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    WETMAC   73,334
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MY LATEST 'HOLIDAY'!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

BACK HOME AGAIN AND BOY AM I THANKFUL.

OKAY, LET ME BREAK THIS DOWN. THE START OF THE HOLIDAY WAS REALLY GOOD AND I THOUGHT THAT MY FEARS WOULD BE UNFOUNDED. THE FLIGHT WAS EXCELLENT AND WE MET UP WITH MY AUNT AND UNCLE AS ARRANGED. I EVEN CONFOUNDED THEM AS MY COUSINAND HIS WIFE HAVE SOME DOGS, OF WHICH YOU WILL SEE PICTURES LATER, AND ONE OF THEM HAS A HABIT OF SNEAKING UP BEHIND MEN AND BITING THEIR LEGS. WELL, HE CERTAINLY HAD HIS CHANCE BUT WHAT HAPPENED? HE ENDED UP ACTUALLY ON MY LAP! THEY COULD NOT BELIEVE IT, BUT HEY, YOU KNOW WHAT I FEEL ABOUT DOGS AND I GUESS HE COULD SENSE THAT.

UNFORTUNATELY, THE HOLIDAY WENT DOWNHILL FROM THERE AND FROM BEING EMBARRASSED TO BE WITH MUM IN A RESTAURANT TO THE FACT THAT TRISH SEEMED TO THINK THAT SHE WAS THE BOSS, I HAVE TOLD THEM ALL THAT I WOULD GO ON HOLIDAY WITH MARY BUT NEVER AGAIN WITH EITHER OF THE THE OTHERS AND DEFINITELY NOT ALL TOGETHER.

DON'T GET ME WRONG; IT WAS NICE TO SEE FAMILY AND FRIENDS, ALTHOUGH UNFORTUNATELY, OUR TIMING COULD NOT HAVE BEEN WORSE AS WHEN WE WENT TO SOMERSET, OUR FRIEND HAD JUST RECEIVED THE NEWS THAT HER YOUNGER SISTER HAD SUFFERED AN ANNEURISM, AND THE DAY AFTERWARDS SHE WAS DEAD. THE GOOD THING WAS THAT WE MANAGED TO CHEER HER UP A BIT AND GOT HER OUT OF THE HOUSE, FOR WHICH SHE WAS GRATEFUL.

SEEING MY BROTHER WAS REALLY NICE, BUT IT WAS SO SHORT LIVED AS HE DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE HSI WIFE ON HER OWN FOR TOO LONG, SO WE ONLY GOT TO CHAT FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS OVER TWO DAYS.

SO, THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE HOLIDAY FOR ME WERE THE FACT I MANAGED TO GET A DAY AT THE EDEN PROJECT AND TOOK A LOT OF PHOTOGRAPHS, SOME OF WHICH I WILL BE SHOWING YOU. I ALSO BOUGHT MYSELF SOME NEW COOKWARE AS I WAS ENTITLED TO DOUBLE DISCOUNT ON THAT WEEKEND, WHICH MEANT A SAVING OF 20%, AND, AS I SAID, CHATTING WITH MY FRIENDS AND RELATIVES. IN THE END I HAD TO IGNORE MUM AND BLANK HER COMPKLETELY WHEN WE WENT TO EAT AS SHE DID NOT REALLY GO FOR A LOT. I KNOW IT WAS HOT AND, AS YOU ARE PROBABLY AWARE, EVEN THE UK IS IN THE MIDST OF A MINI HEAT WAVE WITH TEMPS GOING ABOVE 30c IN SOME AREAS, SO MUM DID NOT FGEEL LIKE EATING, BUT EVEN TRISH GOT ON TO HER ABOUT IT IN THE END. SUCH A SHAME AS WE FOUND SOME REALLY GOOD EATING PLACES. I CALL THEM THAT BECAUSE WE EVEN FOUND AN AMERICAN STYLE DINER, AND BOY WAS THAT A MISTAKE. ON THE FINAL MORNING WE ORDERED WHAT WE THOUGHT WAS A LIGHT BREAKFAST. I ORDERED A ROLL WITH SAUSAGE, BACON AND EGG. I WAS THINKING OF A NORMAL BREADROLL, WHICH IS NOT THAT BIG AND DOES NOT CONTAIN SO MUCH OF A FILLING. WHEN THIS 'THING' APPEARED IN FRONT OF ME I COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT I WAS SEEING, AND THERE WAS NO WAY I WAS EVEN GOING TO ATTEMPT TO FINISH IT. THE ROLL ITSELF WAS FOUR TIMES THE SIZE OF A NORMAL ROLL AND CONTAINED 4 SAUSAGES, 4 RASHERS OF BACON AND 2 EGGS! ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS. I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT EXCEPT ON THE US TV SHOW MAN VERSUS FOOD. NEEDLESS TO SAY MOST OF IT GOT RETURNED TO THE KITCHEN, ALTHOUGH THEY DID OFFER TO WRAP IT UP FOR ME TO TAKE HOME. LIKE THE TV SHOW, THIS DINER HAD A CHALLENGE DISH AND WE ASKED IF IT EVER GOT ORDERED. WE WERE TOLD BY THE OWNER THAT IT GOT ORDERED AT LEAST 4 OR 5 TIMES A WEEK BUT THAT SHE HAD ONLY SEEN IT FINISHED ONCE. SEEING WHAT WAS ON IT I AM NOT SURPRISED - 6 SAUSAGES, 6 RASHERS OF BACON, 6 HASH BROWNS, BAKED BEANS, 4 SLICES OF FRIED BREAD WITH 4 FRIED EGGS, MUSHROOMS, TINNED TOMATOES, SIX PIECES OF BLACK PUDDING, FRIED POTATOES AND 4 SLICES OF TOAST AND BUTTER. I ASK, WOULD YOU EVEN ATTEMPT THIS? WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO? DEFINITELY A HEART ATTACK ON A PLATE, BUT THE DINER ITSELF WAS BUSY AS THE LOCAL POLICESUED IT FOR THEIR COFFEE BREAKS AND BREAKFASTS, (THERE WERE 3 CARS IN WHEN WE FIRST TRIED IT).

ANYWAY, ON TO THE PHOTOS. I AM GOING TO SPLIT THEM AS THERE ARE QUITE A FEW TO SHOW YOU.

THE FIRST SET OF PHOTOS IS OF MY COUSIN'S PETS. THERE ARE THE FOUR DONKEYS AND FOUR DOGS, ALTHOUGH YOU WILL SEE FIVE DOGS AS MY AUNT AND UNCLE ALSO HAVE ONE. THE ONE WHO BITES LEGS IS THE DARK HAIRED DOG IN THE FIRST PHOTO AND THE ONE OF THE DOG ON ITS OWN IS MY AUNT AND UNCLE'S DOG, AND WHO IS ALSO THE ALPHA MALE OF THE PACK.

THE NEXT LOT ARE OF THE EDEN PROJECT, OR MORE PRECISELY, THE BITS I WAS ABLE TO SEE. THERE ARE 5 BIOMES ALTOGETHER AND BECAUSE OF TIME CONSTRAINTS WE ONLY GOT TO GO INTO TWO OF THEM AND EVEN THEN ONLY HALF WAY AROUND THE SECOND. THE PLACE IS BUILT IN AN OLD QUARRY WHICH IS REALLY STEEP TO GET DOWN. THE GOOD THING IS THAT THERE IS TRANSPORT TO BRING YOU BACK TO THE TOP AND TAKE YOU TO THE CAR. I AM NOT EVEN GOING TO ATTEMPT TO REMEMBER THE TREES AND PLANTS AS THERE WERE SO MANY. ALL I WILL SAY IS THAT THE MAJORITY WERE TAKEN IN THE FIRST BIOME WHILST IN THE SECOND I SUSPECT THERE WILL BE SOME PLANTS AND TREES THAT YOU WILL RECOGNISE. TO START, THOUGH, I AM GOING TO GO OUT OF SEQUENCE AND SHOW YOU A PHOTO OF A PLANT BED.
IT IS BEFITTING THAT THIS IS OUTSIDE THE CAFE AS EVERY ONE OFTHE PLANTS YOU SEE YOU CAN EAT. UNFORTUNATLEY, I COULD NOT GET A DECENT ENOUGH PICTURE EXPLAINING IT ALL BUT IT WAS FASCINATING TO SEE SOME OF THE COMMON GARDEN PLANTS THAT WE WOULD NEVER DREAM OF USING AS A FOOD SOURCE, AND YET HERE THER WERE ACTUALLY BEING GROWN AND USED IN THE CAFE. I HAD A LOVELY SALAD WHICH CONTAINED MARIGOLD FLOWERS, FOR EXAMPLE. THERE WERE A LOT MORE AS WELL BUT I SIMPLY COULD NOT GET THEM ALL INTO THE ONE SET OF PICTURES AS THEY WENT ON FOR A LONG WAY. THIS IS BESIDES THE FRUITS, VEGETABLES AND COMMON HERBS THAT WERE GROWN. REMEMBER THAT THIS PLACE STARTED OFF AS A RESEARCH PLATFORM INTO BIOSPHERE TECHNOLOGY SO FOR THE MOST PART IS STILL SELF SUSTAINABLE.

SO,TO THE OUTSIDE.
AS YOU WILL NOTE, THIS SERIES IS TAKEN FROM RIGHT TO LEFT AND ALL THE BIOMES ARE INTER-CONNECTED. I FINIFH THIS SET WITH AN UNUSUAL SCULPTURE OF WHAT I CAN ONLY GUESS IS A HORNET. SEE WHAT YOU THINK.
NOW TO THE INSIDE, THE FIRST BIOME OF WHICH SHOWS THE RAIN FOREST FROM VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD. THIS AREA DOES PRODUCE ITS OWN RAINFALL AND THE WATER IS COLLECTED AND RECYCLED. IT ALSO PRODUCES ITS OWN HEAT AS WELL SO ON A DULL DAY THERE ARE ACTUAL CLOUDS IN THE ROOF. THE TEMPERATURE WAS SO HOT THAT THERE IS A ROOFTOP VIEWING PLATFORM WHICH HAD TO BE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC AS THE METAL WAS TOO HOT TO TOUCH. THE STRANGE THIG IS THAT SOME BRITISH BIRDS HAVE MADE THEIR HOMES IN THE LOWER WOODLANDS AND THERE ARE TROPICAL BUTTERFLIES NOW BEING INTRODUCED. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BIOME THERE IS A HATCHERY AND 18 DIFFERENT BUTTERFLY SPECIES HAVE BEEN PLACED THERE IN PUPAE STAGE SO THAT THEY WILL HATCH NATURALLY INTO THE ENVIRONMENT FROM WHICH THEY CAME FROM. I COULD NOT CAPTURE ALL OF THE PLACE AND THERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF A STORM SHELTER WHICH WOULD BE USED BY THE NATIVES OF THE FOREST AND EVEN AS A TSUNAMI RELIEF HUT. IT WAS IN AMONGST THE TREES AND BRANCHES AND THE PICTURE THAT I TOOK WAS SO DARK YOU COULD NOT SEE WHAT IT WAS. WHAT I WILL SAY IS THAT IT IS TINY, LOW ROOFED, AND HOW A FAMILY COULD LIVE IN ONE IS BEYOND ME. ALSO, THERE IS NOT AN EXAMPLEOF THE TREE ITSELF, BUT I DID GET TO SAMPLE OF A BAOBAB SMOOTHIE, THE SUGAR OF WHICH COMES FROM THE BAOBAB TREE. THIS TREE IS SO BIG THAT WHEN IT DIES, THE CENTRE IS HOLLOWED OUT AND THE TREE IS USED AS A HOUSE. THERE IS ONE THAT IS USED AS A BAR AND THE LARGERST ONE IS USED AS A RAIN SHELTER FOR UP TO FORTY PEOPLE! I HAVE TO SAY THAT THE SMOOTHIE WAS DELICIOUS AND THE BAOBAB SUGAR WAS COMBINED WITH PINAPPLE JUICE AND COCONUT MILK TO MAKE THE DRINK. ANYHOW, ON TO THE PHOTOS.
I INTERRUPT HERE TO MENTION THAT THIS LAST PHOTO SHOWS THE SIZE OF AN AREA WHICH IS BEING DENUDED EVERY HOUR FROM THE FORESTS. IT REALLY MAKES YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE IT UP CLOSE.


WE NOW MOVE INTO THE MORE TEMPERATE CLIMATE.
THE LADY STANDING IN FRONT OF THIS PLANT IS MY COUSIN'S WIFE.
YOU CANNOT SEE THEM UNFORTUNATELY, BUT AT THE END OF THIS ROW IS A BED OF CHILLI PEPPEERS. THESE RANGE IN HEAT FROM 100,000 TO 500,000, (WHICH ARE YOUR HABANEROS). THERE IS ONE THAT STANDS ALONE THOUGH. IT WAS RAISED IN, OF ALL PLACES, DORSET, UK, AND IS THE HOTTEST PEPPER IN THE WORLD COMING IN AT A WHOPPING 1.6MILLION ON THE HEAT SCALE. I HAVE NOT A CLUE HOW YOU WOULD USE THIS ONE!
THIS 'HUT' IS THE EQUIVALENT OF A PORTABLE SHELTER. GO FIGURE! THIS STATUE REPRESENTS A GREEK GOD CALLED DIONYSUS, WHO WAS THE GOD OF RESURRECTION SO FEATURED IN A LOT OF GREEK GARDENS.

I THINK I MAYBE SHOULD HAVE ENTITLED THIS BLOG, 'THE EDEN PROJECT WITH A BIT OF HOLIDAY TAGGED ON', LOL. ACTUALLY I TOOK A LOT MORE BUT HAVE LIMITED WHAT I AM SHOWING TO HOPEFULLY GIVE YOU A TASTER. IF THIS IS ONLY ONE AND A HALF BIOMES, JUST THINK OF WHAT I MISSED OUT ON. I WOULD DEARLY LOVE TO GO BACK AND SEE.

ALL OF THE ABOVE PHOTOS WERE TAKEN ON THE SECOND DAY OF THE HOLIDAY. SUCH WAS THE NATURE OF THE REST OF IT THAT I ONLY MANAGED TO TAKE ONE MORE PICTURE AND THAT WAS ON THE DAY BEFORE WE WERE DUE TO FLY HOME. IT IS OF TRISH WITH MY BROTHER, ALAN, WHO IS 2 YEARS YOUNGER THAN I AM.


I DO HOPE YOU HAVE ENJOYED THE TREK THROUGH THE JUNGLE AND THAT YOU MAY HAVE RECOGNISED SOME OF THE PLANTS FROM THE SECOND SET OF PICTURES. IT IS A FASCINATING PLACE AND THERE IS A WAY TO GET A YEAR TICKET AT THE SAME PRICE OF THE STANDARD DAY TICKET, SO THOSE WHO LIVE CLOSE BY ARE EXCEEDINGLY FORTUNATE.

UNTIL THE NEXT TIME.....
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SDEHNKE 9/1/2013 9:28AM

    Fascinating. emoticon

Suellen


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JOYCECAIN 7/25/2013 2:38PM

    Loved this. I can't imagine how you would use that one pepper. Love Joyce

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CAROLIAN 7/21/2013 1:38AM

    I always fancied visiting there but have never got around to doing it Have a good summer emoticon

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CEREBELLUM 7/19/2013 4:13PM

    GREAT PHOTOS! EDIBLE PLANTS HOW INTERESTING!

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ARTJAC 7/19/2013 6:19AM

    emoticon GREAT PICS WELCOME BACK

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DEE107 7/19/2013 12:09AM

    love your pictures and thanks for sharing

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-WISPY- 7/18/2013 10:07PM

    WOO HOO MAC, FIRST OF ALL ITS GREAT TO HAVE YOU HOME AGAIN AND THE PHOTOS AS JUST BEAUTIFUL - WHAT A CREDIT TO YOU TO HAVE TAKEN THEM ALL.

THE PROJECT IS JUST FANTASTIC AND LOVING ALL THOSE EDIBLE PLANTS THAT IS RIGHTUP MY ALLEY AS I USED TO GROW ASSORTED ONES FOR USE HERE. I LOVE FOOD TO LOOK PRETTY AND DECORATIVE AND REALLY ENJOYED USING THE PETALS. I STILL DO HAVE SOME GROWING.

DELIGHTED YOU GOT TO SEE FAMILY, IF ONLY FOR A SHORT WHILE.

I WOULD SURE LOVE TO STROLL THROUGH THE EDEN PROJECT MYSELF.

HUGS WISPY

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ANJAYS-JOURNEY 7/18/2013 6:43PM

    awesome the Eden project is fascinating

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SHERRY666 7/18/2013 6:00PM

    OH WOW IS ALL I CAN SAY......... THE EDEN PROJECT IS HUGE AND GORGEOUS.......... I WOULD LOVE TO JUST WALK AROUND THERE AND TAKE IN ALL OF THE PLANTS FLOWERS AND TREES...... IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL..... THANKS FOR SHARING SOME OF YOUR TRIP WITH US MAC....... IF ANYTHING THE EDEN PROJECT WAS WORTH THE WHOLE TRIP..... MAGNIFICENT.... I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO MENTION...... WELCOME HOME YOU WERE MISSED ON OUR CHAT....... IT'S GREAT TO HAVE YOU BACK MAC.

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GOLDDUSTTWIN 7/18/2013 2:46PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon So glad ;you were able to get to the Eden Project AND GLAD YOU ARE HOME AGAIN! YOU WERE MISSED!

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LINDA! 7/18/2013 2:00PM

    I really enjoyed the photos and the blog.

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STITCH4EVER 7/18/2013 11:52AM

    THE PICTURES ARE INCREDIBLE. I'M REALLY GLAD YOU GOT TO MAKE THE TRIP.

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CONTENTCHRIS 7/18/2013 11:33AM

    I enjoyed the photos but I can tell that the real

thing had to be more enjoyable.

Sorry to hear of your family loss and good

of you all to consul the ones in need as well

as being able to see you brother for a bit.

Nice pics my friend as always! emoticon

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