“The morning is a precursor of spring warmth. So many things will be easier in spring, I think” – Haruki Murakami – an extract from ‘Hard boiled wonderland’
Folks, it’s almost time for a spring clean! Out with the old and in with the new (and all that!) Time for summer caps to replace woolly hats. Time for sunglasses and gin glasses! Time for Uncle Colin to parade his knobbly knees in ill-fitted shorts. Ah, the joys of spring! Or not…let me explain.
One of the many benefits to the Algarve is that winter is short (like Uncle Colin) and days are usually warm and sunny. One minute it’s autumn and you’re wearing shorts and drinking a gin and tonic. The next it’s winter…and you’re wearing shorts and drinking a gin and tonic. My point being that, unless you have strong cravings for drizzle and frost, the Algarve is a marvellous place to be regardless of the season. The only downside is that you might have to see Uncle Colin’s knobbly knees all year round.
Having said that, in the past few days there has been a noticeable change of atmosphere here in Luz. It has nothing to do with the weather as, barring four days of cloud, the skies have been mostly clear all year. But I can sense an unmistakeable joie de vivre on the faces of everyone at Ocean Villas. Perhaps it is something in the air? Maybe it is something in our biological clocks? Maybe I’m just talking nonsense. All possibilities are feasible, but whatever the reason, it certainly feels like spring.
Okay, so let’s try and isolate the moment when the mood changed. If we can find out what creates this sanguine attitude, we could bottle it and sell it. This time next year, we could be millionaires.
The first sign of spring is the almond blossom – and with it comes a story. When the Algarve was ruled by the Moors, a young prince married a Nordic princess and they were deeply in love. But when the winter arrived, she felt a deep longing to see the snow in her homeland. The prince ordered almond trees to be planted as far as the eye could see. When spring arrived, the princess could only see white fields of almond blossom, therefore curing her of her yearning for home.
The next mood-changing moment appeared with the arrival of the daffodils – a sure-fire sign that spring is on its way. Moreover, they are an iconic representation of life and resilience. ‘Is that all you’ve got?’ mock the daffodils at a retreating winter. ‘Ha, we didn’t even feel it’.
The birds also seem aware of the changing of the seasons. They chirp with a renewed enthusiasm knowing that berries and fruits and freshly-dropped crumbs are on their way. There are more signs of life here in Luz as many more of the lovely bars and restaurants begin to reopen.
And then suddenly I understand. The core factor behind our strong sense of optimism – hope. Hope is something that each and every one of us needs at the start of the year. With hope, we all have a purpose. It’s simple really. Spring offers us all a sense of hope. The blossom – the daffodils – the birds – the restaurants. It all makes sense. Unfortunately, hope is intangible so we may well have to wait a while longer to become millionaires.
In a land, where hope springs eternal, we ‘hope’ that you will join us at Ocean Villas Luz to put a smile back on your face. Just don’t forget to tell Uncle Colin to bring his shorts.
More news next month.
(All photo images owned by David Lugg)