TE19 Iberian Adventure

John Hartley

“I hated it, yes,” Grandad confirmed, “but it did us good.”

Grandad loathed the Spanish – constantly referring to ‘our’ historic friendship with Portugal and the Armada defeat. He was a caricature lifted from the pages of my childhood fiction, of C. S. Forester’s Hornblower and W. E. Johns’ ‘Biggles’, but the line between earnest patriot and tone-deaf jingoism wasn’t always clear. “Anyway, England’s gone to the dogs,” he rambled on, blending the astute with the absurd, “ever since Blair and Brown let all those immigrants in.”

“That’s rich,” I thought, “Coming from an expat.”

“I’ve done my bit,” Grandad muttered, “I’m entitled to these views.”

Money was always on Grandad’s mind. A bad investor – he’d lost everything several times over. Now he supplemented his pension teaching golf to fellow expats. Both my Grandfather and Father were talented golfers but were impossible acts to follow.

The Algarve laid claim to over thirty courses.

“The Oceanico Club was designed by Arnold Palmer.” Grandad noted. We passed Penina, the beating heart of Algarve golf, “She ages like a fine wine”. Grandad nodded to the other old pros, like members of some secret society. 170

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