World Cup 2018 – Portugal nails

A few weeks back my wife was going off to get her nails done. She gets the pattern changed every time she goes. With the World Cup then nearly upon us, I suggested getting her nails done in green and red, to support Portugal.

She travelled to her appointment in Lagos, and there she discussed colours/patterns with her stylist. The stylist pooh-poohed red and green. I can’t remember what my wife’s nails looked like when she came back.

Move the clock forward 3 or 4 weeks, and it was time for my wife to get her nails redone today. She went off this morning, and came back at lunchtime with alternate nails done in red and green.

It could have been the 3-3 draw between Portugal and Spain that tipped the balance. Or perhaps it is another story doing the rounds in Lagos.

Allegedly as the Portuguese team was getting on the team bus to leave, there was boy of about 7, with his father. The child was crying his eyes out, holding a sign up for Ronaldo. So Ronaldo got off the bus, went to the boy, cuddled him, talked to him and kissed him. Then Ronaldo signed a shirt and also the boy’s autograph book. After some more hugs and kisses, Ronaldo got back onto the Portuguese team bus and departed.

I don’t know whether this story is reality or just a nice fairy tale. What I do know is that people here are upbeat about supporting Portugal, so this time round my wife got her red and green nails with no hesitation.


Madeleine v Paços de Ferreira

Paços de Ferreira’s opening match in the Primeira Liga this year is away to Marítimo of Madeira.

My interest in this is simple. The news report says the team is making the trip by boat from Porto Santo, and the sea trip will last 2.5 hours. This is when things did not look right, surely no one could have taken Madeleine to Madeira by sea in so short a time.

The reason that the football team is using a ferry to get to Madeira is that Madeira’s airport, Cristiano Ronaldo, has been closed for some time, due to exceptionally strong winds over the island. As it happens, Cristiano Ronaldo has already re-opened, and some 8 aircraft have landed and 5 departed.

Back to Paços de Ferreira and Porto Santo. It turns out that Paços de Ferreira are located to the north-east of Porto, so the team is going to be doing a lot of travelling this season.

Here is a map of south-west Iberia, and out into the Atlantic.

Madeira is the island marked with Funchal. Porto Santo is the much smaller island above and to the right. The gap between that looks tiny is what is going to take 2.5 hours by boat. So it’s plain that a journey by sea from mainland Portugal to Madeira would take days.

Madeira happens to have two relevancies to the Madeleine McCann story, which is why this news item popped out at me. In an intelligence report around the year 2000, Madeira was noted as one of 4 paedophile hotspots in Portugal though, from memory, it was more to do with in-family activity and sex tourism. While the person other than Vitor dos Santos who handled bookings at the Ocean Club, Luis Duarte, was having a short break in Madeira when Madeleine disappeared.

Returning to Paços de Ferreira, their match v Marítimo kicks off at 4pm tomorrow, and they expect to depart Madeira at 8pm for the marathon trip home. Weather conditions will determine whether they fly direct to Porto from Cristiano Ronaldo or whether they transfer back to Porto Santo by boat.

ETA Marítimo 1  Paços de Ferreira 0.