Artist of the day: Mike Deere

Dear all,

Here’s something a friend of mine shared with me yesterday.

I literately spent a good 25 minutes admiring each photo of this explorer/photographer, named Mike Deere on his project Sense of Place; and a good hour and something minutes on his entire blog.

Very few photographers manage to capture the simplicity of places and/or things and turn ‘em into something big. Mr Deere here shows exactly that – his photos are humble, artistic and has an unique touch to them!

Places like these although hidden and unusual may be overlooked (or avoided!) and at times even taken for granted. I’d even say that these are the places I would only imagined as being created by the Hollywood film studios. You know, those sort of places you can find in action/horror/sci-fi movies you watch on the screen because they are simply unreal! Moreover, these places in their own greatness reminds us again of how “small” we become when facing them.

Hard to put them in words and you must be thinking and quite right, that I’m struggling to express myself here. Oh well, I guess this is not really important as what matters is how we each feel when seeing these photos!

So herewith some taster of what he does and does very well. If these photos can too mesmerize you, then I can say that I’ve already won the day!

 DerelictionMore from source here

AdventurersMore from source here

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More from source here

Doesn’t it just lure you to find and be in these places? For being so secluded, almost so out of reach? It certainly has this effect on me. :)

“Happiness will follow…”

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Back to the routine

Dear all,

How was your Easter break? Hope it was great!

Mine was fabulosa! Simply because I got to spend it at my home sweet home, in Portugal. :)

So I flew back home for a week for a well deserved break with my dear ones. Cannot believe how time flies over there, especially spending every single day out and about, it felt like I wasn’t gone for long…

But as they say “good things must come to an end” so has my short break. Meh! But oh how I enjoyed it!

Most of my spending money has gone to food. Portuguese food is another level of delicious! Especially on festive seasons such as Christmas or Easter. Due to religious beliefs as being a very Catholic country, Portuguese families go through what we call the Quaresma em Jejum (40 days of Lent Period) when it lasts for the whole 40 days commencing on Wednesday Ash Day and ending on Easter day when Christians remember the death of Jesus Christ.

I’m not going into much details so I’m just going to highlight the basics. During this time, food consumption is reduced to smaller portions or even having their meals cut to once a day (usually for the evening meal) in order to repent and focus on praying and meditating Jesus’ last journey in the desert where he went through the Devil’s temptation up until his death.

There’s a tendency to avoid the consumption of meat and vegetables on Portuguese tables which is considered to be a luxurious treat. Instead, only fish, bread and water are allowed during the Lent period. Reason being that this is the period when Christians live in a more humble lifestyle, in penitence of one’s own faults and sins.

At our home, it is more simple and not as hard since my mum is a strict vegetarian anyway and she often frowns upon seeing either meat or fish in her fridge. We then stick to our vegetarian regime and only I and the auntie and uncle who are staying at ours would eat fish, but only once a day. I (sort of) started my own Lent regime in the UK (with many failed days of eating more than I should) and then carried on when I arrived in Portugal on Good Friday, only that that time I followed my mum’s regime instead.

As the Lent period finished on Easter Day, you can just imagine what I ate from then on… I dived in all the goodies I could find – BitoqueBacalhau no Forno, Peixe Espada Grelhado, Feijoada, Carapau GrelhadoBolo de Arroz, etc etc.

I know, I know, I am now paying for my own greed by being extra careful with what I eat now and going 4 x a week to the gym. Everything was so worthwhile though that I am actually still feeling mellow for being back to the UK.

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Sintra

Every time I go to Portugal, I feel like I’m a different person – I’m more relaxed, easy going and errrm slow? Let me explain – life here in the UK it’s a bit rushed, well maybe except for the weekends. But even now, I feel like I always have things to do during weekends. Not in Portugal, where I take my own time to get to places, do my things. Maybe it’s a Portuguese thing?

I feel as if there’s a whole different aura surrounding me, the environment is definitely different from what I am used to here in UK. Even the people, the way they lead their lives, it’s very laid back.

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While being there, I enjoy my “loner time” too - time when I just stop to take everything in and just appreciate being home. Now, whenever I go back I definitely don’t take it for granted! I would spare a few hours when I’d go off on my own with the car and just relax by the beach or places where I grew up in, just reminiscing everything.

Another new thing I got to try was to add different fruits to my morning smoothies. Though I’m not a big fan of any tropical fruits, my mum managed to convince me to add papaya onto my smoothie. It didn’t taste bad but unfortunately I won’t be able to do it as often here in the UK as we seldom have fresh and organic papaya or many other tropical fruits in our supermarkets. Could try in our local markets though, fingers crossed I’ll be able to find something.

As many are aware, avocados are not my favourite fruit either however I’m aware of its nutritional content so I’ve made it as my must have ingredient in my smoothie. Thankfully, we have an avocado tree along with orange and lemon trees in our backyard. This enables me to save some extra money on buying fruits.

Since young, I’ve always loved climbing trees and still do! Modesty aside, I am very good at it. Hihi! So, every morning I’d climb the tree and pick an avocado and an orange for my smoothie. Not that it even needs climbing as it’s not very high anyway, but just for the sake of the old times, I’d do it! ;) In terms of taste, I found a significant difference between the taste of the avocado from the supermarket (where I usually buy here) and freshly picked from the tree.

They definitely taste much better than the ones bought in the supermarkets and you can tell they are naturally produced as well. Our oranges are smaller and more sour than the ones found in the supermarkets where we can often find them bigger, bright in orange colour and very sweet. Might be due to not being completely ripe yet but mum says that tree of ours does not produce sweet oranges anyway. Nonetheless, they are still natural! ;)

Abacate

I then just add other fruits/veggies bought by my mum such as mango, apple, papaya spinach and cucumber.

After that I always spent the day out and about. Whether locally, by the beach or meeting and catching up with friends or just exploring the beautiful Lisbon city and Sintra. I’ve been a few nights out as well in Bairro Alto, Lisbon, a very popular place to go out at night and Marina de Cascais, popular among  the people who live across the coastal line.

I also made sure I had a bit of time to go shopping too, of course! :) Clothes in Portugal are cheaper than in UK so I bought myself some jeans, shorts, dresses and sandals.

On my last day, I spent it between Carcavelos (my hometown) and Lisbon with friends as mum was busy with her own things. At night my friends and I went to Chiado for an evening meal and then to Terreiro do Paço to watch an amazing 3D video mapping show.

My friends, family and auntie and uncle from Melbourne, Australia (they have come to Portugal for personal business and holiday and are staying at ours) have contributed for this holiday to be memorable, as always. And for that, I feel blessed and grateful every single day! ^.^

Now that I am back, I’m still finding it a challenge to force my body to get back to the routine. But little by little, I’m sure my body will get used to it again. Good thing is that I am now reunited with my four-paw bff Lance. How I missed him! And apparently he was struggling not having me around, bless…

My house mate has said that he would spend hours in my room waiting for my return. It really broke my heart when I heard this. But I promised him I will spend more time with him during these next few days.

Lancelot

That’s it from me today. Have a lovely rest of the week!

“Happiness will follow…”

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Saving the best for the last: fishing in Rosendal

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Fishing Rosendal

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Isn’t Norway just beautiful? I along with friends and my beau spent a week there for a mini-holiday at a friend’s grandma’s house back in February. It was absolutely beautiful! ♥

These photos won’t do any justice to the beauty of the place. But despite not having my pro camera with me, I did my best to capture the best moments out of the trip (some photos were “stolen” from friends).

I always knew Scandinavian countries were quite something but never thought I’d spend my entire trip going ohhhh-ahhh all the time to everything I saw! Minus the cold, the trip couldn’t have gone better and this is a promise I’ll make to myself now – I will come back, only this time I’ll probably go to Sweden/Denmark instead! :)

This is the last part of our trip: when we went up to Rosendal to experience fishing Norwegian style. Such an experience that was! I really want to do it again, maybe it would have been more enjoyable if it wasn’t that cold. Nonetheless, we had such a great time and everything was so new to many of us.

The local people are all very nice too! We felt so welcomed in their land and you can tell how proud they are of their country and culture. They were also amazing guide tours to us! :)

So this is my Sunday post, a reminisce of last month’s trip to beautiful Norway! There will be more from where these came from!

See you in my next post my lovelies!

“Happiness will follow…”

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