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DSC06010It’s been so long since I posted something on my blog, I can’t remember where I trailed off with the last post (think it was about some crappy movie) but I will precise my life for the last few weeks today. Above, another fab sunset as at this time of year, with the way the earth shifts, I get some really stunning ones from my bedroom window and every night it’s a different vista. (above pic, taken last week).

So, what have I been up to? Well, I had to open my diary to jog my memory as it doesn’t feel like I have done much, mainly because I have been feeling a bit low with life in general and had a little TOO much time by myself to wallow. But I have used this time to reflect on where my life is at and where it is heading and have made some decisions that I hope will be life changing for 2013 and take me to a place that is a far happier space than where I am now! I have plans……and will reveal them when the time comes!

Another invite plopped into my inbox today to attend an informal Christmas party aboard my favourite cruise liner that happens to pull into harbour on the 23rd. Unfortunately MSC Divina is going to have to party on with out me as I won’t be here to attend!

Having gone through my diary, it seems, I have been a little industrious and busy as after my last trip aboard the MSC Divina I went to a very nice dinner at the home of some friends who own the International School in Madeira and was served a mouth watering themed South African Dinner. They were wonderful hosts and served three very sweet deserts, finished off with rooibos tea and liquors, it was such a shame I had to drive that evening as the wine flowed along with the conversation and their lazy Susan was laden with every conceivable spirit, some I had never even heard of. It was a great evening, with great company and next year I will all invite them to mine to return the invite.

I managed to fit in a blind coffee date the week after with a chap I had been chatting to for a while on-line. He was a maths professor at the University and drove a mini. He was a nice looking chap, came across as very sweet, but there was no spark at all between us. Toward the end of the coffee date he admitted to me that he had never lived with a woman. He is 40 years old and I think my shocked response probably put him off me. Needless to say, I have not heard from him since and a little relieved that I haven’t, as I can’t imagine what it must be like to have lived all those years without a companion of some sort and was dying to ask if he still lived with his mother!

I have spent quite a bit of time with my mate Jorge over the last few weeks as he has been a little sad in himself too. It has been nice to have some company for a change and he really is very handy at DIY. My kitchen tap had developed a nasty leak in which it didn’t drip but poured and as it was one of those things that doesn’t take a washer, it needed to be replaced. Another friend of mine who lives up the road, came over and brought me a new one of a different design and replaced it for me. It was great for a week or so, and then water started to piss out of the hot tap head, and that friend had whizzed off to Holland that week for a visit. So Jorge took the tap apart and fixed it, but a few hours later I turned it on and the whole tap fell apart flooding the kitchen with water. I took the tap back to Maxmat where they agreed it was faulty and swapped it for a new one, and Jorge did his man thing and attached it back to the wall for me. Now its nice and shiny and new and works with no leaks……so far! Jorge also put up some tiles for me, so I  now have my house number displayed on my outside wall, which was given about 2 years ago when they changed the addressing system in Madeira. My house number was sprayed in red paint onto my step which has since weathered off and as I have no Palm tree to remind people of where I live and the St Georges England flag hanging from my gate as the new landmark is in shreds, the new tiled numbers, I hope will help resolve the issues of finding my pad in the future!

Jorge and I being silly as usual last week and on the wine!

Jorge and I being silly as usual last week and on the wine!

Now that we are in December, Christmas has pounced on us and so starts the rounds of Christmas dinners and parties. The ladies coffee morning club held theirs on the 4th at a lovely little private restaurant called Manjericos in Prazeres. Janice who runs the ladies coffee mornings, organised another fab do, but its not just about socialising. Every month the ladies take it in turns to host the coffee morning and we pay a sub to attend. Over the year, these subs add up to a considerable sum and then is donated to a worthy cause. This year the money is being spent on providing around 10 children who come from very poor families, and get given christmas presents. Janice and a few other women bring various items of clothing and gifts back from the UK during the year and hand these out to needy children as well. Last year funds were given to help provide a special visual room for a school for special needs, so hats off to Janice for organising this and making a small dent with us ladies, where it is needed!

being silly again, this time with Jane at the Christmas lunch for the ladies coffee morning club

being silly again, this time with Jane at the Christmas lunch for the ladies coffee morning club

But now I am writing this, it all seems like all I do is attend dinners and be silly! The night before the ladies luncheon in Prazeres, I was invited to join two lovely friends who I really adore, Mavis and Brian. It was Brian’s big birthday bash ( and out of politeness will not reveal the number)! A small party of close friends joined them both at our number one restaurant in Funchal Solar d’ajuda for his celebration. Another lovely evening with super company and a couple who I consider as family. They popped in yesterday on their way back from Funchal and we opened a couple of bottles and had a jolly good catch up natter. I wish they were my neighbours and we could spend more time together.

Birthday boy Brian

Birthday boy Brian

And I have to mention yet another dinner! This time, it was a last minute off the cuff moment, whilst Jorge was over again. Our friends Patrick and Stephanie had wanted to get together before we all left for the UK this Christmas, so as we were running out of time and days, before each one of us departs to Blighty, a quick phone call ensured that this last weekend was saved, to have that last minute get together. Normally I cook curry as everyone likes my Indian dishes but I really had a hankering for a roast as I haven’t eaten one for millions of months. So I promised Lamb, (which is a bloody expensive meat here and is only cooked for special occasions, difficult to get fresh on the island as we don’t have sheep here, so most is imported from New Zealand – hence the high price tag) and luck would have it, the supermarket didn’t have any of the frozen stuff left or a chicken! A quick improvisation for the roast with what was available was a joint of pork instead and as Jorge is renowned for his wonderful pork roast, I left him to master his art over the meat whilst I took care of the rest. We were a good team and the meal was delicious, so much so, I am wondering why I am going to bother with Indian food ever again for a dinner party!

A candle lit soiree at my pad

A candle lit soiree at my pad

I have just over a week before I depart to the cold climes of my homeland, and have quite a few things lined up before I go. I have already got my suitcase out and am mentally stuffing stuff into it to bursting point before physically trying. I have done a few bits of christmas pressy shopping, which I have to say is very difficult here in Madeira as there isn’t much choice and I know I wont have the time or the privacy to explore the shops when I get to the UK. My diary is filling fast now before I embark onto the sleazy jet plane, but one thing I need to mention that I am looking forward to next week is the Sausage Club. On Tuesday I will be meeting up with other ex pats to endeavour the art of making English porkers…..bring the ingredients and then faff about laughing at the rude ensemble of the machine that makes them with the skins! It’s the one thing I miss regarding fodder from the UK as we can get most everything else, but my palate has adapted to here…….Sausages are something that only the Brits can do, so I am looking forward to seeing how easy/hard it is to replicate this delicacy next week!

So, I imagine my next post will be post Blighty and hilarious images of sausage making, so watch this space!

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