Monday, 26 September 2022

I Had A Quiet Day,

as Diana was working, 

during the day I added some photographs to the shops web page of new fish that had arrived last week, strangely enough today none of the crows or fox called by, after Diana had returned home, time for a read and a sherry, 


as we tucked into some duck spring rolls, 

followed by roast beef, with gravy for Diana,

sans gravy for myself,

eyes down,

and tuck in! we did not have a dessert, during the meal we listened to some of the 50 pence CDs I had bought, 

one of them by a Irish Céilí band called The Kilfenora Céilí Band, and quite lively they were too, we then went on to watching the television, we both wanted to watch another few episodes of the Detectorists,

we rounded off the evening with It Came From Outer Space, unfortunately not in 3D, but still enjoyable for a 1950s black & white movie, after which we were off to bed.

It Looks Like A Common Sparrow,

but it is unique to Darwin and Wolf Islands in the Galapagos Archipelago,

photograph Joseph C. Boone/Wikimedia Commons it is in fact a finch, that when its normal food of seeds and invertebrates runs short, it turns into a vampire, yes a vampire finch! (Geospiza difficilis septentrionalis),

the Nazca and blue-footed booby are the two primary victims of the vampire finch, experts believe that is because this unusual diet evolved from a much more common behaviour that finches are known for – pecking at parasites on the plumage and skin of larger birds, basically, Nazca and boobies don’t perceive the finch’s pecking as a threat,

looking at the videos the birds pecking seems to be more of a minor nuisance, the vampire finch is sexually dimorphic, the males are black whereas the females are greyish with brown streaks, as an adaption to its characteristic way of life, the vampire finch has evolved the largest and most pointed beak of all the sharp-beaked ground finch subspecies, I have to say it, the Galapagos Islands is one of the many places I would love to visit.

I Guess There Are Very Few Of Us,

that have not heard of Ian Lancaster Fleming,

pictured above, or have not watched one of the books he wrote made into a movie, starting of course James Bond 007, but I had not heard of his brother, until now,

Robert Peter Fleming OBE DL he was a a British adventurer, journalist, soldier and travel writer, and also the older brother of Ian Fleming, 

and this is one of the books he wrote,

Bayonets to Lhasa,

published by Rupert Hart-Davis in 1961, it is the first full account of the British Invasion of Tibet in 1904.

this copy is a first edition, which is illustrated and in the publishers' original binding, with dust wrapper, the book contains six maps and thirty illustrations,

the book is for sale at Rooke Books,

yours for £245.00, I have to say that I would not mind a copy, I am guessing it would be an interesting read, so on to my 'Books to Buy' list it goes, also I never knew about Ian Fleming's older brother.

Sunday, 25 September 2022

Diana Had Already Arrived Home,

whilst we were watching television in the afternoon,

the crows started making a lot of noise in the garden, and this was why, Reynard had arrived, for some reason the crows now seem to take exception to him,

which he does not seem to mind at all, as it happens if the crows were not making so much noise I would not have looked out of the window, he was waiting for me, 

peanuts thrown,

and it was time to tuck in,

a real treat for this evening, Diana had bought a couple of ostrich steaks,

first a read and a sherry,

the steaks looked and were delicious,

eyes down and tuck in, after a long break,

for dessert a crème brûlée, by now it was late, so feet up for a couple from series 2,

of The Detectorists, we watched 3 episodes back to back, such a delightful series, we rounded the evening off with a Midsomer Murder before we were off to bed.

As Many Will Know,

the kitchen is a death trap for me,

but I just had to make a post about this cake, it is an original lumberjack cake, even the axe is edible! if I ever learnt how to cook, this is the sort of thing I would like to be able to cook/bake, absolutely amazing! so for any one that wants to try their hand at making this extravaganza,

look no further than this video tutorial from Liz Marek, from the Sugar Geek Show,

for the full article have a look here, what amazing cakes, Yummy!

When Ever I Think Of The Sargasso Sea,

I picture something like the illustration below,

illustration National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a floating haven for so many species, the Sargasso Sea is named for the sargassum seaweed that creates its unique ecosystem, this sea has been called a golden floating rainforest, it is a haven of biodiversity and there is growing recognition of the crucial role it plays in the wider North Atlantic ecosystem as habitat, foraging and spawning grounds and as a migratory corridor, endangered European and American eels migrate to the Sargasso to breed, wahoo, tuna and other pelagic fish forage in and migrate through the Sea, as do a number of whale species, notably sperm whales and humpbacks, the Sargasso Sea supports a range of endemic species and plays a critical role in supporting the life cycle of a number of threatened and endangered species such as the Porbeagle shark, the American and the European eel, as well as billfish, tuna and several species of turtle, migratory birds and cetaceans, the sargassum mats are home to many endemic species and provide a protective ‘nursery’ for juvenile fish and turtles, all very environmentally benign, but it does have a dark side, when the sargassum clashes with the coast,

photograph by Cayman Islands Department of Environment, and this happens, Troy Leacock spotted the landfall in Grand Cayman’s North Sound one July afternoon, and had by morning transformed into an enormous carpet that engulfed boats and extended nearly 100 meters into the bay, “It’s not like we never see any sargassum there,” says Leacock, a Cayman Islander who runs private boat charters in the North Sound. “But you never get that huge carpet, not like what we saw that day.” within a few days, the rot kicked in. Fish floated to the surface. Wind compacted the seaweed, pushing ashore a stench so foul that it cleared the parking lot of Ron Hargrave’s restaurant, Tukka West, “The water actually bubbled,” Hargrave says. “I’ve been on the island 24 years … I’d never seen fermenting water in the ocean before.” and it looks like it is only going to get worse,

video by Brian Phelps, from July 29 to August 1, workers using an industrial pump removed more than 260 square meters of decomposing seaweed from the sound with little success, the pump was just no match for the sargassum mats. The sargassum, said Jennifer Ahearn with the Cayman Islands’ Ministry of Sustainability and Climate Resiliency in a press release, had “degraded to the point where pumping it out [was] no longer feasible.” currently, the Cayman Islands has no national sargassum response plan. The story is the same across much of the Caribbean. Around the region, local entrepreneurs are coming up with creative solutions. In Barbados, for instance, sargassum is transformed into organic compost, while in Jamaica the seaweed is fed to goats and turned into charcoal for barbecues, I had no idea something so benign could present such a flip side, in the North Sound, a gateway to a 3,500-hectare mangrove wetland and critical breeding ground for marine life is especially in danger, “It’s imperative that we remove it before it hits the coast,” Leacock says. Once the sargassum gets ensnared by the mangroves’ tangled roots, he says, “it’s game over for removal.” What a terrible dilemma for all concern, the above is from an article by Jade Prévost-Manuel, if you would like to read the full article have a look here.

Saturday, 24 September 2022

There Was A Bit Of A Racket,

going on in the neighbour's garden,

in the distance 3 or 4 magpies were have a meeting, unfortunately the cameras zoom was not powerful enough, but there they are,

lately no ducks on the roof top, but the crows still call in for their peanuts,

I had a quiet day, Diana was at work, in the afternoon after she returned home we watched a couple of quiz shows until our evening meal, a read and a sherry,

followed by a sandwich, 'Cheers!',

in the evening I was out to meet up with Steve,

as I walked past the green it was easy to see the nights were drawing in,

and this is where I was headed,

Southey Street,

past the wall art,

to the alley that leads to Southey Brewing Company, it is a micro brewery,

inside this is where the magic happens, 

our menu for the evening, as usual I started at the top and worked my way down,

Steve arrived shortly after myself,

double 'Cheers!',

as usual we were well looked after by Liz and James,

the agony of choice! we chatted the night away, 

we were almost the last to leave, the good news was that the evening was busy for the brewery, it is nice to see so many customers supporting a local enterprise,

after saying our farewells I caught the 227 home and made my way through the green, where it was feet up for a nightcap as we watched a New Tricks before we were off to bed.