Monday, 4 November 2019

Farewell to Figueira!

4.00 am. I am woken by a high pitched electronic “beeeeep”. What the ...insert rude word of choice... is that? All goes back to being quiet. I am almost back to sleep when “beeeeep”, there it is again! And again! Then I realise it must be my cheap Spanish mobile phone telling me it is out of battery. This is one of life’s mysteries. How does it manage to beep if it has no battery left? My British iPhone just quietly dies when it runs out of battery. But this thing does an annoying noise, like a demanding baby who wants feeding.

So there I was, scrabbling in my suitcase, almost completely packed for departure this morning, in the dark for charger. Only after I had located it and plugged it in did my brain wake up enough to,think that I could simply have turned the ...insert rude word of choice... thing off!

So it goes!

After yesterday’s sunny, but still blustery and windy, interlude, today is back to dull and grey and damp. But despite the rather disappointing weather, Figueira has been good, as usual.

When Phil eventually appeared, triumphant, after a long but victorious game yesterday, we went off with a friend to the Centro Sportinguista, a kind of worker’s collective restaurant we make a point of visiting, with this particular friend, at least once during our stay in Figueira. They serve a “mista de peixe”, three grilled fish, mackerel, horse mackerel and sea bream, for €9. Served with potatoes, it is such a copious dish that we suggested that maybe two portions and a mixed salad would be plenty for three of us. But no, the waitress insisted, it was their policy that everyone had to have a main course. So be it. I selected another fish dish, this time only one fish but still quite large. And we ate and ate and ate. And drank white wine. No dessert. Just coffee. A splendid feast.

Then we went back to the chess venue for the prize-giving, because even if you are not receiving a prize it is only courteous to turn up and applaud those who have won. One of the prize-winners must have been unaware of his success for he was not there to accept his cash envelope and his bit of ceramics. For all the prize-winners received ceramics of some sort. Even the local dignitaries and the arbiters and the lovely Patricia received ceramic boxes. All very nicely done.

And that’s Figueira over for another year!

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