It’s like watching a movie on the terrace of Lisboa Slow Food and though the photo shows a dull cloudy sort of day its actually sunny, but the wind is up. Most days the terrace is full of coffee drinkers and breakfast eaters because it gets the full sun, stretching its long rays across the bay. Azure, aquamarine, sapphire, royal and navy blue not to mention turquoise and emerald. The wind whipping up the horses is chilly and the brazier is lit, conveying an idea of warm and cosy.
A small blonde girl with asymmetrical pony tail and a face used to commanding attention possesses that astonishing croak peculiar to Spanish females; even though she is only three she croaks like a hungry raven demanding food. Ice cream, chocolate milk or a sweetmeat. Her farmer father has a coal- black neck from toiling in the midday sun, her mother- also ponytailed- with a friendly enquiring face shrugs and smiles. Three children whom she loves and the farmer whom she has known since they were at school.
Everyone has dogs, except for the farming families. Sensible people, keeping their dogs on chains in their farmyards where they bare their teeth at thieves or wolves.
It’s Andalusian National Day and families are promenading along the sea front, stopping for refreshments, hoping someone will evaporate like Alladin and leave a table for them to sit at. The lottery seller appears, masked but still jovial. A deeply black man washed up from the shores of nearby Africa chucks a pile of Chinese made handbags on the floor and an amply girthed Spanish man starts bantering with the handsome Senegalese. But the latter has listened to too many frivolous would-be punters to take him seriously. He looks bored and turns away.
The little blonde raven leaves with her brothers and farming parents, clutching an enormous IPhone. Two rich .little boys on electric scooters whizz in and sit down to glass bowls of icecream. The farmer’s table has been quickly requisitioned by a jolly group of friends. Two older couples order tea and the famous cheesecake made by Jose’s madre. One of the men has a tiny mouth into which he fastidiously forks cake- very small bites, which is all he can accomodate.
A large Senegalese woman wants me to buy a key-ring in the shape of an elephant, a bracelet made of shells, a glass necklace, anything. She is wrapped in a sunflower coloured wrapper and the small boy with her is joyously licking an icecream.
The Moroccan women on the beach shuffle along in their slippers .
A table of badly dressed English eccentrics are laughing loudly. One of the women is wearing strange Roman sandals and a red circular gypsy skirt with Hindu gods. “I snore so loudly”, she proclaims “that he wakes up” and she pokes him in the ribs. The other woman is wearing a tiny dirndl skirt over long beach shorts.
The noise of talking has completely absorbed the sound of the salsa music.
Jose´ is doing so well after the pandemic with Lisboa Slow that he will surely have to expand.
Thank goodness hardly anyone is wearing a mask.