Monday, 28 October 2019

Figueira - day two.

Figueira is a deceptive kind of place. First of all it’s bigger than you might think from a first impression. I always think of it as a longish coastal development but in fact it spreads back quite a lot further. For our purposes though, and presumably for the purposes of those who come here for summer holidays, the coastal stretch with access to the long beaches is all you need.

And I always think of Figueira as flat but really that’s just the promenade. To get anywhere behind the seafront you have to go up hill. Okay, so it’s only mildly uphill. It’s not Vigo or Sheffield, two towns of notable hilliness. Nor is it Lisbon, which I am informed is pretty steep, or Porto, whose hills I have been up and down. But it’s not flat!

And then there are the deceptively not quite parallel streets which can lead you away from your intended destination. Yesterday, for example, Phil had a particular restaurant in mind for lunch. It didn’t help that his description was a little imprecise and had me thinking that we were looking for a different restaurant in a different direction altogether. Once we had sorted out that problem and I realised where we were heading, at least we had only one problem to deal with. We were no longer at cross purposes. Every time we look for this restaurant I swear it moves. It’s on a corner and has an exterior section enclosed in a sort of glass box affair. We must have gone up and down almost every little street in the vicinity of the casino before we came upon it at last, as if it had suddenly materialised on the corner.

It was worth the hunt. The food is good and the staff are friendly.

We have had similar problems trying to re-find eating places in Santiago de Compostela’s old quarter. And even more so in San Sebastian where you really get the impression that the streets are on a kind of grid. Unfortunately the grid is inexact and you are led astray, undoubtedly a ploy to force you to discover new bars and restaurants.

 It’s all part of the fun.

 Our hotel wifi continues to be wonky. Even in the lobby, where it is reasonably reliable and you usually get a connection, it can still be slow. It’s a good job we are not trying to make a living via wifi. As a rule I only follow the goings-on of the rich and famous when I go to the hairdresser’s. At the moment, though, it seems that Prince Harry and his good lady are popping up in the news on a regular basis. From the Guardian the day before yesterday I got this:

“To be or not to be an active royal, that is the question raised last week on behalf of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. It was aired by a concerned media after Harry used the media – his friend Tom Bradby’s ITV documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey – to discuss his bitter feelings about the media. That circular progression forms the perimeter of the hole in which the 35-year-old prince finds himself trapped. He feels surrounded by the same intrusive lenses he blames for his mother’s death and, like Diana, Princess of Wales, he has tried to break free from them with an emotional appearance on primetime television.
Are his complaints legitimate or a case study in the kind of spoilt privilege that is normally filed under the phrase “first-world problems”? Certainly the dubious optics of discussing his own struggles against the distressing backdrop of African deprivation did not go unnoticed by his critics. Nevertheless, what seems beyond doubt is that Harry is a genuinely troubled soul, a 21st-century tortured prince.”

I also read that the actor Wendell Pierce (Bunk in “The Wire”) a friend of Meghan from their starring in a series together, warned her that her life would be changed utterly, including the press attention as part of his warning.

Personally, I think that Henry Charles Albert David Windsor, or is it Sussex by now, and his lovely wife, and presumably their small son, should beetle off to Hollywood. The lovely wife could pick up her acting career, or not, as she chose. After all, between them they have plenty of money to live on. They could continue to do good works as the Clooneys seem to do. But they needn’t worry about being active members of the British royal family, whatever that means anyway! After all, Harry’s chances of becoming King of England grow slimmer by the day. And we could still read about them in Hello Magazine. That’s my take on it anyway!

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