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.



  1. Joe, lol - I'm not sure the 3 Musketeers would have been much better! Looks lovely out there - just got really chilly in the UK over the last few days: I'm jealous of you.

  2. haha, no need to be jealous Dicky, just come over on holiday! By the way the temperature here is in the mid twenties...and will stay in the mid twenties until next summer. Just thought I'd let you know :)