Happy New Year 2023 to you all

Happy New Year … is it still ok to say that?
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and a good start to the new year.
My holidays were definitely very nice, cosy, fun and interesting. I had my friends from Vienna over and we celebrated with some other friends and just had a great time together. Despite spring-like temperatures, Christmas spirit came up and some foreign Christmas and New Year’s Eve traditions were brought to Madeira. As we were together with people from 7 different nationalities, we learned and experienced a lot about the different traditions. We introduced raclette, Secret Santa and “Glühwein” and everyone liked it, even if the Portuguese were not really convinced by raclette.

During that time, you could admire the great Christmas Lights everywhere on the island. Throughout the month of December and into January, Madeira shines a little brighter as it glows, glitters and sparkles everywhere, preferably in many colours and shapes.
Like every year, the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Funchal are the crowning glory of the year and everywhere it’s crowded with people. Tourists and locals alike don’t want to miss this highlight.

Unfortunately, I haven’t spent Christmas in the new house. However, a lot has already happened, but at the moment it’s mainly delivery problems causing delays.
In the meantime, the second floor has been built, the roof is finished, all the pipes have been laid, the interior has already been plastered, the exterior isolation is in place and the ceilings are just being pulled in. At the moment, the plaster is being applied at the outside, so the painting can start soon. As soon as the windows and doors are installed, work will continue on the inside.

Some decisions have been made: the kitchen has been ordered, the tiles and materials for the bathrooms as well, the flooring and the pellet stove have been chosen.
Next up are the paintings, the layouts of the built-in cupboards and some orders at Ikea.
The new moving date is currently set for the end of April, which sounds far away, but it’s actually only 3 months away. So the time will pass quickly and there is enough to do anyway.
Until then, I also have to take care of the stored things. Some furniture and many moving boxes are still at the storage. I haven’t checked them since the move to Madeira and I don’t really know what’s still waiting for me there. I don’t really miss a thing, so I ask myself whether I need these things at all.

In the last few months, I have made trips to Lisbon and Milan. For me travelling is always fun and both trips were very nice. I travelled with friends and we had a great time. Both are interesting cities and there was a lot to discover, although spending time with friends was the main thing. Recently, there have also been some RyanAir flights from Madeira, so some direct connections at low prices have been added to the flight schedules.
At the end of January, I’m going to England for 10 days. Together with a friend, we will first spend a few days in London, where the highlight will definitely be a visit to the Harry Potter World. Then we’ll go further north, to the Peak District, where we’ll visit friends. There we can relax in the English countryside from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Further, everything is going as usual. The Sunday hikes are still planned on a weekly base. Fortunately, there is still enough to discover in Madeira’s nature and you don’t get bored in these great landscapes.
The rental homes are well booked and I now meet more and more returning guests.

For me, the biggest issue is still the Portuguese language. Yes, I understand more and have quite a good vocabulary, but the correct sentence structure and grammar still cause me difficulties. It’s getting better, but it’s just not going fast enough for me.

During the last few months, I got some visits from friends and I’ve really enjoyed the time we’ve spent together. I’m glad you all were there.

This is the little update from the island.

Até à próxima!