Summertime, and the living was easy - an ode to long, hot, blissful Summer days, and oh, those Summer nights!
Last week was somewhere between spectacular and a hurricane. The weather was spectacular, and the week completely flew by, like a hurricane. When I think back on it, I can't even figure out where did time go, what on earth did I do all week long, how come it's already monday again? I mean, it was a week that completely blazed by in every sense. For starters, it was my son's first week on his looooong Summer hols. Yep, this country seems to have about three months long of Summer vacay for the kids in my son's age range. It is when I confront myself with these realities that I hold up my hands and give thanks that I can afford to be a stay at home mom. Because the money most parents have to spend in activities for their children whenever there are school breaks... it is quite daunting and scary. Hooray for not having to do that.
But keeping a child entertained for three long months can be quite a task, especially when you need to have a life as well - though there's plenty of people who feel that whatever woman who chooses to be a stay at home mum has no right to life other than the care of her children. With temps as high as they were, leaving the house after eleven in the morning was a definite no-no. So we wanted to go to the park early in the morning, while it was still cool and fresh and shadowy. Most parks near me open their gates at ten a.m., half past nine in some cases. Still, we figured that we could take an hour at the park and then be home by half past eleven, and the heat would not be that bad. Oh boy, were we wrong.
Besides the heat being out of this world - or maybe I just wasn't used to that kind of heat anymore, last year we had such a cold and dreary Summer it didn't even feel like Portugal! - the worst was not even that. The worst thing in the world for me is going somewhere like a park in order to walk around, tree gaze, relax, enjoy the silence and the cool shade, be around nature, and have it all ruined by the park gardeners working with very noisy machinery the whole time you're there. I know they have to do their jobs, and as I suffer with extreme heat so do they, and if it is better and easier for me to go to the park in the early morning to avoid heat waves, it must be easier for them to do their work at those hours as well. I get that. I just don't get the screaming from one to the other, the constant shouting, the swearing and cursing and the language used in high pitched voices so everyone around could hear, even the kids inside the park. I'm sorry but I don't get that, and am not ok with it. I don't want my child exposed to lurid and obscene conversations, tales told in loud voices of what this one did to that, and the words they use to describe it al... please, get a hold. Be at least professional.
Thus the park became quite uninteresting, and what with the blazing sun scorching the hell out of us by half past ten every morning, we stayed in the rest of the week. I was really scared of that, thinking the kid would go to extremes of pure annoyance and boredom, but... how wrong I was. We cooked together. Then we styled our cookings for photos. We took those photos. We played around at being food bloggers and pastry chefs, and ate our concotions, we made lunch together, we shared the sweetest, plumpest, prettiest cherries out of bowls, we talked four hours, we watched movies together. In the early afternoons, when the heat was unbearable, we opened the windows wide and sat on the sofa and the day bed, and we read. I haven't read for so many hours non stop since I was in my early twenties, I believe. And now that the kid can read by himself, it is such a treat to just sit down with a book, the two of us, letting the world outside move slowly in the daze of the Summer sunshine, while we cuddle up amidst soft pillows, inside a house that's still quite fresh, reading our hearts away.
Then he'd play with his legos and I worked on the blog - yes, worked, even though I don't make money out of it, I consider it work - I edited pictures, jotted down new recipes, wrote some posts, visited ther blogs, replied to comments (I really hate it when bloggers do not reply to comments on their blogs, I find that so rude, I mean, come on, even if you're a very busy person when someone visits your blog and asks you a direct question on something pertaining to the post, please, do answer, it doesn't take that much time. Mimi Thorisson has about seven kids and a sort of a farm to manage and she replies to all the comments on her blog!) and emails, browsed my Pinterest, surfed my Instagram. Then we'd get started on dinner, quite early somedays, allowing for the food to cook slowly, over a low heat, with the flavours infusing inside the pots and pans, we even went for recipes that were more complicated than usual, more time consuming, because we could afford to. When Hugo got home, he'd make the best sangria ever - the secret is using wine that has been infusing with vanilla pods - and the salad, we'd sit down to eat and talk of our day, then I'd do the dishes and we'd go out for long walks, the evenings being warm and gentle and begging for that kind of entertainment.
We'd walk arund the block, or down to the town center, we'd take old routes we used to take when the kid was attending kindergarten, we'd go down to the beach and walk the causeway to and fro, with a warm breeze just caressing our hair, with the last rays of the dying sun kissing our skin, with the pinks and ornages and blues of a magnificent sunset over the river just in front of us. And we'd come home exhausted and yet energized, happy to be together, to enjoy these simpe moments in eahc other's company, and the kid would change into his pijamas while I massaged his tiny feet with hydrating lotion, and he'd drink his milk and I'd read him a story as usual, and he'd go straight into a deep sleep from which he'd wake up only next morning by nine a.m., and we grown ups would settle down on the couch to watch Poirot - oh joy, oh treat!! - and nibble fresh cherries by the dozen, in a state of blissful tiredness that brought nights of heavenly sleep. This was what last week looked like, and I frankly cannot wait for this week to look a bit like that all over again!