Sunday, 28 November 2010

From a dribble to a gush; Wikileaks

Well since the dam opened at around 3pm our time I have been glued to the computer watching the 'leaks' start to spill around the world.

Absolutely fascinating. The Guardians journalistic coverage is unbelievably excellent. Whatever you may think of the subject matter the superb presentation of the information and the in-depth coverage of individual aspects is something the like of which I have never seen.
And to think that these documents will continue to made public over the next few months, it's mind boggling.

I have been randomly looking at the available documents, since Wikileaks came back on the net after an attempt to block the site at the initial release, they quickly fought back with a new website...

It's too soon to formulate an opinion on the basis of what I have read BUT I have no doubts that there is some interesting stuff to come that will make many sit back and reassess their attitude to Government, both their own and those of other nations.

At one point Twitter output mentioning the subject was running at 60-70 twits per second! Made my head hurt.

One I particularly liked was ' Well I guess the Ambassador will need a shitload of Ferrero Rocher chocolates to sort this mess!'.

(An old TV ad that I include below for those not familiar with it)

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Parental Pride.

The youngest daughter, Lucy, and her significant other, Alex, were proud winners of the Bournemouth restaurant of the year award on Thursday night. Along with their partners they opened the restaurant just a year ago and we are delighted for them!

Koh, is a Thai tapas restaurant and bar and if you are in the area (Boscombe) do go along and try it out....

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Around Cape Horn.

Wonderful piece of film from the BBC....

Robin Knox-Johnston, Ranulph Fiennes, John Simpson and Skip Novak. Four of my greatest heroes on a boat,amazing!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Unexpected gifts...

It's one of the twice weekly Casa Guatemala days today. The visit from the store run in aid of the local orphanage that delivers fresh fruit and a selection of frozen meats and dairy products to the boaters scattered around the Rio.

We have been customers as long as we have been here. The pork they sell is exceptional and I enjoy trying out my appalling Spanish on the ever patient Jose and Esperanza who roll their eyes at my dreadful pronunciation and politely laugh at my weak jokes!

It is only recently that they have started to bring along fresh fruit and the odd veggie for our delight but it is a great success. Strawberries, papaya, pineapple, grapes and sometimes one of those unidentified tropical fruits that cause me to wrinkle my nose and ask questions....

I will try anything on the culinary front so they delight in breaking open something new and watching my reactions as I tentatively nibble the fruit. Mostly its great but just occasionally I struggle to suppress a grimace..

This morning Jose was enjoying a small yellow plum like fruit that he peeled and offered me, it was lovely, really sweet and succulent. I shall be looking out for that in the market later in the week.
As I was leaving Esperanza beckoned me back and held out a peculiar drab brown offering, about the size of a large avocado.

' Sapota', she said.
Oh for me?, I asked,
Si un regalio(a present)

How sweet! By now some of the other boaters had regrouped to see what was going on and Esperanza dug out another fruit pulled it apart and offered it to the crowd...I tried a bit first, sort of sweetish and dense, not too good to be honest. The others pulled back and pointed out the wriggling maggots in the fruit. Yuch! I discretely grinned and thanked Esperanza for the gift and rushed to check that I didn't have any maggots stuck between my teeth....


alternate names: Mamey colorado

Characteristics: The dark brown exterior and shape of this fruit make it look like a giant almond, but inside, there's a fragrant, rosy pink-orange flesh, which gets creamy, smooth, and sweet, like sweet potatoes, when ripe. Unlike many other fruits and vegetables that find suitable growing environments throughout the world, mamey remains in the New World, grown throughout South America, the Caribbean, and in Florida. Although mamey is typically eaten raw, its culinary applications are expanding; it's used to flavor ice creams, shakes, and desserts such as flan and mousse. Final note: It's pronounced "mah-MAY sa-PO-tay."

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Heads you lose!

Thank God it was TBH who blocked the heads. It means I can maintain the moral high ground as he stands up to his ankles in evil-smelling shit (his own) whilst swearing and cussing more than I have ever heard.

To compound this unpleasant experience the weather has decided to add insult to injury by absolutely pissing down! Ah well such is life. It means the hatches are shut, the smell is EVIL and I don't know where he's sleeping tonight but I hope its some distance from me!!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Social week.

Goodness, it's hard to believe that it's a week since I last wrote  anything here. Guess that time flies when you are having fun.

We have been busy, gunkholing, provisioning and..visiting the dentist. Yes TBH's teeth are on the agenda again. We headed into Morales on the chicken bus,'room for one more'. The twelve seater van had 25 on board at one point, cosy! I love Morales, not a gringo in sight and the vibrancy of the Friday market is amazing.

There is a flood of returning boaters to the Rio, the ones that head to their home countries for their summer months. That has meant a lot of socializing as we catch up with old friends.

One particularly fun occasion was entertaining our Brit friends David and |Linda on their 40th Wedding anniversary. Forty years! Blimey I've never been married to anyone for that long...
we dined on champagne, duck a l'orange and strawberries with ice cream. Sometimes life is good!

Sunday, 7 November 2010


Once upon a time I was a normal housewife. You know one of those with a washing machine, dishwasher and refrigerator. From time to time I even had a lovely girl who did the housework too!

This week has delivered a new challenge. About three days ago the  refrigerator stopped working. There I was running the engine, to charge the batteries and cool the fridge, when the old girl(engine) started to work really hard and emitted a  blood-curdling squeal from somewhere in the bowels of the boat. Before TBH could yell I had the thing turned off and we looked horrified at each other.

My first thoughts are total catastrophe, I know it's boring but I always think the worst. TBH was convinced that it was the refrigerator. We had trouble a couple of years ago with the compressor and he was adamant that it had finally seized.We let the engine cool right down, switched the refrigerator off, restarted the engine and no squeal. Turned the refrigerator on, 1000 dying cats in the bowels again...

We are anchored in a lovely quiet spot, enjoying the solitude. We had to make a decision would we go back to town, buy ice and order a new part or be hardcore and live on the edge, sans cold box? What a choice. Well when I tell you that I have spent the last three days cooking up a storm you'll realise that we decided to stay here. The refrigerator stayed cold for about three days so I have been using up the perishable food as quickly as possible.

It's been a bit of a challenge! The meat went first and we have dined superbly every day..the finale yesterday was roast pork, roast potatoes and Brussel sprouts followed by lemon cheesecake. The bacon and hard cheese have turned into an assortment of flans and this morning I have been using up the fast liquefying butter by making fruitcakes with a good long shelf life.I have managed to use most of the ricotta and cream cheese but so far am fighting a losing battle with the yogurt and sour cream. Actually just had a thought, I can do dauphinoise potatoes tonight that'll use the sour cream up!

So the next few days we will be into pizza's and all those lovely lentil dishes that use no refrigerated ingredients. Then it will be back to civilization again and see if we can repair the fridge. Wish us luck!

Do I miss the past life of domestic ease? I'm not telling!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

More nasty weather in the Caribbean.

As the boats line up to head out of the Rio on their travels there are a couple of nasty weather systems lining up to kick some butts....

Just hope that patience is one of their virtues!

This chart shows the wind/wave forecast for 72 hours time. Not nice.