So, how was the birthday? A day of sunshine and smiles. Silves was as beautiful by night as I had anticipated. Earlier that day I had gone walking with friends, in the hills high above the Guadiana at the Spanish border. After a toastie and glass of wine down by the river, we said our farewells and drove to Silves, an hour and a half away. In total contrast, this town is situated in a tidal plain, on the River Arade. Our hotel was chosen because it looked directly across at the lovely red castle on the hill.
Scarcely had we left the hotel car park than we were admiring storks, perched precarioulsy in none too sturdy trees. With complete abandon, these creatures build their nests wherever they choose, and return to them year on year. We had seen few of late, in and around Tavira, and were happy to find them congregating here.
As we walked around the town, stretching our legs, we found more and more of them. The family high on the metal canisters seemed determined to stay, despite the best efforts of a bulldozer clearing the building site below. ‘Derelict is best’ must be the motto of one pair, whose pals seemed to have abandoned nests and hope, for another, better year?
But proudly, in the centre of town, a longstanding chimney plays the genial host. Having exerted ourselves in the morning we felt due a rest, and had arranged to talk to our son, who is slowly recovering from Covid. Whose idea was it to walk to the windmill on the outskirts of town? Don’t look at me! Restless doesn’t always have to be taken literally.
It was quite decrepit too, when we got there, but along the way we managed to talk to James. Cooped up, but coping. I felt much better for talking to him. By the time we’d made the ascent evening was starting to fall. Wearily back in town, we sat a while, admiring the rosy hues glinting off the pink tiled building. Time to make our way through the dusk, to our hotel and the pleasures of evening.
Which included a wonderful tiramisu. Next day dawned bright and beautiful and after breakfast we completed a levada walk before returning to Silves, just to sit in the sun. It wouldn’t be Silves without a bit more street art, would it?
All in all a highly satisfactory weekend, until we came to sit for one last glass of wine before heading home. As my gaze fell on my ring finger I realised that the amethyst in the middle of my engagement ring was no longer there. A gaping hole looked back at me. Of course, I retraced my steps as far as I was able, but without much hope.
I guess a trip to the jeweller’s is on the cards this week. Thank you for all your good wishes, and for always being such good company. See you again soon!