Golden Oldies Rugby, Sand extraction, Sea lions join bathers, Weight problems, etc.

TODAY’S PHOTO : Taken at yesterdays ‘Golden Oldies’ rugby tournament in Ribeira Brava. In the centre of the picture, you might just see a player wearing yellow leggings … he is 73 years old! We also spotted some kids and girls in some of the games … covering for injuries perhaps. A nice event, but not so many people present yesterday as there were on Friday. Running out of beer probably didn’t help!

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 22/6/2008

Main story of the day is the illegal extraction of sand in Ribeira dos Socorridos, despite a directive by the Regional Government to prohibit this activity. The Diário observed the activity of four trucks on Friday removing thousands of cubic metres of high quality sand.

“Russia makes juice of the ‘mechanical orange’ ” is the front page Diário pun after Holland were knocked out of the Euro 2008 (probably because their kit is all orange).

A couple of sea lions were spotted near the coast at Caniço, and delighted many on the beach. They didn’t stay long, probably frightened off by the attention they received as divers and boats went out to take a closer look. The Diário describes it as an ‘unique moment’.

Other News :

Amongst Madeira’s 190 thousand adult population, 51% are overweight. Blamed on a diet of too much bread, soup, meat, pastry, rice and potato. Barely 2.5% are underweight. Using the ‘body mass index’ as its yardstick, the research determined that 14% of adults are obese, and 19% are getting near to obesity. More men are overweight than women, despite the fact that women admitted to eating more sweet desserts. The same study (completed in 2006) noted that 20% of the population aged 15 and over were smokers, 47,000 in all, of which two thirds are men. The final staggering fact is the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed, with 19% of the population admitting to having one or more drinks within the past week, of which 74% were men … I am staggered that it’s so low!

An article highlight the problem with employers hiring workers on the ‘green receipt’ system, where the worker registers with the tax authorities and is issued with a book of receipts which are torn out and given to anyone who pays them for labour or services. In effect, the employers are using self employed people as employees, without any contractual commitments and overheads.

Residents and visitors to Calheta might have noticed a steep hike in car parking charges recently, as much as 60%! The first hour rate has gone up from 50c to 80c. To leave a car from 8am to 7pm will cost you as much as €9.60. OK the beach might be free to use, but a day on the beach is going to cost dear unless you are prepared to keep going to make purchases in the Pingo Doce supermarket, or leave your car at home.

If you want to get in the festa spirit for São João (tomorrow), you should be eating salted tuna with boiled potatoes and pickled onions for your dinner tonight, as that’s the tradition. I am hoping to celebrate this evening in the actual village of São Jõao, where I am told they all go down to the sea for a swim at midnight as that is also part of the local tradition.

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9 thoughts on “Golden Oldies Rugby, Sand extraction, Sea lions join bathers, Weight problems, etc.”

  1. I went along to watch some of the rugby yesterday afternoon with Der & Mo and thoroughly enjoyed myself, it was very entertaining, thank you both very much for your company.
    Luckily there is some free parking in Calhetta for the beach but you need to be prepared for a long trek up the hill when leaving the beach. Although just the thought of the amount of money you have saved should be enough to spur you on!
    Sao Joao to the sea, thats a pretty long trek as well espcially as I am assuming that most people would be on foot having consumed copious amounts of cerveja and/or vinho tinto all evening! That's going down the mountain, sod going back up again!

  2. why thanks you Elaine … and thank you too, and especially for bailing us out when the beer ran out (plan B, thankfully avoiding the more drastic plan C). I am having second thoughts about São João, its a long steep walk.

    Where is everone the last couple of days? Even Carlos has disappeared since Wil accidently called him Carol.

  3. Der: Even Carlos has disappeared since Wil accidently called him Carol.

    I’ve been called worse!

    Der: The final staggering fact is the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed, with 19% of the population admitting to having one or more drinks within the past week, of which 74% were men … I am staggered that it’s so low!

    Me too. I think in many homes alcohol has replaced the water coming out of the taps. It would be very interesting to get some idea on the number of alcoholics on the island. Sozzled folk are a common site at any time of the day or night.
    Of course the price and the ease as to which one can source the alcohol doesn’t help matters. My niece even told me of two or three girls that were drunk at school and had to be rushed to hospital with alcoholic poisoning. We also know of a few people who have died from alcohol related illness/accidents.
    So I think it is a serious problem on the island. I do hope they have some kind of support network in place to help sufferers and their families.

    For those who know their limits (on most occasions) I really don’t like the ‘authentic’ Madeira wine and try and avoid it if I can. I also tried a ‘Nikita’ (a mixture of wine, beer, ice cream and pineapple) in Canico once. That didn’t go down too well, quite literally!

    No my vice is the ‘real’ homemade Madeira wine. My father-in-law produces two big barrels a year of the stuff with the miracle being how it lasts twelve months!
    The best time to go wine tasting for me is the Noite de Reis. Every January we go around the village waking up ‘freinds’ asking to be let into their house at all hours. Of course they don’t want to show their true emotions and shout “Bugger off” but instead invite the group, maybe 40 or more, in for snacks and a taste of their homemade wine.
    Last year we conceded defeat at six in the morning letting the others ‘sing’ for another three hours! But as you can see that’s quite a few different variations of homemade wine consumed in one night. Some stronger, some lighter but all very nice indeed!
    From what I can remember anyway…..

    After creating the world God was so pleased with His work He gave it a kiss and Madeira was born.

  4. With reference to the sand being removed from beaches. I have decided to solve the problem of staff shortages in Porto Santo and the obvious lack of sand on our local beaches in one fell swoop.
    As from next week Porto Santo is going to be removed to Madeira and all the sand will be shared amongst all the local councils. If you have any problem with this TOUGH!!!!
    Your loving president
    President Jardim
    P.S. DER if you give me any criticism I will make you remove the whole island with a spoon.

  5. Does anyone kow anything about the route of the classic car raly the day it comes down the south west coast? I believe that on the 27th it will travel from Funchal to Camara de Lobos and then on to Ponta do Pargo then Seixal. Does it follow the Via Rapida to just past Prazeres and then return to the old road or does it pass through Calheta?

  6. I rarely see anyone drunk here in Rib Bra. Carlos. In fact it is rare to see anyone drinking. The whole town here is skint. Maybe the biggest festa of the year this weekend will change that if just for a couple of days.

    I agree on the wine, the real stuff is much better, and only about 40c a glass in the bars daft enough to sell it. Agree on the Nikita thing too. Wasting beer by putting ice cream in it should be against the law.

  7. I must stop agreeing with Carlos, it's not good for readership!

    As for the honour of Pres Jardo contacting us with a suggestion for the sand, what can I say. I think if you took a vote (referendum) on your solution, you would probably win. There again, if you took a vote on blowing up Madeira, or sinking it, you would also probably win. Where I have the problem with your solution is that most of the sand wouldn't arrive, after all at least 30% would need to fit in your back pocket, 30% would be lost in the sea, and that would only leave enough golden sand for Funchal.

  8. Tobi emailed to say the box for making comments isn't appearing … but it's OK for me. Can anyone else with the same problem please email me and I will report the fault once confirmed. Thanks


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