Dear Editor – Huey’s Tail

When I stopped in at the house of my Portuguese neighbours recently, I saw the abandoned dog that they had been feeding for some months.

I knew the dog because he sometimes played with our four dogs. But when I looked at him more closely, I saw that the lower part of one of his back legs was seriously damaged.

The neighbours told me that, eight days earlier, the dog had been in an accident with a tractor. But because they couldn’t afford the cost of a vet, they hadn’t done anything about his injuries. We took the dog to the vet, who amputated his leg and took care of the other wounds. Since then, Huey has been living in our house.

He is a lovely dog, almost two years old and, despite only having three legs, very strong. We are looking for a nice family, who don’t care that he only has three legs, to give him lots of love and enough room to play. Please contact Joyce van der Putten on 282 471 7089.

Joyce van der Putten

Para um mundo melhor

As one of the 100,000 visitors to the Rock in Rio-Lisboa festival this summer, I would like to say some positive things about the country we live in.

After living here for more than seven years, I know and accept that things are different from Holland, where I come from. But I went to the concert with an open mind to give it a fair change. And I must say – I was amazed! From the moment I drove into this huge city until I left it, many, many hours later, everything was organised in an incredible, efficient way. And not only that, the staff involved was really friendly; and this was the sixth day that they had had to deal with so many people. The police officer who checked if I had a ticket told me to enjoy myself! The girls behind the many food counters were smiling and being friendly. And I was not the first one they saw that day. From the beginning to end – hats off to Rock in Rio!

And let’s try to continue this positive attitude – when the girl in the supermarket is not smiling, don’t get into that negative circle with her. Keep smiling, be polite and friendly. Maybe the client before you was rude to her, who knows? Break that chain! We residents are all living here because we made that choice ourselves. Stop complaining about all the things that are not OK here.

As a restaurant owner, I know how stressed you can get because of all the bureaucratic things, the not so efficient rules, and don’t forget those barking dogs! But was everything perfect in your own country? Enjoy all the great things this country gives us, and don’t give so much of your energy to negative things. Portugal is improving – things are getting better and better. If we all give more attention to the positive things, we can still make this a better world. And that was the slogan of Rock in Rio – Para um mundo melhor!

Marga Otten


Mystery money

I have been running the Over 50’s International Friends Group since September last year and it has proved to be quite an interesting exercise. I have spoken to many people when they respond to the advertisements that your magazine kindly publishes for us. Most of them never turn up, a few have become loyal members, and others come and go according to their domestic commitments. Many friendships have been formed, a couple of which might become permanent – we shall see.

Something very strange has been happening over the past few weeks, and I think it must be related to the IF Club. An anonymous envelope drops through my letterbox on a regular basis with variable amounts of cash, some notes and some coins. The only clue they leave is a letter ‘W” written across the seal on the back of the envelope by hand.

If it is intended for me, I would like to thank the person and at least know the reason for such kindness. Perhaps he or she is trying to repay me for something – whatever it might be, I would like to know.

If you are reading this Mr/Mrs or Master W, please give me a clue. Why do you want to remain anonymous? In any case, I want to thank you. If the letter is being posted in the wrong letterbox, I need to know.

Yours very puzzled,

Eileen England

Cruel to be kind

Regarding Skip Bandele’s comments on Durão Barroso’s lack of humanity (The Resident, July 9 issue). The last Socialist government bequeathed an appalling legacy to Barroso’s PSD government. It wreaked havoc with the nation’s finances, presided over negligible growth, a bloated bureaucracy and general fiscal incompetence.

Barroso inherited a situation similar to that faced by Margaret Thatcher in Britain after the ‘winter of discontent’ in 1979. The parlous state of the nation’s finances required drastic action – of course that does not necessarily lend itself to political popularity, but the right actions are not always popular. Unless Portugal becomes more competitive and entrepreneurial it will be constantly out-performed by other countries, including the new entrants into the EU, and the population will pay a high price with continuing poverty. And to allow that to continue would be the worst form of inhumanity.

Gabriel Hershman


Week in Monchique

Can we have more of a month in Monchique? Being an ex-Algarve resident and living back in old blighty, I find this column very amusing – it sums up life in Portugal to a tee. I really liked the MOT chapter, having been through the same thing many times myself. I do miss the Algarve (except certain things, the câmara being one of them), but as I sit at my desk at work, this piece brings back many happy and amusing memories of my time there. Perhaps I can make a suggestion of renaming it ‘a week in Monchique’. Paul and Martyn, keep up the good work fellas!

Nick Hyett

Wet and cold

By e-mail

False pepper query

Can anyone tell me where I can get a Schinus Molte (false pepper tree) and an Arbutus tree as I want to plant both in my garden? Hope someone knows.

Jackie Brown