Danny & Ronny double act, Flor do Mar festa, Court round-up, & other snippets

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Jon … parrots at the botanical gardens.

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 12/2/2009

The main picture yesterday was of course of Cristiano Ronaldo, having scored the only goal (through a penalty), in the friendly game against Finland. Funny thing was that another Madeiran (by residence, not birth) was the one fouled in the penalty area, so bit of a Madeira double. ‘Danny’ actually lived near me a few years ago, so I feel quite privileged, and any Manchester United fans should remember him from last season for all the wrong reasons.

‘The People Work, But Don’t See Any Profit, Nothing’ – referring to the banana industry in Jardim do Mar, where producers complain of low profitability and months of waiting for payment from the management company for the banana sector. The growing of bananas is an important industry for the small village of just 250 residents, and employs those of working age and some beyond. The village used to be a fishing village, but that is dying out with newer generations.

Wednesday saw the cast and crew of the TV series ‘Flor do Mar’ filming in Funchal, much to the delight of onlookers, who gathered in crowds to watch and ask for autographs. The scenes took place in the area of Golden Gate, pleasing many who believe that the series shows too much of the rural side of Madeira. TVI, the producers intend to film through until August, with the series planned to reach between 170 and 200 episodes. The project is now about half way through. It is subsidised by the Portuguese government to the tune of half a million euros, and remains the most popular programme in Portugal, with viewing figures in late January averaging 1.67 million viewers (42% share). I watched some of it last night and saw the start of the fake festa in São Vicente, so there should be more footage tonight or the weekend. The plot has got a bit more interesting the last week or so, so I will probably be tuning in again after a break of a couple of weeks.

The main story of the day was a semi-interview with the leader of the socialist party of Madeira (PS-M), João Carlos Gouvia, who says he will not be a candidate for the elections to the assembly of the republic of Portugal, but invites candidates from inside his party and outside. Party members accuse Gouvia of not having a strategy for the 3 elections this year, and not keeping in touch with the electorate. Talk of a leadership challenge is in the air, but it certainly can’t happen before the elections of this year.

The debate about gay marriage is in the headlines again (with the Socialist Party of Portugal posed to pass permissive legislation), but the church here believes that the party is taking a line that will help it in the elections, as well as deflecting attention from more pressing issues.

In another hospital story in Funchal, there are 13 beds occupied by people purely because there is no alternative place for them to go. They are patients that the hospital can do no more for, in some cases with terminal illnesses, and there is no space in the care homes of Madeira to take them. 

Other News :

It has now been decided that the fireworks unused during the new year celebrations due to bad weather, will be used to open the allegoric parade of the carnival on the 21st of this month. The display will start at ten to nine that night, and will last 6 minutes. I ought to also mention that Câmara do Lobos also has a carnival parade, this year with 16 ‘troupes’, that takes place on 23rd February at 9.30pm. It has a slightly lower budget than Funchal, with just €20,000, of which around half will be for prize money.

In a 10 day police operation, on the instruction of the courts, 46 people have been rounded up so far this month, mainly in and around Funchal. The action has been taken against people for breaching court instructions, not paying fines, or not turning up for hearings. Probably not very sensible of these people who maybe hadn’t realised that they lived on a small island with little chance of escape.

It was announced on Wednesday that the price of bananas is to to rise … not for us consumers, but for the producers. A new publicly owned banana management company has managed to reduce costs and increase income, and will pay the producers an extra 3 centímos per kilo for a period, and then 1%. The bonus has been facilitated through more production of the ‘Winter banana’, when the market pays better. The top grade bananas will now pay the farmer €0.67 per kilo, and after that €0.58 and €0.47 for lower grades, and can be higher depending on whether the farmer delivers the bananas to the processing centre. A pay rise of questionable value perhaps … as if they don’t pay you the money as stated earlier, then any increase is immaterial.

Nacional play Guimarães tonight at 8.30, at home, Sport TV1. Marítimo play here against Amadora tomorrow at 4pm, not televised.

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For us 16 mature students who turned up for the Portuguese lesson on Wednesday afternoon in Ribeira Brava, we were surprised to be given a test lasting for the whole period (c. 90 minutes). In my school days you used to be pre-warned when a test was coming, but it didn’t seem to matter here with notes and dictionaries left on the desks, and inter-desk chatting going on as normal. If the exams are as slack as this, you have to wonder why the academic record of students on Madeira leaves so much to be desired.

Easyjet are giving £10 of all European flights taken in March (return), but you need to use the promotional code VALENTIN2009 when booking online. The offer ends Monday at midnight.

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5 thoughts on “Danny & Ronny double act, Flor do Mar festa, Court round-up, & other snippets”

  1. I'm blogging to keep you company Der.
    Nothing much to say.
    Have you seen the discounts that are being offered on new cars?
    I'd never buy new myself due to the fact that half of the new price is lost as soon as you drive off from the garage.
    I prefer old cars and they are an interest I share with my wife.
    We have one car that is old enough to have woodworm as well as rust.
    Valentine's Day tomorrow.
    Does Madeira celebrate this event?

    –Martin

    Reply
  2. A couple of years ago when we were in Madeira we went out for dinner not having really realised it was valentines day. The restaurant had red flowers on tables etc but we noticed that among the couples eating there were quite a lot of family groups , parents and children, which you don't tend to see in UK
    –karen

    Reply
  3. no I won't Martin, no post on Saturday's here. I had a whole stack yesterday though!

    Can't comment on the other points, bit too deep for me, but thanks for making company. All a bit spookily quiet recently.
    –Der

    Reply

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