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2023 - Algarve - May - Day 6

Happy Birthday to Me…..

Technically it had actually been my birthday by the time I had got into bed the night before after watching the results from the Eurovision Song Contest but I didn’t count that.

This was my first birthday spent on mainland Europe. I have now had one in Florida, Japan and Europe as well as far too many at home. I have also had one in isolation in Hospital and also one where I went into hospital on the day for a hernia operation which I recall for the wrong reasons.

As a child I was always so excited beforehand and can still remember my 7th birthday when I got my first ever Norwich City kit. I don’t think I ever wanted to take it off. Nowadays I am much more nonchalant about them and for me it is more the excuse to be with my loved ones than anything material. So, I will miss not seeing the boys and Ellie today but will make up for it next weekend.

I awoke to another beautiful day shining in through the window. Karen had brought a few cards out with her which I opened in bed. Whilst having breakfast outside I was given a signed card from everyone else in the Villa along with a fridge magnet of some sardines which was a fun memento.

I also got hugs from everyone and then Karen & I decided to go for a walk to the beach after I had replied to the many birthday messages I received on my phone.

We have decided we really like Vilamoura. It feels very safe. It is relatively up market and doesn’t really cater for the Brits looking for 1 Euro beers. There are lots of groups of lads/older men in some of the bars and restaurants, but they are here for the golf and are a different demographic to those in other resorts. There are some lovely cafes dotted around. It is also still expanding with plenty of building still taking place.

Our walk ended with us back at the café on the beach. At Karen’s request we had a table in the dabbled shade. It was beautiful with a lovely gentle cooling breeze making the temperature perfect. I had a Coke Zero whilst Karen went for a Latte. We sat there ages just chatting and enjoying the views.

After this we started to head back but took a slight detour via a small market that had been set up. It was mainly craft stalls but there was a lovely sour dough bread stall and we were seriously tempted to buy a loaf after sampling it but didn’t think we would have time to eat it all.

We continued walking back and then decided to have another drink and a sandwich at another local café. They also had freshly squeezed orange juice which was delicious. We sat for a while doing Wordle and other things on my phone (which I was still sharing with Karen who was still obviously without hers).

Back at the villa, everyone else was just finishing lunch. Karen had bought me a birthday cake whilst shopping the day before and so a candle was placed on top of that before it was shared with everyone.

The rest of the afternoon was spent was spent reading although I did start getting all my things together as we had an early departure for home the next day.

I realised we had been here for almost a week and not yet ventured onto the Villas balcony and so went to explore. The view was great, and we hadn’t realised that not only could we see the guys who were playing tennis but also the golf course we had played yesterday.

Whilst on the balcony I had a Facetime call with Barry & Ellie for my birthday which was lovely as they were sitting in their garden at home. Sadly, Neil was a korfball event at the UEA and so I couldn’t speak to him.

At 6pm we had the usual drinks outside as we finished all the bottles left in the fridge. I had booked a restaurant for everyone at 7.30pm. We set off at 7pm. When we got to the restaurant I we found it wasn’t the one I had booked! I quickly cancelled the wrong booking and fortunately the one we were at called Braganca Mar and wanted were able to fit us in on the table we wanted. Disaster averted.

Karen wore her new jump suit and looked exceptionally pretty for my birthday.

The table was outside and set under some lovely twinkling lights. The food was again delicious. Most people had various Steaks. I had mine with a Blue Cheese and Red Wine sauce which was unbelievable. Karen had a Surf & Turf and had some gentle teasing from the owner for wanting it ‘well done’.

There were lots of bottles of wine consumed. A waitress did drop one which shattered on the cobbled square. As usual there was lots of laughter and noise.

Around 10pm we headed back as some people were being picked up at 4.15am for their flights back to Stansted. Karen & I walked with Sarah who had possibly had one glass of wine too many and was meandering all over the place which was amusing.

At the villa there was a big clear up of the kitchen and fridge. Alex didn’t want to throw anything away and, in the end, we had to sneak things into the bin to prevent his case being overloaded on the way home. He also made himself a ‘Brown Cow’ drink to use up the last of the Coke which he mixed with milk. This was a drink he used to have as a boy in Africa and looked foul.

The house was quiet by 10.45pm on our last day, my birthday. It had been a good day.

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