And the Band Played Too


Spring.  Portugal.  I was invited to a feast.  Yum.  Tent in the square.  Marching band. Meet the villagers.  Try some pigeon Portuguese.   I was there with my euros.  Almost.  Till those five little words hit the sentence “..and they slaughter a pig.” Oh.


Well I’m not a vegetarian.  It would be hypocrital not to go on that basis.  Nothing wrong with that.  It took me back to hardier climes and my neighbour in England who made a living from hog roasts.  I thought of the charred and blackened pig’s head on the side, sitting next to the lettuce and the rolls.  The pork though was delicious and really, it’s a fine thing to be reminded of what you are actually eating.  So we are not conned into thinking the meat had no more soul than a bread roll when it was pig.


Did we go?  The feast included a 10km walk through gorgeous Castelo Branco countryside in the morning.  Olive groves. Lavender. Butterflies. Had we known about that….. The morning after feast day we went to the cafe for ice creams and saw the poster.  Too late. I would have enjoyed the walk.  The spring flowers, yellows, creams and violets, floaty white petals and fresh, emerald green grass.  A few insect bites to keep me on my toes.   Aaah.  Silly to have missed it.  Next year.


  • If. like me, you are trying to learn basic Portuguese, then here are a few words to remember from the text above.

borboleta = butterfly
porco = pig
carne = meat
andar = walk
alface = lettuce
primavera = spring
lavanda = lavender
grama = grass
verde = green
banda = band


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