Second month in Madeira

We arrived in Funchal late this morning. Sonia & I were dropped off and then walked to the Nini Design Centre, with Adriano & Blake heading to the cinema.

I think today is two weeks to the day when we moved into our new place on the street dubbed “nomad street”, when the village was in full nomad swing until just last month; since then, many have left annd new arrivals - to the island or from Funchal - have been few and far between. There were just two newcomers at the meet, with a third eventually joining later on I am told (I went to watch the Euro semi-final).

It’s felt like a slower month so far. After first arriving and spending time living in a house of six, and with plenty of activities and evening events during the month of June, 3 of us from the first house are living together in a smaller place. That’s Sonia, Blake and myself, plus Adriano. Blake and Adriano met on the island through a dating app, and it’s been lovely to witness their flourishing relationship. It feels like it’s moving in a nice direction, they seem a nice match for one another.

Staying in a smaller house amongst the locals, and with no car but a shorter walk to the co-working, has provided for a different experience. I’ve been even more lax with my time-keeping during this second month (I’d already given myself permission for relaxation and less work this trip), often starting on work mid-late morning. We have space to be able to work from our house - from the kitchen, the living room, or the balcony which has a beautiful ocean view, but I’ve been going more often to the co-working space, perhaps finishing with some work from home in the afternoon. Sonia has also been alternating between the two, though working from home more often than I, and Blake & Adriano have been working almost exclusively from home.

Perhaps the most memorable evening this month has been a lovely dinner hosted by Barbara and Andrea at their place. The company was lovely, with Joao & Goncalo joining Sonia & I to make six of us; the owner of the house and his brother also joined us, the former treating us to the authentic, home-made island drink of poncha. The food Andrea & Barbara cooked us was delicious, the drinks were nice, and the company and conversation were great. It was a warm evening spent with what felt like good friends.

The following night was memorable in a different way. It was the night of the Euro 2020 final, which I watched from the local Bar Romao. It was England’s first major final for many years and they started well, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. I felt for the young lads who’d missed the penalities, but I’m hopeful for the future prospects of this team. That same night Sonia & I swung briefly by the jam session at Estelagem for what was originally Tadeu’s last night (though he pushed his flight back by a day), and I hung around briefly before heading home. Again, new and less familiar faces were there… it felt different from the one in the small garden at Estelagem just a couple of weeks prior. The Sunset Social on Friday night was also nice, with a beautiful sunset (perhaps the most beautiful one so far), and nice conversations with familiar and new faces, including a Czech couple vacationing for a couple of weeks, and a couple of girls from Vienna. It seems that lots had attended the ‘7 deadly sins’ house-party the previous night, when our household had decided to watch Harry Potters’ 3 & 4 instead. We watched the 5th movie last night, and I hope we get through them all before I leave (it is Adriano’s first time watching them).

It feels like I’ve been reflecting more on things this second month. Perhaps it’s as I’ve settled into my time here and the end of the trip is nearing. Reflecting about the work I am doing, knowing who I want INF Club to be for, and the purpose I’d like it to serve, and thinking about a website re-design and re-messaging. Things have been gently percolating and are coming together.

I think with the quieter month and others who are slowly leaving (including Sonia at the end of the month), I am fairly content after spending two more weeks here and have decided to bring my return flight forward by a couple of weeks. I had an option to head to Funchal or one of the other, smaller communities here on the island, but I feel that my time here is coming to exactly the end its meant to. I am already thinking about re-integrating into life back home, and keeping open to the possibility of another nomad trip in the Autumn. I am going to just go with it, we shall see what happens.

On Thursday there is a group of around 16 of us, split into two houses of 10 and 6, going to the island of Porto Santo. This was actually a place a fellow micro-blogger and mentioned to me back when I was considering Madeira.

I’ve heard good things, and it feels like a fitting way to spend what looks to be my penultimate weekend, and last full one, here in Madeira.

I am writing this from the Nini Design Centre in Funchal, which is the co-working space here for the Slack community. It’s very quiet, just one other person here (update: later, a handful of others - mostly in couples - arrived with laptops).

We are hoping to explore Funchal a little before we head back to Ponta do Sol (update: I met up for a cold drink with Meli, someone interesting I had seen on Slack who is staying here, after which I briefly headed back to the Design Centre before getting a ride back home).

We had heard that it is cloudier in Funchal, and it is today, though a beam of sunlight is breaking through making the day brighter.

If I re-schedule my return flight for the date I have in mind, I’ll be in Madeira for just under two more weeks. With the upcoming Porto Santo trip, I’m sure my time left here will fly by, so I am intending to make the most of the remaining days.

Jas Hothi @jasraj