and the view of a stormy sea hitting the rocks around the tea house.
it was wonderful.


a reason to celebrate*

starting the day after tomorrow, he'll have a lot more time to draw.
he will have a masters in architecture!
the jitters are already starting, but they will end soon. 
and a big celebration is on the way :)


braids in her hair

we sat in the bench. our backs faced the sea.
she, with the unicorn and ice cream cone bracelet, started braiding.
we looked like kids. we felt like princesses.
it is the power of braids.


pots and more pots

a collection of unsorted pots. 
they seemed to have been forgotten at coimbra's botanical garden.


thank you polly!

today, as i got home, i frantically opened my mail box.
i was expecting a letter from polly, and today, there it was!
beautiful envelope, with drawing and an unsual stamp.
inside there were two lovely postcards of birds (thanks for my favorite!) with the cutest handwritting i've ever seen, a leaf, a moomin (i think i have to revisit some memories, as i only recall seing it on tv as a kid) and a delicious candy!

i love having penpals :)
polly, i'll mail you soon*

 visit polly here, and see beautiful photos 


silvia's new puppy

meet zazu. silvia's new puppy.
he's restless and adorable. 
he crawled up and down the stairs like there was no tomorrow.
his fur is still soft, almost like a cats fur. and his eyelashes blonde, agains the dark brown eyes.
the little kid in me, who wanted every puppy that crossed my eyes, came back for a moment, there.


coimbra's botanical garden

when we visited coimbra, i insisted we'd pass through the botanical garden, even if it was just for a little while.
it was indeed a beautiful place to visit, but i have to confess i was disppointed to find a lot of areas were closed. 
this beautiful structure was one of them. you could see through the wood gaps, a forest growing beyond its capacity. 
the old stone structures and objects were stunning. they looked and felt old. 
stoned pathways, gates, windows, niches... all added to the romanticism of that place.


flowery windows

 a couple of windows that stood out in the old part of the city of coimbra.
every other door in these streets shows traditional hadcrafts. mostly doilies, and tableclothes with beautiful motifs and blue painted ceramics.
when you'd look up, however, you'd notice these lovely windows, it's flowers and it's curtains.
there's something wonderfully precious about decorating the outside (or even the inside) of windows with flowers.


october 28th

 on october 28th i described the late afternoon sky and its crescent moon.
this is exactly it. it looks darker on film than it did as witnessed with my own eyes.
it was just like every summer night, when i get to enjoy the most beautiful sky and the distant city lights.
the warm air, and the inumerous tiny lights, from windows, cars and streets.