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Sunday 3rd October 1954

Madeira summer time ended in the early hours this morning, a fact of which I was cheerfully unaware. I thought my nice little waiter had forgotten to bring my breakfast up, and went across to the dining room feeling rather peeved. He met me there with a stare of amazement, but I had by that time realised my mistake and grinned and pointed to my wristwatch, with gestures indicative of the fact that I had just seen my mistake. He grinned back at once, and we understood each other perfectly.

I met Janet at the English Church for matins, and she introduced me to a Miss Eileen Cole, to whom Janet’s sister had given her an introduction. Janet’s sister had met Miss Cole and her father, who is churchwarden, when she was in Madeira a year or so ago. There must have been 30 to 40 people there, and it was an extremely nice service. No choir, of course, but the congregation singing was very good. It was a real thrill to me to be there, where my ancestors used to go. There was quite a sprinkling of visitors, and in the pews were little notices saying that as the total number of English residents did not exceed about 100, visitors were to support the church as generously as possible. I am glad to say that the offertory bags appeared to be absolutely stuffed with notes.

Janet and I and about a dozen others stayed to H. C. As it was so near St Michael and All Angels, the Padre gave an extremely good address about the angels. The first hymn was “Praise the Lord ye Heavens Adore Him”, to the tune of the Austrian National Anthem, and the Psalm was no: xci; the “air raid” psalm.

After the service we chatted to Miss Cole and her father, the churchwarden, a charming old gentleman, and they invited us to tea with them on Tuesday, just before we leave.

In the afternoon Diana, Janet and I met Miss Cole and an American lady for tea at the English Club.

After dinner Diana and I walked down the long slope into the centre of the town. The lights over the water and up the mountains at the back of Funchal were absolutely wonderful. We had a coffee on the quayside, and it was really heavenly there.

The lights of Funchal by night.The lights of Funchal by night.

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