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Wednesday, 26 December 2012


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"bap roles": heh, ever the luvvie, eh Duffers?

I don't know if you need a tip for future Christmas presents for oldsters, but I've found that bottles (e.g. 50 cl bottles) of Madeira go down a treat. It's just a bit expensive for everyday drinking and therefore welcome as a present. It offers a whole range of loveliness - sweet to dry - and it keeps much better in an open bottle than sherry does. Yum, yum. It would also mean that you could spend much of the year assiduously attending Madeira tastings (if such there be), the better to inform your decisions. Or, here's a hot tip, nip off to Madeira for a week of winter sun, and taste there. The hotel prices collapse to provide very decent value as soon as the Christmas-New Year holiday ends and the schools go back.

Thanks for the tips, DM. I really can't remember ever tasting Madeira, m'dear, I must give it a try. And, yes, various people I know seem to shoot off to the Canaries during the winter - hmmmn!, the 'bionic Memsahib' is due a new hip next month and I have been wondering where to take her for some R&R.

Madeira is stunningly beautiful, but perhaps you shouldn't wander too far from your surgeon for the first few months. Especially if you want to walk some of the lavadas when you get there (highly recommended).

The Madeirans boast that their climate is suitable for all the year round, whereas I assume that the Canaries get disagreeably hot in summer. We've been to Madeira only in January and would love to go in April some year.

Oh dear, its spelt "levada".

Oh dear, it's spelled "it's".

Too much, Madeira, yesterday, DM?

DM, any recommendations for hotels and/or locations?

We've always stayed within an easy walk of the centre of Funchal, specifically at the Classic Savoy - but that's being rebuilt. It was lovely: we could stroll down to the city centre and then if we didn't fancy walking back up the slope take one of the many buses that ran along that main road or one of the many taxis, which are cheap. We saved a few bob by having a room that looked inland rather than out to sea, and we always found the hotel comfortable, attractive, well-run and staffed with competent, polite, helpful people, and the food good (breakfasts especially). There was also a little road behind it with a few good restaurants so we could take a break from hotel food when we wanted to. Its sister establishment, The Royal Savoy, is presumably also good (friends swear by it) but we haven't stayed there ourselves: on the other hand, we know it quite well since guests at one are free to use the facilities of the other, the two being linked by a little bridge over the aforesaid narrow road. Everything we saw of it was good, too.

We were pleasantly surprised that we could afford a de luxe hotel without breaking the bank. We'd love to return when we're both fit to fly. You should note that our visits were all in early January when the prices were at their lowest - but also probably when the difference in weather between us and them is at its maximum: a happy coincidence, eh?

Oh yes, one more thing. When we took our daughter she was given a double room to herself with no single occupant surcharge. Not bad, eh?

One further further thing about Madeira: I wouldn't drive there. The mountain roads are precipitous and if you concentrated on the driving you'd miss the beauty. Use minibus tours from the hotel, or taxis.

Thanks for all of that, DM, very useful. Patsy will find out on the 7th Jan when her op is likely to take place - usually quite quickly after the assessment, I am told - so I am reckoning that allowing for recuperation, perhaps the end of Feb/beginning of March.

I have absolutely no inclination to drive anywhere! From my initial recce via the net, Funchal or close by , seems to be the best place to be, at least, for a first visit. No doubt it is full of little (or not so little) boutiques in which she can, er, exercise her new hip - all in the interests of physiotherapy, of course!

Again, much thanks for your tips.

Dearieshe tells me that after her rehipping she wouldn't have wanted to go anywhere for at least a month. She still had some pain, couldn't yet move freely and was injecting anticoagulant daily. (But the whole thing led to a wonderful improvement in our lives, long term.)

Right, thanks, point taken - timing is everything!

Well, what a lovely little chat among the blokes.
So absorbing.
Howsomever, I didn't know what a bap role was in the first instance and nor do I know what a bap roll is in any other instance.
It sounds quite nasty though and I'm not sure it's anything elderly Orstralian sheilas should know about so, please, do not enlighten me.
I wish the memsahib all the best with the hip. Liza Minelli has had several, I believe, and can still wave one, or possibly both, (legs, that is) above her head with gay abandon (and I use the term wisely).

Andra, until you have tasted my turkey, ham, lettuce, cucumber, tomato, onion, radish and mayonnaise bap rolls, you have not lived!

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