£10 Fine or Take a Chance.

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“Bank error in your favour collect £200”.

“Ha.  As if…”  I took the £200 out of the bank though.

Sunday morning options.  Beach?  Boot fair?  Haven’t been to one in Portugal yet. We have so much stuff we don’t need I could really do with having a stall.  They’re both out this morning though as Zed has taken the car up to the village house in Castelo so we’re stranded.  Swim?  A bit cold, the pool won’t have warmed up yet.  Maybe this afternoon.

I’ve already read the papers with an issue of The Guardian Zed bought back from London on Friday.  I shuddered at the news.  Sometimes I like being out of touch.  News in the papers isn’t necessarily on a ‘need to know’ basis.

My son suggests a ‘Star Wars’ fight.  Racing around the garden and whacking each other with light sabers.  Hmmm.  Not too appealing.  I turn down the offer although I feel slightly guilty, feeling that being a good parent necessitates this interaction.  I hope he remembers the game with warm memories when he grows up and not just mum going “ouch that hurt, you’re supposed to hit the light saber, can we stop now and say you’ve won”.

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He suggests Monopoly.  That suits me.  I can sit and play with a cup of coffee looking out at the view.  I should of course paint the house, but maybe later.  Monopoly, on the terrace, under a blue sky, seems a good option.

I can wax lyrical about this game.  I played it throughout my childhood.  I remember playing it one entire weekend when my cousin Sally Ann came to stay during the summer holidays.  We barely got out of our pyjamas.  We were twelve.  Both parents must have been out at work and I’ve no idea where our elder sisters were.  I just remember we were hooked on the game like two gamblers, bringing in plates of biscuits and barely stopping for lunch.

This summer, with the heat reaching forty degrees some days in Castelo Branco, we spent a lot of time indoors.  Out came Monopoly, a game that had belonged to my husband when he was a child, the box now looking slightly worn but the contents having stood the test of time.

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My son is having one to one Portuguese lessons at school and having eagerly told his teacher this pastime she has asked him to bring in the game.  I can see why.  Reinforcement of numbers, counting, translating the cards.  Use of the verbs to buy, to want, to win, to lose. I hope she doesn’t mind losing.  After an entire summer playing, he’s got quite canny at the game.  He wants to visit the places on the board so on our next trip to London we’ll be checking out Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street, Kings Cross Station….

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I think we should get the Lisbon version.   Maybe that way, I’ll learn some Portuguese.  To visit, to buy, to win, to lose.  Free parking.  Now that’ll come in handy.

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