It is May and time for the annual expanding of our carbon footprint with a flight to the Algarve. Our adventuring days are well behind us, if indeed we ever had any, so returning to the familiar south west tip of Portugal is always a pleasure. In recent years we’ve taken this a step further by staying in a villa with a pool and only leaving them to restock with stuff your doctor would advise you against eating. With Gillian’s ankle still recovering, doing nothing was really the only sensible option. To offer some balance to this, I took Tim Butcher’s ‘Chasing the Devil’ about him trekking though West Africa and was with him every step of the way from the safety of my poolside lounger.
Photo opportunities are bit limited under these conditions so I only used my Panasonic GF-1 with the stock lens and a recently acquired 14mm. The 14mm acts like a 28mm so I took a finder to avoid the problem of LCD glare. I had ordered a Panasonic DMW-LVF1E finder from the amazingly cheap but utterly useless Simply Electronics, weeks before the trip, but despite their website saying numbers in stock and two days to ship, they were unable to deliver in the three weeks I allowed them. Seduced by the price it was only after I ordered did I Google their name to discover whole websites devoted to their appalling customer service and incompetence. You have been warned; do not touch with a barge pole.
If the Irish in me gets the credit for my poetry, it can also share the blame for my indolence, if that isn’t politically incorrect, for Casa Luar was a tranquil spot well suited to the family inclined to do almost nothing. I practised my barbecue skills and drank rough Portuguese wine and by the end of the week I’d stopped burning stuff and we’d actually found a wine that was smooth. Tim Butcher would have been proud of us.
James and I did venture out once for a walk down to the coast but while I communed on the beauty of the evening, he played the barrister explaining why the age rating system for computer games was a monumental injustice. I think my explanation of “because I say so” helped him see things more clearly. I’m sure he will treasure these moments when he’s older.
With the Wi Fi , the satellite TV and games console, it’s safe to say we’re not really entering the spirit of ‘getting away from it all’. We did, though, get to see The European Cup Final, Corrie and the now traditional spring holiday family viewing of Britain’s Got Talent. Really, where’s the harm? – and fear not, money is set aside for the therapy sessions that James will require in the future.
Anyway, here are the snaps, most with the 14mm but a few with the stock lens. If you can tell which is which, you’re a better man or woman than me. I may need to up my game considerably for the Cardiff Photomarathon on the 11th June.