I'm still here.

Metaphorical manicures and famous sisters

When I paint my nails (which is rare), I always end up only doing my left hand. I never get to the other side. Not as a style statement or whatever, just because I always get distracted with other things, like washing the dishes, making a sandwich, answering my mum on WhatsApp, helping my child pee in the toilet and not all over the floor. You know, LIFE.

The other day when I caught sight of my one-sided manicure during a happy baby pose in yoga class, I realised it's like a metaphor to how I I live my life. As in, I never quite finish stuff. Maybe I'm being too hard on myself, but I feel like I always leave personal projects half way, or not even that far - just as an idea that I sort of played around with.

Maybe it's because I have too many ideas? That's what Diogo says every time I tell him about my latest lightbulb moments. I'm not bragging or anything — no one said they're all good ideas. But I'm obviously not going to tell you what they are, because I don't want you to steal them!!!

My natural tendency to not finish stuff is why I really want to keep this newsletter going — even though I realise it's been like 4 months since my last one. Sorry about that pals. I guess I've been going through this phase in which I'm doubting my every thought — you know? Also, it sort of feels out of touch to write about my privileged life and problems when there is so much urgent shit happening in the world. But I hope you can find a comforting distraction in my words.

I don’t have one particular theme for this newsletter. It’s just a gathering of observations I’ve been taking note of recently.

I’ll move on by talking about my family, with whom I recently spent a week on holiday back home in Portugal, like we do every summer. I am the youngest of four, and I've always felt like the least bright and interesting of the pack. Oh, don't feel sorry for me! This inferiority complex is something that I've been discussing with my therapist (yes, I love mentioning that I see a therapist), and I'm starting to understand where it comes from.

Anyways, it's sort of hard to compete when your eldest sister is an award-winning journalist, whose AMAZZIIIIINNNNGG ( maybe if I hype it up enough she'll share my newsletter with her followers?) show on National Geographic, Trafficked, just got nominated for an Emmy. She casually dropped the news at breakfast one day. “Can you pass the cheese? Oh, by the way, my show got nominated for an Emmy.” Yes, you got it, my sister is THEE MARIANA VAN ZELLER, and while she's out there risking her life to uncover crucial truths in the world's most dangerous places, my job is convincing (pushing?) people to buy shelves.

What's most annoying is that she's actually the humblest person I know. Like, she'll not only happily speak for hours to any fan who approaches her ( I say this like there are a lot of fans who approach her) she's the one who suggests they take a picture together.

But what did I want to get at? Oh yes, my holidays with my brilliant, slightly alcoholic family. During our vacation I realised that we're all sort of trying to impress each other all the time. Not in a weird, annoying way, but as like a tender act of love and admiration. We're all eager to share the most remote beaches, the most incredible book, the most spectacular podcast. And what I love the most is that we're always trying to make each other laugh, usually at the expense of someone — i.e my dad.

Actually, the joke's on us this year, cause my dad, who just turned 77, suddenly has more hair than all of us. "I don't know what's happening, every day I wake up with more and more", he explained. "I think it's the micro-dosing of shrooms I've been trying out."

Me and my brilliant siblings in Alaska, circa 1995. The famous sister is the one wearing a Born to Be Wild t-shirt paired with grey leggings. Fashion has never been her forte. If you’re reading this I love you.

Speaking of hair! (I'm so impressed that I've managed to find a common thread between my thoughts). OK, so get this — the other day while me and Diogo were strolling through the streets of Amsterdam, a guy on a bike with a big beard like Diogo's passed by and acknowledged us with a friendly nod. "Do you know that dude?" I asked. "No, but it's the beard. It's a brotherhood thing." My mind was blown.

To wrap up, here's a list of things I've been enjoying lately.

  1. The podcast Pieces of Britney — written and presented for BBC Sounds by one of my icons, journalist and writer Pandora Sykes. The reenactments are impressive and you get a really solid understanding of Britney's life and what led to her conservatorship. Spoiler alert: paparazzis are parasites. Our society is scum.

    Also, one of the episodes includes a great quote by Dave Chapelle: "The worst thing to call somebody is crazy. It's dismissive. 'I don't understand this person. So they're crazy.' That's bullshit. These people are not crazy. They strong people. Maybe their environment is a little sick."

  1. The HBO series The White Lotus — comedy is back baby!!!

  2. The Channel 4 series This Way Up — I love love love Sharon Horgan and Aisling Bea.

  3. Our new vintage Marcel Breuer Cesca chairs — they were a beautiful bargain. I also realised that pretty much anyone with a living room has these chairs at the moment. Oops.

  1. The second-hand, horse-themed Playmobil I bought online for Gaspar. Buying second-hand, especially toys, really does feel better. The tiny horse brushes make me cry.