Your number’s up, duck. Not your lucky day, chuck. They look like they come from the Midlands, those ex-pat Brits arrested and fined for playing Bingo in an English pub on the Algarve. A little bit blotchy and pasty (how do they manage it with the sun shining down on them most of the year round?), cigarette frowns on elderly faces (even if they’ve given up now, lines are etched on foreheads from all those years of sucking in smoke), and clothes that shout TK-Max-10-years-ago.
Not Essex nor even Estuary. Can’t have come from Newcastle or Glasgow: these careworn figures don’t have the measure of a metropolis; more like the crimplene half-town, pedestrianised half-city, nondescript half-truth that is Leicester or Coventry or Nottingham.
Photographed outside the courthouse in Albufeira, if they hadn’t been caught on the wrong side of Portugal’s strict gaming laws, you’d have said say they were auditioning for David Jason’s role in A Touch of Frost.
They make easy targets. It is laughable that the 70something winner of a packet of biscuits and a bar of chocolate (the only Bingo prizes given out on that fateful night), took the trouble to hide the bar of chocolate when undercover police stood up and shouted ‘it’s a raid.’ Except that he’s already chuckling at himself, duck.
Easy to complain that these middle-of-the-road types have exported a life of mediocrity to the Iberian Peninsula, so that only the external colour scheme – white stucco against blue sky – differs from Birmingham beige (does their English pub still stock Brew XI – For the Men of the Midlands?).
Except they had the pluck to come out here and make a go of it. They had the get-up to get out of all that drab, even if they brought a dose of it with them.