I STILL HAVE A FEW TECHNICAL PROBLEMS WITH THE BLOG, BUT THE FAULT IS INTERMITTENT, SO KEEP TRYING AND IT SHOULD COME UP – MEANWHILE I AM TRYING HARD TO FIX THE PROBLEM – APOLOGIES AGAIN. Der
TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Helen, who spotted them near the Municipal Square in Funchal, who refers to them as ‘Wandering Minstrels’. Anyone know anything about them?
Main News : source : Diário de Notícias 6/6/2008
A pesticide used on Madeira, known as ‘Gramaxone 2000’, and another agricultural chemical ‘Lannate L’ are to be withdrawn from use at the end of this year. The former is used to control insects, geckos and weeds, and dry out onions and potato foliage prior to harvest. Gramaxone is already outlawed in Sweden and Denmark, and restricted in use in other countries. The product is considered to be of high toxicity, and the report says that if a farmer has an accident and the chemical enters his bloodstream “he will die at once”. It is also harmful to the environment. I always like to buy local produce (when the price is right of course), but maybe those Spanish potatoes and onions look a little more attractive at this time of year.
The family of Cristiano Ronaldo has all emigrated to Switzerland for the Euro 2008 footie. Mother, brother, sister, cousins, and others yet to arrive. CR has rented a 15 bedroom mansion, with a soccer pitch, to put them all up. CR’s ex brother in law José told the Diário that there are match tickets for everybody. Talk about a rags to riches story … it wouldn’t surprise me if he has hired his own turnstile at the ground, just to accommodate such an extensive clan!
Other News :
If you are shopping at Pingo Doce this weekend, then you may see someone collecting food items to help those badly affected by rising prices and who have otherwise fallen on hard times. The Diocese of Funchal has organised the collections, using 500 volunteers to spread themselves around the island. They will be hoping to collect pasta, rice, milk, oil, canned foods, crackers, and baby products. Last December the same activity collected 20 tons of food products, but this time Pingo Doce will add a donation of €5,000 to the result. Heart warming and commendable, but this darn government should be taking on this responsibility … they always seem to have money for bells and whistles but couldn’t give a fig about the poor people.
The road between Calheta and Jardim do Mar is somewhat precarious in places, and confidence is not helped by the fact that the guard fences are too small and do not meet legal requirements. But, on Thursday lunchtime a car surged off that road for reasons unknown and dropped a massive 200 meters (722 feet for the old school like me), almost reaching the sea. The occupant of the car left the car about half way down, and cushioned by sugar cane crops received only light injuries. 15 firemen took 4 hours to rescue him.
If you live on Porto Santo and have a pet, you certainly don’t have a vet. Between today and Tuesday, Vetfunchal are visiting with the purpose of neutering cats and dogs, no charge involved. 131 operations have already been scheduled, but there is room for 17 more – phone 963 939 400, but don’t let your animal hear!
Staying with Porto Santo Island, the three branches of the military forces have been out there performing operation ‘open mind’. With the objective of overcoming a terrorist threat to an international summit, 300 soldiers were put through their paces in the exercise.
Next Friday sees the start of the new ferry service which takes in Portugal and the Canary islands on it’s new route. The owner of the ferry is in Madeira negotiating prices with the regional government. On the table are a 60% reduction in rates through government support, but with an increase in European tourists wanted in return. Details / links on the travel section on the main website.
CaboTV has had it’s first 250 HD (high definition) television boxes delivered, and is currently rushing around installing them. As the Euro 2008 football is being transmitted in HD format, priority is being given to subscribers to SportTV. The new boxes are also able to record a programme whilst watching another channel.
Message from Robert : The Paw Paw fruit is cut open like a melon and is yellow inside with lots of small black pips in the centre, which can be scooped out to reveal the “meat”. This can be chopped up and added to fruit salad or sliced like a melon and is especially tasty when covered with some lemon juice. A question if I may: I know most Portuguese play “Sweka” (?) but is bridge played in Madeira? ANYONE KNOW? THANKS ROBERT, NICE TO HEAR FROM YOU.
By the way, for the benefit of the person who recently enquired about Cristiano Ronaldo’s sexuality, his girlfriend is a Spanish model named Nereida Gallardo, aged 24. She has posed in such salubrious publications as ‘The Sun’, and in the interests of accurate and factual reporting, I was forced to check them out. She is all woman, I promise you! Also according to the BBC website yesterday, no decision has been made about a transfer to Real Madrid … CR said he wants to go, but the matter is out of his hands.
G’LUCK TO PORTUGAL TONIGHT – 8.45 ON TVI (ch. 4)
Have a good weekend everyone.
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