Rummage through this blog

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Monday, 24 July 2017

Wivelsfield Village Day 2017

Rain stopped play about half way through the day but some pictures from the time I was there https://www.flickr.com/photos/57646862@N06/sets/72157683378923162/with/35996635201/

Review: Mercenary Courage

Mercenary Courage Mercenary Courage by Ruby Lionsdrake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Still an enjoyable series.

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Saturday, 22 July 2017

Review: Mandrake Company

Mandrake Company Mandrake Company by Ruby Lionsdrake
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this, I did note that each book was a love story in a Sci-fi setting but the book came as a Sci-fi book and was enjoyable.

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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Review: Screaming Eagles

Screaming Eagles Screaming Eagles by Timothy W. Long
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I guess this an early book from the author that or there really was no one willing to proof read it. To be fair the odd error isn't uncommon in todays' books particularly in the world of Kindle Unlimited but in this instance the number of errors was distracting. Added to which the theme has been a bit well used.

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Sunday, 2 July 2017

Review: Barriers

Barriers Barriers by Timothy W. Long
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Enjoyed again, looking forward to the next one but annoying paying for what is little more than an extended chapter.

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Friday, 30 June 2017

Review: Reavers

Reavers Reavers by Timothy W. Long
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Initially I was very disappointed in that around the first third of the book is just recounting what had already occurred in the previous books. Not sure how many people manage to leap into a series like this so seems like filler. I'm still somewhat disappointed at not a huge amount of content for the ticket price but after the half way mark the story hots up and leaves things in a good place that I did feel the need to purchase book 5.

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Friday, 23 June 2017

Review: Outbreak

Outbreak Outbreak by Timothy W. Long
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enjoyable post zombie apocalypse romp. Follows the standard model but feels fresh

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Review: Scouts Out: Books One and Two

Scouts Out: Books One and Two Scouts Out: Books One and Two by Danny Loomis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enjoyable special forces romp in space as us humans fight each other in a slightly different setting to normal. Scope is left to continue on subsequent books without it being a drag to keep reading but there isn't a book 3 yet as far as I can see.

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Saturday, 3 June 2017

Review: Alamein: The Turning Point of World War Two

Alamein: The Turning Point of World War Two Alamein: The Turning Point of World War Two by Iain Gale
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An enjoyable read with a good use of fiction to demonstrate factual events avoiding the trap of dry recounting of facts like a tick list and the book is a sensible length. Definitely worth the read.

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Thursday, 1 June 2017

Stratford-Upon_Avon Butterfly Farm

Pictures from Stratford-Upon-Avon's butterfly farm, well worth a visit :

Butterflys

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Photography lessons learned

Between us we took something approaching 2,000 photos in our 2.5 weeks sojourn in Brazil. While taking photographs is "cheap" today there certainly is a case for taking the right photo at the time to reduce post processing time.

But there are probably two other lessons.


  1. If taking photos for panoramas I need a system to clarify where a set of shots start and end to reduce trial and error.
  2. More importantly, at the start of each trip make sure all of our devices have their time synchronised just like in all the best war movies before an attack - finding photos almost randomly spread and manually trying to get them into the correct sequence is a pain.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Spain? April 18th 2017

Madrid, rolling hills and mild clear weather. Unfortunately  we are stuck in the terminal for 5 hours, no, the plane arrived ahead of schedule, 05:45 in the terminal.

Euro exchange rate is bad and Burger King is hideously expensive. Still no McDonald's and having not left the airport I guess we never actually reached Spain.
Madrid Airport
Flight back to Heathrow and drive back home, via, finally, McDonald's, uneventfulbut curiously for the green & pleasant land a lot less green than where we were yesterday.

Home at last.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Brazil, day 18, the final day, 17th April

Last day so down to Copacabana Beach to body surf in the waves.
Copacabana Beach
Beach is surprisingly busy
Copacabana Beach
but still we get whistled at a couple of times by the life guards, it seems that anything neck high is considered risky but then when most the the populace cannot swim no surprise.
I knew I forgot something
Final drinks back at the paderia before check out and more final drinks around the pool at the top of the hotel.

To our surprise the shuttle was on time and the journey back to the airport, passing fabulous views across to Sugarloaf and our last view of the Frigate birds soaring overhead, trouble free.

Overnight flight to Madrid, plane more spacious than the last but wish i had taken a jumper.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Brazil, day 17, Rio, 16th April

Fabulous sunny start to the day starting with a short walk along the cooling,  tree lined avenue to Urca
Avenue to Urca
where we picked up the cable car to head up to Sugarloaf Mountain
View up Urca
with its great views across the city of Rio de Janeiro
View from Urca
and across to Niteroi and surrounding cities.

Very hot on the journey down and a madcap bus ride, 581, to Corcovado, I think on one corner we were only on three wheels,  for the funicular train up to Christ the Redeemer. Just our luck he was shrouded in clouds which meant more people at the top hoping to catch a fleeting glimpse of the views.
Christ the Redeemer
Returning on another exceptional bus ride, this one with a grumpy driver and apparently zero rear suspension, smashing through every pothole raising cheers from those on board.

Time for a splash in the rough waves before dinner and clag at a local paderia with time on our return for Alex to test out the gym in the hotel.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Brazil, day 16, Rio here we come, 15th April 2017

All packed and ready for our flight to Rio with Roger & Ale joining us but the dogs are sad to see us go.
Sad to see us leave?
Made an attempt to check-in for our flights to Madrid. The Iberia site says flight check in is open. Check in is going fine until attempting to put one of our partys' detail in, for his birth year there are only 4 months listed, none correct.

Tried on another tablet and a PC for home and the airport to no avail. Messaged Iberia, who are notably faster at public Facebook responses than private messages. They say that we cannot check in until 24 hours before the flight, so why did the website say we could check in? No answer.

Flight to Rio de Janeiro, on Latam, went without a hitch and tried again on the machines in the airport which just say contact your agent. No Iberia staff available before 5pm.

A new message, tickets booked through Latam using Iberia can only check in at the airport on the day. Seems deeply suspicious and suggests we are likely to get the dregs of the seating. Not impressed.

Finally made it to the hotel and dropped bags to walk down to Copacabana Beach, enormous, sandy (windswept and drizzly too) expanse.
Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janerio
Christ the Redeemer from Copacabana
Clag on the top of our building and Alex took a dip in the roof pool.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Brazil, day 15, last day on Florianopolis, 14th April

The last day on Florianopolis which is a shame, we've had a lovely time here and enjoyed being with family and seeing the sights. Alex hasn't been exposed to so much beach and sea ever. For the last day we took a trip to the historic village of Santo do Antonio de Lisboa
Boat at Santo do Antonio de Lisboa
followed by lunch in Sambaqui and afternoon at the beach of Canasvieras which has a lot of water but not a lot of beach meaning more stall holders in the water.
Not a lot of beach at Canasvieras

Brazil, day 14, turtles at Project Tamar, Tuesday 11th April

The rain feature is here to stay it seems
Rain Again
which meant a late start and an opportunity to try the remote trigger on my camera to take pictures of the ground canaries and little doves
Birds feeding
Once the weather stopped weathering sufficiently we went to take a look at Praia de Mozambique which was incredibly exposed and windy,
Praia de Mozambique
followed by seeing the turtles at Project Tamar which was an interesting experience for Alex.
Turtle at Project Tamar
and onto Barra de Lagoa where it was very chilly and windy but still busy and our first encounter with beach sellers pretty much setting up in the water.
Barra de Lagoa
For our evening meal we drove back into the outskirts of Florianopolis to a churrascaria for another excellent meat fest.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Brazil, day 13, Monday 10th April

That rain is certainly doing its thing again this morning discouraging positive action.

Resigning ourselves to using umbrellas we head into the center of Florianópolis town for a little souvenir shopping. By the time we arrive the weather has perked up and the sun is showing a little which makes the town centre feel more vibrant. Good job too because we forgot the umbrellas.  Alex now has sunglasses, flip flops and a Brazil t-shirt, I have less money and we have all seen the old banyan tree at the centre.

Returning via the point of land where the Fort is, we again splashed in the waves at Praia do Forte, very shallow and for a treat empty because the moment it started raining, oh yes, we found ourselves the only ones in the water.
Praia do Forte

Monday, 10 April 2017

Brazil, day 12, waves, Sunday 9th April 2017.

There is definitely a pattern forming of rain in the mornings improving as the day proceeds.

For us that mean hitting the beach, Praia do Campeche, around late afternoon where Roger, Alex & I proceeded to play in the crashing waves on a large sandy beach with the occassional surfer visible. 

Back home to watch the Argentinian Moto GP, photos of the dogs
Bruxa
Sooty
and home made pizza and clag, Roger successfully predicting his own win. 

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Brazil, day 11, beaches, Saturday 8th April.

There was heavy rain again overnight so the morning was grey and cool so another slow start day, it's already becoming a habit, up early but sit around chatting and drinking coffee.

The strange thing is that washing simply is not drying here, the weather is hot for us but direct sun has been limited over the last few days due to a lot of loud cover and the humidity means clothes are struggling to dry.


As I type I can hear the ground canaries and little doves scrabbling around in today's seed ration.

Alessandra and Alex cooked some chocolate fairy cakes filled with hot chocolate sauce which were a hit and home made chicken pie leftovers made for a great lunch.

Eventually we got going and a reduced party headed to investigate a beach and some falls.

We failed to find the falls at Praia de Solidao but subsequent googling would suggest the local signposting let us down, still the nearby sandy beach yielded the bony remains of some sand dollars urchins, light coloured mussels with distinctive mother of pearl insides and a rocky areas covered in sand hoppers which moved away from us in droves.

We rescued a fish which had gotten itself washed too far up to beach and found that sand dollar remains make great skimming stones.

Driving back we stopped, further on the same stretch of sand, at Praia do Santinho Acores, where the beach was in use as a way point on a round island (140km) run (good day for it, relatively chilly and a decent wind).
Round island run
Whilst Roger and I watched the running and surfers
Surfing
Alex braved the, admittedly warmer today, South Atlantic with some decent waves.


Saturday, 8 April 2017

Brazil, day 10, Friday 7th April

Good plan for day, a slow start and then off to Ponta do Caetano for what Google maps suggested is a twenty minute walk to Praia de Naufragados.
View of the mainland from Florianopolis
The ensuing walk through the rain forest,
In the rain forest
seeing monkeys,
Wild Monkey
birds, insects,
Red Spider
streams, lots of green
Spiky Tree
and the deep red clay where the topsoil had been washed away was an amazing, hot, sweaty 2 hour walk before reaching a deserted beach.
In the rain forest
At the beach horses wandered around on the sand while we gathered our courage for a swim in the frigid South Atlantic. Using the danger of a passing jellyfish (it must has been at least 4 cm across) as an excuse we took our sandy bodies for the walk back.

Back at the car park welcome cold drinks and a chat with the lady who had created a car park just so she could chat to people.
Fabulous trip but a bit more ambitious than we had expected.
home made chicken pie and a large glass of vino for dinner.
Chicken Pie

Brazil, day 9, return to Florianopolis, Thursday 6th April 2017.

The forecast yesterday for today was just as awful, which is a shame because if the weather had been good I was sorely tempted with booking a helicopter trip to make up for missing the Argentinian side of the falls. So typically we woke up to beautiful clear skies on the the day we are leaving the falls.

A lovely day of airports, Florianópolis
Florianopolis Airport
and Rio de Janeiro,
Rio de Janerio Airport
arriving back in Florianópolis in time to see the night flowering succulent in full bloom
Night flowering Orchid Cactus
and clear night skies.
The Night Sky
Great pasta dinner with a glass of wine before falling into bed exhausted.