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2023 - May - Algarve - Day 5

The morning alarm was rather too early after the night before. At 6.20am I turned it off to try not to disturb Karen. After hopping in the shower and getting myself sorted out I was having breakfast at 7.00am before the taxi for our final round of golf arrived at 7.30pm. I just had enough time to take Karen a cup of tea by the bed as she came around.

Today we were playing the Pinhal course which was very close to the villa, although too far to walk. Our tee off time was 8.06am and we were to be the first on the course for the day. Even though we were at Tee 10 which was to be our first hole at 8.00am they would not let us start until the precise time which was bizarre.

The course was much more established than the others we had played with quite narrow fairways and some very tricky dog legs in between trees. There was some water which miraculously we all managed to avoid all day.

I was again sharing the 18 holes with Ian. He was again to play the first 9. Today we decided to play pairs best ball, a format we may have just invented ourselves. It was Team Alex/Graham against Team Chris/Ian/Karl. For each pair we hit two balls from whichever position the best ball from the previous shot had landed. It was great fun and very sociable.

The round had started quite briskly but by our 12th hole we were having 5 minutes waits at each hole for the fairways to clear.

It was very close on the first 9 with my team ahead by one shot. I then took over from Ian for the back 9. I was hopeless for much of the round again. Fortunately, Chris was playing the best I have ever seen him play and more than made up for it. I did contribute some shots and after losing the lead at one point we quickly regained it and won by 2 shots. Our winning total was a very respectable 89, which shows what we could do if we discarded all our terrible shots every round.

After the short taxi ride back, we were soon joined by the girls back from their morning walk. They had apparently been in very clothes shop and had a lovely coffee stop. They had also picked up some fresh rolls that we all then had for lunch.

The afternoon was spent as usual with everyone lazing around outside doing their own thing apart from the other boys who went off for an hour to play tennis again. I again opted out to protect my knee which although still painful but was just about bearable. I didn’t want to risk any further damage to it though.

Ian & I decided it might be fun for a while to rewrite the lyrics to ‘Living Next Door to Alex’ to make them even more pertinent. Suffice to say it is still a work in progress.

It had been decided that we would eat in again tonight and the cooks started preparing the evening meal about 6pm whilst everyone had their usual G&T’s. Karen had opted out of the Fish meal as she felt she was all ‘fished’ out and had added a Pizza to the food order for herself.

After the Sardines and Prawns, we had some beautiful Dorada White Fish on the BBQ along with some chips. It was all very nice.

Karen and Susie ate their food inside in the big lounge area watching the Eurovision Song Contest which started at 8pm. Initially it was all in Portuguese until Alex connected his BBC iPad to the TV which allowed them to have the English commentary.

Alex & I joined them about half way through. It was great fun laughing at the various entries.

I had really rated our chances but sadly Mae Muller’s vocals were not strong enough in a live performance and were lost against the backing track which was deliberately cranked louder to hide her vocal inadequacies.

Nevertheless, we didn’t know until the voting started. The whole production of the show was amazing and it was interesting to be with people who really appreciated all the work that was going into staging it.

The voting started and we were joined for a while by everyone from outside. It was a resounding thumbs down for the UK entry, coming second last in both the Jury and Public votes. We were well beaten, even by one country who performed in pants which says something. So next year’s contest comes from Sweden on the 50th anniversary since Abba one.

It was just past midnight when the results were finalised by which point everyone had already retired and the four of us immediately joined them.

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