Monday, 25 April 2011

Sailing Boat and Clocks

Once again, this blog finds itself under criticism, which, was we've shown before, we welcome, for knowing not to be the beholders of the truth, many times many readers have, and we hope will continue that to happen, enlightened and corrected us.

This time from a poster called “widowan” who wrote the following comment on MMF:  

“However IMO textusa seems to take 2 and 2 and get 16, then declares it is "logic" 

- I've seen this from him or her so many times, I'm sorry but this seems like bullsh*t to me. She builds a straw man based on conjecture then knocks that down and draws meaningless conclusions from her assessment. 

I don't see this big clue or conspiracy around someone doodling a flower, unless all other reservation sheets were reviewed and no doodles appeared elsewhere on other nights or on other papers in the reception area. 

I also don't see the handwriting change, apart from the l in Oldfield they look identical as to how the names are written. 

So it was boring? How sinister is that? how can one take the presence of a doodle - a flower which would have taken ten seconds to draw - and deduce that the paper was rewritten and the flower somehow there to indicate something about madeleine - being feminine? 

The handwriting is also feminine. The job of reservations desk is often held by a young woman. as far as being unprofessional - pah! You should see my notes from today's 2 hour meeting. I did a really good picture of a sailboat and several clocks, just imagine what textusa would make of those "clues".

How can one say reservations clearly could not be taken by phone as it would be clearly "unfair" to people who would not accept this unfair advantage offere to others ? Ridiculous. 

It's the way reservations are often taken where I come from, you phone them in. Reservation desk is a boring job and the doodle could be done at any time, nothing is researched here as to who took the reservations, whether by phone or in person, at the front desk - where the person has tons of time on their hands and the reservation sheet ready to hand - or at the Tapas itself. 

The Tapas 9 party made reservations at some point for every night after the first bad experience going to the Millennium and it appears as if the same person copied the same names down for several nights in a row as you would do - same order - same names - same writing - if someone made reservations for several nights, at the same time. 

Rewriting the same sentence or words over and over your handwriting does change slightly, possibly out of boring repetition and wishing Oldfield or whoever, Payne, would go away so you can continue to text your BFF or get on with other tasks. 

This is worthless as far as I'm concerned - I don't see what she is getting at or much if any logic behind her assumptions.”

Dear Widowan,

Say you “I don't see this big clue or conspiracy around someone doodling a flower, UNLESS all other reservation sheets were reviewed and no doodles appeared elsewhere on other nights”, so we all can, by LOGIC and LOGIC alone, assume that YOU DO then see it a as BIG CLUE or CONSPIRACY around someone doodling a flower.

You see, in ALL OTHER reservation sheets that we’ve been able to see, there are NO other doodles, so your own “UNLESS” excludes this NOT being a BIG CLUE or CONSPIRACY. All according to you.

And before you attempt to say that I’m cropping just some of your words out of context, because I’m leaving out that you also mention “other papers in the reception area”, let me just say that you, unwittingly, bring to light up a very IMPORTANT issue to this whole subject (albeit of little importance to the post that you criticize): THE RECEPTION.

What RECEPTION are you talking about? I know of only one, located around about 250 yards East of the Tapas Complex.

A reception would be the normal place where all bookings would take place done in a normal touristic facilities such as hotels. But we’ve already seen that the Mark Warner Ocean Club is far from being normal, and there’s no criticism in this statement, it’s just so because of its layout, far from normal, spread out all over PdL.

That’s why we’ve read from various reviews that the bookings for the various activities at the OC were done at The Mill.

This was/is done for practical and LOGICAL reasons as that’s the place where guests gather in the beginning of each day, for breakfast.

 If the RECEPTION which you mention is the one that everyone knows, the one down by the toddlers crèche, near the adults only pool, are you, by any chance, linking the “the other papers in the reception area” from there with the Tapas Booking Sheets (TBS)?

Because if you are, then you’re basically stating that “Tapas Reservation Book” (in whatever shape or form) went back and forth, DAILY, between the Tapas and the OC Reception. That’s a lot of yardage for any book. Even for a fairy tale one. Besides being ILLOGICAL and completely absurd, does go against the fact that Rachael begs for a table for Tapas AT TAPAS, as well as the strange but noted need for people to queue up AT TAPAS to get a table for dinner.

So, apparently the book did REMAIN AT TAPAS, meaning that there was absolutely no linkage between it, and whatever was being doodled down at the OC Reception, as the booking was done at TAPAS.

The fact that you bring up possible doodles, done about 250 yards away, for the most varied and VALID reasons, “on other reception papers” to validate your argumentation is as useful to achieve that objective as your own sailing boat and a lot of clocks: ABSOLUTELY NOT. Simply a distracting argument.

But that is if you’re referring to the OC Reception, right? You could, however be mentioning a RECEPTION at TAPAS? What RECEPTION? Where is it LOCATED? Why we’ve never heard about it? What “other reception papers” could one find there? Pool chair reservations? And who was supposed to man this supposed TAPAS RECEPTION? “The job of reservations desk is often held by a young woman”, besides being sexist and wrong, is too vague.

Do offer what you demand, and do supply names please. Who was the person, or persons, supposed to be at the “TAPAS RECEPTION”? If you’re able to answer this, you’ll be solving one of the biggest mysteries of this whole saga.

Should I stop asking questions or do you think I should continue as I have yet to be sufficiently LOGICAL for you to understand that what I’m basically saying is that there was NO RECEPTION at TAPAS?

I also don't see the handwriting change, apart from the l in Oldfield they look identical as to how the names are written.” If you cannot see the difference in the “f” in the same surname between what was written on May 1st and 2nd, with what was written on May 3rd, then you’re being WILLINGLY BLIND.

By the way, the different “l” to which you so attentively refer to is between May 1st and 2nd but is identical between May 2nd and 3rd., which is what matters as this last, is the day of the ONLY doodle on the TBSs.

And you remain to be willingly blind if you don’t notice the different “r” in Obrien, the different “n” all over, the evident different handwriting slant in Obrien, Mccann and Payne, just to say the most evident, as differences can also be seen in the various “a” and “e”

You seem overlook (I say more intentionally than not) that we’re before someone trying to imitate somebody else’s handwriting, so similarities ARE to be expected. The differences may be minor (which they aren’t) but are existent.

So unlike your capability to see, in this case, the differences in the handwritings, your statement “I also don't see the handwriting change” is crystal clear to us all.

Now let me thank you for saying “…and deduce that the paper was rewritten and the flower somehow there to indicate something about madeleine - being feminine? The handwriting is also feminine”. Coming from YOU it then becomes proved that it is of feminine authorship most of what is written in the TBSs of May 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. If I had said so, you’d probably go and say that you'd know a million of young MALE teenagers that write like that and that I would have been over my head with assumptions. So, thank you, most earnestly.

And I thank you, once again, for your “…as far as being unprofessional - pah! You should see my notes from today's 2 hour meeting. I did a really good picture of a sailboat and several clocks, just imagine what textusa would make of those "clues".

Here, again, in your attempt to criticize me, you end up reinforcing my reasoning. First, I never said that doodles made anyone look unprofessional. What I said, and maintain, is that doodles make a PIECE OF PAPER look unprofessional. There’s a huge difference from what I said and what you attempt to imply I say.

And I did say that a doodle in a RESERVATION BOOK is inadequate and unrealistic, UNLESS the book would be located in a place or circumstances whereby the person responsible for it would find himself/herself inactive for a period of time.

I referred the only two LOGICAL situations that that would happen: waiting for a customer to decide whatever s/he wanted to book, or be seating in a nearby table waiting for “reservation latecomers”. Both highly unlikely but, nevertheless, both LOGICAL, so both considered. If you know any other, please feel free to enlighten us all.

But, it's about the doodling itself, that YOU CONFIRM what I said. I questioned that if there had been there time to doodle, why only a SINGLE doodle on that sheet of paper? You answer the question on the clearest terms coming from experience: “I did a really good picture of a sailboat and several clocks”. Notice the plural. I rest my case on this one, thanks to you.

Next you bring up the “RESERVATION BY PHONE”. “How can one say reservations clearly could not be taken by phone as it would be clearly "unfair" to people who would not accept this unfair advantage offere to others ? Ridiculous. It's the way reservations are often taken where I come from, you phone them in.

First, if you had the chance to book by phone, would you stand in a queue at 11 a.m to do so, instead of going to the beach or to some other fun family activity? Second, and pardon me to ask again, but what RECEPTION would one phone to? Third, yes, it would be unfair.

All you have to do is read the reviews on TravelAdvisor, and see how many people grump about how guests that booked through MW got preferential treatment over those that booked with Thomas Cook.

Now, you’re standing in line, in your flip-flops and beach towel, and when your turn comes, someone rings in and reserves the last table available. Would you just smile, accept you fate and try again the next day? Would that be YOUR LOGIC?

Reservation desk is a boring job and the doodle could be done at any time, nothing is researched here as to who took the reservations, whether by phone or in person, at the front desk - where the person has tons of time on their hands and the reservation sheet ready to hand - or at the Tapas itself.” As you accuse us of lack of research, please do answer the unanswered questions you raise to base your accusation upon: - who took the reservations? - were the reservations done by phone or in person? - were the reservations done at the front desk or at the Tapas itself? Don’t bother to answer the third question, for that was, unlike you adamantly state, researched. It was done at Tapas.

Unless you want to say that not only Rachael is lying as are also some of the OC Staff (remember the famous queue…).

But, by all means, DO ANSWER the first two! Your answers would be a great help and I, for one, will be eager to read them.

Then, for someone who accuses others of lack of research you go and say “The Tapas 9 party made reservations at some point for every night after the first bad experience going to the Millennium”.

It was not “at some point in time”. It was on Sunday, and that is very important, and it wasn’t the “T9”, but Rachael Manpilly.  

“…and it appears as if the same person copied the same names down for several nights in a row as you would do - same order - same names - same writing - if someone made reservations for several nights, at the same time. Rewriting the same sentence or words over and over your handwriting does change slightly, possibly out of boring repetition” is absolutely correct, except for the fact that that same person decides, out of the blue, to innovate when it came to brackets and made them all different.

Oh, and to change the handwriting on the TBS for May 3rd.

And doodle a flower there.  

“…and wishing Oldfield or whoever, Payne, would go away so you can continue to text your BFF or get on with other tasks.” together with “This is worthless as far as I'm concerned - I don't see what she is getting at or much if any logic behind her assumptions.” However stating that whoever wrote down the names had other tasks to do or had to text her BBF (?), are perfectly LOGICAL assumptions for you, aren’t they?

And I do wish to know what you're trying to get at by bringing Payne's name out of nowhere...

Lastly, let me end with your first paragraph. One thing is to disagree, which you’re absolutely entitled to, another is to be insulting with your “I'm sorry but this seems like bullsh*t to me”.

Don’t worry (as if I was that you were) I wasn’t offended. I just want to show the readers, through LOGIC, with what exact mindset you wrote your criticism, and understand its exact value.

But what you said something that I cannot let slide. It has to be pretty much clarified.

You say “However IMO textusa seems to take 2 and 2 and get 16, then declares it is "logic" - I've seen this from him or her so many times

Please do tell, under the penalty of false accusation, where and when have I stated that 2 and 2 was any different from 4, as you’ve seen this from me SO MANY TIMES.  

YOUR silence will be assumed by me as a recognition that your criticism is baseless, and meant only to deceive the readers of this blog.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Tapas Quiz Night, Question #3/?

QUESTION: Was it boring to work at the Tapas Bar?

ANSWER: Yes, it must have been, particularly if you were responsible for the bookings.

This last weekend we were invited for lunch by another couple to go to a somewhat fancy and busy restaurant, one where you best book before, or wait for a while until you get to have a table.

My friend had booked a table for the four of us.

You may guess by now that as soon as we were greeted by the Host, my eyes were glued to the reservation book.

It was a plain, unmarked, agenda, A4 size, a day per page, bought at any stationery shop, that was opened on the page of the day we were in.

The information on it was simple, plain and efficient, in other words, to the point.

There were two sets of information on the day’s page.

One, for those like us, who had booked in time and had a table assigned, and the other for those who had tried to book but didn’t have a table or had just arrived and were willing to wait.

For the first set, the information was made up of the customer’s surname, the number of people in total and his/her contact, and, lastly, a number which I presumed was there to indicate the table’s number.

For the second set there was only the customer’s surname and the total number of people that wished to be seated.

All the names of each one of the sets were written in separate lines, leaving none in-between. However the two sets were separated by two or three lines left blank.

The Host checked my friends name and to which table we were assigned to, and neatly proceeded to draw a line across my friend’s "line". Noticed that two thirds of the names on the page had already been “lined” across, and looking around the room, the number of filled up tables conferred with that fact.

The Host then accompanied the four of us to a table where he withdrew the “reservado” that had been put on it for us, and helped me and my lady friend to sit down. Nice to be treated that way, even if it’s the gentleman’s job to do so…

We had our lunch, delicious and totally unhealthy, and half way through it I decided to go and powder my nose.

As per the first international rule of womankind, never written but always complied, a lady never goes alone to the washing room, so headed that way with friend, letting the hubbies alone so they could to pay us the so ever deserved compliments behind our backs.

By “coincidence” on the way back we passed by the Host, and I took the opportunity to congratulate him on the elegance of the place and told him that I had noticed that they had only had reservations for lunch, so asked him if they didn’t take any for dinner.

He answered that it was more critical for lunches on the weekends, and that for both dinner and lunches during the week, the bookings were mostly made in order to have a specific table, than for the need to have "a table".

In any case, they used two separate books, one for lunch, the other, which he pulled for beneath the counter and showed me, for dinner.

My friend really felt pleased that her husband's choice of restaurant had pleased me so much that I was considering having sometime dinner there.

But, you ask, what has all this to do with being boring, or not, to work at Tapas Bar?

Remember that Textusa’s Tapas Quiz Night (TTQN) revolves EXCLUSIVELY around the “Tapas Bar Sheets” (TBS) that some have had the audacity to call it “Tapas Bar Reservation Sheets”.

So the answer to the question is quite simple:

Yes, it must have been terribly BORING to work at Tapas Bar, because at least whoever was responsible for the “reservations” had to have some free time in excess, so that had had the time to draw a FLOWER on what is supposed to be the Reservation Book of the restaurant:

These types of scribbles/drawings (they may flowers, geometric figures or random lines) are done when one of the following occurs:

- one is talking on the phone (not applicable to Tapas Bar reservations as you’ll see), and although listening to the conversation draws these things on the nearest piece of paper, as if to keep the body busy while the mind is concentrated on something else,

- one is in a meeting, BORED, or not that concentrated on the subject at hand, and distracts oneself with these kind of scribbles,

- one is BORED, say, at the reception, and draws these things to help to pass the time.

So, it must have to have been really, REALLY, boring for the person that worked at Tapas Bar as responsible for bookings, so much so that at some point there was nothing better to do with the time than to draw a FLOWER on one of the “Tapas Bar Sheets”

But is it really so?

I tried, in the first part of the post, to describe what a Reservation Book really is all about.

Noticed how much the Host actually handled the book? Just in the exact measure of need.

A book like that is to get information and to discharge it. A rather “blunt” and “to-the-point” kind of book.  

Simple and straightforward.

It’s not a book to take messages, nor for one to go dwindling about it. Get the information, write it down. Use the information, discharge it. Simple, plain and OBJECTIVE.

None of the reasons described above to scribble seem apply to the handling of any Restaurant Booking Book. As we’ve seen their use is quite precise.

Remember, you had to queue, from 11 a.m., (instead of going straight to the beach with the family or friends) just to get a table at Tapas for dinner. It certainly doesn’t make sense to be able to book by phone, otherwise that would be an unacceptable advantage over those that were delaying the trip to the beach just to guarantee a table for dinner. Completely unfair, and would be protested.

So, whoever was responsible for writing down all the booking information, as correctly and accurately as it should be, was, or should have been, COMPLETELY focused on whatever s/he was writing. Not scribbling flowers.

But, say you, it could be that when all the people that had queue up had done their respective booking, couldn't the person (whoever it may be, because we’re never told who it might have been) responsible for the booking just go and sit on one of the nearby tables and patiently wait for possible reservation latecomers, and then, there and there, draw such a lovely flower?

First, talk about being over-staffed.

Second, if that were so, why the need for a queue?

Third, from the TBSs themselves we can see that the demand wasn’t that great so if there was so much free time (because we’re dedicating a person exclusively to this task and customers were not responding as expected albeit the “queue”) why draw only one flower?

Wouldn’t be natural for the sheet to be filled up with them?

And please don’t go and say that the person didn’t draw more just to keep the sheets tidy… ONE or MANY flowers, have the exact same unprofessional, untidy effect on any working paper…

And to say that the person decided that day to make the page a little prettier than usual, is forgetting that that object, the reservation book, is for internal use, and not to please customers nor to impress the boss with artistic initiatives. Also do read further on about " coincidence".

The only possible LOGIC reason for that flower to be there would have been for a customer, when it came his turn on the queue to reach the “Reservation Desk”, to not know what exactly he wanted to book and start a conversation with whomever s/he would have been with about what they wanted effectively, and the “host/ess” would be patiently waiting for the outcome while drawing away…

But although the only logic possibility, is it REALLY logic?

Just imagine how the remainder customers in the queue react to such behavior from such a customer. I know what I would do and say, but that's silly old me.

So why on earth was that flower drawn up?

I think the clues to this mystery lie on two factors: date and handwriting.

First, the date. Notice how the flower is drawn up on what one has to call “Universal Coincidence Day”, May 3rd, 2007. The day when every possible coincidence that could happen, just happened, by coincidence. The flower is just one other.

Second, the handwriting. Notice the different slant between the handwriting on the TBSs of May 1st and 2nd, and the one that is on the 3rd. This tells me that if it wasn’t done by a different person, at least it was done in a different time, and we’re beyond saying that they were done on the dates they were supposed to have been done.

This change in handwriting tells us that the May 3rd TBS was REDONE.  

Probably more than once.

By the way, the handwriting is so fascinating that it merits a TTQN of its own later on the contest.

The flower tells us that it served to mark that particular sheet. The sheet that would be scrutinized. The sheet for the night Maddie was supposed to have been abducted.

To make sure that the information on it would be the desired, and only the desired one.

Those pieces of paper probably went around many hands. For negotiation, for agreement, for confirmation, but also for “chickening” out.

The apparent fact that the TBS had to be redone indicates that people changed their minds some times while they were being crafted. The names that are there now, are there FOREVER, and nobody will ever know, at least for certain, which names were pulled out.

But, as I said, it might all be me just letting my imagination get the better of me. After all, boredom is boredom, and it could have been terribly, terribly boring to have been the one chosen to take down the bookings for dinners at the Tapas Bar.

By the way, just to finish, isn’t a flower such a feminine thing to draw?

Post Scriptum:
A reader has raised the possibility of the flower not being a flower but "someone attempting to doodle over something that was written and later decided they did not want others to be able to view what was originally written, hence the doodle". We, as always, will let the readers make their own judgment:

Friday, 15 April 2011

Will Kate’s Book Definitely Prove Textusa Wrong?

I could leave this post, until the May 11th, 2011, but if I did do so I would probably then be accused of not giving ample time for Kate McCann to react accordingly, so, I’m writing this today, on April 15th, 2011.

As we all know, Kate McCann is about to publish, on May 12th, a book where supposedly she tells the McCann side of the story.

This time in the form of a book, "Madeleine".

They’ve done it before in the form of a “Mockumentary”, and things didn’t go that well, as, I did warn them beforehand. In fact it has, as predicted, come back, time and time again to haunt them. I imagine the pain it must be every time I use on of the stills from their "production". And I’ve used many, and there are many, many more stills still to be used.

But now it’s a book.

Only this time the McCanns have a golden, unmissable, opportunity not only to contradict me as well to publicly humiliate me about everything I’ve written thus far.


Very, very, very easy. All they have to do is publish Dianne Webster’s pictures.

What pictures?

Do read Dianne’s rogatory statement:

"Person Interviewed: Dianne WEBSTER Number of Pages 34
Place of Interview: Force Headquarters, Enderby Signature of Interviewing
Date of Interview: 11.04.08 Officer producing exhibit
Time Commenced: 1026 hours
Time Concluded: 1156 hours Duration of Interview: 90 minutes
Interviewing Officer(s) DC 4078 FERGUSON Tape Reference nos:


PC: "Okay, so you've been back to the Tapas and you've collected bits and pieces that people have left lying around. You mentioned a camera, or cameras, had there been many photos taken that evening?"

DW: "There hadn't, I don't think there'd been any taken that evening and I think I can't remember who, it was either, it was either Kate or err Rachael, it might have been Kate, who'd brought their camera because they hadn't taken any photographs at all in the evening. I think I was the only one that ever took any photographs in the evening and that was about the second night we were there, I just took pictures of everybody sitting round the table but I didn't get any of he surrounding areas but because we hadn't been really sat there that long no pictures were taken." (…)"

You see, Dianne Webster, on April 11th, 2008, says she HAS pictures of a T9 Tapas dinner, taken during that fateful week. That was a long time after May 3rd, 2007, so any excuse of not having them now, such as deleting them since, is simply not credible.

So all they have to do is publish Dianne’s photographs of “everybody sitting round the table” in Kate’s book. We'll finally get to see that BIG ROUND TABLE, with all the plates, the many free bottles of wine, and all the other stuff that must have been on the table... After all, for the McCanns, these pictures, according to the McCanns, replicate the evening of May 3rd, the very beginning of the whole sad saga that has since followed, as we so well know, so would fit very nicely in the context of the book.

The “search”, according to the McCanns, began after one of these now dubious dinners, and the book is, from what we’ve been told, all about that supposed search that is being undertaken by an elite group of a chosen few… themselves chosen a few times over too.

But back to Dianne Websters pictures. These replicate T9's last moments of normality, so the public is certainly expected to be touched upon seeing them.

The added bonus? Just publish Dianne Webster’s self-proclaimed photos of a T9 Tapas dinner and, woosh clunk!, you have yourself Textusa clung onto a pillory in the middle of the town square, being called all those unspeakable adjectives that I’ve been called to this day, only now completely justified and adequate, plus all the new ones that the Black Hatted mind can think of, also justified and appropriate.

Also, as these pictures will prove me wrong, I have no other choice than to, here, adamantly and shamefully publicly apologise for every single word I’ve written about there not ever being any Tapas T9 dinners (the Thursday dinner, was at Tapas, but we believe that it was only a Tapas T6 dinner).

So here you have it, with ample forewarning, a suggestion that can CLEAR UP all the T9 names.
On May 12th, we’ll see if this challenge is accepted.

Let’s wait and see.

I heard that J.K Rowling has denied having had any participation in Kate’s book. Yes, the cracks in Black Hat Camp are becoming more evident by the day… (do mind that to the most attentive eye, these cracks have been quite evident for quite a while...)

I’m beginning to wonder if it’s only those pictures that won’t see the light of day. You see, unlike most of you, I so much want to buy that book.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Tapas Dining - Fawlty Towers Style

by May I

What constitutes an all-inclusive holiday? Full- board includes all meals; usually breakfast, lunch and an evening meal. Half-board; the T9 option, normally includes breakfast and an evening meal. The McCanns, we are told, decided to have breakfast at their own apartment, whilst the other members of the group went to the Millenium restaurant. (referred to in the following as the Mill), wasting, apparently, free meals due to mobility issues.

Apart from their first evening meal in the Mill, we are also told that the group thereafter, made a block booking to eat in the Tapas Bar. To do this, they had to plead for a table, so the first question is, why do they need to plead for a booking if they already have an all-inclusive, half-board option package?

Please bear with me whilst I wade through the various statements and press reports, trying to make any sense of the arrangements described.

Agapito, a waiter at the Tapas says they all used to go to the Mill for dinner every day, as would be expectef on their was all-inclusive deal. The T7 claim they lunched in the Payne's apartment, as it was the most spacious. The McCann's, we are told, lunched, alone, in their own apartment a few yards away.

Luis Barros, a waiter at the Tapas, who also worked at the Mill, said there were 20 diners on half board at the Tapas, but he had to seek authorisation from his manager Steve (Cova) to make a block reservation for the T9. Steve Cova was the Angolan catering manager who had left at 8pm on the night Madeleine disappeared.

Waiter Joaquim Jose Baptista said that to book a Tapas table, guests had to queue at reception from 11 am onwards on the day ( The Sun 2310.07.).

This is where Fawlty Towers comes to mind. Scene One -Imagine foreign visitors on half-board to that eccentric hotel in England. They come down for their INCLUSIVE evening meal, only to be told by Basil, the manager, that they can't eat, as they haven't booked.

“You have to queue at 11 am to book a table. We like to impose some discipline on our guests, none of that free-for-all stuff you continentals go for! A queue, where you stand in a line and wait, you cloth-eared, ......”

At this point, his wife drags him off before the scene gets too ugly and a long-suffering waitress placates the enraged guests. Manuel, the only English speaking waiter in Fawlty Towers would end up getting the blame for serving JUST 23 plates in under 30 minutes..

No, not even John Cleese and pals would be THAT ridiculous to give us a laugh. They excel in INTELLIGENT and FEASIBLE humour.

Returning to Baptista. He says he usually served the group with 8-10 bottles of wine. His partner (Maria Fernandez) worked at the Mill. She described the McCanns coming to the Mill for the SECOND time and recounts how Maddie searched for high chairs for the twins.

She refers to her as “a little angel”, rather than the rather naughty child of others' descriptions. An expression also used by David Payne.

So, we now have more confusion about whether or how many times the McCanns went to the Mill, as there is now an additional sighting. Maria Fernandez is not the only one, however. Cecilia do Carmo, a Mill worker who greeted guests, places the McCann family at the Mill on Thursday. May 3rd; the day Maddie disappeared .

She saw Maddie with her parents on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday am (discrediting totally the theory that the little girl possibly died before May 3rd ...)- presumably at breakfast-and describes Maddie as clinging to her father.

Alice Silvestre says the McCanns ate there often and confirms the Mill was used for breakfast and dinners.

Paula Veira recognised them from a photograph and says she saw them twice.

Baptista seems to disappear from the story at a later stage, to be replaced by Geronimo Salcedas, another Tapas waiter (see... post for background) Why would that be? Baptista was apparently interviewed 3 times by the police and was said to have disappeared abroad after this.

Could it be because his story no longer fitted the account of events? He describes Kate as raising the alarm from the BALCONY of the apartment, rather than returning to the Tapas bar screaming.

Who to believe? Was the Mill the all-inclusive venue, rather than the Tapas? Well, Jennifer Murat, mother of Robert didn't believe the McCann's private investigators. In an article in The Express (17.12.08.) she claims the PI's paid off witnesses.

She should be in a better position to judge than anyone, as they had paid a visit to the home of the Murat relatives in November 2007.

As for my opinion, I couldn't possibly comment.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Reviewing the Reviews

It has been suggested to this blog to ask Mark Warner on what were/are the eating arrangements at the Ocean Club.

We decided to take the suggestion one further degree up: we “asked” those that have used it.
These are reviews covering about 4 years. Before, during and after Maddie disappeared.

As nothing has changed there is NO evidence that the Tapas Bar was ever included as an alternative to the Mill.
I'm sure someone would be sharp enough to find that out if it was available, even those not complaining about poor standard of food at the Mill if only for a change of scenery.
On these kind of holidays (spread out facilities) it's standard practice to feed everyone at the same place. Meals are cooked in bulk for economy of scale.
As the Tapas Bar Sheets don't show a full Tapas Bar in any of the nights (not even Quiz Night!).... where were those people who didn't want to trudge to the Mill?
You be the judge on where the meals were supposed to be, what was included, what were the various alternatives to Mill, etc. Let's read what people had to say:
Review # 01
Date of review: 25 Jul 2006
“were on a half board basis and I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to buffets but the food was superb. The millennium restaurant had a great selection of food which changed every night. You got good quality wine included in the price and the staff were very helpful and friendly. We did eat at the a la carte Tapas restaurant but preferred the selection and quality of food in the millennium. ”

Review # 02
Date of review: 21 Jul 2006
“We had opted for the Half Board option and dined in the Millenium Club. We cannot express how impressed we were . We had imagined queing up for our food like we have at other buffet style meals. We never had to q for a table or for the food which was lovely and very varied, the dining room staff are very friendly and very efficient and the meal times are managed extremely well.
If you are not staying for lunch there are certain areas that you can’t sit in as the poolside area is mainly reserved for guests that are dining there, however we soon realised that you don’t have to pre book. Compared to the cafes on the beach front it was very expensive to eat there.”

Review # 03
Date of review: 19 May 2006
“We stayed for one week in early May 2006 and although the weather was sunny all week, it did get cold at night, so you might want to consider taking a jumper or coat for evenings out.
Our party went half-board and we found there was a nice selection of buffet style food provided to suit most tastes.
Morning breakfasts are served until 10am and consist of a selection of fresh fruits, tea and coffee, cereal, fresh juices, toast and spreads and a traditional English breakfast option. We had to walk 5 minutes from our apartment to the restaurant, (The Ocean Club Resort is that big) which was fine for most of our party, but anyone with walking difficulties might not be so happy about It. ”
At evening meals, the food had a different theme each night e.g. Mediteranean, Seafood, Portuguese, BBQ night etc. This usually consisted of soup, a selection of salads, sauces, bread and warm food, including meat dishes, vegetable dishes, and the usual rice, chips, or potatoes. Even if you are a fussy eater, or vegetarian, you should find something you enjoy. ”
The desserts didn't change much, but even so, there was a nice selection of chocolate mouse, chocolate cake, fruit salad and other sweet dishes. Some evenings had a little entertainment put on too. One night we had a magician entertain us and on barbeque night, we had a large group of traditional Portuguese dancers visit (who were very good). But generally, it was fairly low-key.”

Review # 04
Date of review: 24 Aug 2007
“we did use the Millennium pool (the nearest to us) and ate at the snack bar during the day on a few occasions because you cannot take your own food in, but found it to be very expensive

Review # 05
Date of review: 29 Sep 2007
Mark Warner do Half Board including watersport. Thomas Cook do Self Catering. We can compare MW and TC bookings.
My only snag about this brilliant resort is that depending on your room and board basis, you may have to walk quite far to breakfast and dinner

Review # 06
Date of review: 15 Sep 2007
“We had a marvellous holiday despite our concerns over the awfully sad Maddie situation. The Millenium was alright but certainly not as good as some of the local restaurants especially the two opposite the church

Review # 07
Date of review: 9 Sep 2007
“The Millenium restaurant where breakfast is served is a 5-10 minute walk away but the road has a pavement and I did not feel unsafe at any time walking along it. The breakfasts are the same every morning as they are in most establishments and whilst this is the case, they have a great selection of fruit, cereal, toast, pastries, cooked breakfast and continental style breakfasts which never disappoint. The evening meals which are served in the same restaurant can be quite samey but whilst we were there they had an italian night, a BBQ night and a Portuguese night so there is a lot of effort made and in the deal which we went on you can swap dinner for lunch giving you the opportunity to try the local restaurants for a change.”

Review # 08
Date of review: 27 Aug 2007
“Yep, this is the same resort where Madeleine McCann was abducted. The streets are NOT good for a buggy because you have to hug the walls as you walk about 10 mins to the Millennium Restaurant. The food at the Millennium was okay, you'll find something to eat but it is Britishfied meaning you'll find sausages and chips on the dinner menu. Breakfasts are boring and that's when you have to make the trek to the Millennium! Foodwise, I HIGHLY suggest going to some of the restaurants near the Church and along the beachside.”

Review # 09
Date of review: 9 May 2008
Mark Warner Ocean Village: set up on 3 sites, with accommodation doted around the resort, which I believe is privately rented from owners. Far too difficult to get between sites, up and down cobblestone hills and alleys, to get from accommodation/breakfast/kids clubs/tennis/beach/dinner etc....
Food: wasted money booking half board when it is for 5 of your 7 nights stay, only 3 choices of a la carte per evening with no REAL choice ( pasta/risotto or battered calamari anyone?).”

Review # 10
Date of review: 6 May 2008
“Relatively quiet as early season (despite the Maddy McCann papparazi !). TERRIBLE food at the Millenium restaurant. School dinners. If this is included in your price, budget to eat elsewhere. Will def be back to Portugal, and maybe even with MW if we want the childcare, just be prepared to eat out or cook for yourself. ”

Review # 11
Date of review: 2 Oct 2007
“Our half board option with free wine was very good but we decided to eat one evening at the Fortaleza de Luz, which is opposite the church. ”

Review # 12
Date of review: 13 Jul 2008
“Basically restaurant - awful , rest - fantastic. A few tips about the restaurant: Firstly breakfast......
Dinner is worse , in part because despite what it says in the brochure it isn't buffet style , so there is normally a long delay before it makes it to your table, if it gets there at all......and when it does often you wish it hadn't. So by the time you have finished it is too late to go and raid the supermarket. Menus come and go quite quickly because for some bizarre reason they don't have very many. The waiters are very good at bringing extra bread because they appreciate you are hungry. The waiters are all very nice people, they are let down badly by something in the system, and some guests complained quite vocally to them . My advice would be to make sure you have had plenty to eat before you go there. . . or better still go to a proper restaurant. ”

Review # 13
Date of review: 5 Jul 2008
“Unfortunately we were half board! It took us an hour to find the millenium....The waiting staff were running around like headless chickens but not actually doing anything & they cater for 100 but they only have 5 menus! you have to wait your turn.

Review # 14
Date of review: 29 Jun 2008
“Having read previous reviews I was concerned when I arrived at the resort about what to expect, particularly from the half board option. The food was absolutely amazing. Apparently a new chef was brought in very recently, and I can honestly say the food served at the Millennium restaurant was one of the highlights of our holiday. They encourage guests to socialise and by the end of the week lots of families and couples were dining with friends they had made during the week. ”

Review # 15
Date of review: 4 Jun 2008
“I couldn't fault our very well kitted out apartment though was right at the back of the resort, but handy 2min to the restaurant. As other reviewers have said, the Millenium restaurant was serving mediocre school dinners. We were on half board. Bland overcooked/reheated food, no veg, rather like school dinners along with overpriced wine, in the background there were hectic harassed waiting staff even though the dining room wasn't particulary full. we did manage to escape & eat out

Review # 16
Date of review: 20 May 2008
“Our half board option was a waste of money as the food in the millenium restaurant was awful to say the least.
The poor restaurant waiters have to take the flak from complaining clients daily -morning and evening, considering this is an activities based holiday you do need your food but it is awful and reading the reviews on here it has been for some time? Warning - Mark Warner clients and I include anyone going with Thomas Cook don't go to the Millenium restaurant in Praia da Luz for the food try to negotiate not half board!! ”

Review # 17
Date of review: 1 Sep 2008
“Bit of a trek getting to the restaurant / beach (about 10 minutes in each case) but only a small negative. ”

Review # 18
Date of review: 17 Jul 2008
“.........we booked half board with Thomas Cook. The food and service at the Millenium restaurant at Ocean Club was dreadful. We booked 7 nights to eat an evening meal at the restaurant, however, on a Saturday its a welcome buffet for Mark Warner, Sunday its a "bonding dinner" for Mark Warner and Tuesday it's closed ! As said in earlier reviews the staff were only interested in Mark Warner guests. The Portuguese reception staff were very helpful but their English counterparts let them down at the restaurant.”

Review # 19
Date of review: 6 Feb 2009
“ The Ocean Club is a vast spread out complex”

Review # 20
Date of review: 14 Sep 2008
“.....only about a 7 minute walk to the main eating area. The food provided under the Mark Warner package (breakfast daily and 5 evening meals per week) was really delicious - plenty of variety (although perhaps a little less if you are vegetarian) and all food really well cooked. The Portuguese evening (Thursdays) and BBQ (Fridays) are well worth going to. ”

Review # 21
Date of review: 12 Sep 2008
“We were a bit concerned having seen the comments about the Mill Restaurant, and were quite prepared to abandon it and eat at the local restaurants.....In practice we needn't have worried. We enjoyed all the meals at the Mill"

Review # 22
Date of review: 10 Aug 2009
“Only negative thing is the price of food and drinks at the tapas bar

Review # 23
Date of review: 17 Jun 2009
“Our package with MW gave us all breakfasts (good), 5 dinners (also pretty good), but no lunches.”

Review # 24
Date of review: 23 Aug 2010
“Oh and there's a restaurant too, and half board included in the price.
The centre of the whole holiday is the Ocean Club and the 'Mill' restaurant. It has a tough job on its hands. In the morning it is the breakfasting, booking and meeting point for the days activities. From late morning onwards it is the poolside bar for the main pool and light lunch venue. Then, by evening it transforms again to become an a la carte restaurant and bar area
One evening we sat at the Mill eating pork tenderloin listening to two Crooners singing Frank Sinatra songs. It was like sitting in one of those ex-pat colonies in Spain or anywhere where English people retire. It was the start for me of what developed into 'Mill fever". a desire to escape,
We ended up eating elsewhere and coming back to the Mill later to socialise and for the kids to tear around with their mates. We'd be interested in talking to Mark Warner about doing less meals at the Mill and more out and about.”

Review # 25
Date of review: 15 Jul 2010
“We were on half board through Thomas Cook and this apartment was 10-15 mins walk, a lot of that uphill to get to restaurant, not good when the temperatures are in the high 30's, common sense says not to put people on half board that far from restaurant. We complained to Rep at welcome meeting who said nothing could be done until the Monday and she told us to go to Main Reception which we did and they told us to come back at 4pm, this went on for 3 days, we went to see Rep again on the Thursday who said she would contact reception again, I gave her my mobile number to save us going back to reception, I am still waiting for her to contact me, we went back to reception that evening to be told there was nothing unless we paid 150 euros, ”

Review # 26
Date of review: 10 Jul 2010
“We were on half board which was at the Mill restaurant

Review # 27
Date of review: 19 Sep 2010
“The half board is good value as the restaurant was very good. ”

Review # 28
Date of review: 2 Sep 2010
“We went half board and quickly found that they only served food in the millenium restaurant which was about 15 mins walk there and back for breakfast and dinner. When you go for evening dinner, it's only a buffet on Saturdays, the rest is choose one of the four options”

Review # 29
Date of review: 27 Aug 2010
“I would not recommend going for half board, especially if you are on the other side of town from the Mill

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Tapas Quiz Night, Question 2/?

Hello, it’s nice to be home.

The wedding was fun, the bride beautiful and the speeches predictable. Rather on the posh side event and, as coincidence would have it, it seemed tailored for this blog: guests sat around big round tables, 10 people each (rather tightly I must say), and the wine was… inclusive.

And thank goodness nobody remembered to have a quick Quiz Night during the wedding!

Talking about Quiz Nights, if you remember, we’ve only made ONE question to date on our Tapas Quiz Night, and ended up without a sound conclusion as to what are exactly those papers commonly known as “Reservation Sheets”, although we’re sure about what they aren’t, we haven’t come around to explain what they’re supposed to be.

Since they’re NOT “Reservation Sheets”, we’re going to call them “Tapas Bar Sheets” instead, which is sufficiently vague and uncompromising for the intended in this early stage of the game.

QUESTION: What is it that isn’t on the Tapas Bar Sheets that should have been but is when it shouldn’t have been?
ANSWER: Continuity.
Let’s start, once again, by analyzing facts (or better said, said facts, because, as we know, there’s very little factual about them…):

- R: Rachael Manpilly says she reserves at Tapas for Tapas a table for 9, apparently with some difficulty, on Sunday April 29th, for the rest of the week.

- QN: We have between Sunday April 29th and Monday May 07th, three Quiz Nights, of which TWO have been attended by the T9.

- M: Maddie disappears on Thurday, May 3rd.

- T: A Tennis dinner is reserved at the Tapas Bar for Friday May 4th. It’s cancelled on that day.

- P: The T9 had planned to fly back home on Saturday May 5th.

That is the data.

Quite clearly we can see that BOTH the T9 as the MW OC are aware, as of Sunday 29th, where these particular guests are to have dinner until from that Sunday until Friday May 4th.

Notice that Friday May 4th is included, as, and this is an indication to be remembered later, the T9 names don’t appear because they are supposedly included in the Tapas Tennis Dinner, thus have assured a place for a meal that evening.
When one does a block booking, as was the case of Rachael’s reservation, it’s usually one continuous act. Whoever from the OC MW Staff took that reservation down did it, as is expectable, in a single CONTINUOUS action. Or not?
Let’s first see what is considered CONTINUOUS and NOT-CONTINUOUS
Thanks to our OC friends, they have facilitated our task in explaining these concepts because the Tapas Bar Sheets have a perfect example of a CONTINUOUS action: the time constraints for reservations between Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 3rd:

Notice how the same mistakes are exactly repeated in these three sheets. The 7 pm, instead of 7 p.m., the “màximo” instead of “máximo”; the dot on the ii with a “º” as a reader noticed, and all the letters written in the exact same way, a perfect copy of one another.
What does this indicate? All three are papers apparently written at the same time in a CONTINUOUS. When you know you have to fill the exact same information on separate sheets of paper you tend to be repetitive and do it in the exact same manner.

Logic dictates it, that you do it the same way because it’s all part of one SINGLE and CONTINUOUS physical act. Later you will see that they were not written as we’ve just described, but, for now, the idea is for you to understand what we mean by a CONTINUOUS action.
But even if they were written as described these “reservation time constraints” lack CONTINUITY when set in the larger picture. Yes, we lack the first two Tapas Bar Sheets, so we don’t know if that information is written down or not, but we sure know that it’s not on the Friday’s sheet:

Why not?

Remember that on Friday IS INCLUDED in the T9 Tapas Booking action, so whoever wrote those three, should have written also on Friday’s, but that wasn't he case, as different handwritings prove.

Stranger is the fact that whoever took Russ’s reservation, didn’t notice that the paper with the English template finished on the Thursday.

And that another totally different kind of template had, apparently, to be used. A new book would naturally start either at the beginning of the month (Tuesday) or at the beginning of a week (Sundays), but that wasn't so.

Strange for a place that offers wine by the gallon, would be so stingy and save on two or three pages…
And not even that, becuase we're not talking about new books, are we?

If you look really, really close at the time constraints, you see, that in fact, it was not a SINGLE and CONTINUOUS act, but just a SINGLE one, and then copied. All characters are not similar, they are EXACTLY alike, even the spacing between the words are identical.

It’s IMPOSSIBLE for someone to write a two-line phrase exactly alike. These are photocopies of one another.

This means there was no reservation books, just separate, loose sheets of photocopied templates.

The holes on the left clearly show that to be also.

Why then change templates in the middle of the week? Copiers down?

Why not just keeping taking copies of the same paper as many times needed? That is an answer for a following Quiz Night question…

It’s a fact that whoever wrote down Rachael's reservation, wasn’t the same person who wrote down the Tennis Dinner reservation, so we can only suppose that was done by a different person and before.

We could envisage that having been written on Saturday, but Saturday, as we all know, the Tapas is closed.

So we know, from what we’re presented, that on SUNDAY, someone knew that 12 people were to have dinner on the next Friday, and that a different person altogether, got to know that of those 12 people, 9 were all from the same group.

Not important for today’s post, but very significant for a following question on our Quiz Night.

But let’s look attentively at the reservation of our T9 friends

We hope that you can now understand when we say it’s not a CONTINUOUS action.

The information is NOT written in the same manner, and differs slightly from sheet to sheet. For example, when one is repeating the same information, one tends to write things like brackets in the same way, which isn’t the case.

To say that the information written on Tuesday’s sheet was the first time the information was written down, thus justifying being different and more complete, is ridiculous, because that “first” time is supposed to have been done on Sunday

By the way, we do think that Tuesday’s sheet was the FIRST, but that's because we believe that the first two are not only missing from the PJ Files as they most likely don’t even exist.

Notice also the different slant on the handwriting between the first two and the last one, clearly demonstrating that this information wasn’t all written down in the SINGLE and CONTINUOUS action that one would expect to have been done.

Now if you look at those sheets again, you see many other incongruences in CONTINUITY. Each will provide you with important information. Entertain yourself.

One last question, in anticipation of the “inclusiveness” upcoming question: are the “gastos” a CONTINUOUS or a NON-CONTINUOUS action? (please do not limit yourself to the wine details, there are many, many other interesting things to see…)

We hope you’re finding our Tapas Quiz Night interesting… by the way, would it cross your mind to have dinner at the same time?

Post Scriptum:
We stand correction. A reader has noticed that we were saying that the T9 were expected to fly back on Sunday May 6th, when, in fact, it was to be on Saturday May 5th. The post has been corrected accordingly.

Non-relevant information such as this one should undergo the exact same verification procedures as the relevant one. Our sincere apologies.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Deserved Fun and Rest

Going to attend a wedding this weekend. The wine is inclusive.

It should well be after what we paid for the gift we’re giving the bride and groom!

As it will be set in a wonderful scenery, Fred and I decided to set a date to go, today, but keep all options open for the return.

The wine, unfortunately, is only inclusive at the wedding. We did try to have it extended for the whole weekend, but no luck.

There are things some just can, that others just aren't able.

A gal has to have fun and I know you understand.

Be back soon…

April's Fool Day

Today, April 1st, April's Fool Day is celebrated worldwide. A known couple also celebrates it, and also worldwide, on all other 364 days of the year, for the last 4 years:
The Portuguese, call it Dia das Mentiras (Liar’s Day). I think it would have been the IDEAL day for Kate McCann to have published her book: