Monday, January 10, 2011

We Three Kings

So, new year was fun. We popped to our Portuguese neighbours for one drink around 8pm (having already eaten and booked marked the evenings viewing on the TV). Peter got home at 4am! I was slightly more sedate and admitted defeat at 1am!

The Portuguese do it so well you see. Rio and Philamina are our neighbours just over the road. Always really friendly we have been round for drinks with them a few times. Rio speaks Portuguese/Spanish with Peter and while Philamina does not speak English, she is wonderfully slow at speaking and I get about 60% of it! Typical Portuguese, they are warm and friendly, force feed you drinks and nice food, living proof of why we really love Portugal and the Portuguese people.

This time, after disbelieving we were eating so early (8pm) they invited us round for a drink. Their children (about the same age as us) were staying along with their friends. Wonderfully they were young enough to know some English, which meant I could join in a lot more. When their suckling pig arrived (with two late comers) they insisted we stay and eat with them!

They were great fun, the boys all sang and played guitar and we badly sang Oasis and Mammas and Pappas songs. Later the Portuguese folk songs started and both Peter and I loved this wonderful, friendly, family atmosphere.

And now, the 12th day of Christmas has passed and with the exception of a home made Xmas wreath all the decorations are down (to be honest I took them down the day after boxing day, it was over for me!). The next village along is Sarnardas, their social club held a Three Kings Festa on Saturday and along we went. Jack, Sylvia and Laurel joined us too.

Peter, who is not on Portuguese time yet, insisted we arrive at 5.30 and he and I sat in the social club with no atmosphere while the old boys played cards. I was worried the evening would be a bust. But hold on! Our neighbours arrived, more local people arrived, tables were put up, the smell of food wafted over to us and slowly the place filled with local people.

For five euros a head we ate mixed meat, potatoes, cabbage and rice, so much food. Drink came in red and white only! Local home brew for the evening was less rough the more you drank! But even we could not stomach too much of the white!

Again the place filled with wonderful friendly people. Everyone knows who you are, they asked after the dog, gave us kisses of welcome and were thoroughly enchanting. We were joined at the table by Nigel and his son, English people but living in the village too.

After the food, drink, auction (where Jack bought possibly the worst figurine I have ever seen for 15 euros), the tables were dismantled and the dancing began. Fernando the accordian player is a staple at these parties and since meeting him I have heard he is a one for the ladies!!!

The dancing started in earnest and the locals put us to shame with their raucous dancing which involved stamping the feet and swinging around the room. Why oh why can't I dance like that?

A local man took pity on me, well maybe not pity, maybe he was just showing off! But as I was spun around the room, feeling like a ninny but trying my best to dance.

'One, two, three, one, two, three' - amazing what you can do with a good lead!

The club is run by a local family and one of their boys was 16 today. He asked me to dance but alas without a firm lead I just couldn't do it. Needless to say everyone had a good laugh at us, especially as he was trying so hard to be gallant!

Once again we have been overwhelmed with hospitality. That's what is so great about Central Portugal.