WISHING YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM BRAGA, PORTUGAL.
"FELIZ NATAL E UM PROSPERO ANO NOVO"
SEE YOU NEXT YEAR WITH SOME GOOD NEWS! 😊
Two days ago, following our language lesson, we went walking around the historic area and decided to stop at A Brazileira for a glass of wine. The temperature was mild, so we could sit at an outside table, and we were also lured by the sound of music.
Meanwhile, how about you? Do enjoy street performances? Street art?
|The stage before the musicians|
came in. You can see that, for 7
musicians, the instruments were
|Rajan being shown our|
seats before the main
|A staircase to the next|
leverl (there are three
|This is an elegant theater|
as you can see. Red and
ivory and gold, with
paintings and sculptures.
|And the magificent ceiling. This |
theater is over 150 years old
I'm posting some pictures of the pedestrian/tourist part of Avenida da Liberdad. I had posted some earlier, last March, shortly after we arrived. This is what it looked llike then: the planting had been done in the winter and similar plants were in various gardens around the historic area of Braga.
On another note, I may have mentioned that 2 months ago (approximately) I fell at night and injured my shoulder. Nothing was broken, but a ligament was torn and after more x-rays and ultra-sounds and an appointment with a physical therapy consultant, my physical therapy program started this Tuesday.
I've had three sessions, an hour or a little more each, and they were fascinating. I was expecting someone to raise my arm, move it back and forth, or something like that. Much like what the PT Consulting doctor did. Instead, there were five phases. First a machine administered an electrical analgesic through two pads, one on each side of the joint. After about 20 minutes, different pads were placed and for about 15 minutes a deep tissue massage was administered, again electrically. After that, an ointment of some kind was externally administered to the area of the tendon and surrounding muscles to regernerate the tissue. That's right: It regenerates tissue. That was followed by a manual massage of all the surrounding muscles and tissue. Last, I was given a rubber strap to pull between my hands in three sessions of 10 pulls.
That was Tuesday. Wednesday I did that and then raised a lightweight pole in three sets of 10 times. I did both those exercises at home Wednesday - no PT because our language lesson occurs at the same time. Then I had PT again today, with a new exercise: pressing a rubber ball the size of a toy soccer ball against the wall, and then rolling it in circles. I had to do that with both hands, to keep building up the muscles. Altogether there will 15 sessions. I do have to say, already my shoulder feels much better.
Here you see my PT "home equipment." The briefcase in the back holds my binder of Portuguese language lessons.
How about you? Have you ever had to have physicall therapy for an injury? If you have a garden, do you plant different plants for each season?
I finished this draft of my mystery and sent it off to my beta readers (all excellent critiquers - they catch all my errors; the ones I can't spot anymore because I've read the manuscript too many times.) So we shall see what work remains to be done.
Meanwhile, I'm kicking back and doing some reading - two new Sherlock Holmes pastiches by two of my favorite writers. And I'm enjoying Braga life once more (as opposed to "huddled over my keyboard" life.) Last Sunday was a special day for two reasons: Rajan and I attended a terrific Fado concert, and later that evening I had a Zoom poetry reading with poets back in Sacramento! I posted about it on my Facebook Timeline, and am pasting a copy of the post below:
"Yesterday I had two wonderful experiences: In the afternoon, Rajan and I went to a Fado concert, 'Fado Solidário,' at Altice Forum, half a mile from our flat. It was fabulous! 7 fadistas, 3 men, 4 women, all with marvelous voices. It was a fundraiser for a school for challenged young people and adults. The students were worked into the program both in the beginning song and during the finale, when they presented roses to the performers. They did a terrific job. Our friend and teacher, Fadista Marisa da Luz had told us about it. Thanks, Marisa! I only took one picture (above) of the two guitarists. I wish I had though to take more, but I was too busy being spell bound.
"The second wonderful experience was that I had a poetry reading via Zoom with poets in Sacramento! How great it was to see familiar faces from the poetry groups I used to attend! The president of the Chaparral group, Rick Costa, organizes readings regularly, but usually they are too late for me to listen in. He posts videos of the readings later (that I can listen to here, since they are usually evening performances in Sacramento). For this reading, he set a special time - 12 noon in CA, 8 pm here - and I read from my book, "Saudade," as well as some additional poems from my WIP, "Dreaming of Galicia." This was my very first poetry reading, and truth to tell, I was nervous about it ahead of time, but then all those friendly faces put me at ease. So this was an experience to savor. Thank you, Rick!"
Meanwhile, for those of you in the Sacramento Area, here is a link you can go to if you are interested in the society. Membership is $20/year and you get invited to their zoom events - with no problems regarding time zones :-) Here is the LINK
Before I leave, here is a picture from the small bridge overlooking the Rio Este (East River), a short walk from our house, where a scene takes place in my new mystery, Deadly Verse.
I hope this finds all visitors to the site safe and well from the virus and doing well with all the precautions that have to be taken. Portugal has a vaccination rate in the high 90%s, and so restrictions have been lifted, although indoors social distancing is still advised, and at events like the concert above, masks are required. But we still wear our masks on the street and I would say about 50% of the population still does, too; at least here in Braga.
Meanwhile, how about your favortite pastimes. Do you enjoy concerts? Do you like poetry? Do you write poetry? And what is your favorite reading genre?
Which is why I'm not posting. And I have all these pictures of Portugal I want to share!
My muse says otherwise, though. "Thou must write, and get to it right now, okay?"
The good news is that I'M ALMOST FINISHED WITH MY BOOK. I expect to finish this draft next week and send it to my beta readers. Oh Happy Day.
News about the arm? Ultra sound seems to confirm tendon damage. I see my orthopedic surgeon Wednesday, but at last meeting, when he order the ultra sound, he seemed to feel physical therapy can suffice. Thank goodness.
Hope all is going well with all of you, and I look forward to when I can be back and interactive. But now I must hie to the keyboard for other reasons.
Everyone take care and stay well.
One of these days I'll be able to write a post again where I am not reporting bad news. Recently we had another death in the famiy (one of my husband's brothers — so we've been on "WhatsApp" a lot with scattered family), and I also learned that the fall had done more damage to my shoulder than I had thought. I posted this on Facebook, but realized this morning I should do so here as well to expain why I'm not posting much lately. I'm also posting this on both blogs.
I have an appointment with an orthopedic specialist this Friday about my shoulder — last week had more Xrays taken. I should learn more Friday about whethr surgery or physical therapy is the future.
Other updates: The cataract surgery went very well and Friday I'll have one last check before my opthomologist writes a new prescription. (Here in Braga, the same doctor is both opthamologist and optometrist, which I kinda like.)
Despite all of the above, I've been writing on my book, and I have about 6 chapters left to the end before I rewrite it and send it to my beta readers.
I hope all who stop by are having a good week filled with good activities and good news.
Take care and stay well.
I TELL ALL.
HERE IS THE LINK:
MISS EVERYONE, BUT EXPECT TO BE BACK SOON.
This afternoon, even though I'm in Braga, Portugal, I have a "School Visit" via Zoom with a class in Monforte de Lemos, Galicia, Spain. How cool is that! (The "visit" is to the Escola de Idiomas Eoi Monforte). The class's teacher is a friend of ours, and she teaches English to adult learners. She actually ordered copies of my mystery for students earlier in the year in high hopes that by now Covid 19 would be under control and everything would open up and I would visit in person. (Monforte is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Braga.) Well, things are opening up, but only gradually, and in Galicia classes aren't meeting face to face yet.
Still, I'm happy to meet her students via Zoom. It's for an hour. I'll be curious about what questions they ask. She has formed a "reading club" with some of her students, and here is the flyer:
About Monforte de Lemos: Many of you who have followed this blog know my husband and I in pre-Covid days used to go to Galicia twice a year. We started going there in spring of 2014 and even had a house in a small village about twenty minutes away from the town of Monforte (as the locals refer to it). The "de Lemos" comes from the fact that the town grew up around a castle owned by Conde de Lemos. It's on a hill and overlooks the rather large town that developed since then through the centuries. At times part of it has been a monastery. And there's a cathdral at one side. But now the whole edifice is part of the Parador system and it houses a hotel, a restaurant, and a café/bar. Everyone in town refers to it as "The Parador."
It gives my heart a twinge to see these old pictures of Monforte. We haven't been there since fall of 2019. Once the borders open up again, we'll look forward to driving up to visit Galicia friends. Until then, we feel very lucky to be in Braga and able to see our Braga friends, whom we've started meeting in the allowable open air spaces outside cafés.
Just mentioning the virus at all reminds me that the pandemic is still here for a while. So many countries are suffering from too many cases and not enough vaccines.
May all of you stay safe and well, and may next year bring happy news for us all.
|The "upstream" side of the bridge.|
|Trees along Avenida de Liberdade|