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inc. pasttimes, not puzzles or tricks

Wimmin on sailboats

Amfortas is a kindly soul and he’s contributed this to the topic of live-aboard boats:

I know that clip and she has a well set-up boat, she still needs supplies but she’s semi-self-sufficient, which is a good way to be.

He then also sends some piccies. The Laura Dekker ones I have on file and more – it’s a bulging file but a couple are included with pics I’ve not seen, all affirming the joy of sailing:




Let me just shove in some attribution here:

The Knight & Drummer Tavern

Laura Decker and that girl in the clip know just what sailing can do to a soul, as distinct from powerboating. There’s a sort of symbiosis with nature involved.

Methinks one day Laura will, in conjunction with her father, build the next Guppy. They certainly rebuilt that one and far from the perception that Laura just ‘assisted’, she had a major hand in what went onboard and where.…

Pacific coast road, Concón Chile


This is somewhere on the coast road to the north of Valparaiso. I wasn’t sure of the exact location so I searched Google maps and found it and borrowed a few screen shots -

A very spectacular location, I’m sure you will agree. In fact the whole coastline is spectacular – I feel a bout of nostalgia coming on :)
A few changes since I was there. They have some street lights now and the roadside caff looks as though it has been abandoned (blue in my pic but a sort of dereliction cream in the Google view)
The second image below shows the view from within the painting looking out over the Pacific. The cliff top at left is where I stood to take a few photographs which I have used as the basis for the paintings. I did a watercolour ages ago and it has been hanging on the wall for the past ten years; at least.…

Liverpool and St Helens


Belfast Telegraph:

When Cristiano Ronaldo turned to go, Anfield started to boo him and then, thinking better of it, began to applaud generously. It was not quite the standing ovation Old Trafford had given the Brazilian Ronaldo after his hat-trick for Madrid against Manchester United in 2003 but it was a sign that, however passionate, they are rarely a one-eyed crowd.

The flick of his ankle that produced Madrid’s opening goal is one of the finest Anfield will see this season and his contest with Martin Skrtel was like a Ferrari accelerating past an articulated truck. Frankly, Real had expended more sweat overcoming Ludogorets Razgrad in the previous round.

They did not have to be frighteningly good in Bulgaria but sometimes they were last night. This was the Real Madrid that went to Munich, humbled Bayern 4-0, and inflicted on Pep Guardiola what he described as the worst night of his career.

Boat – the circuits

Very, very rough diagram, with Paint and GIMP the only graphics programmes onboard:


circuits roughly


1.  The philosophy is twofold:

[i] to keep AC, DC, house lights and outboard entirely separated;

[ii] to minimize power when mechanical will cover it.  No servos, inverters etc.

Generator is earthed [or watered] via metal strip.  Outboard earthing is taken care of by manufacturer.

2. Regs say Gen, Battery and OB must all be outside cabin by at least 1 metre. First two have own storage lockers, with run-off and ventilation.  Outboard is covered and secured.  Gen only used  on open to the sides part of  cockpit which has roof.  Refuelling by putting on towpath first.

3.  As you see by the diagram, I’m no electrical engineer but one can’t be all things.

4.  Houselights have their own batteries and wind-up mechanisms and I’ve been using these at home – they work.  It also applies to heating, which is battery driven pads inside sleeping bags.…


Amfortas kindly sent me this:

… and this:

… and I didn’t respond at first, as I didn’t see where it fitted in initially.  So I had to look at the long term plan.  There are two phases for the boat.

As a canalboat

No need for navlights, so cooking is initially via generator powered AC devices and later gas canister stove, houselights are individually powered by batteries – I’ve tested these already and they work well, give long hours in LED -two lanterns are wind-up type

As well as the generator is the outboard at a pinch but I don’t want to rig that up and compromise it.

Water is via the 100 ten litre water carriers I have – one has been sitting there full for two months now – and that supplies me with enough ballast for the boat too on the canal [to stop rocking].  Remembering I have four pontoons supporting the sides as well.…

Get a room and other stories


Star footballer caught in sex romp in Paris

Footballers have been known to do some pretty outrageous things but this one takes the biscuit and I’m sorry to say it’s one of our star players. I liked Jimmy Bartel, I really did but this is just one step too far, this is beyond the pale, if you catch my drift.


He was caught canoodling with the young lady and seems the two couldn’t keep their hands off each other.

What’s wrong with that, you might ask? Well for goodness sake – she’s his wife! A man has the hots for his own wife? What’s the world coming to?

I mean, what got into him – he goes gallivanting off to Paris with her when he could have been getting sloshed with the lads in Bali:


Caption time

Supply his name, her name and what he’s saying to her:


The geek

From Chuckles:



When I lived in England, I told the girl I was dating (who’s still one of my best friends in the world) that I could do a KILLER Irish accent.

What appears to be a paradise …


Wiggia was looking at these cycling championships in Guadeloupe – yes, that’s right, Guadeloupe:

Yes I know it’s a French colony and the EU are forever wanting to extend their boundaries, but.

What next if we are awarded the championships, Falkland Islands anyone ?

What I found interesting was the places we regard as being exotic, maybe even paradises away from home.

You know, are you absolutely sure about that? I was looking, yesterday, at the most dangerous places in the world to live and some of these so-called paradises cropped up.

Such as the Maldives.

I’d been looking at the bodies of water in the world it was best to avoid – for a boat owner, that would appear to be an important thing – and came up with these:

Fine, shall avoid those but then up came an article about the Maldives

Maldives-beach small

Allow me to summarize:

# It’s strict Muslim so any of that and you’re head’s off, matey.…


Sent by haiku a couple of days back and I couldn’t wait to see them on the blog.  Photos have this way of saying things, do you not feel?  Here’s the link to follow at your leisure.  Meanwhile, a selection:


Sailing boats gather at the start of the Barcolana regatta in front of Trieste harbor on October 12, 2014. The annual Barcolana regatta in the Gulf of Trieste near northern Italy is one of the largest sailing races in the world with over 1,800 participants.(Reuters/Stefano Rellandini)

Same Masonic motif, very strong among many of those onboard down below.


A woman jogs with her dog through a park during a sunny autumn day in central Sofia on October 14, 2014. (Reuters/Stoyan Nenov)

Is there a better way to spend Sunday morning? And the dog’s good too.


Riot police officers stand guard at a main road in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong on October 17, 2014.…

Saturday later

With a little musical accompaniment to sweeten the post.

Second real try [though 4th attempt]:

2nd real try

Oh dear – dome collapsed again.  I was thinking not enough yeast after last time but then read this now:

Too Much Yeast

Yeast creates air bubbles as it consumes sugar in the bread dough. These gases cause the bread to rise and create a light, soft texture. When you add too much yeast to the dough in your bread machine, the top of the bread loaf collapses during the baking cycle because too much gas is produced. Bread made in bread machines is more susceptible to improper yeast levels because of the heated rising cycle that stimulates the yeast.


The rising cycle that each bread machine uses after kneading the dough gives the yeast time to consume sugars and produce gas. When the bread rises too much, the top often collapses. Even if yeast levels are correct, a long rising period creates excess gas that prevents the bread from staying firm enough to support the top of the loaf.

Bread [3]

Strange shape but it is bread:

strange loaf 2

Bread 3

Just had a couple of slices.  Think I struck lucky.  The crust was crisp but not hard, the bread was ‘porous’ yet not crumbly, slight moistness to it, slightest hint of yeast which can be adjusted minutely, when sliced it held together for the breadknife – it did everything asked and was filling.

Next one I might reduce the sugar just a bit, not much – I like it a little bit sweet, to take marmalade and honey.  Think the milk powder made all the difference.  Exceedingly chuffed, actually.  Was beginning to have doubts.…

Bread [2]


perfect rossaYes, well, smartypants Rossa showed me her loaf – yes, yes, I know, all ingredients in, it’s an art form, I’m told, not a science, blah, blah blah and she came out with a perfect loaf, dinn she eh?

Meanwhile, muggins here was doing this – I’ve just been driving her batty and was told to bugger off – do you find today’s chef a teensy bit ‘cheffy’ in temperament?

Must be because it’s around tea time.


Here’s what I’m going with for a 1.5 lb loaf:

Gives hydrations here in comments:

According to those, one cup is 240ml = 128g.

However, I did my own experiment.  With  an ice-cream paddle on a chisel as a seesaw, I put 70ml of lightly packed flour on one side and it was balanced by 47ml of water. As the water is about 47g, then the flour weighs 47/70 or 0.67 of the water.  Or two-thirds the weight of the water.…



Making my very first loaf the cheating way – with a breadmaker. At first anyway. As Rossa left herself open, LOL:

If there’s anything else food related you or other readers/contributors would like to know about or swop opinions on let me know and I’ll run a few posts. I’ve been cooking nearly every day for 44 years now and it’s still one of the loves of my life…

… I took her up on it. This is my side of the emailing:

1. Making my first loaf. Going to put some olive oil in it.
2. How much is a ‘cup’ in ml?
3. Found it – 16 tablespoons. Don’t have a tablespoon, only desert spoons. Have a ladle though – shall see how many teaspoons it holds.
4. Yikes! It’s underway, making all these noises of kneading I suppose.

These were my references:

Not having any measuring cups, I suddenly remembered my ironing cups [two unused], which show 35ml and 52ml.…