Here is a picture of the charanga that I failed to photograph on Saturday night. Last night, as we walked back from town, I saw them again and snapped them with a little more success.
I had walked down to town with the eldest grandchild. Her younger siblings had stayed behind with their mother for a bit of an early night. So we headed down with the idea of meeting Phil as he came back from the chess tournament.
Yes indeed, the Pontevedra annual chess tournament began yesterday. Weeks ago we had contacted the Ponters chess people and explained that we would be in Poio for the duration. There had been promises of a lift to the tournament venue but all had been left very vague. We had sent emails about other stuff, including a hint that the lift arrangements had not been finalised but without too much emphasis. After all, we did not want to appear to be nagging.
When we still had heard nothing by Saturday, however, we did begin to feel a little anxious. So we sent a further email, in which Phil requested a bye for the early Sunday morning match. His chances of getting to the other side of the town for 10.00 am were slight and so he opted to skip that game and accept half a point instead. But he did need to be there for 5.00 pm for the second round. We were assured, by email, that they would phone me during Sunday to confirm arrangements.
Finally, at 4.20 or maybe even 4.25, I had a phone call asking if Phil could be at the pick-up point for 4.40! Fortunately, our friend Colin was able to drive him down the hill to the pick-up point. A twenty minute walk for most of us. A ten minute walk for Phil. But it was a hot day. So a lift was welcome. At the last minute he asked me to go along so that I could liaise with the Ponters chess people.
This I did. In the car to Mourente, the chess venue on the other side of town, I discovered that the reason for the late arrangement was not just Spanish mañana-ism. One of the morning games had not finished until almost 4.00 and all subsequent decisions were put off as a result. Anyway, we got there at last.
I chatted to a range of people:- chess players from previous tournaments, organisers, parents of some of the boys who had taken part in the Manchester chess visit at Easter and so on.
And suddenly the start of the tournament was announced and there I was, stuck in Mourente, wanting to return to Poio and seriously not fancying a hot walk, even through the trees and along the river, back to Pontevedra centre and up the hill Poio.
Just as I was considering who to ask for a taxi phone number, someone I know, the wife of one of the regular chess tournament people, saw me and offered me a lift. Hurray! Some people are just so good!
So I was dropped off at the garden door here in Poio and strolled past the pool, greeting people in the water, including the middle grandchild, and up to our friend's house.
Some time much later, the oldest granddaughter and I went back down to town. We saw the statue of the virgin being brought out of the lovely, round Peregrina Chapel, to the accompaniment of enormous amounts of bell ringing. No photos possible this time. The crowds between us and the white and gold-clad virgin were just too dense.
We met Phil - game drawn - and we all had a drink and a snack at the Meigas Fora, a favourite place of almost everyone we know here. The waiter asked where our friend Colin was. On his way later, probably, we replied. Almost immediately the table next to ours, actually the table where Colin prefers to sit, was reserved for him. After a number of people had been turned away, the waiters eventually agreed to serve a couple who sat at the table. Clearly the wait had been too long. Commercial considerations won out over their friendship for Colin.
However, time was passing and we worked out that by the time he and his companions arrived, we would be ready to move on and they could take our table.
And so it proved to be.
All's well that ends well!