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Life is sailing and Little Else
Middlemarch, or The Ides
03/15/2009, Lagos

We have just had a fortnight with two sets of visitors to Lagos, and a hectic time it was, extremlely pleasant to see our friends again, Les and David whom we last saw in France in August, and Tom and Sus whom we last saw before we left Ardfern, last May. It was great to catch up, go on excursions, dine out and laugh a lot. Today we are just chilling out, getting back to old clothes and porridge, so to speak, and doing a lot of nothing very much.

Tom and Sus had a flat overlooking the marina, from which superb viewpoint I took the above picture the other evening. Postcard quality, or what!

Hoopoe ringed!
03/12/2009, A Rocha

One of a series of photos I took of a juvenile hoopoe being ringed at this splendid location, just a few miles along the coast from Lagos.

I have put some more photos into a new album on A Rocha, check it out.


03/13/2009 | Don
Fascinating. Yeasterday I saw a heron, assisted by a gull, harrassing another heron and chasing it down the valley away from our pond. I don't know whwther it was planned or if the gull saw a rammy and just thought it would join in for the entertainement.
03/18/2009 | Don
I enjoyed the photos from A Rocha. Flamingoes close up are amazing and make an incredible racket too.
With regard to the golf course development there is recent research I heard about on radio four that these golf course developments, once established, actually have a much higher level of biodiversity than agricultural use of similar areas of land. Farmed land tends to be highly managed, highly dependent on use of chemicals and largely monoculture. Golf course have a much wider range of habitats and consequently species.
I understand too that in Iberia as a whole there are very strict controls on water use for golf courses and all water has to be demonstrably recycled with systems for reuse.
That said it's unlikely that the biodiversity is going to be the same as that which was there before, so I take your point.
I'll see if I can pinpoint the research on the net for you.
Cheers
Don
03/18/2009 | Don
http://www.randa.org/pdfs/the%20ecology%20of%20golf%20courses.pdf
This is an article about what I was talking about.
Researchers at the Royal Holloway seems to be focusing on this issue.
03/18/2009 | Don
I know you can't listen but here is the blurb that went along with the programme I heard
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/costingtheearth_20090119.shtml
Cheers
Don
Pressure Cooker Bread
03/02/2009

Apart from going to the gym and going swimming, there hasn't been much activity lately for me. Ju has been to A Rocha a few times, and we went a walk last Wednesday from Silves to Estombar, along the river valley.

Over the last few days though we have been experimenting with bakinf bread in the pressure cooker. I reckoned this was a fairly good idea, as 45 minutes of running a gas ring at a peep is a lot cheaper than running the oven for the same, or a longer time. So in went the first half of the Lidl Ciabatta mix, duly kneaded, rizz, knocked back etc. After 45 minutes the smell of carbon was overwhelming, and I opened the (non-pressurised) lid with some trepidation. Our friends Lesley and Trevor were aboard at the time, so this was a moment of truth! The loaf looked great on the top, but its bottom was black and, when it cooled, I cut the bottom layer away. But it didn't really get a chance to cool, as slices were cut, buttered and marmaladed, and disappeared rapidly down four throats. A success! Opinion was that next time I should use a trivet.

Some excavation in the pots locker a day or so later located this item, and part two of the Ciabatta mix met the same fate as the first. It didn't rise quite so well this time, but the bottom was not black, at least not all over, only where bits of it had tried to peek through the three holes in the trivet. Altogether a successful operation, and one I will repeat on a routine basis. Maybe next time I will do proper strong flour and yeast from scratch though!

03/02/2009 | Don
What you need is a heat diffuser between the gas and the pressure cooker.
03/02/2009 | Don
Difusor do calor
03/02/2009 | Liz MacInally
Obrigada! Off to Intermarche again then.....
03/03/2009 | Don
I searched the net for a local supplier for you. Thought I'd got one but then realised it was in Brazil. Lakeland and Amazon both have them on mail order.

By the way did you ever get the card we sent you by snail mail on your anniversary?
03/03/2009 | Liz
Yes we did, and it's lovely. I'm looking at it now! Thanks ever so!
03/03/2009 | Don
Oh Good...we were worried it hadn't reached you. We beat our postcard hone by a mile...
03/05/2009 | linda kelly
well I finally got round to finding you, I really don't know were the time has gone your life looks idilic how long are you staying for?
i am well job is very demarding but very enjoyable.However I have had a dreadful pass 6 month mum nearly died and we thought she had secondary cancer but she has now has had a major operation and no cancer so we are so pleased. She is recovering well but it did feel as if my life has been put bon hold going back wards and forward to bognor. Also Clive has been recovering from trught cancer. xmas was a wash out as mum was in hospital anyway starting to put head above parapit Meg is great although approaching 13 rapidlly any way now I know how promise to stay in contact

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