As you already may know, February is short. For me it had some highlights anyway.
At the beginning of the month I decided to visit Glamour Party arranged by a cultural club K-40 for all kinds of ladies over 40. Actually I had not heard of it before. They also promised the trophy for the best dressed lady of the night. I decided to put my blue cocktail dress on but I just seemed to have lost it completely after several attempts to find it. So finally I had to do another plan and I put on my red gown. I wondered whether I would have been heavily over dressed because the majority of the audience was lesbians who don’t very much care of super feminine outfits.
When I arrived to the party place, an old and romantic pavilion restaurant Kaisaniemi I noticed that some other ladies had invested in their outfit. So I thought it would not be my evening in that sense and I could concentrate in other things, such as listening to chansons and poems and looking at nice dance numbers, chatting with other guests and dancing a little. While doing it someone of the organizers asked my name. Near the time I had decided to do my Cinderella trick and vanish the ceremony for the trophy started. Of course the announcing of the result was delayed... and finally I hear my name!! I was given a cup with engraving and a bunch of roses.
So I couldn’t do my fast Cinderella trick because I had to be a queen of the evening for a while. I was asked to dance and during the dance I felt the pain on my foot: Someone hit her stiletto on it and broke my skin and my pantyhose, and I think I’m just lucky that there were no broken bones.
The winter has been cold and mild in turn so as a result there has been very little snow. The second weekend of February I still wanted to go skiing. The skiing tracks were in bad condition then so I had to go a bit further to Oittaa district where the tracks were in good condition with the help of some extra snow. It was my first skiing trip on many years and the first one as Anukatariina. I made a 5 km tour with some rather steep uphills and after a couple of days I felt I haven’t used some my thigh muscles for a while...
The Dreamwearclub coffee evening was a day before the Valentine’s day and we had our friend Maimu as a guest to perform some of her brand new poems.
We also had a pop up nail studio arranged by one our guest so some of us got brand new gel nails that evening.
I had an idea to ask friends to do words to my old salsa style song and Maimu was busy enough to send her first version next day – she told that she had sung and danced the whole day along my song.
At the end of February we had our skiing holiday. Even though there would have been some nice days for skiing with enough snow we had another plan: We flew to Madeira, an island we had never visited. Our hotel was named Monte Carlo and it situated a kilometre from downtown on a hillside. It was a really romantic though rather shabby place with a beautiful view to the city and the sea and with low water pressure and poor air quality. But maybe we wouldn’t feel us comfortable in modern bulk tourist hotels, either.
We made many trips along the island and to the sea. The sea trip was for whales, turtles and seals. We saw numerous spotted dolphins which were mostly too fast for my camera extension. The pilot whales were a bit slower and I got more pictures of them, not just foam from their tail.
A spotted dolphin
The trips to the inner island and to the North coast gave us another view to the island. The mountains were rather cold and windy so we had to have some extra clothing there.
Also the North coast was colder than the Southern part of the island. The waves would have been awesome for surfers – except the volcanic coastline would have been too dangerous for that kind of hobby (and that didn’t mean I would have done any surfing....).
We also walked some parts of so called levada walks to see the nature closer. Levadas are a special kind of small water channels to bring water from the mountains to the South coast and there are trails along the levadas to walk. The sub tropical vegetation is very rich and it was so relaxing to walk in the forests hills and parks. The flower season was not as it best yet but still it seemed the whole island seems to bloom.
The height differences were big and every now and then you could see wonderful views over the steep valleys to the opposite side mountains.
We used guided trips to avoid driving a car instead of enjoying the view. We had some discount when we were introduced to a vacation option of a local hotel chain. We were transported to the hotel in a hotel car. When we stepped in to the car the driver asked: “Where’s the husband?” – he was worried about there would be no one to decide whether we would buy anything. I just replied laconically that I am.
The food was mostly the same everywhere: grilled pieces of meat in a stick called espadas, a local fish black scabbard with bananas, trout, sea bass, crabs, shrimps and many other kinds of seafood. Once I ordered a crab meal for one (my spouse is allergic to it) and really got it!
We also ate many kinds of fruits and vegetable. The Madeiran wines are not very special, except the strong wine Madeira itself. There had been a lot of sugar cane fields before and as a trait of it the local strong drink is rum made of it. Actually it tasted a bit like a mixture of brandy and rum. The very popular drink was poncho, a mixture of rum, honey and different kinds of local juice.
The old town of the capital Funchal is famous of its painted doors.
At the end of our visit the Carnival was about to start. We were on different inner time zone so we took part to it in very moderate amounts.
This bottle of Madeira was brought to our table for free and we had to escape from the restaurant after the third glasses of it to be able climb our way up to our hotel.
The only thing I bought to myself was an apron made of the traditional Madeiran garment. The flower selling ladies wore skirts made of that kind of garment.
Well, I also bought some Madeiran rum and some poncha, of course.