TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Tobi … a moth ‘close up’ taken at the statue of Cristo Rei, Garajau.
Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 14/2/2009
‘Crisis Hits Saint Valentine’s Day’ – “[Flowers] are not to eat”. Not even Saint Valentine’s Day escapes the crisis. Flowers, chocolates and cuddly things are some of the offerings of shopkeepers that decorated the shops in an attempt to attract customers. The choices are many, but the flowers continue to be the best choice of gift for girlfriends and better-halves. In the Farmers’ market the prospects were not very encouraging, especially because this year the date falls on a Saturday. “There is no school and the market closes at 2pm” explains a florist, who also made the comment that flowers are not to eat. I assume that means that people preferred to spend their tight budgets on food rather than luxuries? A few ‘lovers’ out and about last night, but I don’t think the restaurant owners would be that impressed with the amount of trade over my way.
In an ‘anti-Valentines’ story, complaints were made to the police after intimate photos were published on the internet alongside adverts for ‘sexual services’. 12 complaints were made to the police, in what seems to be an act of revenge and spite by ex-lovers.
Fish and beef, usually the more expensive purchases in ones shopping basket, are being replaced by pork and chicken in the lives of many needing to save a few Euros on the family budgets. The reduction in the demand for fish is forcing fishermen to cut back on the daily catch. In the laws of economics shouldn’t that mean the price of fish should be coming down (unless there is price fixing going on)? Chicken this week was €1.68 a kilo in Pingos, nearly the cheapest I have ever seen it in 5 years.
The ‘Festa dos Compadres’ in Santana, which started yesterday, was surrounded in deep controversy after the pupils of two schools were prohibited from taking part in the allegorical parade which takes place today. The dispute was expected to be resolved in time, and although I am having a bit of trouble with the translation on this one, it appears the dispute was on the grounds of eligibility, despite there being no problem in previous years.
The biggest part of the front page was a photo from the Nacional game on Friday night (3 – 0) in which the star striker Nenê scored another brace, putting him 4 clear of his nearest rival in the top scorers table.
There was one more story of a political tangle, but I couldn’t work out a sensible translation.
Other News :
There is an article detailing a new ‘via expresso’ road extension of 1,446 metres in Funchal. It is costing €28 million, and will open in the Summer. It will give drivers a new alternative in downtown Funchal, in conjunction with the new express route to the port. Besides allowing faster access for those coming from the west of the city, it will reduce traffic in the Avenida Luís Camões and the Avenida do Infante, and will re-balance the traffic from the roundabout at Quinta Magnolia, which intersects the road Jaime Ornelas Camacho. It’s a bit complicated to explain the whole route, but there is a photo with the new road indicated here:
Funchal is to join a worldwide programme to recycle goods that owners no longer want, in a sort of extension to recycling. It is called ‘Funchal Freecycle, and is located on a yahoo website at www.freecycle.org . Furniture, domestic appliances, clothes, and books are all examples of items that can be re-homed rather than dumped in the local riverbed, rubbish bin, or levada, as long as they are legal and safe. Great idea … I already have a system to dispose of such items, I just leave them on the wall outside my house, and they are normally gone within minutes. Most recently I managed to re-home an obsolete CaboTV power box, and a broken toaster, much more satisfactory than putting in our mini skip.
The Dragon Tree was long ago a prominent feature of both Madeira and Porto Santo, and was used for decades or more to extract the natural red dye ‘dragons blood’. Now there are just three wild ones left on Madeira, high up on the escarpment overlooking Ribeira Brava (east side). However, in the face of extinction (just 50 remaining in nature), ten new ones were planted on Friday, one going in the municipal gardens of Ribeira Brava. The ‘seedlings’ took 5 years to cultivate.
Next weekend, Carnival weekend, sees hotel bookings so far at 72% occupancy rates, 5% higher than last year.
If you are thinking of having solar panels installed, beware. One company in the market is accusing 26 of the 30 companies in the market of not using quality materials, and many of using unqualified installers. He is saying that most use iron and plastic in place of steel and copper, and that can rot within months. He continues that that although demand is rising, Madeira is already saturated with installers. Under a state programme aimed to install 65,000 solar systems this year, incentives are available giving participants reduced cost equipment, on top of reduced energy bills and tax allowable installation costs.
Portugal’s oldest man died on Friday, aged 112. He was also the 4th oldest person in Europe. His successor is not far behind at 111 years old. Dodgy age 111 … in my suspicious world ‘Nelsons number’ is a bad omen, but if you can get past that then the sky is the limit.
Marítimo won their game 1 – 0 yesterday against Amadora.
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