Sorry we’re late…

2018 4

(There’s Denis with the rusty canons at Sagres Fort)

It’s different on the way back. We’re on our way back. We have been passing places we stayed in on the way out to this edge of Europe and now it’s different. On the way out at every parking spot it seemed like anything was possible. Stay for the night? Stay for a month? Come back again? Put off that tour, sure won’t we be back this way? It seems like the only restrictions were electricity, water and permission to stay.

2018 3

(More flora from the fort)

On the way back there’s another restriction. Time. Time moves more slowly in Portugal and not just for us. If we had places to go and people to meet then we might be frustrated by the laid back approach here. We might be… but we are not because we had neither places to go nor people to meet. That is changing. Fortunately for us it is changing slowly.

2018 8

(That’s the sound art, from yesterday’s post, to the right of the fencing)

Now we have places to go and people to meet. We have a ferry to catch and on the way we are meeting good friends. They will put up with us if we are late or if we just want to sit and stare at the sea or if we have nothing to say. They will give us electricity and a parking space and hot showers and if things work out like last time they will even feed us beautiful French food.

2018 5

(The view towards the east from Sagres Fort)

Hopefully by the time we reach Ireland we will know again how to be at a specific place at a specific time. Hopefully, we will successfully bring the car for it’s NCT while remembering that it needs a new battery before we can even get it out of the driveway. Hopefully, we will increase our trips to the washing machine and to the shower to allow more sweet-smelling encounters. I think we’re nearly ready but forgive us if we’re not.

2018 11

(Sunset looking at the lighthouse from Sagres)

We buy flexi tickets for the ferry each year, they allow us to move our booking if we need to. For things like snow and ice on the way out in February to staying longer on the way back. We’ve never used them but it seems this will be the year of flexibility so we changed our tickets. We even got a refund… of €5! But we’re not staying longer, we’re coming back sooner.

2018 9

(A single wild poppy at the castle in Silves)

While we were away the date for the Repeal the 8th Amendment Referendum was set and it turned out to be the day before we were due back. So we would miss it. That played on my mind. I have never considered myself political. I voted because I had the vote and my vote was hard-won for me by women who were long dead. But I never thought my vote made a difference… until the Marriage Equality Referendum. That’s when I realised, it’s not just the vote that makes a difference, it’s how the question, of which way I will vote, makes me different. It makes me reflect, which I love to do anyway but usually I reflect on myself! Why I’m here, what something means, how will I do this or solve that… But the reflection related to voting makes me think about others. I think it teaches me compassion and that’s what being political means to me.

See you soon… but I’ll probably be late. Mairead.