First day of a new month, summer, pool closed and as to why don’t they close it in January, the staff need a summer holiday, fair enough. It’s hot again, feels like the low thirties although I didn’t check. Today we took Ariel out for a spin as we drove south to Espinho, further south than we have been so far (not that it’s a great distance). We were going to visit a well-known third-generation violin maker family, the Capelas, who have a workshop in Anta, the old part of Espinho. It looks like this is the end of the line for the family as Joaquim Capela’s son has decided he doesn’t want to be a luthier, he wants to be a surgeon (same thing, haha). The workshop is a wonderful place, history seeps out of the walls and Joaquim is a pleasant and knowledgeable man. Grandfather Domingo is no longer with us. Joaquim’s father Antonio (who would be 90 now) refers to the instruments he made as ‘Children Of Wood’. The dynasty ends but the reputation lives on.
In Anta there’s a beautiful old tiled church and a graveyard that is cramped to say the least. The graves mostly with photos of the loved ones that have died over the years. Marble headstones carved with names and in pristine condition – there must be someone who looks after the graveyard’s upkeep. There are two or three crypts and a sleepy silence in this quiet part of Espinho. A small shop with helpful old ladies, a cafe, and even a bank, it doesn’t seem like the village has changed much over the years and although the bank must be new the feeling is very much the same as in the past.
We parked in a road that was heading downhill and seemed quite busy considering where we were. We drove to the bottom of the hill to find a bustling junction and suddenly in two minutes that vision of old Portugal was gone and we were entering a vibrant town. We tried to wind our way to the beach but when we caught a glimpse of it it seemed really busy in the heat. It’s not the prettiest town but there were lots of tourists milling. We decided to drive back home via the psychedelic psupermarket and on our way out of Espinho spotted the usual beautiful ruined Portuguese houses, one a mansion, what happened?
We did a mega summer shop but decided on takeaway sushi on this hot day, Olivia went to the restaurant which is in our street on the way into Porto centre. I put the mega-shop away and when Olivia came home we decided to start on ‘binge watch catch up’ and watched two episodes of Stranger Things and two episodes of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. In between, I did language online and at the end of it all, I was falling asleep. As I drifted away I was thinking about how Nichelle Nichols must have seen the new Uhura before she died.