Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Yeti-crab, yes really!

The yeti-crab has to be one of the strangest creatures I've met in my deep oceans MOOC. The hairy arms are thought to be bacteria which remove toxic metals from its feeding area,

although the dumbo-octopus has to be a close second.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Patagonia, a start. 52 & 53 New

Just back from Patagonia, brilliant, some pictures will follow when I'm organised. We did many things, including two more new ones. Walking on a glacier with crampons, v easy if you waddle to prevent catching the opposite leg. I always thought the turquoise to violet was photoshopped, but it's real.

Tia Maria with glacier ice is a fitzroy expeditions tradition, support them to keep it going!

Much more intrepid were a couple of Tyrolean traverses, luckily there had been too much rain to wade (done that, & it's cold if glaciers are involved) The national parks have brilliant signs, this one on a boat tells the locals about the life jackets, gringos are obviously less important!

and for anyone doubting me...

So much better than mouse traps.
I digress, back to the Tyrolean traverses, the first was quite genteel, feet only just out of the water, 

but as the rivers were high and we'd all passed the initiation we did the Big One, having watched poor souls without our lovely guides wade thigh deep in stuff the temperature of a good G&T

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Strange weekend!

Just back from Patagonia, more about it soon, then off on normal walking weekend in Wales, but the weather forecast was dire, it was actually variable, cold & windy but not the threatened 80mph gales, with some sunny bits.

 Lots of floods and a powercut, so we had to have Danny's birthday cake by candlelight.

 It must be spring, in spite of the weather, I'd forgotten how lovely hazel catkins are close up.

This morning we visited St Martin's Church Cwmyoy, an interesting piece of architecture that I'm sure wouldn't satisfy building regulations nowadays, but has survived 600 years or so. It really is as squiffy as it looks.


Thursday, 6 February 2014


To keep my brain busy I've been doing a MOOC, no not the latest dance/exercise craze, but a Massive Open Online Course, organised by the Open University with many other reputable universities with expertise in particular fields. I've just finished "Introduction to Ecology", fascinating, loads of interesting new stuff. The only small criticism is the estimate of 3 hours/week. It's taken at least 3 times that, without being totally obsessional. It could easily be full time. I'm starting one on Deep Oceans nows, then I might try something literary. Everyone should try one.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


When I'd been retired for a while I started to miss being useful, so I signed up to be a Home-start volunteer, it's a brilliant charity, giving short term help to families with pre-school children going through a rough patch. It could be a sick child or parent, post natal depression, twins or triplets, anything where a couple of hours a week makes a difference. There is training, covering first aid, child protection laws, family issues as well as local services, followed by regular coffee mornings with peer support and updates on various topics. Regular meetings monitor progress with your family. Many people have benefited from a little help, the only qualification you need is to be a parent. Well worth while!

Haiku 55-58, nearly there!

cannonball raindrops
swirling goldenred fishleaves
water mirrorworld

sunny glow worms drift
in ghosttrees above cloudsky
watermirror world

prosaic nudiflorum
bright summer sunstars


waterdroplet world
spacetimelightshape curveywarped
diff’rent universe