I got a new niece last thursday. Little Heloísa was born healthy and has the distinction of being the first baby in the family to be born with lots of hair ;)
It was fun doing this last year, so I thought I’d continue…
We watched the arrival of the Three Kings in Barcelona, walked along the beach in Barcelona, went to the calçots festival in Valls and happened upon the wonderful monastery of Poblet along the way, and discovered the little town of Arenys de Mar – more pics here.
In March Alan and I went to Girona for a bit of a research trip, where we also had some amazing food and I became tempted to find a project that would allow me to spend a year in that amazing city
Last month in Barcelona – we visited friends in Mataró and otherwise simply hanged out in Barcelona
Back in Canada after 13 months in Spain! We stayed with our friends Pearl and Al for the first two weeks and then left for Brazil to visit my family. While we were at Pearl’s, she took us to Todmorden Mills and Bufflers Park.
We moved into our new apartment and enjoyed summer in TO; I invented some cool salads and we had a blast at the Pride Parade.
We celebrated Canada Day at the harbourfront and visited Montreal, where we had to spend a few hours at the market. We also went on the first of many photo shoots with Mel and discovered Ireland Park.
A great month in Canada. We cycled quite a bit, watched the opening of the CNE, and I got into black & white photography.
September was back-to-school month. Super busy, no time to go out and take pictures. But it was also the month I got my piercing and Alan got his tattoo.
Halloween month! So of course we checked out the action at Church street and I got some good pictures
It seems all I did between November and December was mark papers and exams. But there was also a snowstorm in TO and our trip to Barcelona and Paris!
And 2008 arrived like this:
My grandmother passed away this afternoon. She was the last of my grandparents still alive and quite a remarkable woman. I wrote about her not too long ago. Although we were never the kind to sit and have intimate conversations, we have always had a very special relationship. My older brother and I were the first grandchildren of the family and while my brother was my grandfather’s favourite, my grandmother always had a soft spot for me. She was pretty much the undisputed matriarch of the family and I grew up in awe of her. I have just found out about her death, so it doesn’t feel quite real yet. She was 91. The picture above was from my last visit, back in May.
Update: For those of you who read Portuguese, my brother wrote a nice post about my grandmother. I couldn’t have said it better. Thank you for all those who left messages here. I appreciate it. As my brother said, knowing that my grandmother isn’t really gone and that she’s still around watching over us is a great consolation. Once I’m back in Toronto and have had time to digest it all, I’ll write something in her honour.
Our year in Barcelona was truly amazing. We traveled around, visited many places I have studied, I collected thousands of documents for my thesis, my cooking has greatly improved, my Spanish improved dramatically and I now understand Catalan well. Barcelona is an incredible city, so creative and alive that kept us buzzed with ideas all the time. Yet, the most important thing we got out of our year here was the number of incredible friends we have made. We feel we have made friendships that will last our lifetime… It was really a life-changing experience for us. The people I have met here really broadened my horizons, made me think in new ways, gave me so much that I’ll never be able to repay them.
Today we had a lunch party with about 15 of our closest friends here. They hailed from all parts.
From Catalunya: Pau & Mireia, Eli & her boyfriend; Mexico: Jesús, Citlali; Uruguay: Andres (who taught me to make mate! more on that later…); Germany: Sebastian, Sylvie; India: Jacquie; Canada: Joy; Australia: Zephyr; Chile: Francisca; Andalusia (Spain): Carmen; Brasil: Carmem
I was very proud of all the food we made. For starters Sebastian made a cured Salmon filet, and I prepared some fresh veggies with dip. Lunch consisted of Chicken Marbella (a recipe I got from a professor in Canada), Basmati rice, Gratin de Chou-Fleur, Fennel salad with red peppers & green onions, Spinach salad with pinenuts and honey-balsamic dressing. Desserts were completely Catalan: Flam de Mató, Mel i Mató (both from Granja Viader, the oldest dairy house in Barcelona and home of the best mató in town), Musik (dried nuts), all served with heaps of dessert wines (Muscatel in a porrón, icewine, orange wine…). Pau has made Alan an honorary Catalan citizen for his expertise with the porrón and will be sending him a Catalan ID card soon ;)
In usual fashion, we sat down to eat at around 3 pm and the first ones left at 8:45 pm while the rest trickled our around 11:30 pm. We had an amazing time with everyone and will hold each and everyone of them in our hearts when we leave…
[note: tomorrow I’ll post pictures here]
Chicos, espero veros todos en Canada un dia!!! Volveremos a Barcelona pronto!!
She’s three now and she has been the most talkative person any of us have ever met since she began forming full sentences at the age of one… Can’t wait to see her in May.
My cousin Otavia started decorating cakes when still in her teens. She enjoyed doing really complicated designs that took days to finish and as she grew older she started decorating cakes for family and friends. That was her hobby. As a profession she got a law degree and started working as a lawyer in a family law firm but her heart was not in it. I always thought she should devote herself to her cake decorating business and I’ve now heard that’s the way she has decided to go. She’s only 27 and I’m sure she’ll be quite successful!
She has recently started a blog dedicated to her cake decorating, click here to see it. Here are some of her recent creations:
The cake above was done for the birthday party of a two-year old girl who loves her Maltese dogs. Notice how the candles were incorporated into the design.
This one was done for the birthday of someone who was into crafts, particularly patchwork. It’s one of my favourites!
Isn’t she amazing? I’m very proud of my little cousin…
Alan has written a little tribute to our friends. I just wanted to say that I agree with him 100% and would like to add these pictures to the ones he posted:
With the exception of two of these, these are all friends whom we don’t see much anymore because they are either moving or have already moved to different places. But we know they’ll always be our friends ;)
Bruna is a Brazilian web designer who spent many years in France and now lives here in Barcelona. Cris is a Brazilian chemist, who lives in Paris where she does a master in chemistry and works for L’Oreal. We first met in the blogosphere and today we met in person for the first time.
I discovered Bruna’s blog when I was searching for info on living in Barcelona. Somehow her blog came up and I got hooked right away. She seems to be a very positive and adventuresome person, and we would post the odd comment on each other’s blog. She’s also a great writer. I’ve discovered Cris’s blog through Bruna’s site recently and have enjoyed reading her impressions of Paris, a city I love.
Bruna and I have been trying to get together for a while and with Cris in town for a few days, we decided to grab the opportunity and have lunch together. We went to Wushu (no, it’s not the only restaurant in this city! this time it was Bruna’s fault; she suggested it) for lunch where Cris and I had the special of the day:
Curry rojo con ternera & boniatos (red curry with beef & sweet potatoes)
While Bruna had this wonderful dish:
Curry verde con vierias & gambas (green curry with shrimp & scallops) [must have it next time, it looked very yummy]
For dessert, we all had the dessert that came with the special of the day:
Tatin de manzana con gelado de coco (Apple pie with coconut ice cream)
We walked out very happy and I wish I could have gone with them to explore the city. Alas, I had to work…
But now that I know where Bruna lives and since she swims very near where I work, maybe we can get together more often ;)
Alan and I wish all our friends, family, and occasional visitors to this blog a very happy holiday season – be it Christmas, Hannukah, Kwaanza, etc – and may 2007 be filled with new discoveries, happy moments, exciting adventures, a healthy lifestyle, and peaceful interactions ;)