The village shops should survive this crisis, and they are needed now as never before. They sell everything; groceries, chilled and frozen food, fresh fruit and veg, fresh fish on Fridays and fresh bread from the local bakery daily; household goods, stationery, clothing and footwear, gardening tools, chicken feed and rat traps, seeds and potting soil, and in the right seasons, tubs for fermenting grapes and salt for curing olives.
I go twice a week now to the one in our village.
With imagination I can manage quite nicely without the city shops. I just miss my weekly cafe visits for coffee and cake. I have resolved to give up the cake in future. My kitchen has no oven, so I have no temptation to bake.
At present there are over 18,000 cases of coronavirus in Portugal, including 3 here in Castelo Branco – somewhere in the city itself, I think.
There is now a third declaration of emergency, but the rate if infection stays below 5%. We are to hope for some relaxation of the restrictions for the celebration of Labour day on 1st May.
A neighbour who keeps chickens has just given me a dozen eggs, and I have discovered how easy it is to make a perfectly good sponge cake in a frying pan. The village shop sells excellent coffee, so my morning is complete.