Netflix is a well-oiled marketing machine. Almost everything that is under its umbrella is highly scrutinised by the media and usually met with great receptiveness. The End of the F***ing World is not different.
A TV series premiered on the British broadcaster Channel 4 in October 2017 and it only gained international momentum once Netflix bought the rights to be aired beyond the Brexit Kingdom.
Short and thriving, The End of the F***ing World follows the story of James, a 17-year-old who believes to be a psychopath and kills animals for his own pleasure. Grown tired of such endeavours, he seeks for an upgrade: killing a human being.
Enters Alyssa, a cocky and grumpy girl who brings a breath of fresh air into James’ life. Mutual interest leads them to cut loose with their past and embark on a dark and indie (yeah, something) adventure through midland England. Blood, swears and tears and complete this package.
You get involved in the story from the get-go, and eight episodes of roughly 20 minutes each seemed too short. I was craving for more and the ending, albeit perfectly suiting the show, left many things without an answer. One way to unravel what might be in for a future season (unclear if that is going to happen… with Netflix, who knows?) is by reading the comic book by Charles Forsman, with the same name, in which the TV series is based.
Also worth noting the excellent photography and soundtrack.
On a sunny yet cool Sunday afternoon at my grandparents’, I decided to take my sister for a little stroll around our homeland. What’s the point in venturing around the world when there are so many hidden gems to discover right under your nose?
We began with a visit to the main church of an unassuming town not far way, named Válega. It would be an ordinary church, just like hundreds scattered around the country if it wasn’t for its gorgeous facade! Covered in bright colourful tiles, it depicts various religious scenes and floral motifs.
The sightseeing did not end here though.
Soon we reached Avanca, my father’s hometown. No, we were not going to pick up oranges from my dad’s house backyard. Instead we drove to find ourselves in someone else’s house. The one who once belonged to Egas Moniz.
- Egas Moniz, born as António Caetano de Abreu Freire de Resende on 29th of November 1874 in the town of Avanca, was a doctor, professor, politician, writer and best regarded as a neurologist – he developed the technique of cerebral angiography and his continuous interest in the brain lead him to develop the surgical procedure known as leucotomy (lobotomy in current days).
- His uncle and father-in-law, Caetano Sá Freire, insisted on him adopting the surname Egas Moniz because he was convinced that the family Resende had a direct lineage to Egas Moniz, the tutor of Afonso Henriques (who became the first King of the Kingdom of Portugal).
We were guided through the house by a woman who was quite passionate about the legacy left by Egas Moniz. She talked with great enthusiasm of his achievements as a doctor, as well as how the house got to be built in this particular location. She also mentioned a curious, yet dire episode of Egas’ life as a physician: in 1939 a schizophrenic patient came into his office and shot Egas 8 times and one of the bullets, housed in his spine was never removed.
Fun fact: the manor house has 154 chairs! A lot of cleaning needs to be done…
As we walked around Egas’ home, we could find some unusual artefacts, such as an elephant paw (used as storage space, I guess) or a set of dinner plates, hollow inside where hot water could be poured into, that could keep the food warm. Ingenious.
Such an inconspicuous building, lost in the countryside, that houses some beautiful and intriguing stories of a man that undoubtedly became one of the greatest in Portugal’s recent history.
One of the things I remember quite fondly while spending my holidays and every other weekend at my grandparents’ was eating fresh fish and seafood! Being from Aveiro has its perks, that’s for sure!
This region of Portugal is intimately connected with the Atlantic and the Ria de Aveiro. A land of fishermen and peixeiras, everywhere you go you have water.
I had some spare time so I headed to this local museum, named COMUR – Museu Municipal, which is a former canned fish factory. The main feature that set this factory apart from others throughout the country, was that canned eel could only be manufactured here!
I got a better sense of the history of the factory and its people, the thorough process to make canned fish, since its inception until it is shipped worldwide. The current factory is located a couple of blocks away and it still produces this unique Portuguese delicacy.
Canned fish (sardines, eel, mussels, tuna, anchovy…) is one of the best gifts you can buy in Portugal. The cans are quite stylish, wrapped in a vintage(ish) paper and inside you’ll find authentic love! Your taste buds will scream for more, that’s for sure! 😉
7 minutes of pure bliss…
When you are at your grandparents, in Aveiro, pressing the grapes you collected the day before with your bare feet and you end up realising that instead of wine it looks like you’re making Šaltibarščiai.
For those who are not culinary savvy, especially of Eastern European cuisine, Šaltibarščiai is a traditional soup with its colour being its most striking characteristic – PINK – a result of the use of beets as its main ingredient.
Usually served cold, this soup is perfect for late Spring and Summer in Lithuania.
In my county’s case, I believe that we can enjoy it in late Winter, Spring, Summer and early Autumn, so now we are still in the season to do so.
I’m feeling so generous that I’ll leave here the recipe for you to try:
Lithuanian Šaltibarščiai | 6 servings | Labai easy!
200 g of boiled & cooled beetroot (about 2 medium beets)
100 g of fresh cucumber
6 spring onions or 10 green onion leaves
2 hard-boiled eggs
1.5 litres of kefir
Bunch of fresh dill
Salt to taste
Serve it with either boiled potatoes or rye bread (for a lighter lunch).