Friday, 21 December 2012

Looking the Mayan calendar

We are well into the 21st century and the technological era. In the last five decades human knowledge has advanced way beyond the realms of imagination of our ancestors.  Never before has humanity pooled and shared so much knowledge and made it available, freely, to so many.

The true age of enlightenment is nigh!

It is ironic then  that we are still surrounded by so many people who refuse to absorb the available knowledge to make sense of their existence and place in nature.


People who are religious, conservative, stubborn and lazy and believe our ancestors knew something we don't know.

People who look back in time for inspiration and guidance to their future.

People who believe, through blind faith, that ancient scribes (writers) had the inexplicable and exclusive rights to communicate with gods that were mere figments of their own imagination.

And no matter how many times science proves our ancestors wrong and misguided, those people continue to refuse to allow their minds to evolve and  discard all myth and superstition.

Let us look at the Mayan Calendar fiasco:

Some 5200 years ago the Mayan society commissioned a group of scholars to create a calendar that would be used as a tool to date and record their history.

Those early astronomers already had a rudimentary knowledge of the movement of stars - through observation - and in short, knew that every 365 days the celestial pattern in their night sky would repeat itself exactly. Hence, the yearly calendar was created.

Clever for the time?

Most certainly.

Divine and mystical?

Most certainly not.

And so to all those who believed the Mayans were privy to knowledge from the cosmos and the oncoming Apocalypse, I say;

"Get a life", or better still, "get an education."


Worse still, and much more dangerous, are those same conservative/religious people who not only believe in our ancestors ability to communicate with gods, but also believe we should live by, and impose on others, the beliefs of those ancient scribes - who were at best mere mortals and at worse self-indulgent drug users ( scribes were the artists of their time and we all know what artists are like).

HISTORY should not be used by backward-looking individuals with no sense or imagination, as a guide to moral standards and wholesome living.

HISTORY is a recording (often incorrect) of the past, not an instruction manual for the future.

HISTORY - important as it is - should only be used to learn from past mistakes in order not to repeat them and to continue work-in-progress research.

HISTORY is yesterday - today's memory. Tomorrow, where we should set our sights, is today's dream.

Sleep well...


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Childhood tears of fears

When I was young I used to worry a good deal about death  and the inevitable eventual loss of a loved one.

When I heard of someone outside of my extended family dying, I used to feel terribly sad for his/hers relatives. I would imagine how I'd feel in their place; how I'd cope with the grief and pain of mourning.  At times tears would well up in my eyes and I'd feel the pressure build up in my chest along with the empty hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach. These fear-filled thoughts would usually enter my mind at bed time and often would make me get up. I would then sneak quietly into the living room to watch whatever happened to be on television.

Back in those days of terrestrial TV most channels would stop broadcasting around midnight, except for BBC2 when it would either switch to displaying news headlines on Ceefax or, if I was in luck, show Open University educational programs, back to back, for a couple of hours.

One particular night I was in time to watch some footage of a gas explosion that had happened that day in a primary school somewhere in South America. The disaster happened during class hours. The building collapsed, killing dozens of young children and their teachers.  I remember seeing desperate parents digging at the rubble with their bare hands, frantically searching for and trying to rescue their little ones - to no avail.  I felt their pain. I wept in silence as those poor mothers screamed and the fathers carried the look of absolute helplessness and heartbreak.

I knew there and then, there was no god.  No way would a divine father or all-powerful creator allow  innocent little children to die in such a cruel and wasteful way.

The recent tragic event at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, USA has once again brought to the surface the despair and grief I felt as a child.

I can't bear to look at the photos of the dead children on TV, their angelic innocent faces or the distraught and anguished parents. Lives cut short, destroyed by some mad man who had little difficulty obtaining a weapon made specifically for the mass-murder of human beings.

I hope the Democrats can now act and push through the gun sale control legislation Bill Clinton fought so hard for but the Republicans successfully refuted.

Fucking Republicans!   How can any "decent" person ever vote for them?

It is only a matter of time before another, and another and another Sandy Hook incident happens.

The NRA, (National Rifle Association or National Republican Association) and their cowboy members (only 4.3 million) will continue to fight to maintain the "right to bear arms" in the US constitution.

It's just  like me saying I want the "right" to drive my car whilst under the influence of alcohol.


Friday, 14 December 2012

To you my love, you who are a stranger

The person I refer to in this poem will remain anonymous, but will be in no doubt, should she read it.

With heart torn asunder
and mind in turmoil
a decision I have reached
to leave this hallowed soil
heavy with the burden
of many a sleepless night
it's down to when and with whom
I shall book the flight

As the impulsiveness of youth
gets left behind
and with you, my secret love
constantly on my mind
a planned new beginning
takes longer to prepare
and makes the pain of departure
that much harder to bear

But depart I must
for I doubt you´ll ever be mine
and with your image and sound
etched deep in my mind
and the pain of unrequited love
weighing heavy in my heart
I will endeavour, once again
to make a brand new start


Monday, 10 December 2012

A Christmas wish

The festive season is well under way in Madeira. The city's streets, trees and buildings are sprinkled with a multi-coloured array of lights and decorations.

I remember with fondness and sadness in equal measure, how I always looked forward to Christmases past.

 I remember how I shared the joy and anticipation with my little ones as they savoured the first chocolate drop of their advent calendars.

I remember the pine-scented aromas wafting through the house and the neatly wrapped presents crowding the bases of gloriously dressed Christmas trees.

I remember one particular Christmas morning when I was awakened by my excited 6 year old son Mattie, stomping into the bedroom asking ´"is it morning already?"  I jumped out of bed, picked him up and hugged and kissed him as we made our way to the kitchen to prepare his beloved cup of tea (he still drinks it by the gallon). Every other morning I would hand him his cooled-down tea in his spouted cup, turn on the TV and he'd sit on my lap, gulping non-stop until the last drop, as we watched children's programmes - but not on Christmas morning. He would run to the stack of presents, cup in hand  and with a Cheshire-cat smile on his beautiful face.

Those fond memories of a time gone by are what will make this Christmas particularly painful. I will wake up in an apartment devoid of decorations and mountain-pine fragrance and of the sounds of present wrappers being ripped apart.  And, most importantly, the sound of a child's ecstatic voice echoing through the house.

If only...


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Sarah, this war must come to an end

It is time I take stock and choose carefully the direction my life will take. A certain amount of fear and trepidation is seeping into my mind as I contemplate the possibility of returning  to London.

A return to my spiritual home, where my heart and soul wander the same paths as my sons and daughter, is what I desire, but I also know it is near enough impossible due to financial restraints imposed upon me by a spurned and revenge-seeking wife.

My beloved offspring are 2000 miles away, beyond my reach and intimacy and as time goes on, the situation gets harder and harder to bare.  I long to converse in person (not over the airwaves) with them, and share their lives, their hopes and aspirations and most importantly, their unconditional love. I have distanced myself from them not through choice but by consequences brought about by greed and need for revenge of someone who, for two decades, was my loyal companion. The self same person who has kept everything we ever possessed conjointly, including my surname, and now seems to rejoice at inflicting upon me the severest wound of all - separation from my children.

Sarah, how much longer do you intend to keep punishing me while simultaneously depriving our son, whom you say you care for, of the father he loves and needs?

Our personal battle, the one you started by refusing to accept my right to end a faltering relationship, is not only hurting me and you know it. The message you give is that revenge is more important to you than the well-being of our son - something I refuse to believe.

There are no victors in this war of yours, only victims who may one day seek justice and retribution.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Absent without leave

I have been off blogger for 11 days - the longest ever absence. I´ve been trawling the recesses of my mind for ideas to post but to no avail. I'm presently in a pensive, not creative  mood.

I'm no longer involved in my brothers restaurant, and now have too much idle time in my hands. I´ve been reading voraciously (2 to 3 paperbacks per week)  and doing little else.

I continue to gig and socialise, with some poker playing sessions in between. I've even taught myself  how to do a one-handed trick of flipping one chip over two others... yes, I know what you´re all thinking.

Last week I got to know some visitors from the UK who were here on holiday and attended one of my gigs - Rob, Jan, Tim, Sheena and Mike and we had a few fun-packed and extremely late nights of music drink and chat.

Mike is a semi-retired microbiologist from Glasgow and a music lover. His IPhone has more music downloads than a local radio station. From religion to evolution, we had a few very good and eye-opening  chats. I told him if I had my life over again, microbiology would be my chosen career. He replied if he had his life over again he'd choose my lifestyle! Apparently his choice of profession kept him way too busy to enjoy life.

Valid  point. It seems so many people are caught up with so much work they have no time to enjoy the present. And then, as the accumulating years remind them of their fast approaching ending, they begin to wish they'd had more time for fun, for love and life in general.

But living for the moment as I do, does not in itself guarantee happiness.  That would be too much to expect.

I'll be back with something more substantial in due course.


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Life's mistakes are what the wise call experience

When history repeats itself and the event is good and positive, that's fine, but when it is bad or negative it means we're not learning by past mistakes.

Although I agree with this declaration and try to live by it, I am guilty, more often than I'd like, of failing to heed the advice of my own conscience.

This "failure" manifests itself repeatedly in my quest to find someone to love. I'd like to think I am old and wise enough to know better - but clearly that's not the case.  The more I deal with women the less I seem to know about them!  And when I get it completely wrong  I run the risk of losing a friend.

That won't do.

I wonder if there is a comprehensive  handbook/manual of some kind or an encyclopedia on the female species mindset on this subject? If anyone knows out there in blogland please let me know.

I have lots of female friends, and when I ask their opinion on these matters, I get differing and contradictive  views. I ask because, they being women, are much more likely to know how my prospective and desired thinks.

Here follows the advice from four different friends after each being told the story separately and as accurately as I could muster.

"If I were you I'd look elsewhere - give up"

"If I were you I'd continue and let her know exactly how you feel"

"If I were you I wouldn't give up hope"

"If I were you I'd distance myself and let her take the next step"

Even more interesting is the fact that the object of my desire is known to all four of them.

As Leonard Cohen once wrote, and I quote;

"All the rocket ships are flying through the sky
the holy books are open wide
doctors working day and night
but they´ll never ever find a cure for love" 

...or a comprehensive and foolproof handbook



Thursday, 8 November 2012

A most frivolous post - Madeiran girls

I have often harped on to all who'd listen, that Madeira is well served with beautiful women. More than anywhere else I've been.

It's not as if I've travelled the world, but I have visited most European countries. From Sweden to Spain, England to Greece, and I have never seen a higher concentration of female beauty than here in tiny Madeira.

When Madeiran girls are in large groups, such as in clubs, discos or pubs, the high percentage of beauties always amazes me.

So, in this light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek, Vogue-styled  post, I have decided to show you a few - and they're just some of the ones I know - friends.

Lisandra R 

Lisandra M






So, this is my flippant, self-indulgent attempt to prove some irrelevant point.


Monday, 5 November 2012

100 Words: Most rivers flow to the sea

My life is synonymous with a river, flowing to the sea and it's final destination.. At times turbulent, but mostly gliding gently and unperturbed, the current also carries away some of my loved ones.  Some may be able to swim back, like wild salmon, and cross my path again. I long for those moments. Others are lost forever, absorbed  back into Nature's womb.

But the river will bring forth more people whom I have yet to meet and love. Those will be joyful events. But  inevitably, tempestuous flows will again cause more emotional devastation.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

An unexpected precious gift

...where are you playing tonight?

That was the message received from Claudia on FB yesterday morning. I replied and asked why the question. She said someone wanted to go and see me play.

I didn't think anymore of it. I assumed a mutual friend had asked Claudia the same question. 

Claudia, as I have reported previously, has moved to the UK on a job assignment, and I miss her terribly. She is my most precious friend.   I could easily talk to Claudia forever and never get bored. She has been away two months.

But I'll start with yesterday's gig at Moynihan's. 

Four of my friends were sitting in front of the stage, requesting the odd song or two when my contact lenses decided to shrivel up, dry up with the air conditioning. I had a short break and took a bottle of mineral water to the toilet to rinse the lenses that were making me feel as if I were looking through opaque plastic bags . 

As I returned, rubbing and squinting my eyes I noticed someone standing in the middle of the floor who looked very familiar. At first I thought my lenses were still playing tricks with me, but then I heard her voice and saw her beautiful smile. It was Claudia!

Claudia decided to return for the weekend without telling a soul!

Well, I didn't quite know whether to laugh or cry with joy. 

After our extended greeting was over I decided to play a few more songs and asked Claudia to sing a song we used to sing together. When I need you by Leo Sayer. Great for harmonies.

 There she stood, next to me, sharing the microphone and singing a song that now meant much more to us than before. See the extract below and how relevant the words are. I lost my way with the lyrics a couple of times, no doubt due to shock and Claudia looked about to burst into tears.

...miles and miles of empty space is between us 
the telephone can't take the place of your smile
but you know I won't be travelling for ever...
when I need you, I just close my eyes and I'm with you...

What a beautiful surprise. What a wonderful gift to receive unexpectedly!

After the gig we all went down to FX Club where the band were playing and most of our mutual friends were.  

At some stage Claudia opened her purse and gave me a coin as a keep sake. An English pound coin. 

It is now in my wallet, where I will see it every day, as a constant reminder of someone so very special to me.

Claudia, as I mentioned in a previous post,  you always make me feel good and I love you dearly.


Thursday, 25 October 2012

One man's loss is another man's gain

A couple of nights ago I met Cecilie - a Norwegian girl here on holiday - at the No 2 Pub. We got on from the start and have arranged further dates.

 I'm usually quite reserved when it comes to chatting up girls - I'm not the imposing kind of guy - but on this occasion, what led me to start up a conversation with her was that some jerk was imposing on her.

I sat at the bar ten feet away from Cecilie and noticed she was totally preoccupied with her mobile phone, occasionally looking at and sipping her drink. A guy walked in, made a bee-line to Cecilie and stood behind her. He then ordered and got his beer and stayed where he was, leering at Cecilie, eyeing her up in a most blatant way. The bar was almost empty but the fuck-wit decided to impose on the lone girl by standing a foot behind her, breathing down her neck. That set me off and after a couple of minutes I signalled Cecilie and asked her if she would like to join me at my end of the bar, as there was clearly more space. She smiled and asked why don't I join her instead. I agreed, picked up my drink and sat next to her. On my way over I gave the guy the worst possible look I could muster: a look of pure disdain. As I sat down next to Cecilie the ´slimeball´ moved away to the other end of the bar, with what could have been his tail between his legs.

Cecilie and I started chatting and I explained that I felt uncomfortable with the way the inconsiderate bastard   was behaving and  so decided to intervene. I wondered if she thought that was my usual chat up technique. I hope not, as I had no ulterior motive - other than wanting to talk to an atractive woman with long silky blonde hair.

Nothing, absolutely nothing irritates me more than seeing a man imposing on a woman in a predatory way.

I fucking hate it.

If I were a woman, I'd give those testosterone-fueled leeches such a hard time they'd think twice before encroaching into another woman's space.

But I guess, had  it not been for the improper actions of an idiot, I may never have approached Cecilie.

Dear blog friends, I'd like your views on this matter. Please leave a comment.



Friday, 19 October 2012

When heart and lips are in different locations...

...someone often gets hurt.

My daily quest for conviviality has become an arduous struggle since the closure of the Warm Up Café. It is the place I liked to frequent. I liked it's clientele and atmosphere. Most regulars were, and still are, dear friends of mine.

We have been temporarily scattered, dispersed by the tragic event. We are without a base, an army without camp, or worse, homeless, without warmth and shelter.

You may think I'm being  melodramatic, but I kid you not, this is as serious an event as any I've been through lately.  I know the Warm Up story is not over, by any means, and it is only a matter of time before it re-emerges, stronger and better. But the waiting is unbearable.

But what has this subject got to do with the title of this post?

Absolutely nothing. I´ll get back to the intended topic.

Some days ago I spent an evening and most of the night with a girl I've known a while and have secretly liked. By secretly I mean that my attraction for her remained undisclosed, locked  in my thoughts. I didn't want to let her know my feelings for fear of souring our friendship. I'm sure you all understand.

However, as the night progressed and the beer flowed, I built up the courage to make a move and follow my instinct. I was pleasantly surprised when she responded positively to my advances. She had also told me earlier on, that she had lost interest in some guy - a friend of mine - she fancied for a while.

The coast was clear and I reacted.

He who dares wins!

Or does he?

After that rendezvous, contact between us lessened from what it had been previously, when we were mere friends.

Confused, I decided to be upfront and ask her if there was something wrong. On FaceBook Chat!

"Nothing wrong!" came the reply."But I may not have been completely honest with you that night"

"Please explain."

" heart is elsewhere. There's someone I really like and he's away at present"

"If your heart was elsewhere, why were your lips on mine?" I enquired

"I don't know...I'm sorry, maybe the drink had something to do with it"

"No need to apologise. I did what I wanted to do"

As the saying goes 'better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved'

Intimacy is a rare and precious gift, to be enjoyed even in the briefest of moments.


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Tragedy or comedy?

I'm in a sombre mood today.

The Warm Up Café has closed - indefinitely. The owner promises to start it up again soon in different premises.

Bad news, as the old place was at the end of my street. Unless it moves into my block. Which is unlikely. But one never knows. I may offer my apartment. Its not as if I use it much anyway. In fact I was often accused of spending more time at Warm Up than at home! I may have just stumbled accidentally on a solution. *sips tea and smiles with smug expression*

Meanwhile, my friends are scattered around Funchal, like busy ants on the hunt, trying to find an alternative venue for our precious soirees.

Another bone of contention at the moment is my effort in trying to make a success of the restaurant. It leaves me frustrated at not having the financial backing necessary to take a huge leap forward. We've also recently lost two key members of staff.

But, on the music front, the situation  is rosy. Last night, The Hole In One Pub was an absolute gem of a gig.

The crowd were boisterous and appreciative and I gave it my all. Two and a half hours of playing and singing later, I reluctantly shut down the equipment - much to the indignation of the audience. My brother's attendance made a hell of a difference, as always. His singing both pleased and surprised the crowd and after four songs bro' left the stage to a tumultuous round of applause. We went on a bar crawl until 6am.

The last couple of hours bro' and I spent in the Space Rocket Club. For the benefit of the uninitiated, this club is a place where lots of ladies wearing little more than smiles, dance around poles (as in fireman's poles, not as in Polish men...come to think of it I heard the odd  "cześć kochanie"... whatever that means). Anyway, I digress.

The scene was something like this, I think, though I can't be sure
as I wasn't looking. Honest!

Betty, a Colombian friend who also happens to work at said club, (not as a dancer, as barmaid)  was kept busy shooing away her eager, scantily-clad and heavily made-up colleagues from us. Waving her arms wildly and saying in her Spanish accent  "they are my friends.Customers but not customers!"

Perplexed by Betty's contradicting statement, we carried on sipping our beers and wondering what would happen if we had wanted to be "real" customers. Betty wouldn't have let us, I know. The surreal situation felt like being in a gentlemen's club with our Mother as chaperon.


Monday, 15 October 2012

Friends...who just happen to be female

I've never had so many female friends as I do now.  I do mean friends, in every sense of the word, not mere acquaintances.

Friends, as in people I spend hours socialising with and who make me feel good, alive and happy.

This post is dedicated to all those wonderful women, whom I adore.

Carla  The more I know you the more I like you. Fact. I can't wait to see you again. But no more tequila shots! I mean it.

Carla, oh the shots we consume!

Lisandra   It is no secret I have always admired you. I love your musical talent, your unique style, your grace and beauty and your kind heart. I could never tire of seeing or speaking with you.

Lisandra and I with the Johnnie Walker glasses

Nadia   Probably the friend I spend more time with. Our endless conversations always leave me wanting more.

Sofia  Your charm,femininity and wit makes me glow inside. I simply love being with you. A true Madeiran beauty, in every sense of the word.

Mimosa  The sweetest girl I know. I love the way you unburden your troubles onto me. Anytime, Mimosa, that's what friends are for.

Nadia, Sofia and Mimosa - absolutely wonderful people

Magda  The ever so elusive Magda. Mysterious, interesting and so alluring. When I feel down all I have to do to cheer up is remember the night in Rosario.


Joana  Arty, chic and interesting. And a great photographer!

Joana doing what she does best

Claudia  You are a constant source of positive thinking and by far the most potent anti-depressant I've ever known. Your ability to make me feel good is truly remarkable. Pity you've moved to the UK. It's down to FB chat for now.

Claudia, I miss you :(

Sonia  Life and soul of any party. Shy and demure to begin with but as the night wears on turns into the most energetic dancer around.

Sonia in one of her quiet moments

Monica  I'm always available for a chat. You make perfect sense to me, if not always to others. It's their problem, not yours. You're perfect as you are and I hope you never change.

Aline  You're funny, sweet, a beer drinker and a great pool player. What more can a man possibly want in a female friend?

Aline and Monica - two great pool players

Oh the irony of it all! So many esteemed and beautiful female friends and yet...I still wake up alone!

Well, most of the time...


Friday, 12 October 2012

100 Words: Me, myself and I

Try as I may, romance continues to be just beyond my reach. Brief encounters do happen from time to time, but not romance.

I have been exiled from Loveland. Cast adrift from Passion Island.

Quite frankly, between you and me, it's beginning to piss me off.

My apartment, like myself, continues to lack feminine attention. It feels like I'm living in a motel, an impersonal lodgings where there are no Loreal products in the bathroom or a lingering Chanel fragrance with every breath.

On the bright side, there's no squabbling over wardrobe or shoe-rack space.


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

100 Words: When I left you were sleeping

I loved the whole evening. I am glad I agreed to your suggestion of going to the E bar around 3am.

You were happy, you were dancing, you were making me laugh.

I've known you a while and have always liked you.

Sometime later I woke up and you were sleeping, with you head on my shoulder. I kissed your face repeatedly and gently, so as not to wake you.

And I couldn't stop hugging you.

I loved waking up with you by my side.

The indescribable sense of comfort and well-being is still within me, several  hours later.

It's what you do to me...


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Important announcement

This morning at around 6am I received an SMS from my son Shaun, informing me of the birth of his son, Zack.

Despite having slept only a couple of hours I jumped out of bed with joy and danced around the room for 5 minutes. I also shed some tears - not of sadness but of sheer gratitude.

My first grandson had arrived - 3 days before my own birthday!

Welcome into our world, Zack Pearson-Pereira - you're absolutely wonderful

Some 27 years ago, Shaun  brought new meaning into my life simply by being born. I remember vividly the joy and relief I felt then - joy at his arrival and the overwhelming love I felt for the little bundle, and relief at the sense of fulfilment and immortality his appearance provided. I realised then the importance of my genetic code having  been handed down.  A legacy had started.

Subsequently, the arrival of my two other children would reaffirm my own genetic immortality.

Little Zack is another precious gift Mother Nature.has bestowed upon me and the rest of our family.

I can't wait to hold him in my arms and kiss his puffy little cheeks.


Friday, 21 September 2012

If I were to tell her...

...but I probably won't...

...I would say I prefer your company to anyone else's.

Because ,

you always make me smile.

I love your attitude
I love your style
I love your kindness and empathy to others
I love your rebellious nature
I love your sense of humour
I love your sense of justice
I love your youth and vitality
I love your presence
I love our endless conversations
I love your silky hair and glossy deep-brown eyes
I love your tanned, glowing skin
I love everything about you...


I hate the fact you're unavailable.


Sunday, 16 September 2012

If Madeira is paradise, what on earth do I call this place?

Last Saturday night at around 01:30 am I arrived at the FX Club to meet up with friends who were performing there.Shortly after arriving Sonia suggested I  and a few friends, should drive to the north coast and attend the village fete of Fajã do Penedo, where her folks live.

I agreed and our group of seven people and two cars arrived at our destination around 3 am. A couple of hours and a few beers later I was introduced to Marlene, a local girl and friend of Sonia. Marlene is a beautiful young woman who had spent two years in London and was eager to practice her English with me; I promptly agreed.

The fete was well under way when we arrived

We chatted and danced until 7 am. Marlene suggested we all went back to her place with a crate of beer. We all agreed.

We walked through her garden under a suspended vineyard and reached her house, a  two storey country home perched on the side of a hill.

We all talked and drank beer for the next 2 hours. By then some of us were feeling the worse for wear and the sofa and bed were quickly claimed by Isabel Juan Suzanna and Ayrton.

Marlene appeared with a giant foam mattress, placed it in the middle of the living room, collapsed onto it and signalled to Sonia and I to join her and try to get some sleep. I lay next to Marlene, face to face, and continued with our conversation as all others drifted into their drunken slumber.

I was tired by then but hoped Marlene would stay awake and we could continue chatting. I looked at my watch and it was 09:30 am. Then I fell asleep.

An hour later I woke up, not sure of where I was. I looked around and saw that all were fast asleep. I got up and decided to go to the nearest cafe for my morning fix.

I walked through the suspended vineyard and was struck by the beauty of the whole place.

I had to squint as daylight hit me.Seconds later, this is what I saw. What a
beautiful way to start the day!

And this....

...and this

I strolled around the village, admiring the stunning views and also the way all the local people who were going about their business managed a smile - at a stranger in their midst.

Fajã do Penedo village

Back at the house the rest were stirring awake as I returned. Sonia insisted on us all going to her parents for lunch while Marlene got ready to go to her kiosk at the fete. We exchanged phone numbers.

After a hearty lunch of barbecued beef and jacket potatoes we all headed back to Church Square, the fete and Marlene's kiosk. Marlene and I chatted and drank beer for a couple more hours. I kept referring to this beautiful and serene village as "her world".

The others decided it was time to head back to Funchal - it was 5:30 pm by then. We had been at the village since 3:00am.

On the drive back to Funchal Juan and Isabel kept teasing me about my new found paradise and whether it had something to do with a particular local girl called Marlene. I smiled.

On the way home I couldn't get the last 14 hours events out of my mind.

Back in my apartment, exhausted from the lack of sleep and copious drinking I collapsed into my own bed and slept soundly for four hours. I woke up to the vibrating sound of my mobile and wondered if it was Marlene. It wasn't.  It was Lisandra asking me if I was going to see her play her gig at Moynihan's.

I showered and went off for another session of endless socialising and drinking.

Marlene and the beautiful village remained in my thoughts through the night. Strange how I thought I knew all of Madeira but had never visited that particular village. It is as if I had left the best till last.

I managed to send off an SMS to Marlene, thanking her for her hospitality and company. I also mentioned how impressed I was with her world... and how I'd love to be part of it.


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Village fetes in Paradise

As I mentioned in earlier posts, August is a busy month in Madeira with all the village fetes around the island - every weekend. The unbelievable turn out amazes me every time. I'm certain at least half the island's population attend these great events.

S. Vicente's  last week started tuesday and ended sunday afternoon, and I, along with the usual crowd of pals, attended thurday, friday and saturday nights. No sleep but who cares?

S.Vicente's do was superb - the best of them all...great sound
 from Vespas Club
this is only a fraction of the crowd...
Claudia, my dearest friend, her brother and husband at the
start of the evening. She is leaving Madeira on a job assignment -
and I'm not happy about it :( 
Sofia is famous for never getting drunk - until this particular night
when she overdid it with  shots and ended up at the
car, head out of the window, spewing up
The gang and I - this weekend is Ponta Delagada - woohoo! 

Last night after a session at Warm Up bar that lasted until 4 am, Lisandra and I  went back to my apartment for more drink and chat, and at 8:30 she decided a swim in the sea would be a good idea. 

And it was! Diving into the coolness of the deep blue with our bellies full of booze was absolutely magical. The best hang-over cure ever!  I now want to make a habit of it - after all, here in Madeira the sea temperature ranges from 25 centigrade in the summer to a "chilling" 20 centigrade in winter - oh yes, and plenty of sunshine all year round.

Lisandra and I swam to that platform and rested a while - before the
crowds arrived

So, very little time to blog at present. Busy busy with work and partying. 

It's tough going...but someone's got  to do it.


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

I can't reach the sun...

I'm still in a state of emotional limbo.

I'm still chasing impossible dreams, like a madman reaching for the stars.

I'm still unattached, untethered, like a ship without anchor, drifting with the unpredictable currents of life.

I'm still happy; most of the time, just never completely happy.

I am still very much 'incompletely' happy.

Salvador Dali

Here's something  I wrote the other night that just about sums it up;

As dawn rises  over the city
I slip unnoticed into bed
with memories like silent movies
flickering through my head

Images may remain forever
like paintings on permanent display
but fading with time
and fading away


Saturday, 11 August 2012

The briefest update yet!

The month of August is quite hectic in Madeira; village fetes around the island ensure that every weekend there's something happening. The village festivals take place around the church areas. Kiosks serve grilled chicken and beef and copious amounts of alcohol until 6am. One of the main disco clubs sets up a mobile outfit and the music  flows as freely as the beer. I'm certain most of the islands 250.000 residents turn up to any one of these events.

Ana, my cousin and fellow reveller at Lameiros

gets livelier around 2am

Work, work and more work and a lot of partying in between are preventing me from posting regularly. I'm sure you understand...'s a tough life


Thursday, 2 August 2012

Swift update

Lately I have been immersed in work - more than I can handle. I have the opportunity to gig every night of the week and also the responsibility of helping to run bro's restaurant-bar, Porta XXXII - hence the lack of posting.

But, guess what?

I'm loving it

Warm Up Jam Session at Porta XXXII - We all stayed
until 08:30 am.  I've been busy working here...
...and doing this kind of thing ...

 So, that's it! Little time to blog, but I'm working on something of interest to post soon


Friday, 20 July 2012

Flames of hell in Paradise

For the last three days vast areas of Madeira, approximately 10% of the landmass,  have been engulfed by flames. See the satellite picture below.

Plumes of smoke billow from east to west 
Four major forest fires are causing havoc around the island - the one near Funchal is causing the most concern.

Close to the airport - and residential areas of Santa Cruz
Flames surrounding the motorways to the airport and east of the island
Funchal watches nervously as the flames create a halo of  fear
Residents do all they can to help the firefighters
The displaced are en route to sheltered accommodation
The heroes who have worked non stop for three days and nights
Perilously close- the smoke penetrates all the city's homes
Our beautiful purple-green mountains will take years to recover.
The Palheiro Golf Club area is worst hit
No comment required...
This plane has just taken off from Funchal Airport
Political message from the fire brigade "Today we are heros, tomorrow
we'll be forgotten and abandoned - but we'll never abandon our people"

Moderate winds are aiding the spread of embers and frustrating the fire fighters. Extra fire fighting crews and equipment have arrived from the mainland.

It is heartbreaking to see the devastation of our prized flora and the scarring of this very green and lovely land.

The saddest part is that the authorities are now convinced the fires were started deliberately.

If, as some suspect but I find hard to believe, this is some kind of political protest, I denounce the cowards who would rather scorch the land than face their opponents in open and democratic debate.