Riches from the deep

With tall palms fanning the air around us, we were sitting beneath a hibiscus tree with deep pink flowers on a little terrace shoehorned into the hillside, looking out over the bay with a flotilla of brightly painted fishing boats drawn up on the beach. We were enjoying salads, and chatting to the couple at an adjoining table. After three days at sea, they had docked earlier that morning, and had left their cruise ship (one of two in Funchal harbor, Madeira that day) and hotfooted it to take the red hop-on-hop-off bus to this small restaurant in Câmara de Lobos in search of the black scabbardfish. The woman was an aficionado of this Madeiran delicacy.

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Christmas toast

Wishing everyone all the best for Christmas and the New Year.

I’ve been away on holiday and am just back to frantic last minute food shopping, so more on where I’ve been later.

Meanwhile, here’s a toast to you with a glass of dry Madeira tinged with a touch of Christmas merriment. Enjoy.

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Behind, in front of, or marooned?

I was born into a generation where the purchase of a new dress or pair of shoes was still considered something of an indulgence, a treat, an extravagance made necessary because of an upcoming special occasion (wedding or suchlike). Thrift, and make-do-and-mend had been ingrained into my grandmother’s and mother’s generations by years of war, then continued rationing. Even when this finally came to an end, choice was limited, the normal state of the world, I believed. It took some time for the consumer society we, in the affluent Western world, are so well acquainted with, to make itself felt.