Right now, spring is in full swing on Madeira and it is actually the first time that I experience this beautiful season on the island.
When it comes to spring in Germany or the Netherlands, you immediately think of flowers, warmer temperatures, birds chirping and the livestock going out to pasture again.
On Madeira this is a bit different, especially the difference between the seasons is not that obvious. The temperature warms up only 2-3 degrees and pastures with animals can be found more on the Azores, not on Madeira, although birds are chirping all year round. The sun doesn’t really shine more often, but due to the high mountains here at the São Vicente valley the sun is more present, as it shines over the mountains for a longer time.
It is of course somehow always green here, but during spring it seems to be a bit greener and of course many flowers and blossoms are awakening. Here in São Vicente, especially the vines all over the valley are greening up again.
Nature always has a healing effect on me and the beautiful nature is exactly the reason why we fell in love with Madeira and why we wanted to live here. I think the “green therapy” has been mentioned here several times and that’s exactly how I experience it all the time. Just being outside, walking by the sea, listening to the sound of the waves, walking through the green landscape, along the levadas and the many hiking trails, this feels great. After a short break, I joined the hiking group again. This nice group of good friends meet almost every Sunday somewhere on the island to hike together. Every time I look forward to these meetings, it’s just a great way to spend the Sunday.
Despite the various Corona restrictions, I was luckily able to work all the time.
Of course, sometimes I think back to the time in my practice in the Netherlands and miss the personal contact with everybody. But now I am also happy to be able to work without any stress. And because I work with tourists, I meet new people all the time. I enjoyed this personal contact in my practice and it’s also a lot of fun right now. I meet many different people, from many different countries and everyone is in holiday mode. This is more pleisure than work. Due to the great location of the rental home, with its magnificent view, I really enjoy working there.
Although significantly fewer tourists coming to the island at this moment, the rental home is almost fully booked until November. Due to the great demand, a second house is being built, which hopefully will be ready in 2-3 months.
As far as the originally planned building project is concerned, I have decided to continue this even without Bas. In the last couple of weeks and months, the construction project has of course been on hold and first of all I had to think about the whole situation and make some decisions.
But since I definitely want to stay here on Madeira and still try to live our dream, the project is now back in the running. Appointments with the notary, with the architect, with the construction company, with the municipality, etc….are taking place and the house will be built with Bas’ drawings.
However, a few adjustments has been made, because of the different current situation.
On the one hand, only a residential house will be built and not an additional rental home. And on the other hand, my parents will also move to Madeira, so the floor plan has to change a bit.
In the past few months, my parents have spent a lot of time here and have accordingly experienced everyday life here on the island. Of course this is always different from a vacation and important and neccessary for them to make a decision.
Furthermore, Bas and I actually wanted to build the house by ourself, but I don’t dare to do this alone. Therefore, a construction company will now take care of the project.
Bas and I already decided that it will not be a container house. After a lot of research, information and discussions with local experts, we decided that this is not the preferred way to build a house here, considering the climate and building conditions. Now the idea is to build the house with a combination of the original modern container design and traditional material and elements from Madeira.
I have a lot of respect for this whole project and see it as a big challenge to manage this without my expert Bas. With my perfectionist and very structured character, I am already afraid of all the problems that will surely occur during the construction period. But I’m not completely alone, my parents will help me during the process and I’m also looking forward to the result. It will definitely be worth it.
As far as Corona is concerned, we are still lucky here on the island. The number of positive cases is limited (10-05-2021: 11 cases). Hopefully soon it will be easier for tourists to spend their vacations here again. However, I have to say that there were tourists here all the time. The rental home was occupied during the last couple of month. But of course the total number of tourists is not comparable to the pre-Corona period and many companies unfortunately will not survive this crisis.
When I hear about the situation in Germany or the Netherlands, we cannot complain here. Everything is open (except for the first lockdown at the beginning of 2020), we can go to shops, go out eating, have a coffee, go to the hairdresser, go to the gym, meet friends, etc. I’m very glad that despite Corona, a relatively normal life is possible and that I have a lot of distractions.
In the next couple of weeks, some visits from friends are planned and I am very much looking forward to it. For many of them, it will be their first time on Madeira, so we will discover the island and will enjoy spending time together.
Até à próxima, Janine