I am a sort of ‘sat on the fence’ xmas person, and take each year as it comes, only deciding whether it was a good celebration once it has passed, and every year on Madeira so far I have enjoyed the xmas (albeit it’s only been 3 times so far) except for one thing … damn fireworks!
I am not referring to the new year display or anything organised, I am on about the mega-bangers that leave me quaking throughout the day. The first ones can be as early as 5am, followed by hourly intervals up until the time that decent and normal people get up in the morning. It is actually against the law to set off fireworks in public places, but it seems the authorities turn a blind eye. Apparently it’s something to do with the early morning masses that take place at churches across Madeira in the run-up to Xmas, so why don’t they just ding the bells as normal, as I am well used to them. My local church has a temporary wooden shack built outside, and I was informed that this is a Poncha stall, so people can have a snifter before the 6am mass each day.
There follows a machine generated translation of the weather forecast for the next 5 days. It was so cute, I didn’t have the heart to correct it …
“In the Madeira, the forecasts aim for heaven darkened and downpours in the Saturday, following itself little heaven darkened to Wednesday, with exception of the slopes to north of the island, where cloud is awaited and weak downpours.
Saturday, the smallest day of the year, when occurs the solstice that marks the beginning of the Winter and the Sun barely will delay nine hours and 28 minutes between him be born (sun rise) and put him (sunset).”
I thought that 21st (Friday) was the shortest day … am I wrong? And boy, was it short! I had barely got up and it was time to go to bed again … sheer heaven for levada muggers I should think.