Sitting on a railway station

Well, if I were to update you on what I did yesterday, you’d be bored stiff, because I did pretty much what an ‘old crock’ like myself should do, I had a relatively easy day. I went out for a gentle stroll (bit further than planned), had a bite of lunch, then headed back to the hotel again, via a stop for an Ice Cream. Fallen asleep yet? 😛

Today however, was far more amusing, which is the only reason you’re getting this tonight. My original plan had been to head into town (about 11.15), have a stroll, get a coffee, then head down and get the 12.30 bus to Vila Real De Santo Antonio, have a bite of lunch, then hop on the ferry, cross into Spain, just because its easily done (ferry takes 15-20 minutes to cross), have a look round, then come back again. No, as you gathered, I didnt do that!

Instead, as I got into town, just after 11.30, the seemingly slightly delayed 11.27 bus to Faro swung into sight, so I got on that instead! I will do the other trip later in the week, but for now… There may not be a bus every 10 minutes, but they do believe in comfortable bus seats over here, so nice! Fares are similar for distance as at home, for those interested, so it can be done, First Buses!

But the sweetest thing for me, was one of my fellow passengers, at least until Tavira, where she got off. To say this woman was the spitting image of an elderly Gloria Swanson (as in Sunset Boulevard era, or just later) was remarkable. Gloria (if I remember right) was tiny, under 5 foot tall, I believe, but in truth this woman wasnt much taller than that! Oh, and this woman was speaking fluent Portuguese, but other than that… She had the perfect diva attitude too (though I’ve heard nice things said about Swanson, so maybe she didnt?) as she showed when someone was trying to help her with her bags, after she got off the bus.

The rest of the drive to Faro was positively sedate, other than the song that got stuck in my head, this one

In truth, after just over 20 years, I didnt remember much of Faro, beyond the basic set out, but I suspect its changed in that time anyway. Bus station is still as ancient as it was then, mind, certainly no overhaul there!

At home, generally the bus fares are cheaper than the trains, and they take longer to get places, though because of the route the train takes, that doesnt work between Huddersfield and Bradford, because the train ambles round via Halifax. In the old days, the train was also more reliable, but that no longer happens! Here in Portugal, the bus fare was actually more expensive than the train (5.70 Euros, to 5.05 on train), takes longer to do the journey, even allowing for the long walk to the station (about a mile) from here. The snag is, Portuguese trains make Trans Pennine Express look reliable, and thats quite an achievement!

The train back to Monte Gordo from Faro was meant to leave at 3.00, and take 62 minutes for the journey. Even with a 20 minute walk, that should beat a 3.15 bus that takes 83 minutes for the journey! The thing is… The train pulled in from Lagos (yes, Nigeria isnt the only one to have a place of that name) at 3.03, about 4 minutes late, so we all get on. Then a minute later, we all get told to get off again. I have no idea what the announcement said, as it was only given in Portuguese, not a lot of use to most passengers who were tourists! Anyway, said train reversed back down the platform, and sat just outside the station. Just after 3.25, it plodded back into the station, we all got on (and stayed on) and a few minutes later, it set off for Vila Real De Santo Antonio!

I finally got back to Monte Gordo about 30 minutes after I should have, and still nearly made it into town before the bus passed me! Ah well…

Oh, and this leads to the second video of the day, the song I was singing to myself at the station, when I was wondering what the train was doing!

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Outdoor entertainment in October, only 100 degrees or so

Fine, I lie, strictly I saw it about 100 yards from Sunset Boulevard, but you could see, and hear the traffic on said street, so close enough. Mind, the section of said road featured in the film, is not the section in downtown Hollywood, but who’s counting?

As I’ve joked before, I dont seem to do films in a standard setting any more. A recent one was at Bradford Cathedral, and last night, on the roof of the Montalban Theatre, sat in a deck chair, wearing wireless earphones (classy ones too), with my feet on astro turf grass! A great experience especially as I was an equally short distance from Hollywood Boulevard on the other side.

Sunset Boulevard (1950), the movie, is one of those films that I suspect more people have heard about than seen. Before last night, that was certainly true for me. Yes, Gloria Swanson steals the show totally, as the crazed Norma Desmond, though the supporting cast is pretty decent too. Given the nature of her career, you could say she was playing herself, but given she was only about 4th option (Pickford, Negri, and Mae West supposedly turned down the part first), maybe thats not the case, but it was the feel I got. Some of the lines have gone into cinema lore, and its well worth seeing, I feel.

Alright, the down side for me. Yes, its on the rooftop, but I wasnt expecting to climb 5 flights of stairs to get there, nowadays! Beyond that, no there really werent any, beyond the old bones finding it hard work to get up from the deck chair afterwards. So much so, given there is a film I’ve seen before, and love, being shown there tomorrow night, I might go back. Lets just say the clue is in the video! 😉

But seriously, if anyone had told me that I’d be sat outside, on a roof, watching a 1950 film, in October, just wearing a dress, well…yes, it was nearly 100 degrees here again yesterday, though its calming down a little in the next few days. Fine, it will still be about 80, but…

Lastly, the video, not the original one, which I’ve used before somewhere, so found this live version