In order to make our wine blog actually about WINES, there haven’t been that much personal twists on the blog lately – except for Jenny’s personal experiences with winetasting-competent lipstick, a topic extremely relevant for all of you lipstick-wearing winelovers out there! But according to the statistics our readers are most into the personal stuff (as us humans are a curious bunch of creatures!), so I decided to take a questionnaire going around social media and remodel it a bit. So here are 5 random facts about my life from the past year!
1. Since March 2018 I have been working for 4 different wine producers in 2 different countries. Two of these were harvest positions, one in Champagne and one here in Portugal, in Alentejo. Three of these producers are using biological/ecological/natural methods in their vineyards, meaning that they do not use herbicides or pesticides on their vines and vineyards and they are emphasizing the biodiversity in different ways (varying depending if the used method is biodynamical, organic or something else). In addition, I have also worked in a wine bar with 500 different Portuguese wines here in Porto.
2. This past year I have basically given up all the other forms of exercise and focused only on yoga. And not some crazyass hot yoga or beating-the-crap-out-of-you astanga yoga, but smooth, easygoing 30 minutes daily vinyasa type of practice. We (me and my boyfriend) bought gym cards in January since I thought (from my old habits) that I would love going to the gym. Nope. Big mistake, hate it. We have been to the gym since then about 5 times. Running has also been out of the question lately since we both have had some knee issues (maybe try not to keep up with friends way more experienced than you on a ski slope after drinking beer and vodka :D), but I actually did have an OK jog a few days ago!
My observations after a year doing only yoga: I am in better shape than before, since I don’t need to eat like a crazy person after a long gym session, I never have days I don’t want to exercise (you can do a few neck twists at the end of the day in bed and call it yoga), and I haven’t been physically unsatisfied with myself for a long time. A huge personal victory for me, being one of those (oh so many) people, who have lived life being unsatisfied with the way they look.
3. During the past year, my Portuguese (especially the pronunciation – not sounding like a Spanish person anymore!!) has improved significantly, but I still find the language pretty difficult. This is due to the spoken language, where I find sometimes hard to separate different words. This (and the fact that I don’t have a permanent job where I could speak and learn Portuguese on a day-to-day basis) has led to a situation, that I still don’t have that many friends here. Coming from a background, where I have always had a wide circle of friends, and I met different friends on a weekly basis, I have found this very devastating, and I struggle with feelings of loneliness almost every week. Obviously, there are places to meet new people outside of work, but I haven’t quite found that place for myself yet. This is also (and many might argue, mainly) due to the fact, that I don’t really miss having ANY friends, I miss having my OWN friends around me! So remember to enjoy your friendships whenever possible!
4. This last year was also for me the year of a true awakening for the speedy actions we have to make to slow down climate change. I turned myself to a pescetarian when I was around 11-12 years old, for 15 years. This wasn’t due to any ideological reasons (I guess I wasn’t THAT aware as a kid :D), but because I didn’t like meat and it made me feel disgusted. One summer a few years back I started eating meat again. So now I am a flexitarian so I eat everything, but in my case, I never buy or cook meat, even fish or seafood these days. Portugal still doesn’t have a very good selection on plant-based protein products or substitutes for milk products (cheeses, yogurts etc.), except for plant-based drinks! So my morning coffee gets blended with oat or almond milk here also. In Finland, with the great selection available, I am pretty sure I would go fully vegan any day now. This past year the climate change has effected on me the most on the idea of flying. I have eaten plant-dominant food for a great part of my life, I have recycled many years, I don’t buy fast fashion (or anything else for that matter :D), I walk or use public transportation, but good god I have been flying in my life.. Finally this year my opinion towards flying has radically changed, and I want to be more considered when traveling in the future, trying to choose an alternative way of transport whenever it’s possible.
5. This past year I have understood and started to really appreciate the fact how green and close-to-the-nature city Helsinki is! Even though I live in a city that has the ocean next to it and has one great river flowing in the middle of it, I have also realized how much Porto is lacking in the green areas. Sure, there are some parks (especially the amazing parque da cidade!), around the city, but not even close enough to satisfy the needs of a person coming from the nature possibilities of Helsinki! There are also some amazing natural attractions just outside of Porto, but those are pretty difficult to reach without a car, which we don’t have. So everyone living in Helsinki (or in another city with great accessibility to enjoy nature) – make the most of it!
Next up more wine stuff after all this personal babbling, happy week everyone! 🙂