A brief recap: Since arriving at Ocean Villas Luz in August 2020, our resident writer David Lugg has been experiencing all aspects of Luz Life. This is his June 2022 review:
My time in Portugal has taught me that there are a number of ‘little things’ that have become increasingly important in my life. Every day I appreciate the bigger picture such as the sunshine and the ever-friendly Portuguese people, but it’s the little things that often have the most profound effect. Sure, they are a number of little frustrations too such as the amount of time I waste in Portuguese supermarket queues (I’m beginning to think it’s a hobby or a national pastime), but here is my top five ‘little things I love’ – the list of things I never knew I needed, but now I can’t live without.
1) Lifestyle – The pace of life; the general lack of urgency; the smell of coffee and cake from the street-side cafes, the old women sitting in open doorways; the men who gather around small TV screens in bars. It’s the sound of fado from old radios, the sound of excited voices on ubiquitous beaches and, as soon as you step away from the towns and cities, it’s the sound of silence. It’s one big, glorious melting pot of Portuguese life.
2) Time – ‘Time’ in Portugal is merely a word. It has little sense of purpose and is by no means pertinent to daily life. I have been fortunate to live and travel to a number of leisurely-paced countries and Portugal is right up there with the very slowest. It’s the time it takes customers to find loose change in their infinitely cavernous handbags. It’s the trains that are never…ever…ever on time. It’s the ‘closed for lunch’ signs that give no indication of when (or if) they will ever re-open. And have I ever mentioned the speed of a supermarket queue? When I weigh it all up, it still beats a London commute any day.
3) Cultural mix – In her heyday, the nation of Portugal was one of the great countries for maritime exploration. Her footprint can be found across the globe, but it is also evident in every day culture here in the motherland. Portugal would be wildly different without its heady mix of vibrant Brazilians and colourful African nations. It’s a cacophonous joy of colour and noise and I love it!
4) Simplicity – There is no disrespect intended at all when I say that, as a rule, the Portuguese are simple folk. This is a wonderful, intrinsic quality built into their DNA that most other nations would do well to adhere to. Their happiness stems from the family and the food and the beautiful country around them, not the latest iPhone or a myriad of wholly unnecessary gadgets. It doesn’t take long before most visitors put down their phones and head to the beach with a bucket and spade.
5) Babies – Yes, that’s right – babies! I’m delighted to announce that my partner and I have just had a little girl and I am a proud and deliriously happy father. She is, quite simply, the most wonderful little thing that could ever have happened and very much qualifies on the list of little things that I love and now can’t live without. She has quickly become my favourite little thing in the world and, as she is a Portuguese citizen, I’m sure she will reap all the benefits of a simple, joyful Portuguese childhood.
Life can be full of contradictions. I’ve learnt that some of the littlest things in life are without doubt some of the greatest. But you know what? When you look at the complex jigsaw that is Portugal, the little things are usually the most important pieces. And now I have the littlest and greatest thing of all and I couldn’t be happier.
More news next month.
(All photo images owned by David Lugg)