Three hours a month

I have three personal hours a month that I don`t have to justify at all. All I have to do is to schedule them in advance. Today, the last day of the month, I decided to make use of them. I had a meeting outside the office and I told my boss that I wanted to take the rest of the day off, if it was possible. I knew it was short notice but I really didn´t feel like coming back to my desk.

The meeting was in a new working site and part of what I had to do was to make sure that the space assigned for the servers was adequate. It was also a good excuse to take pictures.


the place from outside

But I cannot help myself and I ended up taking pictures nobody asked for!

outdoor bathrooms LOL

I had no real plan after the meeting. All I knew was that I needed to be out of the office, maybe pretend that I didn`t work at all and that I managed my own time. Maybe to feel a small sense of freedom.

I walked around and ended up in a very nice restaurant. I chose a table outside and I just sat there watching the passerbies, playing that game that sometimes I play while on a bus or subway that consists of making up stories about the people I see.

ice cream man reflected on a window with balloons

Could it be that the ice cream man resigned his CEO position and chose to sell happiness to kids? Maybe his wife filed for divorce thinking he was crazy or maybe she insisted on him following his dream and now she makes homemade ice cream for him to sell. Who knows?

After my delicious lunch, ravioli with a basil sauce, I went for a short walk and sat on a bench. This time very curious about a tree with very peculiar leaves. Or not peculiar but for some reason I found them particularly interesting.

I came back home feeling invigorated. Maybe all I needed was to be away for a while, to have my three hours of freedom.

(sorry for my ramblings)

Blogs, travels, photography, advise, rooftop, story. The end. In that order.

Or “How did I go from meaning to post about Arequipa to post about the rooftop”

The other day I was reading a post from a fellow blogger (if you are curious about which one click here) and she posted some pictures of her trip. There was one in particular she didn`t remember exactly the place and I didn`t remember the name of the place so I promised her to send a picture to refresh her memory (and mine).
The photo in question had been taken in Arequipa and I happened to be there in 2009. It was one of the most beautiful cities (if not the most) I visited in that trip. I thought it a good idea to write about that city and show you, and especially her, the pictures.
Thing is that I`ve never found a method to organize my pictures. I tried albums, I tried CD`s or DVD`s, I tried to keep them organized somehow. But I`ve failed. Last attempt was to buy an external disk and, little by little, I`m copying all the pictures I have here and there. But I have my notebook, the computer at work, pendrives, CD`s, DVD`s and sometimes I have the same album in two or three places. It`s not that easy to copy everything in that external disk.
If somebody knows about a method that works to organize the pictures, please, share it with me. I`ll really appreciate it.
I did not find the pictures of Arequipa but I found these pictures of the rooftop at my parent`s place. They were taken in 2008 and they are not particularly beautiful or particularly good. But I`m posting them here because they are part of a story I wanted to share with you. Arequipa unrelated.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The rooftop was a very important place of the house. My mother used to grow her plants (she had a green finger). My father used to barbecue (he was considered an expert in that area) and I used to go chat with my friends in summer, or sunbathe, or read a book or just sit there looking at the stars at night. By the year 2008, the rooftop was abandoned. My parents couldn`t go up the stairs and my task when I visited them was to water the few plants left.

But as usual, I found another reason to go to the rooftop. Photography. I had bought my first camera a few months before and I was discovering a new whole world. That rooftop was an endless source of inspiration, with all its textures and funny shapes and objects that very soon were going to disappear. My parents never understood why it took me so long to water just a few plants.
Now, seeing these pictures, I feel the need to go back and photograph it again. I know that it`s the last goodbye, that I`ll never be able to take pictures there again. The house will be sold very soon. And the new owners will start their own story.

Does it sound weird to you?

Repeat after me


” After a Sunday comes Saturday, after a Sunday comes Saturday, after a Sunday comes Saturday …”

Because today is a second Saturday for me since it´s a long weekend here!!! (Carnival Holidays).

Have a great start of the week!!!

Good morning dear rain

from my balcony

It´s been a very hot summer with temperatures that have reached the limit of the bearable. I see my useless A/C on the wall, laughing at me, daring me to fix the electrical problem that affects my rented apartment. But that´s another story.

In a summer like this, rain is a blessing. Today I woke up to a rainy morning and I couldn´t be happier. I sat in my balcony under the roof and spent a long time just watching the rain, enjoying the quietness of a Sunday morning, listening to the sound of the drops falling on the rail, on the few plants I have.

It was a good start of the day.

I wish you all have a good start of the day and an enjoyable Sunday!

The blue box

a long time ago ... me !

When my mother was sad, she would spend hours going over old pictures. She kept them in a blue box that was in an old sideboard in our living room. It was her thing. If my father said “your mother is with her blue box” I knew that something was wrong, that she was extremely sad.

One day she told me she was going to get rid of all the old pictures from the time she lived in Europe. Those were pictures of her relatives, people who most probably had died in WW II, people she barely remembered. Still, I didn`t understand why, all of a sudden, she didn`t want to have them. I knew she didn`t cry because of the pictures, she cried with them, she needed to see them when sad.

I begged her not to, I said I would keep them with me. She finally agreed. Those were the first family pictures that were in my possession.

Years later, my father had an argument with my mother, I never knew what about. But he was mad. And it had to do with the blue box. As a result, my father gave me some family pictures and said they were for me, that he wanted me to have them. And those were the second bunch of family pictures that were in my possession.

When I was in my early 40´s I offered my mother to organize all the pictures in albums. They were in plastic bags or envelopes in no order whatsoever. The blue box was chaotic. But every time I wanted to start working on them, she would cry.

Over the years, my father gave me lots of pictures. Some of them to keep, some of them to return to the blue box. I`m not sure what his reasons were but it had something to do with my mother not letting go.

When my mother died, my father went through a phase of “destruction”. He tore up lots of papers, lots of letters, cards and pictures. Once again, I found myself begging, please don`t do it. And I took the blue box with me. I couldn`t save all the letters, but I saved most of the pictures. Those were the third bunch of pictures that were in my possession.

I`m going through the pictures now, trying to date them, trying to guess who is who, when they were taken, etc. It`s hard work since I have no clue, specially for the older ones. I have to compare papers, marks, type of clothing, etc. Little by little, I`m solving the puzzle.

There is a big puzzle that I may never solve and it`s my mother`s crying with those pictures. Why did she need to be with them? what sort of comfort she found? what were those things my father was so mad about? what were those things she didn`t let go?

All mysteries yet to be solved.

The kettle (the story of a gullible child told by an embarrassed grown up)

This picture is from the kettle my father petrified for me when I was ten. He still had it!!

When I was 10 my parents and I went to Mendoza on holidays. It was the first time in my life I saw The Andes. I still remember how marveled I was at the sight of those huge mountains. As my mother had mountain sickness, she remained in the hotel and my father and I went to a place called “Puente del Inca” (Inca´s bridge, 8990 ft above sea level).

Puente del Inca is a natural bridge that was formed by the ice that covered the river and acted as support for avalanches of snow, ice and rocks. There are  hot springs of sulfurous waters and it seems that this bridge of ice was petrified by the sulfur and when the ice melted, the bridge remained.

There is an abandoned hotel under this bridge and there is a market that sells petrified objects. I was very curious and I wanted to see it all, springs included.  My father told me to stay away from the sulfurous springs because I could be petrified. I didn´t believe him so he took a little kettle, tied it with a string, immersed it into the water, waited some minutes and when he pulled it out, the kettle was petrified.

I was really impressed!!!

Twenty nine years later, I came back to Puente del Inca. I was very excited about showing my friend such a wonderful location and that magic effect of the water. I said I was gonna petrify her Converses 🙂

We were wandering around when I saw the market and I invited my friend to see where the objects got petrified in no time. I was telling her the story when a man overheard us and got into our conversation.

– “your father must have fooled you around”
– “why” I asked
– “because it takes months for an object to be petrified”
– “no way” I said “I saw it with my own eyes”
– “really? like this?” and he immersed an object in the spring and removed it after some minutes, completely petrified.
– “yes, just like that” I replied.
The man laughed and showed me how he had fooled me with two identical objects, one petrified and the other not.
– “it´s a trick for the kids” he said “we do it all the time”

The three of us ended up laughing. Because my father had fooled me and I had been a gullible child and believe it true. All those years …

Once home I paid my father a visit and repeated him exactly what had happened. He barely remembered the story. He said he never expected me to believe it for the rest of my life. He just wanted to keep me safe, far from the springs.

Over the years, I had told that story to whoever wanted to hear it. And it was just about a gullible child who turned into a gullible grown up who was now totally embarrassed thinking of all the times  she had repeated that story over the course of the years, believing blindly in her father´s word as if she were still a child.

Here some pictures from that trip in 2001.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


I know that what I´m about to tell you may sound a little bit odd. Bear in mind it´s me who´s talking. And I´m a little bit odd.

I´ve never had a sofa in my life. I´ve had cushions on the floor, I´ve used an old bed dressed with tapestry, I´ve used an old mattress but never a real sofa.

So the other day, when I saw this one together with some other pieces of furniture that were going to be disposed of with some other garbage just because they didn´t like them (“they” refers to the people in charge of redecorating the office) I asked if I could keep it. And I brought it home.

Let me introduce you my first sofa, with my personal touch of course.