This one is about what I believe to be a common misconception in the Portuguese culture: correntes de ar constipam-te (“drafts give you the cold”).1 I was vacuuming just now and opened both the windows of the bedroom and living room to air out the quarantine from the flat. Then,…I felt it. The amazing Scottish breeze as I was finishing my weekly vacuuming.2 As soon as the breeze touched my neck and gave me a chill,3 I heard my mom screaming in my head “CAREFUL WITH THE DRAFTS, THEY’LL GIVE YOU A COLD!”

Hmm…I don’t think so. Do they? Nah…

If that’s the case, then any draft is a potential culprit. The draft you feel when you enter a stairwell (especially nice in the summer in stone cold Portuguese stairwells) or the draft you might feel when turning into a narrow street on a windy day (in reality, any day in Scotland).

Come on, it can’t be true, can it?

1 Now, you perhaps have the same thing in your culture, and if so, it makes me feel that more understood. I just don’t want to generalise that which I don’t know.
2 Totally not weekly.
3 Where is this going?—I don’t know.

Let me tell you: there is no better way to nap than to fall asleep with the sound of birds chirping in today’s spring. There is also no better way than to wake up before your alarm goes off with the gentle vibration noise from a call offering you a free pizza.

See when you are planning to go shopping for groceries? All those minutes spent on searching for recipes that are easy, fast, exciting, vegan, glutenfree, lowcarb,* or [input your favourite diet here]… and all that is wasted as soon as:
(1) one exits the house without the shopping list (argh)
(2) the shopping list is lost in your pocket and you may find it a week later or
(3) the shopping list gets eaten by a blasted seagull.

Okay, the latter never happened to me, but you never know

It can happen that you are holding the shopping list all the way through and…you still forget that one ingredient that is crucial for five dishes you planned.

The worst yet is going to the supermarket, have the list at hand, buy everything you need, and then arrive home and never do the recipes you planned for out of laziness…this is when you wish the seagull had eaten the shopping list.

*not to be confused with low-crab. Not sure what low-crab is (perhaps the crabs from deeper ocean neighbourhoods) but the spell-check was suggesting that.

It’s so hard. So. hard. Only today have I come to terms with using the dinner table as my hopefully-permanent desk, and let me tell you: I really hope that now I can focus and actually do some work!*

So allow me to share my thoughts on working from home—today’s topic. Working from home is poop. Working from home from a perspective of a sugar-addict, is very poop since ice-cream is always at hand. Working from home from the perspective of a classical singer is all the poops—all those heart-warming videos of opera singers singing at the window is simply not how I work.

I still record some vocal tracks for some odd jobs that come, but recording inside a wardrobe is becoming too warm to stay for more than a couple of minutes. There is no other way, since my neighbour is now practising the accordion at random times, and these random times usually fall when I decide to record my singing.

So now what do I do? poop.

*I speak 4 days before my early-music notation deadline, 6 days before my dissertation deadline, 10-11 days before my recital presentation deadline (instead of a recital, I am giving a tutorial-like presentation on a Händel cantata I was meant to perform live).

Unlike the posts during isolation about (you guessed it) isolation, this post concerns pickles. You see, pickles, at least the ones I usually see in the shops, are in a vacuum-sealed jar that, once opened, are best eaten within [insert_a_period_of_time_that_no-one_pays_attention_to]. If not, the pickles turn rancid, really asking to be thrown out—but then you don’t want to do that because “What a waste of pickles this is…

Are you with me? Okay…let me start again. Pickles. They are closed in a jar…and should only be opened if absolutely necessary. If the jar is opened too soon and without reason, all the pickles will turn rancid.

So, don’t be like Frank, or Bob, or whoever decided that opening the jar without a reason won’t make a difference: stay indoors.*

*thanks.

Let us call this a “rational curse”.
It comes and goes, most often without warning.
It arrives suddenly and without reason, leaving you stuck in your rational thinking for a period you don’t quite know its length.
While the “curse” is active, your social behaviours are disabled, your basic necessities are not a priority and you certainly feel like a turd.

The “curse” lies in the psyche.
It lingers there but has effect in the whole body.

Here are a couple of things I have done that makes the “rational curse” hitch a hike for a while:
1. It will “hurt” to take a shower, but do it. Just jump in the shower.
2. Write a bullet-point list of the things you feel and perhaps give them a physiological name. For example, if you feel like crying, write: “a complex secretomotor phenomenon characterized by the shedding of tears from the lacrimal apparatus”* —okay, maybe not like this, but do give it a proper description. Perhaps if you’re feeling sadness, write a bit more on why you are feeling sad: what are the thoughts coming through your mind when you think of the word sadness? Yuck.
3. You know what? If you did the previous point, crumble that piece of paper and throw it away (recycle pls). You don’t need that list and if you didn’t do it, good, because what you need is to cook yourself a good meal (healthy pls).
4. While you eat, look out the window. Observe. Just look at stuff.
5. Because you took a shower, your hair is still wet. You know what dries hair really well? Wind. Put your shoes on and go outside. Perhaps you need something from the grocery store to cook that healthy meal and switch this point with point number 3. Fine.

By the time you’re done, the curse is lifted for the day. You have leeway to do some other stuff you’ve put aside. Do the same tomorrow.
Important: the key is to do each step as a separate thing. Don’t think ahead or at what you just did. Stay in the moment. Depression will eventually ease. Seek help from others, don’t be ashamed—I am not anymore.

*yes, that’s from wikipedia.

Sugar. Sweet white powder. You know, I didn’t realise how addictive it can be until I tried to quit. It is much like cigarettes (I’m also a quitter). Nowadays, it’s so hard not to turn your diet into a caveman-like one when you try to avoid sugary foods—sugary foods and all the other foods you would never think contains this white substance.

The bigger culprit is chocolate though. I just love it.

This post has no point. It is widely known that sugar is bad and bladibla. This is as much of a rant as it is not.*

*wow it’s been a while.

I am trying really hard here. Just why, why do we have nasal cavities (or the called sinuses)? Besides the obvious survival reason that I actually didn’t Google because I couldn’t care less, sinuses can go suck a lollipop.*

The existence of these sinuses was one of the reasons why I didn’t write for almost a week. Well, to be completely honest, that plus pure laziness. For me, sinusitis becomes the word of the week every couple of years. Symptoms include headaches, pain all over your cute face, cough, stuffiness, tissues all over the floor, kitchen roll replacing the tissues in a matter of hours, and finally, toilet paper also running out because your nose is no longer a nose but a hose.

So, after a full box of decongestants gone, some more paracetamol and after watching some suspicious YouTube tutorials like “How to unblock sinuses in 10 seconds!”, I am seeing the light. I am seeing that I purely and undoubtedly hate my sinuses. They can go suck a lollipop.*

*in reality, it could go suck something different, if you know what I mean.