TE19 Iberian Adventure

Passing Time in Portugal (Short Story) John Hartley

I – Donkeys and dictators “I am impatient with myself,” lamented Fernando Pessoa, “my restlessness keeps on growing but is forever the same.” The Portuguese poet might have foretold my final years of school, a disenchanted field of stubble and stones, lost in a blur of sports- fixtures and social engagements, theatre productions and end of year exams. The glory of youth had faded like the lustre of an evening cloud when I departed down the school driveway for the final time. After the best part of a decade together we marched off into the world, the unlived life heavy on our shoulders. My peers rose to greet their big plans, but I had nothing more than a plane ticket to Portugal.

“One last thing – don’t forget a book or two,” the message read, “there isn’t much to do at the house.”

The redeye flight touched down in the land of three hundred days of sunshine and a battered burgundy Jeep pulled up to arrivals.

“Bom dia – good morning!” The familiar figure of my paternal Grandfather waved, at ease in polo shirt and slacks, the uniform of an old golf pro. “What do you think?” Grandad surveyed the Algarve coastline and cornflower blue sea, “Glorious – Isn’t it!” 149

Made with FlippingBook Ebook Creator