ATP – 19 Dec 17 – Açores flat bread

Portugal is a small country, but it has multiple influences running through it. Centuries ago it was ruled by the Moors, and Arabic is written deep into its culture and cuisine. Then in the days of sailing ships, Portugal had an empire to rival the UK’s. At that time, the sun never set on the Portuguese empire, until Brazil gained its independence.

Today, I want to bring you flat bread (unleavened) from the Açores – Azores in English.

That slight difference in spelling leads to some confusion. I have heard one supposed expert in the Madeleine McCann case pronounce Gonçalo Amaral as though the ‘ç’ makes a sound like the ‘ch’ in church, chair or chip. It doesn’t.

In Portuguese, ‘c’ (without a cedilla) follows the same rules of pronunciation as ‘c’ in English. Putting a cedilla on it, ‘ç’, turns it into a sound much more like ‘s’ or ‘z’ in English. So it sounds like Gonsalo Amaral or Gonzalo Amaral.

And Açores becomes Azores.

MICRO-PORTUGUESE

Just as in every language, a family (familia) has lots and lots of words, far too many for micro-Portuguese. Apart from family (familia) there is mother, father (pai), daughter, son, grandma, grandpa, sister, brother, granddaughter, grandson, before we get onto in-laws, aunts, uncles and cousins.

So for micro-Portuguese I will stick with ‘o neto’ the grandson, and ‘a neta’ the granddaughter.

Things are not working as per plan. Tempestade Bruno is on its way in, so the opening of the vegetable patch of my neto has been delayed until the storm passes. That’s the minor irritation.

But my neta has travelled today to fly to Scotland. She is currently at Faro airport, waiting to board. We wanted to have a game of boule together before she left. That has been cancelled. I happen to be more worried about her flight. Looking at the weather forecast, Storm Bruno should be north of Lisbon, so the take-off should be OK, but I am not sure if the flight will be comfortable heading north into Tempestade Bruno.

RECIPE OF THE DAY

This is for a single portion of Açores flat bread (no yeast). If you still have a lot of left-overs it simply makes things a bit different. Bolo de sertã.

There are people who make sweet bolo de sertã, but this recipe is savoury.

The sertã is supposed to be a traditional earthenware dish, but a non-stick frying pan does the job. The key to this recipe is a mix of corn flour and standard flour.

1 cup corn flour. ½ cup all-purpose flour. 1 teaspoon salt. ¾ cup boiling water.

Put the corn flour and salt into a bowl. Mix in the boiling water bit by bit, stirring well. Set aside to rest for 20 minutes. Mix in the standard flour with a little (cold) water. Rest again for 10 minutes. Dust with flour and flatten to a disc shape. Without oil, place in a frying pan at low heat, and dry-fry for about 15 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown. Flip and repeat. Serve hot.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

When my beloved leaves me to go back to the UK (which is frequently) I like to try an ‘around the world food tour’, taking an imaginary flight each day to a destination with quite a different cuisine and recipes. It may be childish, but I like food and I like cooking.

On this game, the Atlantic is always a very big hop on my journey. It was a bit of a game-stopper before, but now I have discovered the Açores.

Because here are the Azores.

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Luz at the beginning of the 20th century #2

Here are more photos of Luz supposedly from the early 20th century. I cannot discern anything in them to confirm this date, but I have no reason to assume the date is inaccurate.

Although early 20th century appears to have little to do with Madeleine McCann, it does put into context how Luz evolved up to the time that the Ocean Club was built. That in turn impacts the fact that the Ocean Club is not a private complex. Rather, it is completely interwoven with public roads and areas. That in turn means that it is impossible for the Ocean Club to have CCTV, with the exception of a few internal areas.

If these photos are really from around the 1900s, there is an implication. Today, Luz regularly gets an influx of visitors from Lisbon and Oporto. I was having a sea-front discussion on 2 May 2017, and the café had a large contingent of Portuguese customers, in groupings which looked like tourists rather than locals. But Lisbon is 3 hours away in a modern car on a modern motorway. How long did it take in horse-drawn transport or early cars?

Have a look at this photo.

These are the rocks to the south of the Fortaleza, and the view is east towards Rocha Negra. The ladies appear to be dressed in their Sunday finest. The photo is as posed as posed can be. It looks as if someone may have hand-tinted the photo to add some red effects to the clouds, but that could have other explanations, such as originating with the scanning process.

I have no expertise whatsoever in Portuguese historical clothing, so I cannot use it as a clue.

However, the length of time today for the trip from Lisbon suggest this group is not from there, but much closer. I have already posted photos of early Luz, which show some large buildings on 25th April Street, so a possibility is wealthy citizens of Luz, perhaps after a Sunday visit to Nossa Senhora da Luz.

Gonçalo Amaral raises an alternative possibility in his book A Verdade da Mentira. He suggests that Luz had a certain popularity with the citizens of Lagos, and in the early 20th century, that journey would not have been hard either by horse and carriage or by early motor transport.

Here is another photograph, this time taken near the small beach, to the west of the main beach.

The clothes appear to me to be slightly less up-market, though I would still describe them as posh. This is less posed, but the thing that is interesting is that everyone is on the rocks. No-one is actually on the little beach.

The 1492 in the bottom has no real significance. The Fortaleza was built much later. I have yet to find out what Vivenda Mascarenhas means.

This last photo simply gives a pictorial idea of the scale of fishing in Luz a century or so ago.

The legend says ‘fishermen washing the nets on the beach.’ Presumably, the catch has been taken into Luz to be processed, and the nets need to be cleaned of fish remains before storing them.

It looks like 8 sailing ships to me, each much larger than a row-boat, and each powered by sail. There are 13 fishermen involved in this washing of the nets. I don’t know whether this is the only net used, or whether each boat came near the beach in turn and the collective then helped to wash that particular net.

From the size of the mesh, it looks like they were fishing for very large fish, such as tuna.

The fishing industry in Luz would slowly decline, and cross over with the tourist industry when it began to take off.

Madeleine – CMTV O Enigma

CMTV’s 10 year special, O Enigma, aired on 1 May 2017, and to be honest, I did not gain much from it at all.

The format was basically a day in Luz speaking to Gonçalo Amaral with two presenters. While it covered a great deal of ground, it had little depth. And it trotted out a lot of unsubstantiated claims.

It did have a drone camera with some nice aerial pics, but I would say that BBC’s Panorama won the battle of the drones.

The programme took a fairly loaded Portuguese view, but that is roughly what I would have expected, given that the target audience was Portuguese.

Gonçalo Amaral pointed out a number of inconsistencies and changes in early statements by the Tapas 9.

The Tannerman and Smithman sightings were touched on, but again with little detail.

The programme moved on to Calpol. It was incorrectly described.

Then O Enigma moved to events of the night before swiftly moving to Eddie and Keela, and dog alerts. Two pieces of Kate’s clothing, two pieces of Madeleine’s clothing, Cuddle Cat, the key fob, the boot.

Then, was there a frozen body? Was there a chilled body? Whoever believes this bumph does not understand the basics of decomposition. Animal and fish products are gutted to remove the bacteria that would rot the carcass.

The programme then rambled, over a mysterious apartment near the cemetery, a supposed rogatory that does not appear in the PJ Files, and back to Calpol.

O Enigma moved onto the McCanns suing Amaral, and Amaral winning.

There was quite a long section about the coffin in the church with an English lady about to be cremated. There are details in this that I had not heard before, but none of them stack up.

Perhaps the oddest thing was close to the end. Gonçalo Amaral said he should have remained in the PJ while writing his book. Personally, I think he would have got shredded by the Portuguese judges if he had done that.

Madeleine – Panorama special 3 May 2017

Reporter Richard Bilton, who has covered the Madeleine McCann case for 10 years, presented a BBC Panorama special on 3 May 2017 entitled ‘Madeleine McCann 10 Years On’.

Mr Bilton obtained an interview with Pedro do Carmo, Deputy Director, Polícia Judiciária. He said it is still a missing child case. Plus the PJ wanted to learn what to do if it is repeated.

The Lisbon court case of the McCanns v Gonçalo Amaral was covered briefly.

The programme added various scenes of Luz that are impossible to get from the ground. If you check the credits at the end, you will see the drone camera operator was Andy Webb.

The documentary covered the basics of the case – 9 adults eating at the Tapas restaurant, 8 children in block 5, Kate alerting around 10pm that Madeleine was missing.

There was a previously unseen interview with Gonçalo Amaral from 2012, in which it was claimed there was nothing to support an abduction.

The programme said the Portuguese police found inconsistencies in the time-line, and thought the McCanns had acted oddly by bringing in the media.

The dog deployments were next, presumably to move on to an interview of Kate and Gerry McCann by Sandra Felgueiras. This was the one where Gerry said cadaver dogs are unreliable.

Had the Portuguese settled on their theory before final DNA results were available? Panorama did not pick up the order of things from Kate’s book ‘madeleine’. The McCanns let it be known they were soon leaving Portugal. The PJ chose to interview them before their announced leaving date. The incomplete results still required that the McCanns were made arguidos.

The Smith family gave statements that they saw a man carrying a child several hundred metres from the Ocean Club at around 10pm on 3 May. Gerry would be implicated in the sighting, but he had an alibi of being at the Tapas Restaurant at that time.

In 2008 the case was archived, and the McCanns were no longer arguidos.

Robert Murat gave his opinion on events of that time. Was his mother being followed by private investigators? Was Mr Bilton asked to spy on his colleagues with respect to Mr Murat?

The BBC documentary moved to the report by Jim Gamble, then head of CEOP. It recommended a review. The report appeared to languish until May 2011, when The Sun serialised Kate McCann’s book ‘madeleine’.

Operation Grange was started. The documentary moved to ‘the British story’.

There were burglaries in Luz, that allegedly the local operators kept quiet to protect trade. Heriberto Janosch González told of 3 recent burglaries in block 4 and block 5. In a video, he demonstrated how to raise the shutter an open the window from outside.

3 men were potentially involved in a burglary that night. José Carlos da Silva, a driver at the Ocean Cub. Ricardo Rodrigues, aged 16 in 2017. And Paulo Ribeiro. These were allegedly connected by phone messages and texts. These were 3 Portuguese people on a phone to each other in Luz, and the phone traffic was normal. José Carlos da Silva declined to be interviewed. Ricardo Rodrigues could not be contacted. Paulo Ribeiro was interviewed and he denied involvement in a burglary. He said he had been identified from a drawing or e-fit.

Presumably that was from Crimewatch Oct 2013. If so it is puzzling as to how Sr Ribeiro was identified, as that Crimewatch programme did not air on any Portuguese channel, though those e-fits were shown in Portuguese media.

Judging by the Panorama interview, Sr Ribeiro does not appear to be the kind of person who could keep a major secret for 10 years.

I think I may have had a very brief encounter with Sr Ribeiro about a year ago, though I had no idea at the time that it was him.

Scotland Yard announced these 3 men were no longer persons of interest in April 2017.

Panorama moved on to another man, Vitor dos Santos. He had given a fairly long statement in 2007. He confirmed he had been interviewed by British police, and that must have been in Dec 2014. He said the questions were much the same as in 2007 e.g. about the logistics of the holiday complex. Sr dos Santos had been laid off by the Ocean Club and now made a living taking tourists on boat trips near Lagos.

It seems Operation Grange has a further lead to pursue but Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley would not be drawn on what it was. That left the recent press speculation that it might be about a woman seen near apartment 5A acting suspiciously on 3 May 2007.

I was in contact with the Panorama team to explain some information. However, that was shortly before the programme aired, when the documentary must have been nearly fully completed. So I have no reason to believe anything was altered as a result of our exchange.

Madeleine – News Feb 2017

February 2017 saw a lot of hot air re Madeleine McCann.

Loose Women debated the Supreme Court decision to refuse to hear the McCanns appeal, and Lisa Riley said she had visited Luz to check out the incident scene.

A bidding war for the rights to a 10th anniversary interview was first raised, then it was quickly quashed.

Is Gonçalo Amaral writing another book? Possibly, but warnings against this allegedly went out in Britain.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/02/06/anonymous-knocks-20pc-dark-web-offline-campaign-against-child/ This story snuck through under the radar. The gist is that someone was able to penetrate the Dark Web, locate child porn sites, and take 10,000 of them off line. I have no idea whether this is feasible or not.

Shannon Matthews hit the television in the Moorside. There was an alleged disappearance based on Madeleine, plus an approach to the Find Madeleine fund for £25K.

By 8 Feb 2017, the major news of the month emerged in the media. The Supreme Court of Portugal’s judgement was published. A key point was that it refuted that the McCanns had been cleared by the archival of the case in 2008.

http://portugalresident.com/international-child-porn-ring-under-investigation-throughout-portugal The link says it all. Operation Daylight is at this point in time a national search across Portugal into a paedophile image sharing ring.

By 18 Feb 2017, the McCanns had lodged a complaint about the Supreme Court decision not to hear their case. At this point in time, it is not clear what the complaint is.

And by 22 Feb 2017, Mark Williams-Thomas appeared on TV promoting his woke and wandered theory. This seemed to trigger a number of personality responses, from ‘I would have dug with my hands’ to ‘the McCanns should move on’.

28 Feb 2017. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe stands down, and Cressida Dick is the new supremo of Scotland Yard.

Madeleine – News Jan 2017

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38614824 On 13 Jan, the BBC ran this article about Kamiyah Mobley, a baby who was kidnapped when she was just 8 months old, from a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, in July 1998. A tip led the police to the alleged kidnapper. DNA testing was used to confirm the biological mother of the abduction victim. This story was linked to Madeleine by at least one tabloid, which claimed a friend of the McCanns said the parents were buoyed by this development. {This story is not a direct equivalent to Madeleine McCann, due to the differences in the ages of the children when they disappeared. What it does show is the effort the police put into a resolution of Kamiyah Mobley’s disappearance.}

http://www.cmjornal.pt/portugal/detalhe/mccann-perdem-recurso-no-supremo-contra-goncalo-amaral?ref=Modalidades_BlocoFimPagina On Tuesday 31 Jan the news broke that the Supreme Court of Portugal had refused to hear a further stage of the McCanns v Amaral case. An appeal court in Lisbon on 19 Apr 2016 had overturned an earlier decision to award the McCanns damages for the publication of his book, A Verdade Da Mentira. UK press reported the Supreme Court ruling widely and, in the main, poorly. The refusal to hear an appeal to the Supreme Court was portrayed as if such an appeal had been held, when it had not. Various options were then tagged on such as the possibility of Gonçalo Amaral suing Kate and Gerry McCann. {To be continued in Feb 2017 News.}

On the same day, The Sun put two and two together, and seemingly came up with five. https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/2753198/kate-mccanns-missing-people-choir-brings-britains-got-talent-judges-to-tears-with-heartbreaking-secret-audition/ The Missing People Choir did an audition for Britain’s Got Talent. Kate McCann is an ambassador for Missing People. The Sun transformed her into the choir ambassador, and speculated that Kate might get more heavily involved if the choir progressed to the live shows. {To be continued in Feb 2017 News.}

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