At the poker table
|Hardly anything goes on in our corner of the Algarve. The house we live in is on an impassable sandy track; we get very excited when a strange car drives past. Occasionally the shepherd disturbs the peace with his flock of sheep. In principle, I thrive in such a stimulus-free environment. But every now and then I crave a healthy dose of action, tension and excitement. This is no problem so long as I make a bit of an effort to help things along.
So from time to time my dear daughter and I organise a Girls Night Out. We – this means an ever-expanding group of girls/women of various nationalities – meet in Albufeira for a bite to eat and a film, followed by a night on the town. We even have our own dress code (silver/pink or black/white) to cause a bit of a stir. We’ve already had a number of legendary Girls Nights Out – when Mamma Mia! hit the local cinema we spent weeks singing instead of talking to each other – and we intend to continue this tradition for many years to come.
Recently we have added a new activity: poker. Texas Hold’em, to be precise. Several of the girls, myself included, have secretly become seriously addicted. At first we didn’t have proper chips to play with so we used whatever was lying around, i.e. pencils, felt-tips and even Easter eggs
‘What?! Are you putting in two pencils? Then I’ll raise you a felt tip.’
Without so much as a word, G. places an egg on the table.
‘O my God, did you see that? G. has put in her egg. What are you doing?’
‘Mum, I’m starving. Can I have that chocolate egg?’
‘Hands off, Laura! Mummy needs that to raise the stakes.’
It goes without saying that after a few weeks we had to have a proper poker set. There were none for sale in Portugal so we imported one from Spain. Apparently you are only allowed to play poker in casinos here, and outside it is extremely illegal. The minute I found out, my enthusiasm for the game got even bigger, and I have since tried to play in public if I can, hoping, of course, to be arrested shortly.
Where is Heleen? She’s in jail!
PS: the weather is already scandalously beautiful here. I’m hoping we’re in for a long, hot summer this year. For the next slot on my events calendar I am thinking of having a Wet T-shirt Contest at Carvoeiro Tennis Club. Plenty of judges have come forward, but not enough contestants. Should you be coming to the Algarve this summer, feel free to enter yourself using the website. I shall announce the date as soon as I can.