Living in the foothills of the Serra de Estrella in central Portugal is supposed to be an idyllic existence – stunning picture postcard scenery, perfect weather all enhanced by friendly and convivial neighbours. Aging donkeys retiring peacefully by the river, toothless old crones carrying bags of washing on their heads. Just the sound of birds in the trees, the river bubbling through the granite rocks and an old peasant man hacking up some phlegm on his way to market.
What I’ve experienced over the last 20 years certainly has included all of these elements but there are many other bitter tasting ingredients to spoil the taste of this delicious metaphor pie. I won’t get started on the hideous mouldy concrete building developments marring the countryside or the fact that it pisses down with rain for half of the year. I’ll stick to the continual theft of my belongings I’ve suffered whilst living here.
The most recent happened a few days ago whilst we were slumbering beneath a full and shining moon. Some thieving Gypsy bastards relieved my truck of a pair of brand new batteries. A relatively small haul but added to the several thousand euros worth of property that has already been stolen from me it begins to smart a tad. So the security upgrade will continue – more fences and gates. Cameras and alarms. It all just takes the shine away from this supposedly lustrous life.
I discussed the issue with my exceedingly wise mother:
“…maybe you could attach live electricity wires to the truck?”
“…a good idea Ma. But it would be terribly inconvenient to find a smouldering pikey stuck to it in the morning…”
Maybe we’ll just move to Hackney instead.
I didn’t surf today.