97 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 14.4.2018

April 15, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We met in E’s and ’s place , they introduced us to the first Tool in the Book “Coming Alive“ (“The Tools”, https://www.thetoolsbook.com/ ) by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels. This is a self-help series of methods to deal with personal problems. The video we saw was very interesting because Barry Michels came up with some good insights we never heard anywhere else.

G found the book by chance and wanted her son to read it; he declined so she read it,  liked it and gave it to E. Both are now dealing with the H. Situation in a different way so this might very well resolve some issues!

Our next meeting will be on May 19

PS from Madeira Island News:

Pilot advocates no airport wind limits

The Diario reports today that pilot Timóteo Costa, with 26,000 flight hours and 9,000 landings in Madeira, belives that the airport should not have “wind limits” and considers that the region is being “punished” for “a bureaucratic decision”. Timóteo Costa, also an instructor and examiner,  gave this controversial opinion at a parliamentary hearing at the Permanent Commission of Economy, Finance and Tourism on the “Operational Assessment of Madeira International Airport”.
According to Timóteo, the captain of the aircraft should decide whether to land or take-off based on the conditions he is facing at that point in time, and not be governed by mandatory limits. He notes that Madeira airport “is the only one in the world with mandatory limits “fixed by people sitting in offices”.
“We are punishing Madeira and the people of Madeira with a pure bureaucratic decision,” he told the Commission, expressing the conviction that “50 to 70% of the planes that adopt a holding pattern and leave, and then leave without even trying to land, will land in full safety “. According to the commander, if there are no limits and only recommendations, these 50 to 70 percent of landings that are not made today will be “made safely”. “I am against the obligatory limit [which dates back to 1964 and remains unchanged despite successive expansions of the airport from 1,600 to 1,800 and 2,781 meters and new technologies introduced in the meantime] and not the limitations that all pilots have to be informed ” , he says.

Timóteo Costa (pictured) said that Madeira International Airport is “a toy” compared to others such as those in Innsbruck, Salzburg, Gibraltar or La Palma.
On December 4, the president of the National Civil Aviation Authority, Luís Ribeiro, said in Funchal that the review of the wind limits at Madeira Airport is “legitimate and sensible”, but he assured that the decision will be technical and never political. “We think it is appropriate to re-think the issue and the decision will always be technical rather than political,” said the official, during the same hearing.The infrastructure is the only one in the country where the wind limits, fixed in 1964, are mandatory and not recommended, but the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) has already begun a study to evaluate the possibility of changing the situation, which in 2017 affected more than 700 flights.

 

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96 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 17.3.2018

March 18, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We  heard from A.about the concept of integrative medicine. This is an approach to not to view alternative treatments as opposition to allopathic medicine but as composite of both, which emphasizes the approach to the total person, with compassion.

We also watched two videos on the topic:

Dr. Weil’s vision for integrative medicine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDQmgpBVOMY

The English view of it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIj4hsdNu5w

During the discussion, it came down to the fact that most people abandon the responsibility for their health and shove it over to a doctor who is supposed to fix it. Most people, especially in Madeira, do not want to change their lifestyle for the better.

R. V. and C. also took part in the meeting and R. said that people buy and take way too many supplements these days. Then we went around the room and saw that almost everyone of us also takes supplements one way or another.

C. said that the stress he has in the hospital (2 x per week 24 hour shifts in the Emergency room) have him resort to Melantonin and herbs and such so that he can cope with the stress.

(By the way: he said that the Via Verde treatments  – stroke, heart attack, sepsis) – work well in the hospital!)

Here is the link to the simple breathing exercise Dr. Weil recommends:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Wg-UAYGa2A

Our next meeting will be on April 14,.

 

93 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 18.11. 2017

November 19, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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Due to closed roads leading to Monte, (tree cutting) we all arrived late.

After a nice tea, we viewed a documentary from the BBC Horizon series about intermittent fasting, very informative!  The journalist in question interviewed several scientists, tried some options and decided for intermittent fasting. His blood work improved considerably, with it his health, lowering the risk of serious diseases, and increasing life expectancy.

Two members are practicing intermittent fasting with good success.

Other short clips and a great website in regards to Keto Fasting:

Diet doctor website https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto

Jason fasting  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIhhrYjVhOk                   5.17 min

Valter Longo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVArDzYynYc                   19.0 min

How to do https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNSbL8p3_RU                      4.45 min

Afterwards, we went to “Pátio das Babosas” again for a nice evening meal.

D. invited the group for a Thanksgiving Turkey Lunch, but, next Thursday being a difficult date for many, we decided to transpose it to Thursday, December 14, and combine the turkey with Father Christmas, let’s see how they get along!

The next meeting will be in 2018. We shall continue with the topic of consciousness, probably also with a video clip

89 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 24.6.2017

June 25, 2017 at 10:35 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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C was to present more info on the P Association but he couldn’t attend and he didn’t have sufficient time to send U an overview. But he outlined on the phone, that P. needs new associates and new input.

C will send a list of the other members so that we know who they are (and if we would like to associate ourselves with them), also the Statutes and what else they are doing, besides Waldorf-prep courses.

U said that we could organize a “Waldorf for Madeira” workshop (cannot be that difficult) . C said that the cost for a teacher from the mainland would be around 300€ plus flight (the person could stay with C). We need to get more information before proceeding.

M needs to find another option for the Foundation. As mentioned before, there is a Family Court judge who is sending needy children to foster parents, instead of a good home, so only 14 children are living at the Foundation at this time. The overhead is too expensive.

M hopes to get Rubina Leal (PSD, but nobody is perfect) to visit the home to see which other uses can be found  to make use of the space (Creche, day care centre for the handicapped, home for underage mothers). It should be care toward poor children as mentioned in the Statutes, otherwise they would have to be adapted. The new purpose must also be of a kind that the Sisters can cope with.

U spoke to the group about the history of the Consorcio (many members weren’t in it from the start) and about the fact that most of our own projects stalled because of disinterest. (Beach Basket, the Medicinal Herbs project with Verena). We also see that if we offer help, it is not usually accepted. People may want help for their project but end up muddling through as before.

The idea (we are never running out of ideas) is to turn the Consorcio into our own discussion forum with topics we want to talk about, and these may be topics one wouldn’t discuss at a dinner table. If we are approached for help toward outside projects, we’ll be happy to assist

 

87 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 11.3.2107

March 12, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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Support for the Foundation 

As mentioned before, the Foundation relies on private funding only. The stock market is providing less income than before but another point is that the judge in charge of the Court of Families and Minors is of the opinion that children should be given to foster parents,

The Foundation has been very quiet about their work so far, but times change and more funds are needed so the Foundation needs to show more face. From a website and handouts via Diario ads up to TV interviews , everything is possible. The management team needs to decide how far they want to go with public exposure.

The Foundation is fully compliant with the law. Social Security made a full check up.   Transparency and compliance are the essential for fundraising efforts.

D & S have a good example of how it should be done with http://www.refugio.pt/ (nice website – clean, simple and welcoming), a well-known entity in the Algarve for just the cases the Foundation is caring for as well (“emergência infantil”).

We shall help the Foundation with marketing efforts, to strengthen the base for ongoing fundraising. D proposed the 0.5% Tax Donation avenue. Private citizens can donate this amount to a charity of their choice, with no cost to themselves, Accounting companies can even set this up as a default option, informing their clients that if they do not say otherwise, the accounting can set up their donation automatically.

Fir this to work, word needs to get out that the Foundation is asking for this help. This can be done be email to all contacts and former alumni. The request for help can also go out via A5 handouts, with an appealing text in (not too complicated) Portuguese, citing the Foundation’s NIF number.
U.prepared a text and showed it to the Team. The Portuguese has to be fixed and the text polished and improved. M will do this with his Team as soon as possible (Tax declarations will be delivered as of April 1st), then we’ll receive the final text. U will deliver prints , E. & Gr can take the handouts to the cinema in Ponta do Sol, etc.

D suggested that the Foundation tries to set up a list of former students to draw them in for support. They might want to keep in touch with each other as they, after all, all, grew up together.

He also suggested asking former students for an annual donation, it can be small but it would strengthen their sense of belonging. Another way is via estate planning: donors can help by bequeathing houses or funds after their demise.

Special projects can be used to attract donations as well. Esaid that an “institution” (no better word for it yet) can expect support from a community when it offer something to this community, e.g. theatre plays, concerts , Christmas tree lighting on the grounds, etc. (the group was not enthusiastic about Christmas plays, though) .

 Web site upgrade

U has received the access codes to the existing website  and worked  on the background to improve things. She will acquire some photos of children, and S.Z. could provide photos of the home and hopefully the staff, to add them to the website. We also need the WORD originals of the annual report 2016, there is good material in there to fill the pages. (The Foundation has a good team, this should be emphasized as well.)

U will look at a PayPal Donate button (other option: MBNet) to suggest donations. This can be set up with a 10€ minimum as PayPal takes a cut for the payments, albeit on a lower rate for an IPSS.

 

In our time, with more and more angst ruling the people, it is important to strengthen the ties in the community so that people contact and get to know each other. Fear cannot take hold so much if you know your neighbor and community.

The Bread Project:

E met with G.V. who is interested in the gluten-free-bread as he cannot produce it in his two (or more?) bakeries. E gave him a sample and received a very good feedback.

We discussed the price, D was skeptical if the price is not too high. R.V:  has the experience, he is often educating the clients on nutrition and value and he says that the price is not too high, compared with the bland quality of industrial gluten-free bread, and that he can “sell” the price to his clients.

We also discussed the possible production of the grains on the island. At the moment, they can be bought from Italy (Tuscany) , Austria and the US.

E received some originals , he can have them planted here but the yield will not better, and the cost would be the same (around 6€/kg). Planting them on Madeira would be sustainable, creating work, helping the community… great idea, but is has to be kept for the future.

 

81 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 18.6.2016

June 22, 2016 at 9:15 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We had a very animated and interesting evening;

ECO House:

E.explained to us his water recycling system – a wetland filtration system which is almost finished. His house is now an ECO house, with almost all water being recycled in a trench (15m long, 70cm deep) in front of the house, filled with several layers of different materials (broken tiles, ceramic, coal, sand, and ceramics and mulch on the top) to filter out any residues. As last step, wetland plants, such a papyrus, will be planted on the trench.

He has a pond with a capacity of 12.000 l water, and he’ll have an additional tank with 20.000 l, for irrigation and as emergency reservoirs in case of fire. Next time there is a fire near his house, he’ll have plenty of water to defend it (he needs a conventional diesel generator in case of power failure).

The system uses two solar powered pumps during the day and one magnetic induction pump during the night, to pump the water up to a cascade behind the house. The pumps also oxygenate the water so that fish can be added to the cascade.  The fish will be eating any larvae so that the system does not breed mosquitoes.

 

Updates:

U spoke briefly about Madeira Lovers, D’s souvenir shop, he has problems finding a good shop and making enough money (he has our Beach Basked prototype) He had to give up the shop in the airport because the Vinci group only wants their own shops.
E.is not in contact with A.A.  anymore. He and his buddy S.M. asked him for assistance with Hub projects in the port (creating competition between the transport operators), as he had worked in such projects in Brazil. He worked on it but they won’t go through with it because it would obviously damage special interests (read: Sousa).

The Bread Project and the Supper Club are still on the table. R. already shot part of the film with E. for the Bread Project

R’s film is almost finished, he needs some more financing, he hopes to have it ready in December. We are all looking forward to seeing it!

We spoke about the Praia Formosa debacle. Apparently the owners of the parking lot wanted to build a hotel but they wouldn’t get a license because the land is less that 50 m from the sea, so it’s public domain and building is prohibited: This is why the owners blocked the parking from being used – a typical Madeiran situation.

There was a good TED talk about civil disobedience, and here is a link to e website which lists 198 ways of Civil Disobedience:

http://blog.oup.com/2011/10/nonviolent-action/

New project:

We spoke about the fact that Madeirans a have no protest culture. They are educated to adhere to the mottos ”Don’t make waves” and “Don’t think”.  A free thinker is a trouble maker.

We also spoke about the groups purpose and came up with a new idea of a  “Life School” or “Discovery Club” (avoiding the word “school”, an example is at http://www.spps.org/Domain/10133 ) for youngsters as of the age of 14 – 16

Many of our members are or were teachers and R. is very interested in this as well. After a heated discussion, we decided we could start a project for youngsters who have fulfilled their compulsory school time, to learn in a “Discovery Club” about the joy of experiencing and learning first-hand instead of being indoctrinated with knowledge. They should also be encouraged to tackle their question of their purpose in life. R. says that they should be able to come to a reasonable answer to this quest within a few months.

Basically, it’s “Forget the system” (this also goes for politics and the Government), and set up a new way of dealing with an issue. This would be disruptive.

Examples of “parallel” or disruptive industries which are so new that they cannot be suppressed by the system are: Uber, Supper Clubs, “My Twin Place” home swaps for holidays (https://www.mytwinplace.com/en/ ). All these new industries are at the start unregulated, without insurance and taxation and start parallel to old systems.

Traditional schools kill curiosity, indoctrinate, and any knowledge acquired through memorizing is not remembered. Knowledge is forced on the children. It is also a matter of respect to let a child find out what it wants to learn, not to be forced, a natural interest in learning is always there  Every human being is unique.

Well known examples of alternative learning are Waldorf (well know in Finland, this country has more free thinkers), Summerhill, Rudolf Steiner and Home schooling. D. told us about the 180  change in their daughter when she came to a Waldorf school. D.himself went to France for a year, and, as a foreigner, was left alone to learn what he wanted to learn. He was very happy with it, and it turned out to be great for him .

 

There is a film called “The forbidden education” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByO41gE3dPQ, in Spanish) about this, everybody should see this film!

To come to grips with this, U.found a comprehensive definition of this concept  in Wikipedia  under “unschooling”  and there is a book “Teach your own” which deals with home schooling.

A.has an “Escola de Semente”  for younger children, organized by their parents, in his Quinta. He is out until next week, then U will ask him about it.

The Discovery Club will let the children find out what they want to be, what they want to discover. This way, they’ll integrate this knowledge for life. Give them tools to show them possibilities. Let them experiment with nature’s materials. Own experience leads to better understanding. The Club gives out no diplomas

79 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 13.4.2016

April 14, 2016 at 10:54 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We had another animated meeting in the station! The sea view is animating, that`s why…

We spoke about the obstacle in the form of JM. Nothing is going forward, not for the English page, nor with our idea to create “anuncios” as a conduit channel from citizens to the Town Halls.

Ri. was opposed to the “anuncio” project; he is however, for such a project if it channels positive input from the citizens to “upstairs” and increases democracy on the island

U. is exploring the idea of hopping on another, successful bandwagon, in order to avoid having to start at the bottom in the internet. Ideas which cannot be found in the internet do not result in any action. E. said that we could re-activate the Consorcio Facebook page (eliminated at this time). The reality is that only many “friends” make the content visible.

We were talking again about the purpose of the group.

It does not exist only to move things forward on the island but also as a forum for the members (not just a chatting club), to be able to voice ideas and exchange opinions. We have two projects at the moment, support for E.’s bread and the Club idea which is interesting to many of the members. The group could also focus on one topic, such as education, and create a project with a relevant role. E. mentioned the involvement of handicapped persons in food-making as a social endeavor and education for the non-handicapped. Gr. mentioned the association for rare diseases http://www.rarissimas.pt/. This would need to reach critical mass to become visible.

News on the Food Project. E. is looking for a space to produce professionally, he is receiving more orders on a regular basis.

We also spoke about the Club.

U. thinks it would be a good idea to create a website and have several members from the group offer different experiences. Gr. is after a social atmosphere so that people, residents and tourists alike, could get to know each other and have discussions.

U. could set up a website to take requests. This would be a new peer-to-peer business and disruptive to the existing industry.

77 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 17.2.2016

February 19, 2016 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We visited  a printing plant in Cancela.

GM was founded in 1979. In the old days, when printing was done with much more laborious methods, it used to employ up to 65 persons. Nowadays, and with the island still in the grips of the Crisis, the company employs 15 staff. Some of them are with the company since more that 35 years, and salaries, Social Security and taxes are paid in time. The staff seems happy.

For pre-production, GM uses Apple computers. The designers receive the documents from the clients in digital format and after control and correction, prepare aluminium plates with several pages on one plate for the printing presses within two hours.

The printing plates are made of aluminium, the layout is fixed on it by laser; most of the printing machines (black & white , 2 colors, 4 colors) are made in Germany, and therefore may be old but still work well 🙂

Printing is followed by page assembly, cutting and if needed, by folding, the machines they use are very versatile. The amount of waste paper is enormous, it is collected  and sent to the mainland for recycling.

The company needs to invest a lot to keep up with the rapid development in the industry; on the other hand, they lost a lot of clients due to the crisis. The cost of paper and ink is high as well.

The company works in 8 hour shifts and could easily tripe their output with 2 more shifts, as in the old days.

Our discussion afterwards (not in the Café by the roundabout , closed 😦 but in a Pub in Canico:

We spoke about the search for the perfect product for Madeira.

Our banana is 70% “Cavendish” and will be hit hard once we get the bug here that demolishes the Cavendish plants in Latin America.

D. would promote  special wheat – for export as well as for E’s bread – and said that Madeira problem with the terrace plantation could be eased with the use of an open “Funicular” or “cliff railway” ( see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funicular ). a railway with open cars (there is also one in Lisbon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascensor_da_Gl%C3%B3ria ). With such a machine, the access to old terraces and the transport of the harvest might be greatly improved.

D.& P. have 15 terraces on their land below their “platform” with the main house; this might be a perfect example of a property where to use such a railway.

E. knows of a place which employs such a Funicular, we’ll see if we can visit the place on the weekend.

76 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 22.1.2016

January 24, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We met in the Station in the Lunch room, and started off with a bread tasting. Ca. brought some very good ginger cookies, made by himself!  What a Surgeon’s hands can do…

Z.,  represented her parents, so U and E gave a brief introduction of our work and goals.

We are trying to develop ideas for new business on the island, such as medicinal herbs. We also visit places of interest; such as the Sugar Cane factory in Ribeiro Seco/Funchal, the Meia Serra waste processing plant and the firefighters in Funchal.

One of the issues facing us now if that, if we have good ideas, they cannot come to fruition if we cannot find the person/s best suited to pick them up and turn them into reality. We also want to have more exposure of our work to the public.

E and Uhad a meeting with the managing Director of JM (former Jornal da Madeira) and presented our idea of a communication channel from the population (and from us) to the Government by way of short ads with ideas (not complaints!).

He didn’t pick this up but instead wants us to publish our ideas every two weeks in a column (he said, with 3000 words, it’s more likely that he meant  3000 characters).

 

U. would like to wait until the newspaper is sold – which according to E’s info, should be soon. D.is also of the opinion that it is better to go in with the New instead of going out with the Old (in this case, the management).

In another project with the JM, D. and U. are working with them to develop a once-per-week English page ( A3 folded once =4 pages)  as an add-in and a stand-alone, to reach the foreign Residents and Tourists. Advertising should be able to support the cost. This would fill the gap left by the demise of The Brit a few years ago. In this paper, we could also place our ideas  and have (anonymous) food critics’ reports.

The ferry to the mainland:

We also talked about the subsidy game going on for the Ferry which is still not visible anywhere. Subsidies are killing entrepreneurial efforts. E.said that the group of interested shipping companies is now ganging up to pressure the Government for higher subsidies. The Sousa group which seems to hold an amazing number of essential enterprises on both islands, is probably going to come out on the top again.

The Ferry to Porto Santo:

E.said that there should be a continuation of territorial continuity; this is not a problem in the Canary islands. Ferry traffic there is voluminous and never interrupted.

Public transport is (like water) a public service and should not be in the hands of private enterprises. (Ca. mentioned that for example, telephone connection is not a public service per se.) The ferry to Porto Santo should have a contract which stipulates that it must run 52 weeks of the year. If the transport company is not willing to provide the service around the year, then it should lose the license.

Every discussion leads to the problem of corruption, part of the human nature. Added to this is the fact that the Portuguese, especially the Madeirans, do not have a fighting spirit.

Such corruption can be fought with transparency, another issue for publication in a newspaper. The Diario publishes a list of public contracts every month, with the top ten contractors and amounts. Old Contracts as the one for the Porto Santo Ferry should also be published; in the case of Sousa, his holdings should be made public as well. U. said that if such information is not allowed to be forgotten, by persistently repeating it, it will finally sink in, and  people will react at some point. The question is how far the future owners of JM will be willing to go to publish information which is uncomfortable to the Have’s on the island.

We also spoke briefly about E’s project. He will make an experiment and dry his product(for preservation and export) to see how it comes out. It may, however, turn out to be too hard.

D.said that E.should grow his grains exclusively on the island. These grains are kept in seed preservation chambers, but why not use them now and keep them unaltered?

Z introduced us to the concept of the Hash House Harriers, a movement which organizes running events to support charities, with chapters all over the world.  This is also an expat movement as the organizer used to come from the British Army. Have a look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hash_House_Harriers

Our next meeting will be in mid-February

75 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 19.11.2015

November 22, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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We visited the ECM – Empresa de Cerveja da Madeira and found it to be very interesting. It was especially interesting for R. who used to work in a beverage company once and E., as he also works with germination for his bread.

Ana Carina from Marketing showed us around. We saw the beer brewing tanks and filters and the bottling machinery (as there was not bottling going on, we left the place with our ears intact).

The Company has around 200 staff now (it had up to 400 once); the number varies a lot according to seasonal demand.

ECM also produces Brisa Maracuja, for “export” to the mainland and soon, to two other countries in Europe.  Not a bad feat for a company situated on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!

They have their own ETAR station on the ground, to assure that the water and spring water is controlled and clean enough for the beverages. ECM was the first beer brewing company in Portugal to receive ISO certification.

Brisa Maracuja: we have by far not enough fruit on the island to supply the quantities needs for the beverage, the juice is being brought in as concentrate from Ecuador. The same goes for the  Cevada; the hop (Lúpulo) is being bought from Germany.

ECM also sells Pepsi and 7Up on the island (they stopped the contract with Coca-Cola and Sprite – the war between two giants, all over the world) in licensing.

ECM is owned 100% by Pestana now.

U.will send an email to Carina to ask

  • what is the payment time for the suppliers?
  • how are the bottles being cleaned, with sound, light or chemicals?

Our suggestions:

  • the company should be aiming to be auto-sufficient in energy.
  • the company could produce water chestnut-based beer with the chestnuts from Curral das Freiras, this would be truly unique and could be high priced.

We shall have no meeting in December, instead, we’ll see which date would be best for a Christmas Dinner

 

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