Esposende, you make me feel good

Almost last Portuguese coffee

After Vila Chã we drove up the coast of Portugal. We were on our way to the last Portuguese town on our journey. Soon we would be crossing the border into Spain. But first, we visited a different town on the coast called, Esposende. We were stopping for a break and a coffee, I was not expecting to feel anything for this town and I definitely didn’t expect to be writing about it but here we are.

Walking by the water

We followed the app’s directions to a parking spot and then got out to walk back to the centre of the town. Where Vila Chã was narrow streets, Esposende is wide open. Yes we saw narrow streets near the church but beside the water it was wide open. I don’t know if that was what made this place feel so good but I wanted to spend time taking pictures and walking along the water here. So I did.

Waiting for the tide…

I’ve been thinking about Future Me lately, that’s me in 10 or 20 years time. Specifically thinking about what she’d want me to be doing now so that she is healthy and content, way out there in the future. Walking along the water seems like one thing she’d want. Taking time to smell the seaweed might be another. Cutting down on the Portuguese nata’s is probably another…

Not easy to get the long named towns into the frame…

Changing habits is not easy, especially the habits of a lifetime but spending a little time in this town made me realise that the less tangible things that make me feel good (like walking, smelling seaweed/flowers/fresh air, meditating, taking photos, writing) are actually magic things that can help me let go of things I think make me feel better. Things like pastries! Things like worry or guilt. (I do seem to think if I worry I can solve the problem I’m worrying about! I do, also, seem to think guilt is good for me and will make me stop procrastinating!)

The old lifeboat station

Future me will one day look back at this post and I want her to be smiling to herself for the habit changes I made for her today.

We are lost…

(Cute touches everywhere, like flowers in the stone fonts)

Aubeterre is one of the Beautiful Villages of France. It’s on the official list but even if you didn’t know about the list you’d think it was beautiful. It’s old stone houses are perched on a couple of hills and there’s even a church built into one of them.

(The house of the potter)

We found it by accident yesterday, a wet and dreary Sunday. Everything was dripping rain, the shops and cafes were closed, there was nowhere to buy even a bottle of water but this place warmed our hearts.

(Pretty tiles)

There is seriously no end to the beautiful places you can find in rural France. Sunday’s and Monday’s are still quiet days though, where the baker gets a break from the 4am start. Sometimes even the supermarket has no baguettes on a Monday morning. This can cause serious anxiety.

(Pretty windows)

The days are getting shorter now and the temperatures are decreasing it’s nearly time to go home – only nine more days and it’s probably just as well. They say it takes less than a month to build a habit and I can confirm that because I have built a solid baguette habit in that time. I’m on one half one a day but I feel the pull to go deeper.

(Look, someone lives there and sits outside at a little table)

You may not have read the reports but baguettes are just a gateway confectionary. They lead directly to pastries and this country has more varieties of pastries than we have potatoes. There’s the croissants, innocuous enough on their own but some days there are no croissants left… so, what do you do? Leave empty handed? No. You choose a pain au chocolate (kinda croissant with chocolate chips). That there is the slippery slope.

(Pretty cafe and restaurant and Jesus)

You may not have heard of the Viennese Almonde yet but you soon will. It is quietly taking over the lives of those who take one bite. No one is immune to its power. Just say No! That’s all you have to do, but saying no is what’s difficult.

(Lovely shades of green just don’t drink the water…)

You naively go into the boulangerie thinking, you’ll just get a baguette, a skinny little trifle of baked goodness. What harm could that be? While you wait – because you must wait, there is always a queue. The boulangerie ties with the mobile phone provider for popularity in France. Every boulangerie has an entrance door and an exit door – have you ever wondered why? I have. It’s because they are very busy…

(More pretty flowers)

Anyway, while you wait your eyes stray towards the adorable cylinder-shaped-just-for-one-4-strawberries-suspended-in-jelly-on-a-baked-meringue-base. Just looking at it and your mouth gets to work preparing to bite into it while your head screams, Noooo! That’s when the Viennese Almonde seems like a good idea. It’s almond, so basically healthy, right? It’s bigger. Yes. But. You won’t eat it all, will you?

Save yourselves, we are lost, Mairead.

(That’s where Aubeterre is located)

Getting forgetful?

21 1c

(Morning! Or afternoon?)

As I sit here at 8.30am on Monday morning I wonder why I don’t sit here at 3.30pm on a Sunday afternoon. Why wait until the last minute? Why set up a habit that doesn’t support the good and the healthy? Why not set up a habit that makes life and the living of it easier? Why indeed?

21 1a

(One of my buttons on my art project)

It’s something I’ve considered previously, with some success too. There was the walking for twenty minutes a day habit, the drinking three pints of water a day habit, the blogging at 3pm every day habit, the photography every day habit, even the drawing every day habit. But for some reason it’s much easier to let those kinds of habits go and forget that they were even a consideration.

21 1b

(Focus on the important things….)

Now I’m considering…. and it seems like this might be the perfect time to reinstate some useful habits. I’ll have to be ruthless when I’m deciding which ones to reinstate. Probably best if I ask myself what I want to be doing in six months time (when my habits have taken hold.)

This could take a little time, Mairead.