Waking up when I felt like it was a luxury worth almost any cost to me. And obviously Joel, who slept until nearly lunchtime. While he slumbered, I swam. Well, I guess I didn’t swim; I floated, employing just the slightest movement required to propel myself from end to end as the whim took me. I had four swims over the weekend, always alone in the pool. As a parent of kids under 6, I wholeheartedly endorse the Pousada’s ban on children under 6. Instead of dodging little ratbags bombing overhead, garish floaties, and snot, my swims were almost transcendent in relaxation. I floated for hours, ears just underwater, staring at the moon and the branches of the huge overhead trees, and the occasional leaf fluttering down to join me. To have some time just to reflect on my own was unexpected and important.
We saw in my birthday at the outdoor bar at Fernando’s, not on purpose but as a result of our debilitating and frankly stunning consumption of jars of sangria. It was damn hot. Luckily I had my culturally sensitive fan to hand. Don’t worry, it wasn’t only the Chinese who were offended; Joel kept things balanced with a splendid paso doble.
Back at the hotel, I was particularly hungry and looking forward to the chocolates that were part of the turn-down service. They were little white-chocolate lovehearts with almonds inside, packed in individual leather boxes. But look! TEMPERING FAIL!
How could that possibly have passed QC? Note: I still ate it, obviously. Note 2: It tasted just as good as the other one, if not better for its sad rejected form.
The next morning I think I tried too hard to wake up at the time my body would naturally wake up (??) and I woke at 7.30am. What the fuck! So I went down to the restaurant and ordered one of those massive breakfasts one person could never possibly eat – fruit, yogurt, omelette, toast, croissant, juice, coffee. And I did some Mandarin study while looking out the window and eating little bits of everything; and then I had another swim and really thought about how good I feel about where I’m at in my life at this age; how loved and fulfilled.