All posts tagged: Portugal

the pleasure of simple things

  Encircled with shading net, it is cooler on the patio than on the outside-outside, the rest of the garden. Through its dark green weave, I can still see the glare of the summery heat, blazing white, overwhelming. Outside the netting, it is almost too hot to breathe, almost too hot to live. Inside the netting, life still seems possible. It is only April; it should not be this hot, not yet. I wonder what the real summer will be like, come July and August. I went to the fishmongers this morning. So much fish. So much variety. While here, I always try to eat what I can’t get hold of in England: ‘carapau’, my firm favourite; how I’ve missed it all these years. And then the ‘fanecas’, so delicately flavoured; I could never understand why the Brits, as proud as they are of their ‘fish and chips”, can disdain such lovely fish as pout and horse mackerel. Silly, silly, silly people; they don’t know what they’re missing out on! And then… And then there is …

language café

We arrive five minutes past, and there’s only a man and a woman sitting at one of the tables. Apart from them, the whole place is quite deserted. ‘Do you think it’s them…?’ I ask Man, and he looks at me, the mere hint of a shrug in his eyes and his shoulders. ‘Could be.’ He finally answers. I walk all the way around the place, from one room to the other and back to the starting point again. ‘Well, there’s nobody else around, so it’s either them or nobody else… Shall we ask?’ ‘You want to ask?’ Oh no, not this time, mister, I tell myself. Not this time. I’m always the one doing the asking, and you the one wriggling out of it. But not this time. ‘You do it this time’ And I smile my best, most alluring smile at him. He grimaces, retraces his steps and approaches their table. By the time I get round the connecting tunnel and back into the main room, there’s laughter all around. But no, it …

life, unbound

    “I don´t know what beauty you can possibly find in any of that!” She throws at me in passing, her head slowly shaking from one side to the other. I suppose it is yet something else in which I am a disappointment to her. Heart on the sleeve. Head in the clouds. Always in dreamland. Always living a fantasy. “Life is not what you think it is, little missy!”, she used to scold me many, many years ago. “You imagine it´s all sweet words and poetry and everything like in the movies and all la-di-da, and it ain´t, it just ain´t!” I smile to myself and carry on shooting. I almost tell her that life turns out to be exactly as I imagined it. Every single blessed day. But I don´t. I just smile to Man, who´s crept up silently behind me, he too smiling. His hand is on my shoulder. In my hand, the camera whirrs and purrs. The macro is but the faintest whisper as it slides and locks. I don´t …