.: Home… is where the heart is :.

Everyone says: home is where the heart is. I totally agree and I have to say my heart is in so many places. Home…. once born in South Portugal, that was what I thought it was going to be my forever home:

This is home! My feet on the wet sand with the sound of the waves breaking slowly as my soundtrack. The smell of the sea, the sound of the seagulls and the boats. If I close my eyes I can easily imagine myself back.

Home was also to go to the mountains and jump between the rocks and climb trees with my sis and my dad

We had a fair amount of outdoors life when growing up and amazing weather! Looking back I feel privileged!

Then I went to uni when I was 17th and moved to Lisbon, which was my home for 8 years! I love Lisbon! This is where most of my friends live and where we’ve started to live together almost 10 years ago.

It means Fado, it means Saudade…. oh I miss it quite a lot! It’s quite funny because since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to live in Lisbon. Every time I go back now it feels like holiday, but still comes harder and harder to come back. Regardless where I am in the world, a big part of my heart will always be in Lisbon!

I also know I’ll be back one day, just a matter of when

Then more than 5 years ago I moved to London and whereas the first year was getting used to it, it started to feel like home.

It’s amazing to live in such a multicultural city surrounded by historical monuments around us. Ever since I moved to South West London, I do feel at home here. I love Chiswick, Kew & Richmond. Love the gardens and the pubs.

I’ve also spent 2 years in Bristol, which I could easily call home as well. The whole lifestyle, people enjoying life a bit more, socialising and being more friendly than in London was something I could easily adapt to

So I have to admit my heart is broken with all this #Brexit topic, because I never believed it would happen at all. The place which I’m calling home might no longer be so in the years to come. I can imagine the pain of the people being sent “home” feel heartbroken when home is precisely where they are. Hard to see a country being broken apart fuelled by lies and blindness.

So who knows what home might be tomorrow, at least I had the joy of considering a few places like home. All of them will always be special to me 🙂

 

.: Home :.

After quite an emotional post here, time to share the photos from Christmas day.

Ok, maybe I need to explain what Christmas means for me at home. It means being all together, in peace (and although this might be taken as granted, it’s not always the case), and following the traditions of a lifetime and making a few on the way.

We start by celebrating Christmas on the 24th Dec Eve (Consoada), which is when the family gathers around the table. Before that normally means buying “bolo rei” (our traditional cake) and wrapping last minute presents. For me it means recheck all the stuff I’ve brought with me from London.

This year we had a Cod-war. This was one of the traditions we’ve decided to break a few years ago. Rather than having the traditional boiled and boring cod (see more about Portuguese christmas tradition here) we’ve decided to try different ones. Last year we had baked cod with clams which is absolutely delicious. My dad wanted to ensure we would have a good dinner with no surprises therefore he wanted to prepare the same. Not my sister though. She loves surprises and trying different food. She wanted a special cod baked in corn-bread. It seemed like a complicated recipe, and it really was. While my dad had finished dinner we were still half way there with ours. But it was good fun to try to prepare something together. (If you can read Portuguese this is the recipe)

Cod Nr 1 – declared the winner of the night – Cod with clams

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Cod nr 2 – It was really good and an interesting mix, but we should have baked the sweet potatoes at the bottom a bit better. I’m sure we’ll improve next time.

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My sister also did a lemon tart.

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We also have port wine after the meal (there’s always a good reason to have Port). Rather than sharing gifts on the eve, we all go to bed and leave it for next morning. When we were kids we used to wake up really early and jump in our parents bed with all the excitement of the presents. Nowadays it’s my dad that wakes us up. We had breakfast together than we pick my grandparents and group in the living room to open the presents. But there’s another twist here. We don’t open all at the same time. No. Tradition at home says that it’s the oldest that starts first and we all wait for each other. We all like it that way 🙂

After lunch as a family (yap even more food), we normally go out for a walk on the beach. The perks of being a south Portuguese. The weather, much like in London, was really mild and luckily quite sunny too.

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And I couldn’t resist photographing my sister and the new hat

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Next day it was time to get back into the UK. Once I was back in London, we’ve ended up preparing Cod for the 2 of us as well. So Cod nr 3 is a kind of a tortilla and a well know traditional dish (bacalhau a bras).

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How do you celebrate your Christmas? Any special moment or memory you would like to share?