Thursday, October 1, 2009

On world-view, philosophy, self-reflection...

Throughout our lives we reflect and reconsider our view of the world. For some of us this is a more... well, conscious, process than for others. And some of us can take to extremes of rationality or emotion in their consideration of the world they live in. Often such reflective moments are "triggered" by dramatic, or profound, or both, events in our lives.

For me, I have noticed an increase in reflective process recently. As for the profound events... Well, there have been plenty, directly with me personally, or indirectly with friends and family. But that's not exactly what this is supposed to be about. Not directly, anyway.

What I do want this to be about, is to express my appreciation of a piece of poetry I came across during some of my ruminations. It's called Desiderata, and to its writer, it expresses the "things", the qualities, in life that are to be desired.

While I may not agree with all things stated, I think he has a powerful point about balance in life, about pride in your achievements ("however humble"), and about moderation in most things.

Desiderata - (c) Max Ehrmann, 1927

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Taking a break from office-coffee

Coffee at our office is free. It's also horrible beyond description, but it's free. Now, at some point even the frugal Dutch predisposition will give way to stomach trouble bnd trembling hands if you keep drinking disgusting (but free) caffeinated swill.

So I caved in and bought me a piece of fruit and a can of this 'whole earth' organic (but sparkling) drink.

Now, I suspect a scam every time the concept of a 'wholesome' soda drink comes along. Often because they're either liquid sugar after all, or they have lots of artificial sweeteners, which I find even more disgusting than office-coffee.

But, I must admit, no added sugar or sweeteners in the ingredients and the taste ain't half bad... Cheers!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekend late-lunches

Ok, so 15:00 in the afternoon really isn't a time to have lunch anymore, but since 21:00 isn't a weird time for dinner here, neither is late lunch a problem.

Now, this weekend I've been hanging around in the Amoreiras shopping mall. Partly because I needed some groceries and stuff, and partly just to make sure I get out of my hotel.

Now in the food court in this place there is a 'Milano pastelaria' where I found, apart from a charming waitress (not in picture), a very nice combimation of Milanese on Swedish bread (in picture). And I swear I spotted a couple of Pannacotta's moving around that I definitely want to try next time.

Since it would seem I will be here in Lisbon for a few more weeks, perhaps I'll make it my regular lunch spot. For the exercise, and the food, of course... ;-)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wanted: exterminated

We've been trying to get our garden sorted. Nothing too fancy, but free from weeds would be a minimum. This we managed, at least for the short term, except for this little bugger.

It grows like a, well, weed, and we can't seem to get rid of it. Even the tiniest root-tip sprouts a new plant and after pulling them all, they're back within a week. They're also resistent to round-up, since they have no leaves.

Anyone got advice? We tried pulling, quartering, boiling, burning, poisoning and voodoo rituals.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The consistency of MacDonalds

So I have made the mistake of visiting a MacD twice, in the relatively short timespan of 6 weeks, but at geographically diverse locations (for the record, Lisbon, pt and Zurich, ch).

And the 'best' thing I have to say about it is that their quality is, indeed, consistent, where-ever you find them.

Both served me chewy, lukewarm, french fries, a soft drink that may have, at some time, been carbonated and a sandwhich that seemed a chemical byproduct from Union-Carbide.

So, while I seem to have difficulty in keeping to it, I, once again, vow to principally disregard MacD and chastise any one who suggests the name in the context of food.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

No mobile coverage in Portugal...

Well, there is, but no access to mobile data. Need to figure out how I can save my mobile blog updates to pc and then bulk-upload them... Anyway, I'm in Lisbon for about a month, trying to do some work in between sightseeing. Or was that the other way around?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

House, pt. 2

House needs a kitchen. So why not get a decent one...

House, pt 1

We're buying a house. Now? Yes, now.