The Kipper – Bacon of the Sea



bacon of the Sea Bacon of the Sea

The so-called Scottish Kipper actually originated in the cold salty seas around Iceland, although it is now all but extinct in the wild.  A saltier fish than most, it used to inhabit the same high-saline seas that were the home of the anchovy.  Indeed for a very long time the anchovy was thought to be the juvenile form of the kipper, so little was known about the lifecycle of the two species.

The natural smoked flavour of the kipper originally came about because schools of kipper frequented the seas around Iceland during the now famous volcanic eruptions known as Skaftáreldar (fires of Skaftá) in 1783-84. These eruptions set fire to vast hectares of mixed forest.  At the same time  the smoke and ash from the volcanoes caused heavy downpours of rain.  This resulted in partly quenching the forest fires and creating a heavy wash of smoke…

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Predestination – film review

An almost faultless adaption of Heinlein’s short story “All You Zombies” This film brings the credibility back to the genre of Science Fiction, which has been poorly-served by the movie industry, concentrating as it has lately on monsters in space, action in space, dystopia, and more monster/horror action. 
The cast is excellent, the production superb, and the entire experience satisfying.

This is a movie I have wanted to see made since I was 14, back in 1966. It is the first ever on my wish list that has not had a serious disappointment factor, as the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit.  

If you are familiar with the original short story you will not be disappointed with this adaption. 

 Mr Heinlein can stop spinning in his grave  over what they did to Starship Troopers.

This film joins my top ten list of SF movies.

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From the new site. 

Only Five Years?
April 13, 2015AlanLeave a comment

Five years ago today, in Fiji, I received the news that changed the direction and meaning of my life. Forever.
I can’t believe it is only five years. It feels like forever.


Too Much Looking Back
April 12, 2015AlanLeave a comment

Five years later, and still feeling it, underlying everything I do, even occasionally still destabilising my positive outlook, and the wonderful life I now have.
Some Things are Worth a Broken Heart
First Posted on May 12, 2010 

It is now a month since my wife and companion of 25 years, for reasons I still don’tfully understand, told me she considered our marriage ended, and that she didnot wish to communicate with me or hear from me again. After a singleabortive attempt to find out what was the cause, in the face of resolutesilence I have reluctantly acquiesced to her wishes. The only clue I gotwas that I had “left her” to come to Fiji. This is certainly asurprise because when I had almost come to the conclusion (since provedcorrect) that I should decline the position and stay in NZ, it was she whopersuaded me to come, assuring me that two years was not long for us to beseparated, and in any case she would come to visit, and that I would get somefulfilment from this job that I was not getting in NZ. All three wrong asit turns out, and in retrospect, in my heart I think I may have known it. Hardto be sure. Every relationship must have its moments, good and bad, and ours is surely noexception. Though I have not always understood what the problems betweenus were, I have always tried to appreciate that our marriage only ever partlybridged a huge cultural gap that I did not always fully comprehend. Ourdomestics were usually about money and family. There is no blame that I canidentify, just a big confusion involving two different personalities whichengaged and meshed well most of the time, despite their different backgrounds.On the whole, it was a good life that we had. We did our best to be loving, caring, responsibleparents; we raised two beautiful daughters that we both love dearly and of whomwe are both very proud, and we were good friends, companions and lovers formost of our lives together. We were always faithful and loving to eachother and still are as far as I am concerned. So. Looking back I can only conclude that even if I had known this would be thefinal outcome (if indeed it is) and had I known everything then that I nowknow, still I would have followed this path to where it has led me – maybe withthe exception of coming to Fiji – but that was another class of mistakeentirely. And perhaps I am forgetting ,a little, just how very unhappy Iwas at the Misery of Health. It has taken a month of grief and misery and wondering to get this far. Still a way to go.Somethings are worth a broken heart. I learned that from Dr Who.

Now I know there was someone else of course, and probably was right back even to when she was encouraging me to go to Fiji without her.


Trip to Wolfe Creek Crater
January 19, 2015AlanLeave a comment

Adele and Lloyd, my neighbours, got me out of bed late on Sunday morning to invite me to convoy with them down the Tanami road to Wolfe Creek meteorite crater. The road was open, so it seemed like a good idea. Better than housework, anyway. We set off, them in their Toyota and me in the Colorado.
Because of the recent rains and the fact that no one has graded it since the start of the wet, the road was a bit rough. Much more so than when Des and I went down it shortly after I arrived here. But it was not so bad that we needed to engage 4 wheel drive. It is a matter of pride locally not to use 4WD unless you must, and besides, fuel consumption is better if you don’t.
A very pleasant trip, with some interesting sights on the way. We passed a road train, towing three crude oil tanks, coming out. There is an oil well somewhere out towards Northern territory, apparently. I don’t think I’d want to drive a road train on that road.
A couple of shallow river crossings were no challenge at all.
There was quite a lot of wildlife to see, kangaroos, wallabies, black cockatoos, Australian bustards (Ardeotis australis), brolga (Grus rubicunda), goannas, as well as grazing cattle, looking a lot fatter and happier now that the grass is lush and green . Lots of locusts too. I managed to get a few photos of some of the creatures. Adele had the photographic advantage as she could observe and take photos while Lloyd was driving. I missed a few things she spotted because my attention was mostly on the road in front of me.
The crater, the second largest of its kind, is quite impressive. I was interested to see there is a central circle of different growth, and what appears to be a partial ring of different vegetation half way between the central circle and the rim, suggesting that the soil has different composition. The floor of the crater is about 20m deep but according to geologists it was 180 meters deep immediately after the impact.
It was almost 4pm by the time we decided to head home, and I could see that we would be heading into rain. So it proved, though at first we only saw where it had been since we passed that way earlier. It was plain to see there had been some very heavy rain on the Tanami while we were at the crater. The road was so boggy it was as if we were on a different one from when we came in. The river crossings were a little more fun, but still no challenge (another hour and it may have been a different story entirely). I engaged 4WD a couple of times in the dodgiest bits just to be sure I did not bog down. Near the highway we came upon another road train, bogged to the axles. He had not got far at all down the road. I guess the rain caught him by surprise. The driver must have been asleep in his cabin when we got there, as there was no sign of life. We had to drive around the vehicle, and there we too were axle deep in mud. Once again it shows how very quickly conditions can change here.
A grader went out this morning to pull him out. The Tanami road is now closed. Again.
We had underestimated the time needed to make the return trip. We were only a couple of hours at the crater, but the journey to the crater took over 3 hours to cover 150k. Even allowing for photo stops, that is pretty slow going. The trip out was much more exciting than the trip in. The drive home was made all the more exciting because for the last half of the distance we were driving in the dark. It took a little longer to get out, partly because of the conditions, and partly because it does not pay to drive fast when the wildlife are more active. I saw many more roos and wallabies after dark. We did not actually get rained on until we were almost back on the sealed Great Northern Highway, but when we did finally drive into rain it was a deluge. Halls Creek weather station recorded 85.4mm (!!!) from Sunday evening to Monday morning. We were down to 50kph on the highway too.
 Some of my photos are here. (On Facebook)

autobiography, travelthe Kimberley, Western AustraliaEdit

A New Beginning
January 1, 2015Alan1 Comment

Here I am in Halls Creek, the Kimberley, Western Australia.
I have been here about a month.
New Job, New Flat, New Life.
How I got here is sort of documented in my previous blog.
Especially if you read between the lines.
Being a cheapskate, I am using a free service and hit the limit of 3Gb.
So I am starting again.

Uncategorizedthe Kimberley, Western AustraliaEdit

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Last Post

This is the end

My only Friend,

The end…

I had over forty photos to upload to the previous post.  Halfway through uploading them. WordPress informed me there was not enough memory for any more.  I had been warned before that I was nearing the limit of my free data.  It seems quite symbolic that I finally did so on New years Eve 2014.

It seems like a good time to stop. Plainly I have enough space for a few  more words, but a picture is worth a thousand of them.  looks like I can’t upload any more.

I shall start again in this NEW BLOG next year.  Click and save to your bookmarks.


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Nearly a Crocodile

A pleasant New Years Eve day, exploring a short way along the Duncan Road again. Duncan road is not in very good condition at present. It was closed until the day before yesterday and though the rivers have gone down, the washouts are pretty rough and the road needs a jolly good grading.

I took my shorts and a towel along, intending to swim at Palm Springs, but in the end contented myself with just a paddle in the sandy shallows where the springs empty into the Black Elvira River.   The water is still too murky for my liking, particularly since I do not know what logs or other hazards might be present.  I was by myself and though I may be courageous, I’m not stupid.  I was disappointed not to see any crocs, but then I am told one rarely does. The best time to spot them is at night with a torch, I understand.

I drove on a little way and turned off onto a track that is about 3 km long, leading to the gorge variously known as Sawpit Gorge or Sawtooth Gorge.  A pretty spot and a terrific place for a picnic.  One can camp there too.  I carried my togs and towel down to the river, to see if it was suitable for swimming.  It certainly would be once the waters were clear, but as yet the Black Elvira here was just as murky as further upstream.

Then I saw a croc.  Floating over under the bluff.  It was not very big, but from the narrow snout was definitely a Crocodylus johnstoni.  Excited, I grabbed the camera from where I had left it on a log with my towel.  I removed the lens cap, aimed and fired. Nothing happened.  I turned the camera on, pointed it again, and pressed the button.  After a second’s consideration, the autofocus was satisfied and agreed to take an exposure. Just as the shutter clicked, with impeccable timing, the croc sank beneath the surface, leaving only ripples.


I have a good shot of crocodile ripples.


I sat on a log and waited about half an hour for the croc to reappear, but it did not surface.  At least nowhere I could see it.  Maybe it headed off round the corner.  They are very shy.  I decided to go in for a quick swim, just so I could say I had been in with a croc. That should be a pretty impressive accomplishment even if it was only with a small harmless freshie.  I have to be honest and say I did not go far from the sandbank, basically just as deep as I could sit on the sand with my chin out of the water.  I still did not know what else might be out there.  Like a tangle of roots or something.

I thought the water was actually too warm.  I would have preferred it to be cooler.

On the way back I stopped off at Caroline pool, another popular swimming spot.  It too was unpopulated by holidaymakers and was very murky, so I guess we shall have to wait until a few more floods have washed out the riverbeds.

Earlier in the week I drove up to the Ord river where quite a few people were swimming.

I didn’t swim that day because I had forgotten to take my togs and towel along.

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Stupid People.

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Fuckwit of the Year

My nomination:  Click to visit the website. 

At first I thought it might be satire.  If it is, it goes too far.  If it is not, I weep for humanity.

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A very quiet Christmas.  The quietest and possibly loneliest for years, despite having Christmas morning breakfast with my new colleagues and neighbours.  But remarkably free of depression and negativity.  Perhaps because I feel I am where I want to be, and I have a job that gives me some real purpose.

Despite being alone most of the day, it was essential for the continuation of family tradition that I stuff and cook a turkey, as usual. Without such rituals, connection with one’s past life is lost.  The smallest bird I could buy here was 4.6 Kg.  That is a pile of turkey for one man.

Although there was a huge heap available, I did not overindulge at all. I ate a thigh and a slice of breast, a small piece of each stuffing, a roast garlic potato and some broad beans for Christmas dinner. No Gravy.  No dessert, no cake, no excessive indulgence.

I have a lot left over.

On Boxing Day I stripped the chilled carcase, divided the cooked meat and stuffing up into portions and froze them, except for the remaining dark meat; drumsticks and thigh,  which I put aside to have in sandwiches, with cranberry sauce.

From the bones and carcase I made two litres of stock, which I froze in portions.

My leftover turkey recipes are on my cooking blog. Two, so far.  I also plan to make a turkey chilli and maybe a carbonara.

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A Good Time

Wandering up the street last evening I came upon a quite attractive young lady who was, I thought, clad rather skimpily even for this hot climate.  She asked me if I would like to have a good time.

I was not at all sure where this might lead, but I had no fixed plans, so I agreed.  She took me to her home and offered me a drink.  And another.  And another.  As we drank she loosened what little clothing she wore and then asked me if I would like to accompany her to the bedroom.

I blush to relate what happened next, but it was certainly a Good Time.

After a time, or a few times, I fell sound asleep.  When I awoke she brought me scrambled eggs and bacon and a very pleasant cup of coffee.

When at last I got up and dressed she said “How about some money?”

I thanked her very much and said no.  She had already done quite enough for me.

Posted in Communication and language, Humour | Tagged , | 3 Comments