Last week’s post in Santa Rita was a hard act to follow. For me it embodied all the joy of an Algarve Christmas, but it doesn’t seem right to say goodbye to an old, dog-eared year without first taking you for a stroll around Tavira, in all her sparkly finery.
From our house, it’s a short walk into town, passing the Fonte Salgada roundabout. Most years this is lit quite simply with a ‘Boas Festas’ sign- ‘good parties!’ The crib scene was a nice surprise. Over the level crossing I vary my route, seeking out lighted windows, balconies draped with fairy lights and Christmas window displays. I think the wedding gown might need a warm bolero!
Across the river all eyes are drawn to the tree, standing proud in Praca da Liberdade. As we watch, a ripple of colour spreads upwards and the tree changes from electric blue, through turquoise, green and red. Behind the arches of the council buildings, solemn, slightly spooky kings carry their presents to the holy infant. I play hide and seek with the kings, watching the light sparkle on the fountains.
We wait for our turn and then take a twirl inside the tree, looking up as the colours flow all around us. Christmas magic!
Eventually we tear ourselves away and walk through the riverside gardens to the twinkling bandstand. I wonder if the terrapins who live there mind the unaccustomed night light. A very low key Christmas market is being set up and, for the first time ever, a small ice skating rink. Santa sits in a riverside cabin, bemused at being ignored by the tots, who laboriously push a penguin and a polar bear across the ice. I can’t help but think that padded suits might be more use. It’s a good thing that little ones bounce!
Inside the old market, a more traditional scene, with camels and traders, occupies one corner. Back on the quayside, we walk towards the shiny bow outside the new market. The lights of home beckon, from across the water.
Can you see the conflict? Homespun or manufactured? Heartfelt or adopted? Traditional or modern? None of it really matters. The important thing is to give and receive love, and to make this a time of peace in our turbulent, worrisome world.
‘Imagine all the people living life in peace, You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…’ I’m singing along with Lennon again.
Sharing the Christmas theme, here’s what Melbourne has to offer. Thanks, Teresa!
And from the warmth of her beloved Philippines :
A bit strenuous for me these days, but what a terrific reward! Christie could certainly lead me here :
And by way of complete contrast, stroll with Rupali :
The word Fashion always has me thinking of Bowie. Sing along, Drake!
Sarah takes us to Plovdiv, to see some wonderful street art :
And just to round it all off, Jude is sharing another garden with me. One day, in real life, hon?
And so I see out a year in which I’ve changed blogs, but not really left the old Restlessjo behind. I’m doing a quick sprint to the UK for Christmas, and won’t be posting a Monday walk next week. Wish me luck! Much love to you all. I’m so happy to share our world.