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2023 - Algarve - Day 1

Day One in the Big Brother house.

I woke up sore with a very stiff Achilles from the wounds that were self-inflicted on the back of my ankle, a sore back from sleeping in a different bed and even more concerning a knee that was painful with every step. Still though the weather was fabulous and those who were already up were already lounging outside.

Breakfast was had in dribs and drabs as people gradually arose. The girls were eager to make the most of the weather whilst us boys had a taxi booked for 9.15am to take us the short distance to the Laguna Golf Course.

There was some excited chatter as we loaded our clubs into the taxi which turned up on time, yet we were also somewhat nervous as we had no real idea what to expect at the Golf course. Would they turn us away when they saw how poor we all were at golfers, none of us good enough to have a handicap?

In the end whilst it may have been posh but they were just grateful to take our money. The whole place was very busy with British Golfers most of whom seemed to be of our poor standard.

Many years ago, the town Vilamoura was just a small fishing village. Then a golf course was built followed by another and another. It was thus then conceived as a golfing destination and villas were constructed to house the visitors. They have done a great job and it is now a popular year-round destination.

We checked in and collected our buggies. There were 5 of us, but Ian & I had agreed that today we would play 9 holes each so that we could play as a four ball. I was to play the first 9.

I tee’d off first and set a suitably low standard for the day. Sporadically one of us might have a good hole but Sky Sports would struggle to find much to broadcast as a highlights show. The conditions were perfect it was hot but we were kept cool by a lovely breeze.

The course was lovely with lots of water challenges. The only thing that let it down were the condition of the greens which were disease ridden. The fairways were fantastic and better than some of the greens we play on at home, whereas the greens were far worse.

By the 6th hole I was really struggling with my knee. Every step was painful especially going down any inclines. I was glad when the drinks cart came round to have an ice-cold Coke Zero which revived me for a while. I just could not believe that after playing for months relatively pain free at home that I was suffering now on this trip.

I was grateful when we had completed the first 9 and Ian and I swapped over. I had finished the first 9 in 2ndplace which I was pleased with.

I was very grateful to be able to rest whilst being the buggy driver. As there were three of us using one buggy, we worked out that if Ian & I rode in the buggy then Alex could stand on the back with the golf bags, riding it like a chariot. It worked well under I went under some low branches and nearly decapitated him!

I quite enjoyed being the driver for the last 9, although I didn’t realise how much I had stiffened up just sitting down until we got to the end. On the 17th hole we went past a Stork sitting on a nest on a palm tree with 2 large chicks in it. You don’t get one of those when playing at Bawburgh.

The whole round was slow and had taken 4 ¾ hours. This left us 20 minutes to grab a quick drink before our taxi picked us up for the return to villa.

The girls seemed as though they had had a lovely chilled time chatting and reading by the pool. They had all decided we would have a BBQ tonight so had all walked to the nearest Spar and managed to carry mountains of food, wine and charcoal back with them.

After we grabbed some quick lunch, we all just chilled. Graham got the drone that he and I had gone halves on and flew it around the villa gardens taking various aerial shots of the villa and everyone sitting or lying around.

I was now though very sore and struggling to walk, so just tried to sit down quietly to rest my knee.

Everyone chipped in with the BBQ and it was a real team effort from everyone apart from me. I felt guilty but was in too much pain to do anything about it.

The wine then started to really flow. The food from the BBQ when it was served was excellent with some lovely herby potatoes. We had Grahams BBQ mix of music playing in the background. As more wine was consumed the chatter got louder and more raucous.

Once we cleared away and the nth bottle of wine had been opened, Karen & I started playing the ‘I like Coffee but I don’t like tea’ game with people at our end of the long table. Soon everyone was joining in. There was much laughter and swearing as nobody else could work out what was going on. Eventually after about 40 minutes we had to tell a couple of people so they could help us out. Then in the end we just told everyone to much moans and groans from the fact they had all been thinking much too deeply about it

Then Sarah got us to all to play a simple card game called Spoons. It is a cross between Old Maid and Musical Chairs. This provoked even more merriment and some very competitive play. I was very pleased to beat Alex in the final to be crowned ‘King Spoon’ for the night, but not without some controversy.

After a while we made some hot drinks which we had outside before retiring just before 11pm. Karen had wondered how we would all rub along in one big villa but so far it has been such great fun and she has enjoyed being with all the other girls.

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