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Short Stories

Nº 117 – An autist called homo sapiens

Saturday 4th December 2021. Careful! This story is only suitable for animals of the species homo sapiens able to read freely and think for themselves, who have some interest in biodiversity maybe and want to know what is really hiding behind this grandstanding name. Those who are already enjoying a friendship with a pet, a „friendship“ in the true sense of the word, mind – are sure to undertake a first step in the right direction, into the nature of planet Earth and its still fairly colourful diversity of flora and fauna. The latter is however steadily shrinking. Why? Because …

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Nº 116 – Climate protection in Esgravatadouro – Caldas de Monchique
Why not become an active member of our Botanic Forest Garden

Saturday 27th November 2021. When winter arrives in the Monchique mountains, all life slows down a little, and the first rains turn the soil humid. Every year, at exactly this time we start planting our new biodiverse mixed forest on the areas destroyed by a forest fire in 2018: a major challenge and a present to the generations coming after us. In our own little nursery we have taken out time to prepare the many different seedlings for this moment, raising them over two, three or more years in planting pots. Now is the time to gift every little tree …

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Nº 115 – Back to Black

Saturday 20th November 2021.   Scrambling across a pile of waste one man asks another: do you remember the times when we were kids and had nothing to worry about? When we were building sandcastles and the weather was kind to us? Every year we‘d take our Mercedes on a driving holiday. Every year we’d sail across to the islands and back to see who was the fastest? The other guy is crouching below a bonnet, peering into one half of a car and at an engine, on the same pile of junk. Dismantling a carburettor he replies: yes, that …

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Nº 114 – Bonair is everywhere – including in Glasgow
by Paul Piendl

Saturday 13th November 2021. The water of the oceans, our way of life on a sailing boat, as well as the problems we all share connect us sailors, whether aboard a large modern yacht or a small, robust globetrotter boat, like mine. All of us will at some point face a blocked carburettor on the motor sailer, the batteries sometimes give us trouble, or the fridge isn‘t working. We spend a lot of time at sea, share the waters with the boat and its crew. Sailing into an unknown port or bay I will usually not know anyone. This is …

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Nº 113 – Heroes for one day?

Saturday 6th November 2021. The global sailing community is something very special indeed. Surrendering yourself completely to all winds and weathers that sailors are dependent on for survival requires a different kind of „lifestyle“ than the one you’d have on dry land in a big city. Which is why sailors are as thick as thieves. This sticking together has a deeper meaning, described by Boris Herrmann in his new book, „Alone between Sky and Sea“, which has just been published in German by Bertelsmann and will surely soon be available in English, French and Portuguese translation. A bestseller in Germany, …

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Nº 112 – The Caribbean Sea
How do we want to live?

Saturday 30th October 2021. Who determines our future? ECO123 accompanies interesting people on their journeys and puts their ideas up for discussion. Round-the-world sailor Boris Herrmann starts his book on the Vendeé Globe with a realisation: „Sailing is not a sport. Sailing is adventure, getting to know yourself better, experiencing the wonders of nature.“ The protagonist of ECO123 ‘s Saturday story is 23-year young Paul Piendl from the Ammersee lake area in Germany who buys a 45-year old sailing yacht in Portugal, hauls it out of the water and painstakingly restores it over the course of many months in a …

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Nº 111 – Utopia?

Saturday the 23rd of October 2021. …so, who really determines our future when we have a threat hanging over us which knocks on the door of our consciousness on a daily basis – yet one that most people don’t want to let in under any circumstances? Most Europeans are still successfully blocking this threat from their consciousness. They keep their doors and windows shut tight, especially when it’s about receiving the first refugees fleeing climate destruction and war in Africa who were able to be saved, fished out of the Mediterranean Sea. As if the threat of climate emergency could …

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Nº 110 – The Sports Hall Alliance.

Saturday 16th October 2021. The King is Dead, Long Live the King? This week, everywhere across the country saw the inauguration of the new „little kings“ and the elected representatives of the county and city councils. Hurray! In Monchique things aren’t much different from Bragança, over 600 km away or Torres Vedras, in the heart of Portugal. Between them you have 308 districts and 3,091 municipalities. The local elections democracy of the year 2021 (to 2025) has its specific ceremonies just as the monarchy had its own before 1910. Let´s cut to the chase. So we grabbed a bite to …

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Nº 109 – Reality

Saturday 9th October 2021. Who actually determines our future? Children pass through different stages in their lives where the future becomes an everyday reality: it becomes their normality. But what becomes of our dreams? Who actually gets to realise their dreams and how do they go about this? We come into this world and are taken to a nursery, then we are put into school, maybe go to university too, and of course we are issued with report cards, pass exams, do our best to ride the learning curves that only adolescents are subjected to. What are they really learning, …

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Nº 107 – Zero Waste

Saturday 2nd October 2021. Climate change. Climate neutral in ten steps? But of course. All we have to do is prepare for it. Every one of us. Whether we’ve learned this or not. Me for instance, my whole long life I’ve grown up with the concept of carrying my trash out to the bin once a week, for the binmen to come and collect it every Thursday. At some stage the concept of waste separation won the day: glass with glass, plastics with plastics, paper with paper, and so on. So I’d place the packaging material into the dedicated waste …

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