The day is hellish. It's as muggy as Hades with a hulking swell and a vertical driving rain that's kept everyone off deck. I'm told - perhaps presumptuously - that we'll probably be barging the bilge through the thwacker before any respite from the starboard for neigh on six. Whatever the fuck that means. By my reckoning we're still making decent time though, pushing on through open water aided by a 45 knot sou-wester toward Sulat Sunda - the passage of sea that separates the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra.
To Part 1...
What could be gained from denying the world these pioneers of the pantry? And without them, who would ever think of combining pears with pine nuts and popping it on a pork chop?
This time around the victim was Jordan Fancy — the seething, pock-speckled English chef from Kitchen Death Wish. Kitchen Death Wish (or KDW to its devotees) pitted wannabe chefs against other in three rounds - an appetiser, a main and a dessert. Hardly the most original concept but producers in the genre were becoming complacent.
Type the term, "baby jumping" into youtube and you'll get a pleasant, inevitable mix of toddlers bouncing in harnesses or toppling into swimming pools. It's all pretty tame stuff until you get to an entry about half way down the first page where things take a bit of a turn to the dark side.
It's there you'll find a video from Lonely Planet photographer, Dominic Bonuccelli that takes a closer look at the Spanish festival of El Colacho, known in English as the Baby Jumping Festival.
I love to watch good skateboarding but it seems like such a hard sport, not just to master but to attain any sort of level of above-averageness.
Now you might be asking yourself, "what the freak do you know about skateboarding fat-boy?", before making some wicked sort-of-sideways gesture with your hand and adding, "skate or die!"
To which my answer would have to be, "Not a lot. I guess I'll have to take death."
There's something incredibly gratifying in watching tilt-shift, time-lapse photography.
Appreciating the time-lapse aspect is easy for anyone with a patience problem. And maybe the tilt-shift appeals to the child in me - it's like you're a giant and your toy box has come to life. Okay, enough of sharing this inner-monologue.
Photo courtesy of CassandraW1.
There are some fascinating traditional festivals that take place around the globe every month but probably none more bloody (and few more colourful) than the Andean festival of Tinku.
Each May, thousands of indigenous Bolivian indians ascend upon the isolated, mountainous city of Potosi looking to pick a fight.
In a ritual dating back 600 years, local indians slug it out, toe-to-toe until blood is spilt. The spilt blood - an offering to the earth goddess Pachamama - should ensure a successful harvest for the coming season.
I'm drawn to cafes. I love my coffee but it's much more than that. Cafes are fascinating places to people watch, to photograph.
I tend to think of cafes as little microcosms of culture. Not necessarily of a country's culture; although there are obviously some stereotypes that can be wheeled out.
To the French, cafes are inextricably intertwined with everyday life. They are where life happens, where you meet, where you eat, where you watch and are seen. Italian cafes can often be much more practical - get in (if you can), drink up and get out. And no messing about with milk in your coffee, especially after lunch - it's espresso or niente. Often they're standing room only affairs.
It was early when I got the call. Way too early. Half asleep I slapped the trilling menace from its cradle and it landed with a crack on the maple of my bedroom floor. I picked it up.
“Moocjheenie”, I croaked.
“It’s happened again”, an electronic voice, altered, robot-like, “you know the drill”, then a click to dial tone.
I blinked the crust from my eyes and focussed on my watch; 3.16 a.m. and 23 seconds. A force of habit. In my line of work the difference between success and failure is so often in the minutiae.
It was the third call I’d received this week. All at the same unearthly hour. The fifth since the start of the month. The world’s celebrity chefs were disappearing, one by one. Kidnapped without ransom. I’d have an email waiting for me in my in-box, of that I was sure. Another stanza in a sick sonnet from one twisted puppy.
I'm an avid, but decidedly average guitarist. Growing up I was surrounded by friends who were wonderful guitarists. My high school seemed to produce them like an assembly line. I got plucked from the line by quality control at a very early age.
To this day many of my closest friends can still make a bunch of nylon, steel and spruce, sing like a bird. Despite all my efforts at learning, my music still sounds more like the wailing of an ebola victim than bird-song.
I started to pen a dark and moody piece about crossing Russia on the Trans Mongolian Railway during the depths of a Siberian winter.
Of how harsh the Russian climate can be at that time of year. Of how there's an austere beauty in the bleak solitude of her snow-blasted villages. A sense of resignation in the puffy faces of those station vendors, whose lives in which you play the most minor of roles.
In the end I thought stuff it, what's with all the poetic crap!