Tuesday, January 13, 2009



Hi everyone and a Happy New Year to you all! I am back from my New Year holiday in Madeira 24 hours late due to fog at Funchal Airport which caused the cancellation of my Easyjet flight and an overnight stay in Santa Cruz village close to Funchal Airport.

For the first time I watched Madeira's famous New Year Firework Display standing in the port with thousands of local Madeiran people and tourists. The Firework Display was spectacular and you can watch a video of it on U Tube.

After a lively family Christmas and a busy working year I enjoyed a break to 'recharge my batteries'. I aimed to get fitter with some Levada Walks, in wonderful scenery as shown in the 2 photos above, but sprained my left calf muscle on an 8 mile walk, and have been hobbling around for a week. I did managed to shake off a heavy cold acquired before I left a freezing cold UK on New Year's Eve.

The downside? The holiday was expensive as our weak £ only buys 1 Euro now when one year ago the £ was worth 1.4 Euros. We economised by eating meals in my small Timeshare apartment (purchased in 1988) and packed up sandwich lunches. Just for the record, this was a private holiday funded by me and nothing to do with the Councils. After arriving home 24 hours late, I immediately had to rush off to 3 meetings and have a busy month ahead.

Let's hope that 2009 will be more cheerful than the end of 2008. We must keep smiling and learn to live more economically. Those of us who grew up in the post war years can remember food rationing but it will be hard for younger people who have grown up in more affluent times and have never learned to 'save for a rainy day'.

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