Monday, 31 October 2011

100 Words: Halloween

A scattering of witches and zombies are going about their business in the busy shopping centre. What is their business? Its lunchtime and normal dressed people are busy getting lunch and last minute shopping for tonight's many parties across the city. Why are these few dressed up so early in the day? Have they gone to work or school in their ghoulish outfits? Maybe they just want to be different. By doing what most people will not do until this evening. I want to party tonight but won't be dressing up. No, I just want to be different.

Saturday, 22 October 2011


This post is a retraction of my statement from the previous day regarding the capture of Gaddafi.

Executions are never justified. Gaddafi was a tyrant, no doubt, but his captors are murderers.

The brutality and wanton cruelty shown on the Al Jazeera video does not bode well for the future of Lybia.

Are the Lybian people ready for democracy? 

What a waste of countless lives, if as I suspect, they are not.


Thursday, 20 October 2011

World Day Against Capital Punishment (not applicable to Gaddafi)

I was reminded a few days ago, while checking my e-mails in Yahoo, that it was the World Day Against Capital Punishment. I decided to write a post but left it in the edit section until today.

Everyone knows my sentiments on this topic already. I have written posts about it, most recently "Another murder goes unpunished" after the execution of a mental patient in Virginia USA (Yes, it really did  happen!) and  hightlighted statistics in another post "When justice is tainted by revenge..."

Well done to Amnesty International for never giving up the fight and for constantly highlighting cases from the handful of countries who still continue with this barbaric and archaic form of revenge punishment.

Whilst I am a life-long objector of Capital Punishment, I am also human and as such couldn't help smiling at today's news that Colonel Gaddafi had been killed. He was executed by his pursuers. That is very wrong, but in this case, and this case only, the outcome is justified. Another contradiction from me I know.

I wrote about Gaddafi back in February when the Lybian Revolution started and had no idea then when it would end. Well, the end is nigh!

Good luck to all Lybians who now have the unenviable task of burying their dead while at the same time rebuilding their shattered country. All because a deluded old fool refused to see sense.

"Dead man walking" - Recent photo of the lunatic pensioner
Nice to think that the "free world" helped the Lybian people topple the tyrant. Nato's contribution was vital in the process. Funny how Nato is not doing the same in Syria.!  Oh yes, silly me, there's no oil in Syria. So fuck the people who live there.

(Note to Self: I hope readers detect the subtle sarcasm...)

Nato and the "free world" don't seem to care much for the oppressed peoples of Syria, Zimbabwe, The Yemen and a few other banana-republics. Coincidentally (or not) these nations don't have oil.

Oh, the hypocrisy of it all.

But I digress.

I wanted to write about Capital Punishment and here I go.

To all the innocent people who have been wrongly executed, I say this;

You were wrongly convicted but sadly your innocence was not enough to save you. I try to imagine how you felt moments before being put to death, but I can't. My imagination can't do it justice, just like your executioners.

My words can't help you now, I know, but please accept my humble apologies. I write nonetheless, in the faint hope that someone will read it and if not, throw it into the great Bottomless Pit of Protest along with all the pleas from millions of decent people throughout history. People who, like you and me, refuse to give up hope.

Imagine the execution of an innocent person!

How can anyone imagine such a cruel predicament?

Did you give up and resign yourself to your fate like a 'lamb to slaughter'?
Or did you lash out in desperation?
Did you wonder if your loved ones believed your innocence?
Or were you worried they doubted you too?
Did you want to send your loved one a last message?
Could you sleep at night?
Did you ever ask if justice would be done to your executioners for killing you?
Did you ever ask why the executioners can kill and be rewarded for it, but you can't?
Did you wish there was a God in heaven?

Did you cry? Did you ever stop crying?

My sincere apologies on behalf of all humanity.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Update from paradise 3

I has been a traumatic week for the Pereiras, as you all know, hence the lack of posts.

Here in Paradise we're all trying to come to terms with the loss of a loved one and are not doing a very good job of it. It'll take time, I know.

I say "Paradise" for a couple of reasons. 'Irony' and 'optimism'.

Funchal - the prettiest and friendliest town anywhere

Irony, because although I genuinely believe Madeira is the closest thing to paradise, I am not religious.

Optimism, because although I lack it at present, I feel we all need that to keep us going forward.

(Note to Self: Lately I'm surrounded by contradictions, mostly of my own making. No wonder my grandmother used to call me "The Spirit of Contradiction" back in the days when I was a child. For years I thought she meant some kind of super hero! When I found out what the words meant I had an argument with granny and insisted she was wrong on all counts. I disagreed with everything she said. Incidentally, Madeleine is as contradictive as I am!  Most of the time we can't agree on the simplest of things such as what to eat or what film to watch. I digress...)

Yesterday at 5pm, I walked the five-minute journey to the Forum Shopping Centre to meet up with Madeleine. The intention was for us to have dinner in the "Serra Da Estrela" restaurant and then go to the cinema. I chose that particular restaurant because it looks nice, is at the Forum  and so is convenient and the prices are mid-range. By chosing the restaurant before-hand, Madeleine and I avoided the usual half-an-hour discussion and argument of where to go.

I also chose the film we were going to watch as it was my turn to chose. A decision I would later regret. Madeleine chose last week's film, a slightly better one at that, "Midnight in Paris".

The meal was delicious and the service even better. The waiters were on the ball and clearly well rehearsed on customer service matters. I later acknowledged their efforts with a good tip. I have often said that I'd rather go to a restaurant with mediocre food but excellent service than the other way round. I'm even more convinced now.

I had the house speciality steak in a cheese sauce with fries and salad, helped down with a bottle of Esteva Red. Madeleine chose the same thing after being told her first choice meal of 'pork and broadbean stew' was not available.

The Forum is my favourite shopping centre. Chic, friendly
and comfortable and even has a multi-screen cinema.
Well-fed and watered, we made our way to the cinema on the top floor. Popcorn and drink in hand we took our seats and waited in anticipation for the film that promised so much...but delivered so little.

The film was 'Contagion' with Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Matt Damon. Judging by the cast alone, I thought we were in for a cinematic treat...but no. I struggled to stay awake throughout and that had nothing to do with the wine at dinner. The story has a slow, un-coordinated build-up and no climax. A bit like a drunken sex session. So I hear.

The plot (or lack of) concentrates on the spread of a flu-like virus around the world and the measures taken by the autorities to deal with it.

Wow!  I hear you all say in unison.

Not worth seeing... not even on telly.

I wish I'd let Madeleine convince me to watch 'The Three Musketeers' in 3D. It could not have been worse.


Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Goodbye Mum, I'll never stop loving you

Yesterday, 11th October 2011 at 09:30, my Mum passed away in hospital, after suffering  heart seizure.

Mum had been in hospital for 3 weeks, most of that time in Intensive Care.

Mum was moved last Friday from one hospital to another and that filled us with hope. From Intensive Care to a convalescing hospital, it was looking promising.

Mum and Dad's wedding : The beginning of the story...
I saw her Sunday at 13:00 and she was smiling but subdued. I asked her when she was coming home as I miss our Sunday lunches together and she smiled but didn't say anything.

Mum was more concerned with my injured knuckle, sustained on my way home the day before. I tripped and smashed my right little finger on a wall. It is bandaged and bruised and mum was annoyed I hadn't gone to A&E. I assured her I would go to hospital if it got worse.

I hour later I kissed her cheek and left her there with my Dad for company. I told her I'd visit again Tuesday after 17:00 with Madeleine. Mum smiled and we hugged and that's the last time I saw her.

I can't accept I won't see her again. My Mum has gone and I don't know what to do to make the pain go away. I'm going to miss her so much. I often mentioned one of the advantages of returning to Madeira was being here for my parents.

I feel so sorry for Mum too. Mum did not want to die and made that perfectly clear; to me at least, though she had often confided in others how she was sick and tired of being ill and in discomfort and wished for a speedy end. Mum never said such thing to me; Mum never would say anything to hurt me. Mum shielded me from the truth now, as she often did throughout my life when it was necessary and more comforting for me not to know the truth. Because Mum cared for me in a way no one else could.

Mum constantly helped me financially, especially around two years ago, after I signed away all my worldly goods to my ex wife. Mum would slip notes into my pockets everytime I visited her and she would also come with Dad to pick me up once a week and take me to the supermarket to pay for my groceries.

Mum did all that because she loved me unconditionally.

I love my Mum unconditionally too and always will.

I so wish there was something I could have done. I so wish I could have saved her or even been there at the end to hold her close.

My darling Mum recently
There were seven of us and now only three remain.

I have mentioned lately that I'm living in paradise and feel the happiest I've felt in years.  The irony of it all.

R.I.P Mum. I love you and never will forget you. Thank you for being my Mum, my creator, my carer and my source of comfort for so many years.


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Update from paradise 2

Here are some more photos from Madeira;

Breathtaking views - near Porto Da Cruz
On our way from Ribeiro Frio to the North Coast
My old boat! The new owner has it up and running. I wish I still had it :( 
This is the valley I want to create a fishing  lake in - work in progress
Ribeira Da Janela
yum yum, those things make one of the best dishes ever - Espetada
Jardin Do Mar - Village fete preparations
Snack time on our balcony