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Friday, 11 July 2014


I've missed a couple of posts because we have been on holiday for a week, to Madeira. In my heart I am an adventurer, winging my way across the oceans to far flung places, but in my head I am more cautious. So when my husband suggested Madeira for a holiday I had mixed feelings. I have visited this Portuguese archipelago in the North Atlantic once before, when I was in my teens. My memories were sketchy but I did remember the airport, which in the past was declared to have one of the world's most dangerous runways, due to its proximity to cliffs as well as protruding out into the sea. Fortunately, since my last visit, the runway has been extended so that was one less thing to worry about. I remembered a particular photograph where I was wearing a cream dress sprinkled with a pink rosebud design and I was hugging my father. I remembered disregarding my mother's advice and spending too much time in the sun. The next day was spent in a darkened hotel room recovering from heatstroke. But mainly I remembered the flowers, clouds of agapanthus and the extraordinary strelitzia reginae or bird of paradise flowers.

I didn't remember the banana trees which seem to grow everywhere, even in the smallest of gardens.

I knew that on my previous visit we had been to Palheiro Gardens, just outside the capital of Funchal and, although I remembered it as a beautiful oasis of calm, this time around I really appreciated the variety of trees and plants. This is called an Angel's Trumpet Tree.

And these roses just looked so romantic.

The cannas demand to be noticed. They are real divas! These were in our garden.

Especially when I travel abroad, I am fascinated by how our landscape shapes us. I felt full of admiration and awe as I watched lorries, buses and cars negotiate the hairpin bend which we could see from our villa. From the speed they were going it didn't look as if they gave this route a second thought but if I had been at the wheel of any of these vehicles I would have been a quivering wreck!

I also marvelled at the terracing where a multitude of vegetables were grown in some pretty inaccessible looking areas. It made me realise how much can be grown in a small space. 

At my core I am a girl from the soft, velvety pastureland of Leicestershire where a hill would seem more like a gentle incline to the people of Madeira. But it is good to be taken out of your comfort zone every once in a while. It makes you look and think and feel with more depth. It helps you to appreciate what you have. It also helps to clear your mind. A week away has helped to resolve the slight question mark which was hovering over plot direction towards the end of the romantic novel I am writing. So we are refreshed and inspired from our short trip away and I shan't be complaining any more about how difficult it is to keep my vegetable plot watered! In the meantime, back in land-locked Leicestershire this stunning sea view from our villa keeps me company wherever I go.

I hope you have had a good couple of weeks and thank-you for dropping by.


  1. That all looks wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Glad you had a good break away. See you soon.

    1. A week was perfect. Sometimes you don't need very long to re-charge the batteries. See you soon too.