ATP- 4.9 earthquake east of Lisbon

At 11.51 AM today (17 Jan 2018) there was an earthquake of magnitude 4.9 roughly 80km east of Lisbon.

The Richter scale is logarithmic. This means every time you go up a single unit, the quake is ten times more powerful. So a 4.9 quake is 10 times stronger than a 3.9.

The epicentre was at Arraiolos, near to Évora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The tremor was reported to be felt over a wide area, including Badajoz in Spain, and Faro. All I can say is that we felt nothing here.

At this moment, there are no reports of casualties.


Madeleine – Magnificent Six – G-Unit

The next member of my Magnificent Six goes by the username G-Unit.

I believe that G-Unit is mono-lingual, or at least does not speak Portuguese, with English as the primary language.

G-Unit describes herself as female, which makes it a bit easier for me as I can now use the pronoun ‘she’.

An interesting personal characteristic of G-Unit is that she was adopted at an early age, and consequently she has a better insight into first childhood memories than I have. The Madeleine McCann case is not identical in this respect, as Madeleine has been the subject of relentless publicity for the last 11 years or so. But it does give an insight into what one remembers, and what triggers the recall of earliest memories.

However, the main characteristics of G-Unit are that she is meticulous in her research, and careful with her choice of English. In other words, she provides high quality information about Madeleine’s disappearance.

I have no idea if G-Unit subscribes to a particular theory regarding Madeleine, or is completely open minded about what happened. It would therefore be interesting to sit with her over a cup of coffee and have an off-the-record discussion about beliefs.

Just like me, G-Unit can be found on Miscarriage of Justice on the Madeleine sub-forum.

F1 – Formula 1 in 2018

If you see ‘F1’ starting the title of my blog posts, it is principally about Formula 1. So if Formula 1 does not interest you, don’t read my posts starting with ‘F1’.

For the 2018 F1 season, I intend to combine enjoying motor racing with another of my interests – cooking. My aim is to be sat in front of the TV watching the race, with an appropriate themed finger food and a themed drink.

The first 2018 F1 race takes place in Australia on 25 Mar 2018, so let me use that as an example.

An Australian drink should be easy. I expect to get an Australian beer, in Luz if I have to go that far. Even if I can’t get an Australian beer, I can definitely lay my hands on Australian wine. Plus I have a recipe for an Australian drink that is somewhat akin to sangria, albeit the Australian version is green.

That moves me on to the finger food.

One of my considerations is that it must be easy to make, with readily sourced ingredients. We do not have an American supermarket or deli stocking all things U.S. because this is the Algarve. I have to make do with products available locally, or ones that I can reasonably import.

Kangaroo taco is the snack that I would like to make for the Australian Grand Prix. It comes from a kids cookery site, so it is easy to make. The problem is sourcing kangaroo on the Algarve. I can’t find any site that does this. We do have a dog called Sky, who is a real pain in the rear. Her nickname is Skippy, so I did wonder if anyone would notice that she had lost a leg. Unfortunately, she has been behaving better of late, so she has earned a reprieve.

Whilst searching the kids’ cookery site for easy Australian finger food, the term ‘damper’ came up several times, so I had a look. It’s a simple Australian bread based around self-raising flour. So I hope to have something as simple as warm rustic bread, perhaps with a small wedge of butter.

Australia Day is Jan 26th, and I intend having a dummy run at making damper to celebrate. If it works out well, the recipe I use will be published in the run-up to the Australian Grand Prix, so perhaps you will join me in watching the F1 with an Australian brew and some damper.

The following race is in Bahrain. After struggling with Australia, I thought the idea would crash and burn with an Arab country, but it turned out to be much easier. My first recipe has already been sourced and tried out on 4 adults and 2 young children, and all 6 gave it a thumbs up.

Madeleine – the magnificent six – Heri

Heriberto Janosch González is next on my list of six people I consider to have more expertise than most in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

I have met Heri, and I consider him to be an affable man, easy to spend time in his company. This does not mean I agree with his views on the case. But where his views differed from mine, we were able to get on amicably, and explore alternative theories. I learned quite a lot about the disappearance in a very short time from Heri, so I am grateful.

Heri has recently told me that he has given up on the Madeleine McCann case. He has reduced his blog to just a summary page, at This is a shame, because his blog contained a vast amount of useful information.

It would appear that within a few months my Magnificent Six has dropped to just 4 active members. Though I have been on the case since only mid-2014, I have already seen a number of stalwarts fall by the wayside. Often, information disappears with such a departure, and unless you have a site copy, you are somewhat stuffed.

I am nowhere near to giving up on Madeleine’s disappearance, but if I reach that stage, this blog will be left intact to float off into the mists of time.

Heri’s blog still contains both a phone number and an email address. I will not copy those in case Heri chooses to remove them from his page in future.

When we met, Heri was living in Madrid. He spoke in English that was not fluent, but it was a lot better than my night school Spanish, so we conversed in 95% English and 5% Spanish.

One final point on Heri. I outlined just one potential theory to him, quite different to Heri’s. By that time, I had given up on sending information to Operation Grange, due to the persistent lack of response. Heri urged me to send this quite different theory to Operation Grange. Eventually I did. As usual, I got no response. But in the run-up to the 10th anniversary, I got a communication from Heri that Panorama wanted to talk to me. That talk took place, and one chunk of the Panorama 10th anniversary special appears to be based around my theory. I presume the conduit was Heri, as he was interviewed on that programme.

Madeleine – magnificent six – SIL

Please allow me to introduce myself.

The bit about me that seems to intrigue people the most is whether I am male or female. Personally, I cannot see why this makes one iota of difference. I have now met, in person, 5 journalists and a further two of the magnificent 6, and all of them can recognise me, name me, and tell you my gender. These are non-important points, because they don’t change anything.

My blog name, Elça Craig, has already been identified as a joke based on the island of Ailsa Craig, in the Firth of Clyde. The island is close to Turnberry golf course, and it is famous as the world’s best source of curling stones. It happens to be ‘close’ to where I grew up, and I love the sea.

What are the important points about me?

I happen to have two degrees from two top quality UK universities. All that means is I have got a brain and I can use it.

I happen to have retired, so I have time to spare on my interests. If you have read my blog, you should have worked out that in December 2017, I was constructing a boule pitch for my beloved, in our back garden. And I was digging a vegetable patch for our 7-year-old grandson, because I wanted him to have a memorable Christmas for his first year in Portelas.

After family, I very much like cooking, then Formula 1, then football. Everton v Manchester United is coming up soon. After that lot has been squeezed in, there is time for the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

And by pure fluke we washed up in Luz. Before we did, I had no interest in the Madeleine McCann tale. After we did, I had no choice, because 49 stories out of 50 about Luz revolve around Madeleine.

A soupçon of brain, a splash of spare time, living in Maddieville. It’s a simple recipe.

You should have worked out by now that if I have dug the boule pitch, dug the vegetable patch, enjoy F1 and football, that I am male.

Does it make a difference? I have started today on my 2018 herb garden, because I like cooking good food. I have been working for some time on the 2018 F1 calendar, because for each race I want to lay in a representative local drink (typically beer), together with some local hand food – no plates, knives or forks permitted. I enjoy cooking. A drink, a snack, and F1. My idea of a good recipe.

In 2018, our family has a succession of significant birthdays. A ‘when I get older, losing my hair’. A 70th, two quick-fire 40ths, and a late season 21st. Then there is 11 Nov 2018, and we live on the farm of the poppy. Plus little things like the football and the F1.

Much to do. Much to do.

By the way, I was asked by an Algarve reporter, roughly 3 months ago, if I still do Luz Tours. I do. The person I was with was on one at the time. It had nothing to do with the reporter.

2018 – Feliz Ano Novo

Here are the viewing figures for SIL in 2017.

Here is the map showing where the views came from. I assume many of those from places I have never had the privilege to visit are from English people working abroad, but who knows.

At the moment, I am working out how to grow chives and bok choy. Both of these are cold-season. The trouble is we don’t do cold-season on the Algarve.

Moving on, 2018 is nearly here.

Feliz ano novo.


ATP – 21 Dec 2017 – grand openings

The weather improved a lot on 30 Dec 2017, and it was like a very pleasant Spring day with bags of sunshine, so our family played outside in our garden.

We had the opening of our new boule pitch, plus of course the first couple of games.

Then we had the opening of our neto’s (grandchildren’s) new vegetable patch. We have planted cucumbers (pepinos), carrots (cenouras), coriander (coentro) and some flowers called cravo da índia.

I am not a gardener, so I haven’t got a clue whether anything will grow or not. We should find out in about a fortnight if we have had any success.

I thought I recognised the word cravo. It is the word carnation in Portugal’s 1974 carnation revolution. Cravo da Índia is cloves, with a long history behind it.

I just thought my neto was planting some pretty flowers, when actually it means cloves.


In the new year, I will get around to doing a Portuguese word per day that relates to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. But today I want to cheat and give you not one, but 26 words of Portuguese in a tour of the alphabet. Can you guess what they are in English?

Abril [On 25 April 1974, the Armed Forces movement overthrew the 48-year dictatorship of Salazar. Red carnations in gun barrels symbolise this event. And that is why there is a Rua 25 de Abril in every town in Portugal.]


Capricórnio. [This started on 22 Dec 2017].








K. My little dictionary only has 5 words beginning with K, but they all are in use in English. Have a guess at ‘kit’.








Sal [If in need of help, add a ‘t’ to the end].


Usar. Words ending in -ar, -er and -ir, are probably verb infinitives, to do something. What could usar be about doing?


W does not exist in native Portuguese, so I have got a choice of just 3 words. What do you think ‘whisky’ might mean?


Y The letters K, W, and Y do not exist in normal Portuguese, except in proper names.


My cravo da Índia is Syzygium aromaticum. How you pronounce this without a ‘y’ is beyond me.


Bico. This is the Portuguese equivalent of an espresso. It is small, black, and very,very powerful. You usually have a small nibble that is savoury or sweet to go with it. At the moment, I am indulging in a present from Christmas – Turkish delight.


This is still the old high street. It is one of two local cafés. I have only lived here since September, and already 2 proprietors have packed up in this establishment and gone elsewhere.

Someone asked our grand-children where they lived. They said Portelas. “Ah, the place where the electricity goes off!”

I am up to 4 months in Portelas and the power has gone off at least 12 times so far. I am researching where we can buy a generator.