Autumnal thoughts

Why do I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders?
It’s light.
It’s light when I cloth my soul in a different skin.

landscape photography, trees joined beside the sea
It’s light when I burst into blooms of colors and scent.
Why can we only love what we see but fail to see the fear that blinds us?

landscape photography, lemon in a lemon tree
A night of weary thoughts rushes in through my pores, and it’s not the darkness I fear, but fear itself.
Why do I feel the weight of time on my shoulders? Or more likely the lack of time that presses down ever so slowly, and ever so fast like the night pressing down on the setting sun.

street photography, bird in captivity
It’s light and I’ve been awake in my dreams. It’s time to fall back into the sleep of reality again until I convince fear to like me.

landscape photography, island in the sea with sunset

Food moods – Rainbow salad for rainy days

It’s been raining and the sky won’t change its grey tones.
Why not get a rainbow in my plate with this salad created as I go along.
food photography, salad with peanut butter
2 carrots grated,
1 courgette grated,
1 small red onion chopped,
a handful of rocket salad chopped,
1 red peper chopped,
crunchy sugarless organic peanut butter,
extra virgin olive olive oil,
handful of dried currants
Toss them together and see the sky change colours.

Once upon a time in Cnoc Fola

Once upon a time, there was a girl who dreamt of a specific place by the sea.

Cnoc Fola Festival, Donegal festivals

She did not know if the place was real, but that did not matter, as it was real for her.

crafts in Donegal, summer in Donegal

She had grown up in the high mountains of Transylvania and she loved the mountains.

seafood in Donegal, Cnoc Fola events

But she missed the salty fragrance of the sea, mixed with the scent of pine trees.

Story telling in Donegal, ancient crafts in Ireland

Books were describing this place, Bloody Foreland, as the last vestige of the ancient people of Tuatha de Dannan, where magic is still alive.

festivals in Donegal, wild atlantic way holidays

And she could see this place so clearly in her mind’s eye.

fish and seafood Donegal, Donegal people

Its colors and its people…

Teac Jack Donegal, Bloody Foreland Donegal

The dancing and the laughter…

Irish dancing Donegal, sean nos dancing

The crafts and the crops…

basket weaving, creel making Donegal,

mussels picking Donegal, fresh seafood Donegal

…but some say it was just a dream.

Concert for pots and pans

Reminiscent of an invitation to dine within the inner temple of the kitchen in the Oitavos Hotel in Cascais, I have to thank Chef Sebastian Fratye for such an experience.

fine dining at Chef's Table

It may not be overly exaggerated to view the experience of dining at the Chef’s Table as akin to that of a classical concert – sizzling pans, knives on cutting boards and bubbling pots weaving their melodies to produce a culinary crescendo – with the listener enjoying the benefit of ‘tasting the music’ afterwards.

dinner at The Oitavos Hotel Portugal

Extending the metaphor, an overture of black eyed bean salad with dried tuna and a sprinkling of red pepper and red onion swerved as a prelude to greater things to come, the salty tuna complementing the earthy, full-bodied beans.

people in kitchen of Portugal hotel

A second starter of sweetbreads and crawfish in a tarragon and Muscatel sauce was a fine example of how almost anything can be combined if knowledge and skill is aplenty.

gourmet eating in Portugal

Then came the soft, mellow tones of scallop, lightly kissed on a hot pan flavored with butter, garlic, coriander, mustard and lemon confit – a well-performed adagio.

kitchen of restaurant in Portugal

And the climactic finale – 40-day matured Portuguese Black Angus steak accompanied by an aromatic Douro red wine from Vila Regia, which Nuno Antunes, the F&B manager, said emerged from the vineyards the Champalimaud family own in northern Portugal. The encore: a dark chocolate dessert that literary opened its petals before us as pastry chef Joaquim de Sousa delicately dripped his sweet, creamy sauce over it.

pastry chef decorating desert

If you did not believe in magic before, watch this. And if you did, you see how right you are.

The way of the menhir

I have touched the silent menhirs in Carnac, Brittany several years ago and I left with more questions than I came with.

I needed to try my hand again, in Portugal, just outside the beautiful Evora, where the Almendres form one of the most interesting megalithic monuments on the Iberian Peninsula.

I rushed my pace to get to the stones, up the narrow, tormented path, until I thought I heard a whisper…

…ever so soft, almost as if someone was getting ready to say something.

There was no wind. But when I looked around, something fell into place, when my eyes began to delight in the details at the side of the road.

So I spent about one hour on a 15 minutes walk and remember every second…

That soft voice must have been a better self, trying to teach me… Where was I rushing to? The stones had been there for thousands of years, they were not going anywhere and their stories were outside themselves.

They just drew the stories strongly towards them, with their mysterious apparent silence.

But they are shouting for those who can hear: “on the way to the menhir, it is the road, not the destination.”

Instant perspective of heterotopias of time

Airports can be such a contrasting combinations. On one side, they are cold, characterless warehouses, with no soul – we never spend enough time there to leave too much of ourselves.

In the same time, they can be nests of spiritual gatherings, hosting such a diversity of humans with all the hopes they carry while inhabiting them.


And if you start paying attention at the people queuing at the security control, most of us are walking like in a trance, maybe even some kind of meditation. And when you start listening to some of the things people say, you might just get an instant perspective of the beauty of the human mind –

…it’s like putting your life back again,” says a man giving me a smile while he is gathering his belongings after passing through the security machine.
…we have to die so new little people can grow again, right mamy?” A small little girl says while pulling at a large briefcase towards the conveyor belt.

…if you are to choose only five words to define you, what would those be?” The dark-haired girl asks her boyfriend while he is taking his computer out of his bag to put it in the tray. He looks at her and asks her if she took out her toiletries bag. She smiles.


Are airports heterotopias of time? Can we connect better with each other if we rationalize that we are constantly in an airport?


Escaping reality in reality

There is something comforting about hotel lobbies. Like being in front of a portal to a world where you are simply a guest. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA No commitments, no expectations, no definite plans. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I am here just for a while, I don’t need to own this place to enjoy it. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I take in the scent of overpowering restroom airfreshners – which I would never use at home – and I vibrate with  the expectations of discovering the place. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Why do I feel so good about this blissful uncertainty and change completely once the holiday is over? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Our whole lives are temporary stop-overs in places we call ‘homes’. Do we really enjoy them better because we give them a permanent status? Because they are full of stuff we call ‘our own?’


Or we need our homes to have something to escape from? Or it’s me, a constant escapist, somewhere over the rainbow when I’m not behind a photograph? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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