Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday 31st July 2015….and then it was gone!!!!

Today was an  easy day which started at 9 am with two hours of good tennis and then afterwards I did some shopping and came home and relaxed for the afternoon before I started to prepare dinner…Zach has gone to Victoria for the weekend and both Heather and Kirby were working so I made dinner…it was simple Pearson fare but I think went down well.

Now going to have a shower and then watch a movie on TV.

Today is blue moon may try to get a photograph later…… that is July finished or done!!!!!

“Once in a blue moon” today means “very rarely,” though it used to mean something that was absurd, right along the lines of “when pigs fly.”

The first known recorded use of a form of the phrase is in an anti-clerical pamphlet published in 1528 by William Roy and Jeremy Barlowe. In a conversation between two characters, one says, “Yf they say the mone is blewe/We must believe that it is true.”  It appears to be a reference to priests at the time making statements and expecting the average person to believe they were true, regardless of how ridiculous the statement was. This is something like the original usage of the “moon is made of green cheese”, in that case referring to the fact that only fools or gullible people would believe that.

As stated, in the early days the definition meant something that was impossible or would never happen; it wasn’t until 1821 with the publication of Real Life in London by Pierce Egan that we see “once in a blue moon” meaning “rarely.” In the book, one character says to another, “How’s Harry and Ben? – haven’t seen you this blue moon.” Since then, the phrase has developed into a fairly common saying.

But what is a blue moon, anyway?

You might have heard that a blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. This explanation of blue moons is a relatively modern invention having nothing to do with the original usage of the phrase, mistakenly given in a Sky and Telescope article in 1946. James Hugh Pruett wrote the article, referring to statements given by Laurence LaFleur in a Sky and Telescope column in 1943. LaFleur had been referencing a 1937 copy of the Maine Farmer’s Almanac, but did not make it clear that the Almanac used a tropical year for its definition rather than a calendar year. Still, Pruett’s definition became the most accepted, probably made even more popular by a well-liked radio show in 1980, which used Pruett’s article as a source. A blue moon, by this definition, happens roughly every three years. The next one is set to occur in July 2015, when there will be a full moon on July 2 and another July 31.

However, in 1937—nine years before the Pruett article—the Maine Farmer’s Almanac gave a previous relatively modern definition also having nothing to do with the original phrase, defining a blue moon as “the third full moon in a season of four full moons.” In this case, seasons are split into four equal three-month intervals corresponding with solstices and equinoxes rather than calendar months (also known as a tropical year). As you probably already know, most lunar cycles complete in one month, meaning there are usually twelve lunar cycles every year. However, lunar cycles don’t match up exactly with calendar months. Normally, each of the Almanac’s seasons will have three full moons. Each moon was given its own name. In a season with four full moons, the third one is called a “blue moon” so that the fourth one in a season could be named its proper name in line with the solstice or equinox that it precedes. By this interpretation, blue moons also occur roughly every three years, with the next blue moon predicted to occur in just a couple months, on August 21, 2013.

You might be wondering at this point if a moon can ever actually look blue- while usually appearing white, the moon can indeed sometimes look blue, though it has nothing to do with the above modern definitions of “blue moon”. A bluish tinge will sometimes be visible after a volcanic eruption, for instance. The large dust particles in the atmosphere from the ash, specifically slightly wider than .7 microns, will diffract red light, making the moon appear slightly blue and sometimes greenish. This occurred most notably after the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, when the moon appeared blue for approximately two years in many regions.

Reports of blue moon sightings were also made after the eruption of Mount St. Helens, El Chichon, and Mount Pinatubo, as well as after forest fires in Canada in the 1950s. The particles in the atmosphere must be slightly wider than .7 micrometres—that is, wider than red light’s wavelength—with few other sizes of particles in the air in order for the moon to appear blue. Particles of mixed sizes are much more common, but they have a tendency to diffract blue light, which makes the moon appear red. Because of this, red moons are far more common than blue moons, particularly when the moon is on the horizon. It is possible from this that the phrase “once in a blue moon” originally derived from the rare occurrence of the apparent color of the moon being blue, but most etymologists think this is not the case owing to the fact that the phrase originally meant “impossible” or “never” instead of “rarely”, though it’s possible that this phenomenon may have contributed to the morphing of the definition

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday 30th July 2015……one day road trip!!!!

Today was going to be a long driving day for me…..the story is that Heather and Kirby's son Ben works in Ucluelet as a kayak guide and he has the one of the cars with him but Zach is wanting the car to take back to university in Washington next month…so someone had to drive the truck to Ucluelet and exchange it for the car and I volunteered.


The road is a twisty and narrow one but very scenic on the way there I stopped here


to see the




Sprout lake is also the home of the Mars water bomber that is being used to combat the forest fires…



It was a good drive and I arrived at Ben’s work place but he was out guiding but his girl friend Mia was there and we exchanged vehicles so now I left the


and I drove away in


Some of my long time readers may remember this car it actually was mine and her name is Pili and I gave it to Heather and Kirby a few years ago… it was nice to drive her again.

As the day was so wonderful I took advantage and went to the closest beach



The beaches in this area are famed for being very dangerous but good surfing beaches but today the waves were calm but the water very cold…..




He has good form I think!!!



I spent a couple of hours here reading, eating, sunbathing and of course 40 winks!!!!!


I had a good day and was home by 6pm…here are the girls getting to know each other!!!!


Yashi Kochi!!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wednesday 29th July 2015……first post on my new computer!!!!

Well it is not a new computer but one I have bought from my techie guy Mark…..I am liking it already a bigger screen than my other and a lot faster and the key board works…..what many of you do not know is that for over a year the letter p. z and the / keys never worked so for  emails and blogs using the p it was a pain having to go back and spell check and get the p into the word…anyway I am happy with this one.

My partner, Trish, for the senior games lives in Comox a town about one hour's drive away and for a change and to save her driving down here here I went there for tennis this morning at 9am….we had another good game and we are learning about each other’s strengths and we will do well I think.

The courts and the park are situated on a beautiful river and I sat here and had a sandwich after the game.



I then went to the Visitors center



I went inside and one of the ladies behind the counter said right away “I like your shirt|”….I was wearing one of my Mexican soccer shirts and I said thank you and then she asked me in Spanish where I was from and I told her in Spanish I was living in San Miguel and she smiled and told me she was Léon, a town about 70 miles away, small world.

I asked for directions to the best beach in town and a drive of about 20 minutes found me at this beautiful bay!!!!




It was wonderful I swam, slept, ate and read and just relaxed in the beauty of the very warm day!!!!

Saw this guy where my car was parked…..


My next stop on the way home was



where every year they have a huge sandcastle event!!!!



Some very talented artists…..



Saw this sign which I like


Then picked up my computer and here we are again almost 10 o clock!!!!

Yashi kochi!!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday 28th July 2015.....out with the old!!!!!

My computer is on its last legs now so i have bought a used computer fom my techie guy and tonight and tomorrow he is transfering all my data  and i should get it back tomorrow night so i am happy with that so i am writing this on my little Nexus.
Met karen this morning and we went for a hike with her dog Lilly but also had Lilly,s brother with us too...then Karen cooked breakfast whist we had a visit.
I then went shopping and home around 4 o clock and relaxed and had a sandwich before I went to the tennis club at 7pm for 2 hours of really hard but great men's singles and now on the couch tired but content!!!!
just seeing if i remember how to get photos on the blog from the family in England.
Yashi Kochi!!!!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday 27th July 2015..the sun returns!!!


  It was a beautiful morning which I spent doing some planning and booking….one of my adventures on the south island of new  Zealand   will be this hike listed below 

Milford Hiking Adventure

Once described as the finest walk in the world, the Milford Track is one of New Zealand’s most popular walks, with approximately 14000 people completing the Milford track each year. This website aims to be a comprehensive information resource on the Milford Track, letting you have all in the information you need in one place. We cover the walk itself, the history of the track, where it's actually located and you'll also find some photos taken by people on the walk. We hope this site answers all the questions you may have.

Interestingly the track may only be walked in one direction, Glade Wharf to Milford Sound, during the booked walking season (late October to late April), with a maximum of 40 independent walkers permitted to start the track each day. Otherwise the track quickly becomes overcrowded and the damage to the environment increases.

The huge valleys that you'll see throughout you trek along the Milford Track are the result of glaciation over the last two million years, these glaciers carved there way through the landscape leaving behind these U-shaped valleys , ice-gouged ledges and the hanging valleys of tributary streams.

Milford Sound

Beech trees dominate the forest of the lower clinton, beyond Mintaro the track climbs above the forest through sub-alpine scrub and into the tussocks and alpine herb communities of the pass. The higher rainfall and milder temperatures in the lower Arthur Valley produce a more diverse forest. Ferns, mosses and lichens are abundant around the track. To get a better idea of what you'll see when you're walking why not have a look at the Gallery section of this website. It includes photos people have taken while walking the Milford Track.

If you would like to read a day-to-day break down of exactly what the Milford Track entails, 

Milford Track

Most trampers take the launch across Lake Te Anau, a pleasant trip that is a good introduction to the area. The Milford Track is rated easy, but keep in mind it’s a four-day tramp with up to six hours of walking each day.

Stage 1: Glade Wharf to Neale Burn Hut

Time: 1 hour

The track from the wharf is a wide 4WD trail which was once used by packhorses to carry supplies to the huts. In 15 minutes, it passes Glade House, the official start of the Milford Track. The track crosses the Clinton River on a large swing bridge, and continues along the true right (west) side as a gentle path without a stone or a blade of grass out of place. The lower portion of the Clinton, from here to the confluence with the north branch of the Clinton River, has excellent trout fishing.

At one point, the track offers an impressive view of the peaks next to Dare Pass, but most of the walk along the river is through beech forest. It takes only an hour to reach Nealle Burn Hut, the first hut for independent walkers, after leaving the launch at the wharf, This new 40-bunk hut was built after the Clinton Forks Hut was removed in 1997 when the river was threatening to carry it away. At one point it was possible to step off the porch of the Clinton Forks Hut and look at a 3m drop into the Clinton River. Neale Burn Hut has two bunkrooms of 20 beds each, a dining/ common room and an extensive verandah, where you can sit and enjoy the views. Everything is connected by decking and future plans call for an interpretative boardwalk tour of the adjacent swamp. All independent walkers must spend the first night here because the hut at Mintaro will be fully used by the party that left Glade Wharf the previous day.

Stage 2: Neale Burn Hut to Mintaro Hut

Time: 5- 5.5 hours

neale Milford TrackThe track continues alongside the Clinton River to Clinton Forks, the site of die first overnight halt for independent walkers until 1998. Beyond Clinton Forks, the track heads up the West Branch of the Clinton River. A couple of kilometres past Clinton Forks, the track clambers over the debris from a major landslip in 1982. The avalanche blocked the river and created the lake to the right of the track; dead trees emerge from the water. Whispy waterfalls feather down on both sides of the valley, and a short walk to the left leads to a waterfall view. About Win further along, the guided walkers have a lunch stop near the Hirere Falls. About 4km past Clinton Forks the valley becomes noticeably narrower, with granite walls boxing it in on both sides.

Mackinnon Pass, further up the valley, conies into view for the first time and a short side track curves west (left) to Hidden Lake, on the far side of which is a towering waterfall. The track remains in beech forest until it comes to the Prairies, the first grassy flat. Prairie Lake, at the start of this stretch, is a good place for a swim, since the water is marginally warmer than other lakes in the valley. There are good views from here towards Mt Fisher (1 878m) to the west and Mackinnon Pass to the north. The track reenters bush and begins a rocky climb to the first bus stop shelter, a gloomy lunch stop

9km from Clinton Forks, and then to the deluxe Pompolona Hut, the second night stop for guided walkers.

The track crosses Pompolona Creek via an impressive swing bridge and continues its winding course over low scrub. There are many frame bridges along this stretch before the track ascends more steeply as it passes a side track to St Quintin Falls and eventually works its way to Lake Mintaro and Mintaro Hut. The hut is a 3.5km walk beyond Pompolona Hut. If the weather is clear, you might want to stash your pack and continue to Mackinnon Pass (1073m) to be assured of seeing the impressive views without obstruction from clouds or rain. The pass is a 11/2 to two-hour climb from the hut, and offers a spectacular( ar view at sunset on a clear evening.

Stage 3: Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut

Time: 6 hours

The track leaves the hut, swings west with the valley and resumes its climb to Mackinnon Pass. It crosses Clinton River a second time and begins to follow a series of switchbacks out of the bush and into the alpine sections of the route. After 4km at a knee-bending angle, the track reaches the large memorial cairn that honours the discovery of this scenic spot by Quintin Mackinnon and Ernest Mitchell, in 1888.

The track then levels out and crosses the rest ofthe alpine pass and there are impressive views all around of the Clinton and Arthur valleys and several nearby peaks. The two most prominent ~s on the pass are Mt Hart (1782m) and Mt Balloon (1 853m). If the weather is fair, trampers like to spend some extra time at the pass; if it isn’t, they can’t get off it fast enough.

 Milford TrackThe track passes several tarns, ascends to the highest point of the walk at 1154m and reaches Mackinnon Pass Shelter before swinging north for the descent. From the pass to Quintin Hut, the track drops 870m over a span of 7km. Soon, the track arrives at Roaring Burn stream, crosses it and reenters the bush. The stream, with its many beautiful waterfalls and rapids is an impressive sight, but the long series of wooden and pierced metal stairways and lookout platforms which trips down the valley beside the stream is almost as eye catching. It was constructed for the 1996-97 tramping season. There are fine views of Dudleigh Falls shortly before Quintin Hut. Quintin, another private hut, has an airstrip, several buildings for guided trampers and a day-use shelter for independent walkers. Nearby is Beech Hut, an historic reconstruction of one of the primitive huts from the early days of the Milford Track. You should consider leaving your pack at Quintin Hut and following the spur to Sutherland Falls (a 1.5 -hour round trip). They are an awesome sight and, for many, the highlight of the tramp.

The track leaves Quintin Hut and descends Gentle Annie Hill, re-entering thick forest, which is often slippery and wet. Here there’s another impressive stretch of wooden walkway, and within 31cm (an hour’s walk) of Quintin Hut, the track arrives at Dumpling Hut (40 bunks), a welcome sight after a long day over the pass.

Stage 4: Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point

Time: 5.5 – 6 hours

The last leg of the Milford Track is an 18km walk to a shelter on Sandfly Point. The tramp takes most people between five and six hours, and if you plan to meet the 2 pm launch to Milford, you should be out of Dumpling Hut no later than 8 am.

The track descends back into bush from the hut, and soon the roar of Arthur River is heard as the track closely follows the true right (east) bank. After a two-hour walk of 6km from the hut, the track reaches the private Boatshed Shelter (a morning tea stop for guided walkers) and then crosses the Arthur River on a large swing bridge. Just beyond the swing bridge, the track crosses a bridge over Mackay Creek, then comes to the side track to Mackay Falls and Bell Rock. Both natural wonders are a short walk from the main track and worth the time it takes to see them, especially Bell Rock, where the water has eroded a space underneath large enough to stand in. The Mackay Falls may not be a patch on the Sutherland Falls, but they’re still a feature to have your name on!

milford walk new zealand Milford TrackThe track begins to climb a rock shoulder of the valley, laboriously cut with axes a century ago, above Lake Ada. At one point there is a view of the lake all the to the valley of Joes River. From here, track descends to Giant Gate Falls, the falls on a swing bridge before contuing along the lakeshore. The open shelter just before Giant Gate Falls is a lunch stop if it’s dry. It takes about an hour to follow the lake past Doughboy Shelter, (private hut for guided walkers) through wide open flats at the end of the valley the shelter at Sandfly Point.

Though it is important to be on time to meet the boat at 2 or 3 pm, Sandfly Point not a place to spend an afternoon – it’s a haven for (you guessed it) sandflies. Fortunately, the shelter at the point is reasonably sandfly-proof. The sign marking the end the track is festooned the boots of walkers’ that have made it to the end of the walk not a single step further


If you have the time Google Milford and watch the 18 minute video!!!!

If you do watch the video you will hear mention at the times the luxury accommodation offered by some companies and I have treated myself and booked with a company called Ultimate hikes…I carry my own back back but they provide and cook all the meals and the huts are very well equipped…it should be a fabulous 5 days!!!!

I had the usual Monday afternoon of two different groups of tennis…4 hours in total with a break in between it was very hot but I kept well hydrated and the tennis was really good…..did not get home till 7 o clock and Heather had another lovely meal waiting and then I soaked in the tub, loved that…..and there you go another day done.

I lost a friend today….Gordie passed away this morning after a few years of being very ill my best wishes and prayers go out to Annie and her family!!!


Yashi Kochi!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday 26th July 2015….a long road walk!!!!

A bit dreary this morning but a break from the hot sunny days which are coming again tomorrow….I decided to get my hiking boots on and go for a long hike and incorporate looking in the Mall to get some idea on computers and I also need to buy a suitcase…the walk took me down by Long Lake which is quite lovely…




I saw this person and wondered what they were doing


and here is the answer




I went by a retirement home and saw this sign!!!


At the Mall I sat for a while and read a newspaper and this article was inside…



I also liked this sign I saw in a store


So looked at a few computers and now I know what I think I need and I did buy a really nice suitcase….340 dollars on sale for 90 dollars also bought some good head phones for my I pod and then hiked home….altogether about 14km so a good workout.

Late afternoon I watched a local soccer game on TV and Heather cooked a lovely dinner and here it is 10 o clock already…

Thanks to Larry for this joke!!!

Good Old Ukrainian 

It was raining hard and a big puddle had formed in front of the Smoky Lake beer parlor.

An old man stood beside the puddle holding a stick with a string on the end and jiggled it up and down in the water.

A curious gentleman asked what he was doing.

'Fishing,' replied the old man.

'Poor old fool' thought the gentleman, so he invited the old man to have a drink in the pub.

Feeling he should start some conversation while they were sipping their beer, the gentleman asked, 'And how many have you caught today?'

'You're the eighth.'


  I also enjoyed this article…

Walk of faith: 500km of sugar, storms and blisters


Bob Walker mid-point in his pilgrimage


The Caminho da Fe is one of the longest Catholic pilgrimage routes in the world, stretching 500km (310 miles) across south-eastern Brazil - it's also one of the newest. Bob Walker joined the faithful on their trek to Aparecida.

There are many places you'd rather not be when a storm of biblical proportions breaks above your head. At the top of a tall building. Underneath a big tree. Or hopelessly lost in the middle of a gigantic sugar cane plantation.

Things on the Caminho da Fe were not going to plan. The painted yellow arrows that are supposed to guide you 500km had disappeared. Then it began to rain. And rain. The red earth track that cuts through the sugar cane turned into an strength-sapping quagmire. Then the lightning began, striking the ground all around me. For hours I plodded on through the tall sugar cane which blocked any view of the horizon.

Long path stretching out through plants

I stumbled across two plantation workers taking shelter in a hut. They invited me in, gave me coffee and indicated that the rain was set for the day. I had to push on despite their warnings. They each gave me a gift which did little to lift my spirits. A torch and a silver space blanket - the kind you use to prevent hypothermia.

Find out more

Listen to From Our Own Correspondent for insight and analysis from BBC journalists, correspondents and writers from around the world

Broadcast on Radio 4 on Saturdays at 11:30 and BBC World Service

Listen to the programme

Download the programme

Then a small miracle on the Path of Faith. A pickup truck driven by Alan and his pal Marcio. What they were doing in that confusing vastness of interconnected tracks I never found out. But they drove me to a workers' bar hidden deep in the plantation and bought me beer and sausages. Then they drove me even further, bouncing and skidding into the crops before suddenly flying on to a concrete road which led to civilisation and a hot shower. They refused any payment.

The Caminho da Fe was set up in 2003 by Almiro Grings after he twice walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

Inspired, he set about establishing a network of hostels and hotels leading to Aparecida - the holiest site in the world's largest Catholic country.

Map showing the route of the Caminho da Fe pilgrimage in Brazil

Three hundred years ago local fishermen dredged up a tiny clay statue of the Madonna and down the centuries it's been credited with numerous miracles. It's now in the huge basilica of Aparecida which was built in the 1950s to house this object of national veneration.

Last year 12 million pilgrims came to visit. It's thought that more than 30,000 have walked or cycled there along the Camino da Fe, crossing those endless sugar cane and coffee plantations and slogging up the beautiful but challenging climbs of the Mantiqueira mountains.

It's a strange time to set up what is probably the newest Catholic pilgrimage trail in the world. The Church in Brazil is fast losing members to the charismatic and increasingly powerful evangelical churches. Thousands attend their televised services and evangelical leaders have become politically influential.

Bob's shadow on the dusty ground

"Many people don't understand the complicated rituals and liturgy of the Catholic Church," one fellow trekker told me as we chatted over a beer. "The evangelicals speak to the poor and they promise everything. But they also ask for a tenth of your wages."

I've walked the Camino de Santiago and most people I met were not doing it for religious reasons. But in Brazil it was different. I saw macho lycra-clad cyclists gather in a circle to say morning prayers. And a recently retired policeman from Sao Paulo told me he was making the pilgrimage to thank God he ended his career without getting shot.

Cyclist-pilgrims join together for morning prayers Cyclist-pilgrims join together for morning prayers

Back at the start I'd asked Almiro which was harder - Santiago or his Caminho. He sat back in his chair and laughed. "The Caminho de Santiago is longer," he said, "but the Caminho de Fe is much harder - many mountains."

I walked 965km (600 miles) across Spain without a blister. But the hard-packed earth track in Brazil took its toll. On the fifth day I'd planned to hitchhike but not one driver stopped.

Palm tree by side of dusty road Still no sign of Aparecida...

At one point a bus halted in the middle of a clearing. I yelled and began limping towards salvation. The driver merely looked at me, closed the door and drove off - leaving me jumping up and down on the spot in a fit of incoherent rage. But I can honestly say that was the only person who refused to help me during my three weeks on the trail. Most people seemed amazed to see a hapless Englishman walking alone, and I lost count of the number of free drinks I was given.

I did make it to Aparecida - despite the hills, blisters, and tarantula spiders. Apparently I was now a minor celebrity and was interviewed by a religious TV channel.

"And what did you like most about the Brazil pilgrimage Bobby?" I was asked. I thought of the mountains, the stunning night skies and the Caipirinha cocktails. "The people I met," I said. It's always the people.

The basilica in Aparecida The pilgrimage's final destination - the basilica in Aparecida... The shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida ... and the shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida


Yashi Kochi!!!!

Thursday 5 th January 2023…it was a great run!!!

 This was my first ever blog post back in November of 2006!!! With just a couple of days off I have written a blog every day since and I hav...