On a random outing to Shoreditch last year, I was given a packet of Schwarz Peruvian Street Food spice mix! Finally decided to use it last night and here is the result – Peruvian Chicken with chilli rice & potato chip slices. It turned out to be remarkably tasty and good food.
After many years have finally finished writing the Jellyfish Song 😀
Leading a church “lifegroup”(aka small group, house group or Bible study meeting) once a week is usually a case of going to somebody’s house and physically meeting, BUT yesterday it was a bit different! what with the Coronavirus lockdown currently happening in the UK, we decided physically meeting was off the cards! Anyone over 70 has been advised to “social distance” themselves for the next 3 months and everyone else has been told to avoid any unnecessary social meet ups. Our church – Everyday Church, Wimbledon – also announced yday that all Sunday services are to be cancelled, until government guidelines change. As Christians we know that meeting up to worship God, pray, study the Bible and for fellowship/socialising reasons is very important, so what can we do?
Like many others, I’ve wanted to see the Amazon river since my Dad first told me about it when I was 5 or 6 years old. The biggest(and back then longest) river in the world! Then in October 2019, was lucky enough to find myself on a 3 week trip to Brazil, based in Rio de Janeiro. Had just gotten married and my wife randomly suggested we go and see the Amazon! What a Brilliant idea! So, after a quick bit of research, I discovered that Manaus is the main Amazon experience town and where most Amazon tours depart from + it’s the cheapest Amazonian place to fly to in Brazil. So, booked return flights from Rio to Manaus town, for a 6 night stay and found a bargain tour to go on.
Then I discovered a slight problem!
The tour was all well and great, BUT upon checking the map I noticed it was primarily a “rainforest tour” and wasn’t along the actual official Amazon river either! In fact it turns out Manaus isn’t actually on the “Amazon”, but sits on the Rio Negro river instead.
Now, my wife did not mind this one bit and am sure 99% of people that visit Manaus are booked on tours and don’t mind either, most people really want to see the rainforest and the animals, BUT I really mostly wanted to see the Amazon river! So what to do?…
1 x onion chopped
1 x leek sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
2 x carrots sliced
2 x celery sticks sliced
300g Waitrose New Zealand Venison Mince
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cornflower
approx half a pint of vegetable stock
some butter and oil for frying
6 x medium potatoes for the topping
Had some frozen venison sitting in the freezer, so decided to make a venison shepherd’s pie. Takes about an hour to cook.
Here are some tips from my trip to Iguazu Falls. You really don’t need to take an official tour, as the waterfalls are very easy to get to on your own. You can either walk or get a taxi or Uber to them, on both sides. It takes about half a day to visit the Brazil side and nearly a full day for the Argentine side(it’s a lot bigger and more developed). Try to visit the Brazil side first and then the Argentine side, both are very spectacular, but that is the best combination in my opinion.
I Don’t Know (The Mine)
Made this one up out of nowhere! Was meant to be another country style song, but it turned into a Wild West story type AND my first fully written song. Classify as that because the base ideas for the Cat song came from my friends Paul & Joel and was largely a standard blues progression, whereas this one contained all my own ideas, chords, lyrics + plucking strings intro. It somehow got much more serious than the epic Cat song, but that kind of just happened 😀
Should say this all happened after seeing the excellent docu-movie Motown, when found myself somewhat inspired to write another song.
In April 2019, I crossed the King Hussein Bridge from Jordan into Israel. There are a couple of other blogs out there I found, but none seemed to give as much detail as would like to have had, so here is my account.
Notes and Preparations
This blog details the crossing at the King Hussein Bridge (also known as the Allenby Bridge) from Jordan into Israel. There are other border points, but this is meant to be the easiest one, as long as you already have a Jordan entry stamp/visa*. All you really need is to be somewhat prepared and to have some patience. Please make sure to know details about your trip to Israel, as you will be asked – which hostel/hotel you’re staying in, what you will be doing there and how long you’ll be there. Also have a copy on your phone or printed-out of your return flights if possible + make sure to have some cash on you to pay for the bus crossing. There is a Bank of Jordan at the border, but having some cash to start with, saves any extra bother(there are several ATMs in central Amman). Due to the interview and times taken give yourself about 4 hours to cross this border.
* = you usually get a Jordan entry stamp/visa on arrival at the airport or wherever. If you do not have one, then use another crossing, as the King Hussein Bridge does not issue visas.
My old house mate Henry has taken up running and as usual he’s really going for it. Hadn’t seen him in a while and he tells me he’s running like 4 or 5 days a week! To me this was amazing! Why? Well, I’ve always liked running, with the pinnacle being winning the 100metres and the 4x100m relay at sports day as a kid. Also over the years have done Park Runs, various 5kms, 10k’s and half-marathons + have run the London Marathon back in 2011 and Stockholm Marathon in 2018, BUT have never trained more than 2 or 3 days a week, except one possible time when I think I ran for 4 days in a week, but that was as a test to absolutely force myself. Anyways…
After running the Stockholm Marathon and returning from a bit of travel around Scandinavia, next athletic ‘task’ was to train for the Prudential Ride 100 Surrey bike ride. Had a whole month and a half for that one. Done a lot of biking in my time, espec as a teenager with my bike expert friend Ben Hall, but have only biked over 50 miles in one day 3 times – twice for the London to Brighton bike ride and once this May, with my brother-in-law(Stephen) from Milton Keynes to Wimbledon(81miles). I don’t actually own a racing bike, my bike is a Boardman RaceMX hybrid, but that thing is a bit heavy for proper long-distance, so earlier this year I managed to borrow my nephew-in-law’s white Bianchi, which is rather a nice and much lighter bike. Thanks to this and inspite of Wimbledon tennis and the football World Cup being huge distractions, I completed the Prudential Ride 100 Surrey!