The Italians are back!, Politicians get 3 weeks off, School campaign, & other snippets

TODAY’S PHOTO : Thanks to Sarah … são Lorenço. Does anyone know why some male saints are ‘São’ and others are ‘Santo’? Someone gave me an explanation the other day, but it wasn’t very convincing.

Front Page News : source : Diário de Notícias 19/2/2009

Main headline : ‘Italians return to Porto Santo’. The details are still unclear, but some agreement has been reached with the Italian charter operator to continue travelling to Porto Santo Island. The first flight is due in on Sunday with around 100 passengers, after flights were discontinued last month. This time though the flight is not direct from Milan, stopping at Malaga (Spain) on both legs of the journey. It seems that the change of heart has not come through negotiation with our government, who allegedly wouldn’t even discuss the matter, but is more likely due to the increased number of travellers possible through the Malaga stopover. Details and facts are still sketchy, and it seems the continuation is only guaranteed until the end of March, but it sounds like good and potentially great news for the good people of PSI.

Three decades after the air disaster at Santa Catarina, the Diário talks to one of the 33 survivors, that they found living in Arco de São Jorge, this particular man having rescued a child on that night. For anyone not familiar with the story, I found this on Wikipedia (modified for reproduction here):

TAP Air Portugal Flight 425, was a Boeing 727 aircraft named Sacadura Cabral en route from Belgium to Funchal Airport, Portugal, with an scheduled stop in Lisbon, Portugal on November 19, 1977. Shortly before 9:48pm on that Saturday evening, after 13 hours and 15 minutes of service time, the tired crew was trying to land the airplane on the difficult Madeira airport runway, which at the time was 1600 meters long. After two unsuccessful attempts to land, the Captain  and Co-pilot decided to make one last try to land the plane, before they would have to make the decision to divert to the Canary Islands. While on final approach in heavy rain, strong winds and poor visibility, the aircraft touched down 600 metres past the touchdown threshold, and started hydroplaning. With just about 900 metes of runway left, the crew tried desperately to stop, applying maximum reverse thrust and brakes, but the aircraft slid off the runway with a ground speed of approximately 43 knots and plunged over a 60 metre feet steep bank hitting a nearby bridge and crashing on the beach. The plane split into two pieces and burst into flames. Of the 164 people aboard (156 passengers and 8 crew), 131 were killed, making it the worst ever airplane accident in Portugal at that time. After the accident occurred, TAP stopped flying the Boeing 727-200 to Madeira, and started flying only the 727-100, which was six metres shorter and took 60 fewer passengers. The crash prompted officials to explore ways of extending the short runway. Because of the height of the runway relative to the beach below, an extension was very difficult and too expensive to build, but between 1982 and 1986 a 200 meter extension was eventually built. Fourteen years later the runway was again extended. Following the 2000 extension, the runway measured 2781 meters long and was capable of handling wide body commercial jets like the Boeing 747 or the Airbus A340.

The municipal market of ‘Penteada’ in São Roque was robbed very early on Wednesday morning, with the thief(s) doing the round of the shops there and getting away with €750 and probably other stuff too. The market is fitted with alarm sensors, has security cameras, and employs a security company for vigilance, but it all went unnoticed, and it seems like even the cameras have no footage of the crime.

A few days ago it was reported that two new multi-storey buildings are to be constructed on Rua 5 de Outubro in Funchal (Santa Luzia), and there is now an artists impression, a floor plan, and more details available. There will be over 1,000 new parking spaces available in total. The north building will cost €16 million, and will include 32 apartments. There will be ‘green area’ public square of over 3,000 square metres.

In a dig at the holidays of politicians, the Diário points out that the last gathering of the legislative assembly of Madeira was on the 11th of February, with the next one scheduled for the 3rd March … in other words, a 3 week holiday break for carnival. Will we notice too much, I don’t think so! I really still don’t understand what they do of any value for their 20 x minimum salaries. Hardworking students like me and my classmates just get next week off school … life just isn’t fair!

 Other News :

The police are running a four month campaign aimed at telling older school children that leisure time is not for drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, and that violence, crime, and petty theft are not socially acceptable or ways to fill time outside of school. The campaign started this week and runs until the end of June (just in time for the Summer holidays perhaps?).

The appeal for potential bone marrow donors has brought in two thousand people in just two weeks.

Midnight last night signified the start of a national nurses strike, although it is promised that ‘Urgencias’ (Accident & Emergency) would not be affected. Although it is called a national strike I have not read anything in the local press to say what, if any, effect it would have on Madeira.


Where is president Bertie? I haven’t had any juicy news about him for ages. Could it be that the Diário has been censored, or threatened? Without Bertie’s antics the news seems drab. Could this be the calm before the storm (election year)?

I would like to thank Trevor who emailed me to say that : “You talk of an item being ‘fairly unique’. Something is either unique or it isn’t. If it’s unique there is only one of it, if there’s more than one of it it isn’t fairly unique, rather unique, very unique or any other kind of unique.” Thank you Trevor for the free lesson, I don’t recall saying it, but it’s my blog and if I wish to express myself using the flexibility the English language gives me then I will. I can imagine a conversation with you being fairly uninteresting. To prove the point when I can I will use more frequently expressions like those you mention and include ‘commonly unique’, ‘as unique as toenails’, and ‘uniquely mass produced’, just because I can.

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 – anyone can join in! Thank you!

16 thoughts on “The Italians are back!, Politicians get 3 weeks off, School campaign, & other snippets”

  1. we in Ribeira Brava are in full carnival flow right now, with the unique parade of the year just for the children.

    If you didn't see it yesterday, Sarah posted a full event schedule for Funchal carnival season, where of course carnival parades are less unique

  2. the nurses strike is affecting Madeira too, with over 80% of nurses taking part. It is a 24 hour strike, so if you can avoid the hospitals today then you will probably be doing yourself a favour, and maybe during the next few days of 'catch up'

    more tomorrow …

  3. don't forget as well tonight (Fri) is transvestite night with many guys wearing 'fab' outfits around Funchal – great fun, everyone is always so happy, pity the atmosphere isn't the samein UK

  4. Saints are 'Sao' if the first letter of the name is a consonamnt, and 'Santo' if it is a vowel. Simple as that! In the case of Santo da Serra, before anyone mentions it, it is because the full name is Santo Antonio da Serra. Simple, eh?

  5. Pity about the tranny nite.
    I'd bought a fashionably fairly very nearly unique outfit.
    There is only one or two of a kind of these nearly uniquely made frocks in madeera

  6. Hi Der, Well you told that Trevor chap.
    it's not often that someone rattles your cage.
    It is fairly unique and you uniquely only used it a few times.
    The medication is kicking in now so I only have man flu. but I have started with toothache.dose anyone know a cheep dentist?
    Alan F

  7. Try Mash a Molar.
    It's a new dental franchise based on the cheap airline's mode of business.
    Book ahead for your toothache and it's much cheaper.
    They use a fairly unique extraction system using a uniquely made version of a Dyson "hoover".
    Uniquely developed for the emerging markets by an unique sales team


  8. Nice one Andrew, quite interesting. I have my friend here at the moment getting ready for tranny night, 15 of them will meet in Zona Velha later, but i cant be arsed to go and get photos as its to cold, it is a fun night though…

  9. makes sense, thanks Andrew, but I wonder why. It must be an almost unique saint naming system.

    Loads of trannies over my way last night, but they were doing it for fun I think and not for real

    Alan, if you are serious about a dentist there is one near me that people recommend and he is almost unique in Rib Bra, but there is another one as well. Give me a call.

  10. I don't read your blog but a friend if mine who does, tells me that my email to you about your
    misuse of the word "unique", has really rattled your cage.
    I visited your site for the first time, to find an item my friend told me that you had advertised.
    To be honest, I wasn't impressed with the site and if it wasn't for the fact that he told me that you had chosen to publish the contents of my email to you, I wouldn't have bothered to visit it again.
    It's true that it's your blog and I wouldn't for one moment deny your right to use it to parade your ignorance. You wrote "If I wish to express myself using the flexibility the English language gives me then I will". By all means use the flexibility of the English language, I only ask that you don't break it. Unique has an unique meaning (in case you feel like another jibe "an unique" is correct).
    You are not using the flexibility of the language you are misusing the language.
    I can get along with intelligent people and I can get along with stupid people. The only people I can't abide are stupid people who think that they are intelligent.
    My partner is Madeiran, she has only been speaking English for fourteen years so why is her grasp of English grammar better than yours? Perhaps it's because she learns from her mistakes, not defends and perpetuates them?
    I understand from my friend that you have a number of camp-followers who have jumped on the bandwagon to ridicule me (I can't be bothered to read the blog to find them) and no doubt, they like you, are happy to wallow in their ignorance but I must tell you that a proportion of your readers who might have overlooked your original mistake, will be appalled by your reaction to being corrected.
    Someone who flaunts his ignorance is not someone to be admired.
    Since I won't be reading your blog again, I'll probably miss your using the word "infer" to mean "imply" and since we'll probably never speak, I'll miss your pronunciation of "aitch" as "haitch".
    Feel free to use your blog to abuse me in any illiterate way you see fit, I won't be reading it and have instructed my friend not to tell me about it.

  11. ooh touchy … it was meant in the same light hearted spirit that you used to me Trevor.

    Just one suggestion though … try and find a definition of 'blog', and you might understand a little better that grammar, spelling, and use of language are not particularly relevant, it is about content.

    If you 'google' the phrase 'fairly unique' you get 28 million hits, so there are a lot of us idiots out there Trevor.

    And by the way I didn't advertise anything for sale, so who's the stupid one now!

  12. Cor blimey Der, You are getting them aswell!!! I am known for my not so good use of the English language but that didn't stop anyone from picking up my newspaper for FREE and reading it! Same as this blog and the time you put into it is FREE also!
    When I first started my newspaper (young and naive back then) some UNIQUE person decided to send back a copy of it to me and in Flourescant (can't spell the word btw) pen out lined EVERY SINGLE MISTAKE and error in the paper and then PHOTOCOPIED parts of the dictionary to address my problems – I spent days in therapy, drowned myself in litres of Poncha and then read the dictionary – and the bible back to front – to no avail! But one thing I did learn is this, and Der I compliment you for your reaction……The Daily Telegraph and FT have loads of errors in their publications and you PAY to READ them…..for the freebies that one CHOOSES to read have no right to complain – but you have a choice..and that is to either add and support in a good way or eff off and go somewhere else!
    Just an opinion Der, learnt through bitter expeirence and through stupid idiots who have nothing better to so with their time than complain!
    Sam – formerly from the illiterate rag (as someone described it once – The Madeira Times)
    –Sam – now madeiraactive

  13. Thanks for the support Sam, fortunately these are rare events. I wish I had kept and published the whole rude email and published it, so everyone could see what I have to put up with at times.

    Of course public schoolboy attitudes like this are wrong when it comes to use of the English language. English language these days is shaped and developed though it's usage, not through some committee, and if words and phrases become used enough then they are part of the language … and if 28 million uses of 'fairly unique' show up on google, then I rest my case my lud!

    Funny thing is that I am not even sure it was me who wrote it as I don't know where it appeared, but even if it wasn't me, it is something I would say without a doubt.


  14. sam's last comment is interesting about stupid idiots who have nothing better to do than complain – she has made a career out of complaining about Madeira where does that put her!!!
    –happy to be here

  15. Dear Happy to be here

    If producing a newspaper for four years, that did nothing but promote the island for tourism and provide info to residents, then how did I make a career out of complaining?


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