I am not normally the jealous type.
I don’t envy someone driving around in a Ferrari or Maserati, I don’t begrudge those people who get a big win on the lottery (well, not for more than a few seconds). I don’t even covet my neighbours wife, house, or field, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to my neighbour (to get biblical for a second). But today I feel jealous, and it’s over something really very minor.
On Thursday evening one of my work colleagues gets on a plane, with his son, to fly to Porto on a school exchange visit. Porto is in Portugal, so what’s the issue?
The reason for my jealousy is that his final destination is Nigrán, near Vigo in my beloved Galicia.
What he’s got to look forward to is a full week of superb food, excellent wine, spectacular scenery, all the culture he could ever desire, and lungs full of fresh air. He’s got day trips planned to Santiago de Compostela and, if the ferries are running, over to Islas Cies where one of the beaches was voted by the Guardian as ‘the most beautiful in the world’.
All this while I am back in the office in Salford with dodgy air conditioning, the near constant sounds of police sirens, and something in a barm cake for lunch.
Begrudgingly I have given him the name of a great little back street restaurant in Santiago de Compostela, ‘Restaurante Central’, where Amanda and I have eaten a couple of times on house hunting visits. We were introduced to it by an architect who works nearby and dines there regularly, so you can’t get a better recommendation than that.
Through gritted teeth, I’ve also recommended the grilled scallops (Vieiras Al Gallego), anything with hake (merluza), and for him and the other Dads to try a small plate of Goose Neck Barnacles (Percebes), washing everything down with a mandatory glass of ice cold albariño.
I’m certain that he’ll have a great time…I just wish it was me.