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Haven’t done much blogging or reading but for a good cause. My organization is organizing a big event in Addis and I was there recently for prep work. It was a busy time, but still managed to do some tourist stuff. Will return in a couple of weeks and plan to explore the Ethiopian jazz scene, which I’m told is one of the best in the world.

Have you been? Any recommendations?


The obligatory coffee ceremony


Saw many women carrying huge piles of wood down Entoto Mountain and asked to give it a try. Didn’t manage a single step. Actually, it took all my strength to just stand. My respect to these ladies. At least I gave them something to laugh about.


Ate A LOT of injera bread. This picture was taken at the Lucy restaurant, named after the celebrity Australopithecus in the nearby museum (highly recommended).


Some shopping may have been done…


Reading Dorothy Dunnett at the Kaldis Cafe.

Moments from a work-related field visit:


Thing have been quite over here, but normal service will resume shortly. Between holidays in Morocco and a work assignment in Senegal, both with somewhat unreliable internet connections, blogging was neglected, but much reading was done!

I’ve finished Retribution Falls by Chris Woodding (loved the Firefly vibe, but the tell-not-show style, among other things, was a let down), and The Brontës Went to Woolworths by Rachel Fergoson, re-read Tracy Chevalier’s The Lady and the Unicorn after a weekend in Paris where I saw the Cluny tapestries live for the first time (wow!) and started Sayers’ Busman’s Holidays. Also listened to Mandel’s Station Eleven (well deserved hype) and my first Flannery O’Connor, Everything That Rises Must Converge (sooo good, but not the lightest of reads).

Looking forward to digging into my Feedly and know what y’all were up to!

photo (11)Ladurée Champs Elysées

IMG_0514Moroccan desert


Courtyard of our riad in Marrakesh. I wish the photo could carry the smell of orange blossoms…

photo 1 (4)

Reading Dorothy L. Sayers in Dakar

Last weekend we rented a Swiss Chalet up in the mountains and had an amazing time. Like us, none of our friends skies (gasp! goes everyone in Switzerland), so we just hanged out with the kids, ate, drank, read, played board games, walked in the snow, sledged and generally relaxed.

I could’ve gotten used to the 1% life…

16346648695_5bd5cceb3a_kThe view


15724971494_cd6debf909_zA new experience for David: running in the snow

15727463093_a3531ca0be_zPerfection: cheese fondue lunch

15726744983_915a242c4e_zHusband in the hot-tub (yes, there was a hot-tub!)

16161427557_7206f6b069_zReading Patrick O’Brien during kid’s nap

16159837708_b114e5d76d_zThe boys, marvelling

16346619912_6ef5a45884_zGeneral fun was had

16346645752_16af116198_kThe swap shelf, no Nora Roberts in sight, all very high-brow at the Swiss Chalet

Lately I’ve thought more and more about the blog. Maybe it’s the winter coming or that finally I feel settled in. Whatever it is, I’ve decided to take a stab at reviving it and regaining the pleasure it (and being part of the community) gave me.

Here’s a flashback at what’s been happening on this side of the line for the last 6 months. Back to book-talk tomorrow.


Enjoying David


Exploring our new home


Exploring the world: Hungary, Portugal, Kenya, Canada, USA


The blog has been terribly neglected for the last months, but I have good excuses, promise!

Big changes are afoot Chez Sleepless Reader. I got a job offer from the United Nations so, since the world won’t just save itself, we’ve moved. After 9 years in Brussels we’re now further south in Geneva, Switzerland. We finally found an apartment (lovely, close to the Lake), paperwork is almost all done, so I can finally settle down and start obsessing about books and series again.

I’ve been looking forward to a change for a while, but I still have occasional panic attacks: “I loved Brussels, I loved my life there, so many friends left behind… WHAT HAVE I DONE?!” It’ll be ok once the brain makes the click and starts thinking of Geneva as “home”, instead of Brussels or Lisbon. My husband will be a stay-at-home-dad for a while, so that’ll also be a new experience.

We got married before coming south. After a 2-year engagement and not much wedding organizing done, we finally had the excuse courage to do it how we really wanted: informal and cozy.

On a sunny morning we walked to the Portuguese consulate with just our moms and brothers, signed papers, took the subway to a nice restaurant, came back to the apartment, took a nap and then had about 40 friends over for a catered yummy dinner. It was perfect!


BZrIlQvCAAAT8wq (1)

Was invited to speak at a conference in Uzbekistan. Life is good: I’ve read a book in Samarkand.


Remember when a while ago I mention that life was happening on this side of the line, leading me to a blogging and book-slump? I meant that literally. Here’s the proof!

Now that I’m done with the first trimester I’m returning to life and doing Things again. Things that don’t imply eating, sleeping and watching past episodes of Project Runway and Doctor Who, that is.

Meanwhile I also did a bit of travelling. Had a conference in Orlando and then took a few days off to go on a road-trip around Florida. So now that I’m back in already-chilly Brussels, hopefully blogging will return to regular programming.

Happy Fall/Spring (depending of where in the world you are)!

The perfect parking spot for my rented car.
Fort Myers entered history as the location of my first Gulf of Mexico swim.

One of the descendants of Hemingway’s cats at the Hemingway House, Key West.

Reading A Farewell to Arms where it was written.

One of best beaches I’ve ever visited – South Beach, Miami (reading Moab is My Washpot by Stephen Fry).

Simulation of Apollo 11’s launch, Kennedy Space Center.

Trekking on the Etna volcano, Sicily

Things have been quiet here chez The Sleepless Reader, but I’ve been travelling a lot for both work and pleasure (it’s a tough life!). Three weeks, five countries and a variation in temperatures between 13 and 42C.

Normal service will resume next week, hope you’re still out there!

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Project Gutenberg Project


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