Building dust everywhere. Not again! At the Lisbon house the plumbers were working their magic, swimming in a cloud of rubble in the heat of the Portuguese summer. I looked at the broom thoughtfully. Time for serious action. I hopped in the car and off to the garden centre to look for a swimming pool.
Many a happy, dreamy evening’s been spent browsing the internet for pools – above ground, in ground, steel, resin and steel, fibre glass, concrete. Weighing up pros and cons. Musing over decking or tiles. Liner or no liner. Chemicals or natural. Hmmm. We still have to order beds, a new door, new windows, heating, air conditioning, but….
I wandered into the garden centre in Cadaval. Turning the corner past the hammocks and sun loungers a huge box blocked my way. A box with a swimming pool inside. A steel pool which could go inground or above ground. It was forty degrees outside. We really, really wanted a pool today. My son was desperate to go snorkelling in it. I had suggested the sea but he’d scoffed at the idea, mainly at the thirty minute drive to get there, round bends with heat and car sickness.
I wandered around the shop for a little while, wondering whether to go for the impulse purchase. Now then, garden centres in Portugal are pretty similar to ones in the UK except that they sell piglets. I’m quite partial to piglets. They also sell ducks, chickens, terrapins, rabbits and tanks for tarantulas. I zoomed in on the piglets. The piggies looked up at me with a ‘take me home and we will love you forever’ look on their faces. The children too would love me forever. Oh, it was a tough decision.
A few hours later a truck arrived at the house and dropped a huge box into the garden containing a 7.5 metre long swimming pool. Wahey! It only needed assembling and it was just the job for a talented odd job type with a morning to spare. Oh no! I hadn’t thought about underlay. Oops. Without underlay the vinyl would scratch and get a hole.
I sped back to the shop, hoping to beat closing time, and asked for a letter box and underlay. Tried to anyway. I was taken to an assistant who spoke a bit of English. I followed the assistant round the shop while she showed me the various aisles. I wanted to say “…oh, and a pig”. Just drop it in casually. I tried the words out in my head. “Oh and a pig”. Or “and I’ll take the piglets too”. How would I ask in Portuguese? ‘Underlay for a pool’ had been a challenge.
You know what? I arrived home with underlay, a letterbox and……no piglets. Sorry kids. Not this time.