Busy Funchal, Madeira embarrasses, Easier property transactions, Gas prices, etc.

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Pirex … a sunbathing starfish … very unseasonal, but why not! (actually I presume it is dead as I don’t think they come out of the water voluntarily)

While most of the island was enjoying Xmas leftovers on the Friday public holiday, the good people at the Diário were clearly not included, as a thin but complete newspaper was produced for yesterday.

Front Page News : source Diário de Notícias 27/12/2008

Friday saw Funchal fairly busy with many places open, with last minute presents being purchased, but mainly unwanted gifts being exchanged. The newspaper refers to an invasion of Madeiran families in the main shopping centres. Meanwhile, in downtown Funchal, it was mainly tourists on the streets,  enjoying themselves and acquainting themselves with local traditions, delicacies, and “folklore”, dodging the rain when necessary. One of the picture shows a shop window with ‘50%’ in big red letters. As the real sales cannot legally start until next week, I am not sure if that was advance warning or an interim promotion. The article says that normally there is a month allowed for goods to be exchanged, so why is it that everyone has to do it the day after Xmas … I really would like to know that?

The president of the Republic of Portugal, Cavaco Silva, feels embarrassed by Madeira. A meeting arranged in October for the PSD-Madeira (Social Democrat Party) has been cancelled by CS as ‘not convenient’. The meeting was arranged for the PSD to make several formal complaints about the way that Prime Minister Sócrates and his government have treated Madeira.

Even with no football this week, the sport still managed to get on the front page with “Race for the prizes returns in January” … pretty obvious and not really front page material me thinks!

The only other article was again about the row over the funding of politicians and political parties, the ‘jackpot’. This time a judge has defended the government of the regional assembly, saying that it has no constitutional power to change the formulas that determine the €5.5 million, or the way political parties are funded.

Other News :

In a move that will no doubt please some, from 1st January the law on property registrations changes, and instead of being tied to the particular ‘Conservatória’ of the area where a property is built, it will be possible to register at any office in the country. This is just one of a number of changes aimed at making property transactions simpler, and simpler means less for the lawyers, who are not so pleased about the situation. “Ready House” (Casa Pronta) allows someone to carry out many of the actions of a property purchase or sale in one office at one time, and that includes paying taxes, making the contract legal, exemptions for council tax, apply for dwelling rights, and change registration details.

Bulk gas prices are falling for both bottled and piped gas, but the reductions are not great, and are not being passed on in full to consumers by the reseller. For example the latest price cut takes a 13kg bottle of butane down from €21.04 to €20.45, when delivered to a property (it is less when brought at the retailers premises). 

Financial crisis or not, the popularity of cruise ships visiting Madeira continues to rise with 2009 set to be a record year. 2007 saw 262 visits, this year will achieve 285, and already for 2009, 307 visits are predicted. The most regular visitor is likely to be the ‘Thomson Celebration’ with 29 visits scheduled, being one of the few cruise ships that operates throughout the year, and there are also some debut cruise ship appearances planned.


Anyone fancy doing a guest blog in 2009? It can be anything Madeira related, factual, personal experiences, scientific studies or whatever. The blog is always open to contributions anyway, so please have a think about it and maybe I will get a day off for a change. Maybe even a group blog? Believe me, when you find your contribution in print for the whole world to see, you will feel 1.828 metres tall.

Another idea I have for 2009 is to compile a diary of worthwhile events all over the island. It’s hard to define worthwhile, as that is pretty subjective, but I would think that a purely religious festa held inside a church might be out of scope, whereas the run in Funchal today would be included. I don’t think a comprehensive list already exists anywhere, but if I am wrong please point me in the right direction. It would need people to contact me when they know of or stumble across something suitable, with a little bit of detail. Any thoughts?


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, topical photos, events information, or snippets for the madeira4u blog to [email protected] – anyone can join in! Thank you!

9 thoughts on “Busy Funchal, Madeira embarrasses, Easier property transactions, Gas prices, etc.”

  1. In case anyone fancies it before the big race in Funchal tonight (with international stars taking part), there is a 'Health March' in downtown Funchal starting at 6.15pm, going along Avenide do Mar'. Anyone is welcome, but I have no idea what you will be marching for / against, so just take your own agenda.

  2. Has anyone been successful in growing cucumbers here? I can only grow in pots (can supply support for plants that need it)- when i tried to grow cucumbers, they got to about an inch long and seemed to be attacked by something so unfortunately not successful at all. Am growing lots of other things including courgettes with no problems. Any tips on growing cucumbers? The seeds I had were for English cucumbers not the kind of cue's you buy here. Thanks

  3. If anyone would like to attempt to grow cucumbers themselves, am happy to give you some seeds. I have two kinds, green spacemaster and white wonder – just let me know what you would like. They are supposed to be compact suitable for container growing. Also tried growing spring onions (white libson), but no success either with those (generally I have green fingers (not literally!) and are very successful with whatever I grow, so rather disappointed with the cue's and spring onions. Maybe where you live the climate is better or you can grow in the ground. If you would like any cue or spring onion seeds please let me know

  4. I tried spring onions in pots one year Sarah, but although they grew the bulbs hardly swelled. Never tried cucumbers, but they are pretty cheap and plentyful in the supermarkets, so not worth it for me for the small numbers I eat.

  5. Der i think a diary of events is a great idea, and if people let you know they should find out when its held and if its always the same time of year , like flower festival is always 2 weeks after Easter, or if they are on say the last Tuesday of the month that way you know when they will be for the next years…

    I guess your Christmas cards just put in the paper bins, unless anyone makes their own and would like them ..

    Very windy last night here, although i didn't really notice it , but when i went to cristo rei in the morning the huge marque had been blown over the other side of the car park, taking large chunks of concrete out the walls where it was bolted on , and snapping the metal frame in many places.

  6. Hi Der
    A belated Xmas greeting from me as I have missed your blog over the last two weeks due to a family reunion and due to that have been running them all around keeping them happy with no time for me!
    Anyway Merry Xmas ooops missed that so Happy NEW Year everyone!
    On a different note I do have a small plea for animal lovers out there……. Our local freind from the bar (mr bananas or Tony no shirt buttons) as he is affectionately known turned up at my house on Xmas Eve with a gift – a five week old puppy. Before I could say no (and after all the family had cooed over the gorgeous little bundle)he told me that if he didn't find a home for it he would be drowning it in the river. Hence, I now have a new addition to my family and my other dog is a wee bit jealous at the new arrival BUT there are six more cute pups destined for execution very soon and desperately needing homes. If anyone 'out there' is looking for or knows someone who may be looking for a new dog then please consider contacting me. The pup he landed on me I am glad to say was very healthy, no fleas (I did worm her immediatly and she did have them) but has been in human contact and is the most freindliest bundle on the planet, my dog now gets on with her very well and apart from the mess and puddles of doggy doo doo, she is simplt lovely and I can assume that the rest of the litter are the same. I need a response quickly as I have not seen mr bananas for 2 days and they could already be inthe sea, so if anyone can help out I would greatly appreciate it. Please contact me if you can help at [email protected]
    <mailto:[email protected]>

  7. Thanks, and nice one Sam, it's great the way you always jump in in these situations.

    Quite nice here yesterday, and the night temperatures have gone up a couple of notches.

    re recycling, I would guess that cards go in the blue bins. Xmas cards not big here, so not many to recycle.


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