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inc. pasttimes, not puzzles or tricks

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.…

Late afternoon

Some countries seem to be able to do it

no illegals

There was once hope

Tony Blair may have been terrorism target

W-e-e-e-l-l-l-l, maybe, you know … maybe we’ve been just a bit harsh on these here terrorists.  :) Wiggia was also onto this one.

When men were real men

… women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. [Douglas]

He was never this really hard person that screamed in your face or anything like that, he was just honest and stern when your group needed him to be, which is why we all respected him so much. But he was never a person to yell and scream and berate people.

This is players in the AFL (generally) — we’re in this Generation Y — for guys who want to make it in AFL football, there are some unbelievably soft people out there.

Plane, car, boat

There are just enough people or so it seems who are interested in these design issues with the boat, so here goes an explanation of when there’s choice and when there’s not.  My bit’s further down.  Let’s group our transport thingies together today, quite a few of them:



two Fs in formation

How about this one, he asks?



Rossa sends:

From a Volvo supercar to a mega-Ferrari. Whatever next?


Rossa sent this:

… and I’ve just attacked it as a design:

First thought utterly unstable.  I don’t mean it would turn over but it would always be on an angle.  Guests would be walking upward all the time.  This is the nature of the yacht.  And without power, it would go nowhere – it has an engine at each end but the props look like they’re just auxilliaries.  Better were those floating islands.  They always moored head to wind and the beach deck was behind.  Shall make a post of these two.



1.  That punch
2.  What’s a bear do in the woods?
3.  Anni Dewani and Reeva Steenkamp

That punch

This will be added to during the day.

Ben Flower may face police action over pitch attack

For me, it wasn’t that he threw a punch – it’s a man’s game – but that a punch was thrown after the man was on the ground, direct to the skull.  Don’t know about you but I was always taught that to hit a man while he’s down is the mark of cowardice.  Even thugs have been known to tell the man to get up first.

What’s a bear do in the woods?

Fascinating bear vid via Wiggia.

Anni Dewani and Reeva Steenkamp

Interesting that Wiggia has this on Pistorius:

Regardless of the verdict, Pistorius has a major disadvantage he is one of those individuals that has a face you could never trust, real or imagined.

One for the boys and lady petrolheads


Rossa is no shrinking violet and she sends the latest news on the new Interceptor.

new interceptor

An all-new version of the Jensen Interceptor will be unveiled late next year – and it will be engineered, developed and built by British specialist automotive group CPP.

Healey Sports Cars Switzerland, which owns the Jensen brand, has appointed CPP Global Holdings to develop a modern-day version of the Italian-styled, West Bromwich-built Interceptor grand tourer, which was built between 1966 and 1976.

The car will be a four-seat GT, like the original version. It will be based on an all-new aluminium chassis and handcrafted aluminium body.

Click above link to read more.


In other semi-vehicular news, I’ve made the decision to go from three to two masts on the boat and that’s why I left the mast step until now to put in, plus the structural work underneath.

The three mast rig was excellent – it comprised [from the bow] a jib, fore gaff sail, main gaff sail, mizzen bermudan sail.…