Exam time, Murder in Machico, Cement, cement, & more cement, Lung disease, etc.

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Eiryl … Pico do Arieiro. “This is one of our favourite places, especially very early in the morning when the trekkers and pan-pipers have not yet arrived, and the only sounds are of the wind blowing around us … “

Main News : source : Diário de Notícias 17/6/

Most the front page yesterday taken up with football, as it was confirmed the Germans qualified 2nd in group B, and play against Portugal in the final 8 on Thursday evening. (TVI / Channel 4 – 7.45pm).

The first phase of national exams started yesterday, and if that in itself wasn’t bad enough for these poor kids, it started with ‘Portuguese Language’.

Two men suspected of murder in Machico have been arrested. The incident happened on Friday night / Saturday morning, when a man of 28 was stabbed several times. The photo shows a bar named ‘O Jacaré’, meaning ‘The Alligator’.

It appears that the government here seems to be a large shareholder in the cement works (on the coast, near Câmara de Lobos) with a 43% holding. It seems that it wants to sell it’s interests after a valuation worthed the business at €30 million. Now that explains why most of man-made Madeira is made of concrete, the Ajuda end of Funchal, and why we have thousands of massive concrete blocks chucked in the sea!  By the way, ‘worthed’ is OK in Portuguese, and I am in Portugal.

It seems that the kids are the most sensible when it comes to environmental issues, probably through the emphasis on the matter through their schooling. Anyway, they get much of the credit for the 5.5 tons of old batteries collected during 2006 / 2007, amongst other things. So why is it that the only battery recycling bin near me is always stuffed full of ice cream / sweet wrappers?

Other News :

Also front page : I have never heard of ‘Groove Armada’ a beat group and DJ act, but as I think there are a few Brits that read this blog, I thought I would mention that this act from the UK is coming to Madeira on 5th July, playing at the Ministry of Sound(?). In case you are like me and not familiar with the group, perhaps their hit ‘I see you baby (Shaking That Ass)’  might ring a bell or two, and in the interests of research I just watched a video of that on Youtube. I must admit I have heard that song before … would love to go, but unfortunately I am doing my hair that night.

Imagine living or visiting here and having never done a levada walk? There must be many people who are not mobile enough to do so, but would relish the opportunity. That now seems a possibility with the delivery of three special wheelchairs called ‘joelletes’ that were delivered yesterday. As well as helping those unable to explore the levadas on foot, the wheelchairs will also be available to the emergency services in ‘mountain rescue’ operations.

I have sometimes wondered about the cause of  Madeira’s reputation for a high level of lung and respiratory problems amongst it’s residents. It is not the air, as was often previously claimed, it is in fact gene mutations that badly affect 4.1% of the indigenous population, around 10,000 people, who suffer 2 genetic mutations which gives them problems with smoke, car pollution, and dust. On top of that 32.6% (around 80,000) of the population suffer either one of the two gene mutations, which makes them more vulnerable to chronic pulmonary disease. This is the highest rate of ‘deficiency’ of the gene alfa-1-antitripsina in the world, according to the study undertaken by the Laboratory of Human Genetics at the University of the Madeira. I would have though this one would have at least made the front page of the Diário, but there again, it is peak time in the Euro 2008!

239 blog visits yesterday, not a record, but well above average and probably due that debate on poverty.


Aside from your valued blog responses (you can reply direct using the form at the bottom of each blog comments page), please send any unreported Madeira news, photos, events information, or snippets for the madeira4u blog to blog@madeira4u.com – anyone can join in! Thank you!

16 thoughts on “Exam time, Murder in Machico, Cement, cement, & more cement, Lung disease, etc.”

  1. Hey Der, It worked!

    More controversy = More blog views.

    To all from the Der fan club who added comments yesterday well done. That’s what its all about. Der reports the news (albeit from one main source) and we, the viewers, provide a re-action.

    Sometimes Der is right and sometimes he is wrong. I just say it like it is from my point of view.

    I am sure Der is a nice enough fella and I have nothing against him personally. He has his views and I have mine. I have read almost every blog entry he has made and found some very interesting snippets of information. On the whole Der does a great job translating the news for us all into english and adding his witty comments each day.

    Occasionally he will say things that I feel quite strongly about and I will respond. And sometimes I may get carried away.

    I have a Madeiran wife and my daughter was born in Funchal so I think I have a right to reply and that I do hold some authority on this beautiful island more than some others on here I would say!

    I think people are quick to 'assume' and 'pre-judge' things on this blog, including your good self. Why on earth should I have to give personal information on a blog of strangers I have never met?

    But for the nosey and curious we do live in England at the moment (great detective work Der lol), I can speak Portuguese having worked in Madeira and we are planning to come back in the Autumn as the family really misses us and non of us are getting any younger!

    So you see I do know what I am takling about, having lived in RURAL Madeira and experienced a very basic standard of living. Talking with my wife's family they say that life has steadily (not dramatically) improved over the years.

    I did catch you out there I think, printing things about me based on assumptions. Now you wouldn't do that on any other news items you print would you?

    I hope, Der, you dont mind this banter although you were shaken enough to do your detective work on me! I'm not that bad really. Like someone said yesterday don’t be put off your good work on this blog by mine or any other comments that people make. You write what you believe in and stand firm on your principles, and I admire you for that immensely.

    So if I’m ever over in Ribeira Brava I’ll come round and buy you a Coral or three for us. Politics and religion will be strictly off the menu for sure.

    But one thing we do have in common is our love for the island, Madeira.

    (reading all that back it sounds like I’m trying to seduce you, lol)

    P.S To the person who wrote in yesterday saying that I take life too seriously I can only appologise. I am currently working on my poverty comedy routine especially for you!

    Democratically elected by the good people of Madeira for 30 years.
    –President Alberto João Jardim

  2. OK that's much nicer. I like banter, and not the heavy stuff. Please note that as far as my blog comments go I am never right or wrong, just dry, sarcastic, and hopefully thought. provoking. Take them seriously at your own risk!

    Just one final Q, if you speak Portuguese why visit this blog when you can read the newspaper online anyway … surely it's not for entertainment reasons?

  3. As my wife keeps telling me after all these years my Portuguese should be of a better standard.
    I can get by quite easily with my Portuguese (but as my teacher always wrote, 'Could do better'.
    I guess it's just sheer laziness on my part that I come over to your blog and read the news. Me and my wife often watch the RTP Madeira news via the internet which is a good source of information especially when my wife can start translating the parts where I have completley lost the dialect.

    Why are the english so lazy at learning languages? The younger generation in Madeira can all speak pretty fluent English these days. My wife however learned english, not through standard education, but watching films on the TV with the subtitles.

    Later on she also had a very handsome personal english teacher by her side! lol

    Democratically elected by the good people of Madeira for 30 years.
    –President Alberto João Jardim

  4. Hi "Anon" Glad things are better now lol, and the mention of beer has probably helped.
    Your right about the English being lazy when it comes to language, and i will be the first to put my hand up and say so, But i do think as we dont have feminine and masculine in our language it does make it harder to get to grips with other languages, but i know its not an excuse.

    I think i know you, and you will know me as there aint many people in Madeira called Tobi.

    Der does a great job with the blog, and the translation is very hard, and it also takes alot of his time and effort, which i know you can appreciate.


  5. i have recently started Portugese lessons at a school in Funchal.It aint cheap & it aint easy(age dont help) but the teacher is lovely!!

  6. thanks Tobi, actually the masculine and femine bits are the lesser of the problems you find when you get into it … it's when you hit the verbs and the grammar that it really gets tricky, not to mention the pronunciation.

    "Later on she also had a very handsome personal english teacher by her side! ", and then ANON, you presumably came along sometime after that to help her practice?

  7. remind me what bopping is about Vic? Is it something to do with 'shaking that donkey'?

    Hope Mrs Vic doesn't read this, or are you saying that Mrs Vic is your teacher?

  8. Der: "Later on she also had a very handsome personal english teacher by her side! ", and then ANON, you presumably came along sometime after that to help her practice?

    Lol. I think sometimes she wishes she had stuck with the subtitles!

    Tobi: I think i know you, and you will know me as there aint many people in Madeira called Tobi.
    That's freaking me out man?? Maybe I do. I have met a few english people in Madeira over the years. Although living within a Madeiran family has meant I tend to mix more with the naturals on the island.
    I just hope it's not alcohol related! hahaha. Go on give me a clue.

    Democratically elected by the good people of Madeira for 30 years.
    –President Alberto João Jardim

  9. ANON, just to follow up on the 'Coral or three' offer (thanks). Will you let me know by anonymous phone call when the time comes? Also, how will I recognise the invisible man when the encounter comes?

    Please use a pen name if you don't want to use a real name on the blog, thanks

  10. Name for Anon could be. "EL PRESIDENTA"
    Democratically elected by the good people of Madeira for 30 years.
    –President Alberto João Jardim MY ARSE !!!
    Keep up the great work Der!

  11. I always thought it good manners to introduce your self when ever speaking to someone that you've never met.

    JUst speaking my mind here but in response to el presidente comment about sharing his name and to der seeing where is IP came from. If i was Der then i would have been curious more than anything else why you were reading this blog and whether you had any justifications to your comments.

    And while el Presidente is honoring us with his presence may i ask you a question. (well here goes. . . .)

    If you will happily share you thoughts with us why not share you name? i hope that you have better manners when handling the press Presedente! :S

    Will Featherstone
    (can't forget that bit, would never want to have bad manners . . . . . )

  12. Too many Anons although I can't really seethe importance. However since Tobi seems close on my ID as a proud MU fan my name is Don and the lack of using it was only a lack of ommision in closing the comments not by intention. On the football issue I can't afford to watch a Premiership team so sorry Der the freebie MU ticket is out of the window. Goodluck with the Blog anyway
    –Don (and proud of it)

  13. as I said you don't have to use a real name if you don't want to and certainly you don't have to fully identify yourself as Wil did, but going back to Tuesday's blog when we had several Anons respond, then it is helpful to identify which Anon is which. Sometimes people forget, no problem, but if we could all try and stick to it I think we would all appreciate it – thanks!


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