Dramatis Personae

As I shook off the horror of having to travel with a cast of tens if not thousands I amused myself by holding some casting sessions. It started in the hotel when I noticed that the waiter at our breakfast table bore an uncanny resemblance to Eusabio. If it is not in too bad taste I would say he is a dead ringer. I didn’t get a chance to test his soccer prowess. He poured a mean cup of coffee though.

The restaurant was managed by none other than Jose Mourinho. The same dour expression. Perhaps a little pout to go with it? And then the coach driver. Ladies….. hold on to your undies and resist all temptation to pretend you are at a Tom Jones concert – no knicker throwing please. It was George Clooney. The tour guide gave out false info and said his name was Joan. Lies. All lies. He was definitely male and I quickly tipped off the ladies in our small group. Thereafter he was ‘George’. He loved it. I didn’t see him with a Nespresso though.

Others on my cast list include:

The Pianist

The Lush

The Man with the Rug

The Tipsy Man with the cane

Mr. Bean

The Odd Couple

Dad’s Army

The Barrister Babe.

Roger Jennings

and sadly,

The photography bore. How on earth did I he creep in.

The pianist was called Nelson. I didn’t count his eyes but I think he was missing an ear for music. All the right notes but not necessarily in the right order. Perhaps he was Nelson van Gogh. Perhaps it was he of whom Elton John was thinking when he wrote Don’t shoot me….

Mr. Bean owned a vineyard that produced port wine. He hosted a dinner for our group one evening and it went down a storm. He was a born comedian. He would give Rowan Atkinson a run for his money any day. His English was not entirely broken but surely badly cracked. He simply loved telling funny stories and rarely have I seen a man so consumed with a love for his vocation.


The Lush was a lady with a penchant for martinis. And wine. And I guess pretty much everything else behind the bar. Maybe even the barman. She was the oddest human shape I have ever seen and by golly I’ve looked in a few mirrors in my time. Her ‘taste’ in clothing reminded me of the Dolly Parton quip – it takes a lot of money to look this cheap. I am sure she was a lovely lady but I considered her far too dangerous to approach. I tacked away each time she bore down on us.

The other characters I may discuss later but I am wary of lawsuits.

You need a photo from Portugal for today. How about this one to show off the beauty of the Douro.

Douro Valley

And perhaps a little rock to gorge upon:


And tomorrow I may return. We shall see. Adeus.


23 thoughts on “Dramatis Personae

  1. You are wicked. I can remember being just as judgemental on similar set ups whilst travelling. It passes the time and can cause much mirth – at least between those in the know. One particular memory is of the woman who quoted every single time zone change we passed through and moaned at how it was affecting her body clock. We nicknamed her the Speaking Clock. Sadly never had a Mourinho lookalike.

    • Happily we did not have multiple time zones in Portugal, Jenny although when we crossed into Spain we were one hour ahead. I should have written about it 😉

  2. Isn’t that funny… I was wondering the same thing, about the yellow staining, being a hobby mineral collector and all. Where is the gorge?

    Loved the descriptions of your travel mates.

  3. Gorgeous photographs, Andrew, as usual. But even more intriguing today were your “casting” plans. When I spent all those days with my mom in the hospital, I planned the full casts for a remake of Arthur Miller’s play THE CRUCIBLE just by watching the doctors, nurses, and staff who came in and out of the room. Okay, I know the play is about fears of witchcraft in Puritan times, but most of the hospitals were dour and solemn, just begging to be re-cast characters in Miller’s play. It’s how we survive and thrive sometimes…

  4. Love that first landscape, Andrew. Seems you do know what you are doing despite your protestations otherwise. 🙂
    As I have mentioned I am not fond of being in groups and when I have the misfortune of doing so I also play your little game although I am not nearly as good at it. But, also like you, I remind myself that, for the most part, these are all nice people and I should be more charitable. Being a curmudgeon/grump has its good points though.

  5. Pete and I love playing that game! Hours of mirth 🙂 It sounds like you had a great time in Portugal. Lovely photos of the Douro – looking forward to seeing more. p.s I might be the only woman in the world that doesn’t fancy G.Clooney – I do have a soft spot for Jose Mourinho though…;)

    • Gosh Lottie, saying no to GC? Well I’ll have a word with Jose but I suspect he doesn’t get down to Andalucia too often. You know I would love to buy a place in Spain 🙂

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