First-world problems

Calheta Praia, 12 April 2022

Today was a day for unwinding and finding our feet. We made a conscious decision just to stay in the hotel, sit beside the pool and relax. Slowing down was the order of the day, no need to rush about trying to see as much as possible, cramming our day full of madness like we normally would. It helps that the hotel is all-inclusive, so the drinks and food are on tap, and the local Coral beer is actually quite nice and served “bem fresquinha”.

I slept not much longer than my usual waking up time and went into the other room to let Linda sleep on while I did some cursory research on the island, checking my PhotoPills app for sunrise time and location and the blue and golden hour times – nerdy photographer stuff. I had hoped to get the drone up to get some overhead shots of Calheta Praia, but the wind was strong and I’m just a novice drone pilot, so thought I would wait until the wind dies down and there are no people about to judge me. The wind only seemed to get stronger as the day wore on, and there were always people wandering about the hotel, beach and harbour. So the drone stayed on terra firma, although I am sure it probably could have handled the conditions quite easily. Perhaps today.

While most drinks are included, the vinho verde isn’t, so off we popped across the road to the Pingo Doce supermarket to get Linda a couple of bottles of the Casal Garcia plonk she likes (and which at three euros is ridiculously inexpensive – not that I’m complaining). However, it comes with a cork and we have no corkscrew. So back again to Pingo Doce for a “saca rolhas” costing four euros and which promptly snapped in two when used for the purpose for which it was designed – with the cork still firmly stuck in the bottle. We eventually used a teaspoon to push the cork into the bottle. Not ideal, but then I don’t drink the stuff and Linda didn’t seem to mind too much. We’ll just ask the bar staff to open the next bottle, and after that steer Linda towards wine with a screw top – which might not be easy, because cork is big business in Portugal and most Portuguese wine companies remain loyal to this older technology, perhaps out of a sense of national solidarity. However, this is very much a first-world problem that need not trouble us any longer.

Of more concern is Linda coming down with a heavy cold (she has taken several lateral flow tests and is negative, so it’s not the dreaded ‘vid). Like a real trouper, however, she battled on with the local spumante wine for as long as she could, even taking a gin and tonic for the team before retiring to bed with a couple of paracetamols. Querida. She works so very hard all year doing a very difficult job, what with me, Liam and the house, and then she has to work three days a week as a social worker dealing with other people’s problems and the bureaucracy of getting people the care they need from the services that are supposed to provide it within the budget available to each individual client. If anyone needs a holiday from cleaning and cooking and time to focus on herself, it is Linda.

Anyway, tomorrow is her birthday, so let’s hope she’s feeling a bit better.

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