In disbelief and appalled — the war

“Dear friends,

You are probably feeling the same.

It has been a while since we have exchanged thoughts, and now I regret not having sent you news before. News that now seem irrelevant and insignificant, eclipsed by this… war… It is very difficult to write this word, a word that had become taboo in our continent.

We are still in state of shock, every day hoping to see or hear something that erases all this nightmare or at least that gives us some relief and a sign that everything will end well, meaning the good guys — us, no doubt about that — prevailing, return to an enduring peace and stability, and shutting down this resentful and delusional “Russia”.


At this moment, there is an emergency meeting of the UN General Assembly, at least Russia can’t veto there… Hopefully the weight of the world will be overwhelming and convincing. But I’m not sure if anything can deter the wannabe czar.

I am quite angry as you probably notice.”

“Dear friend,

Life here is quiet, finally enjoying magnificent blue skies and the sun that remained hidden for too many long weeks.

I have been writing/drafting a few things. Some of them “inspired/forced” by the war in Ukraine, which worries me and makes me/us very sad, including mum, as — besides all that awful senseless loss of life — is exposing the fragility of the world stability as well as the fragility and even powerlessness of the “Western” world, its democratic systems, liberties, freedoms, civilized attitudes, against this madness and senseless pursuit: Putin’s personal war in an attempt to satisfy his caprices.

Black widow

Hopefully we are strong enough and united enough to overcome this terrible dangerous conflict as soon as possible and move forward and upward (your words, I still remember them) in a new inspired and better world.

Sorry about getting this off my chest here. I know you don’t like talking about politics.”

“Hello dear friends,

First of all, congratulations with your third grandchild! I didn’t reply immediately when I received the news… one thing led to another… and here I am, three months later, with this stubbornly surreal war in the background.

Attached some pictures of Portugal where I spent the last two weeks. It was very warm and dry, summer weather in May… The same happens here in Northern Europe.


I also send pics of our humble but ambitious green garden: strawberries, lettuce, blueberries, carrots, leek, zucchinis, but mostly strawberries.

Not so trivial

It feels good to talk about “trivial” things, though they don’t feel trivial anymore. The cloud of the war hangs well above us and the world changes in turmoil and with sharp shifts — Finland and Sweden are an example — at the speed of light, while two countries get destroyed and a new arms race is in place — it seemed so passé just a few weeks ago.

Paradoxically, while the war exposed the [Western] world’s fragility and apparent powerlessness — my first nightmarish impression three months ago — it also exposed its strength, not only in its unity but also in the way it has reacted and acted, with caution, rationality — with the required emotion — , and even with wisdom. Hopefully this will be extended to a post war scenario.

I believe in a good outcome. Now also seems to be the right time to make some things right, reform old institutions and laws (UN and EU), and appreciate peace, cooperation and our planet, our home. Having said this, it also seems that we didn’t learn much in the last couple of years, old behaviors are back and excess is again normal. And some laws are even regressing… I am sure you know which one I mean in particular. But I remain optimist even if with a touch of pessimism here and there.

In the meantime, we are trying to accept reality as is and using every tiny opportunity to improve it while dodging the piercing news.”

Pictures: Reichswald (Germany) an Imperial forest; Cascais (Portugal); own garden (black tulip, blueberries).




Daughter. Wife. Friend. Quinquelingual EU citizen. Translator. Former mouse in the corporate rat race. Emerging from rough tides, peeking out at the world.

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Susana Caria

Susana Caria

Daughter. Wife. Friend. Quinquelingual EU citizen. Translator. Former mouse in the corporate rat race. Emerging from rough tides, peeking out at the world.

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