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Portugese Patterns

portuguese tiles

ceramic tile

Portugal has been one of those few European countries to which for some reason both my husband and myself never had been to. We had often been very close by, in Spain, we had seen pictures, heard recounts and read articles though. According to them, every pore and place of this history laden little country sounded fantastic, and a few weeks back we finally decided to go see for ourselves and travel to Portugal.

What a great decision this was! Even though our expectations were high, we did not get disappointed in any way. The cities are charmful and pictuesque, full of art and beauty stories, the villages and landscapes ever changing, rural and genuine. There’s colors and gardens and architectural styles, orchards and green spaces and traditions. The people act calm, friendly and helpful towards strangers, and seem like a happy and serene bunch between themselves.

pulpo

vineyards in the duoro

And the food, oh the glorious food, is an entire story on its own. Portugese food is down to earth and does, what food first and foremost used to be and (at least there, how refreshing to witness) still is intended to do: It nourishes. Both the body and the soul, and abundantly so. There is little Froufrou in Portugese food, and much honesty. Animals and plants are used in their entiety. So one will get served pig ears instead of just the loin, turnip greens instead of just turnip, or tiny, whole fishes, eyes, fins and all. Continue reading “Portugese Patterns” »

Pictures on my Fridge #6 – So many Smiles

yearly bicycle plate, 1986, bern canton

This photograph reminds me of so many happy things at once. Even though it only is a tiny picture, it puts a lot of smiles on my face.

The red, metal plate used to hang on the back of my bike during the year of 1986. It was a mandatory registration of bicycles in Switzerland, and cost 5 Swiss Franks every year to get renewed. Back then this plate didn’t mean much to me. But now it reminds me of how often I used my bike, all the places it took me, how much I loved riding my bike. In 86 my bike was a heavy, dutch, black Raleigh bike. Old fashioned even back then, but I loved it. It was all I had wished for my birthday first and then Christmas in 1980. I named it Sokrates, and I took it everywhere. Or vice versa.

BE stands for Bern, which refers to the canton I grew up and until the age of 18 lived in. Bern is a region with great diversity, and I am a very patriotic “Berner” girl. The canton not only hosts the city of Bern, the capital of Switzerland, which is an incredibly rich in history and beautiful to stroll through. It also consists of the Bernese Alps, rolls over to the hills of Jura, into the mellow and dreamy Emmental. Aaahhh, my Bern. Or, as I like to say: Bärn han i gärn! (I love Bern.)

1986 was a great year for me personally and in every aspect. That year cradles wonderful experiences, relationships, moments, memories and travels.

The little bike is a present my youngest crafted for me. It reminds me of his creativity, spontaneity and genuine love. What ever comes to his mind he will try to express with / in paper, tape, card board and colors. He is a true inspiration and I am that lucky person that always can count with the next surprise.

There’s a lot of red in that picture, and I love red. It energizes me, it strengthens me and it simply makes me happy.

The sushi magnet, even though only partly in the picture, represents serenity. I love to eat sushi, yes and of course and this, by now, you might know. But this magnet stands for more. There is my deep appreciation for Japanese food art in general. My enormous curiosity and attraction to Japan as a country, source of history, society, land of nature, beauty, art and fascinating discipline. When I think of Japan, when I remember moments and travels in and through Japan, I instantly get into a state of energetic calmness. I want to go, I want to create, I want to learn. But I am not nervous, I am very calm and confident.

That’s why I love staring at this little picture.

A Concise History Of Japan

history of japan

Very precise. All about details. All I want to know.