Post 148. Just When You Think It’s All Over

And so it begins (again). I’m not talking about the re-emergence of Trump and Johnson, you’ll be glad to hear. This is about Clipper, this time without OBB (and OBG Yangtze) on board. Unless there’s something they’ve forgotten to tell me (again). Here we were, beginning to forget about Clipper and move onto other things, when a news item pops up from the Clipper website:

The new Clipper skippers were announced. Of course, we had to read it and of course we then got enthusiastic as we already know a lot of them, so in a way we still have an interest. As yet, the actual boats haven’t been announced but above is a sneak preview (from Yangtze when she happened to be down there sailing. Am I suspicious?). Josh Stickland, ‘Sticky’, Skipper of Ha Long Bay in ‘our’ Race. They were third overall with 127 points so I’m sure Josh will be aiming to improve on that. Here he is.

Mike Miller, the First Mate (AQP) on Unicef at the start then Skipper of Sanya at the re-start, ending up sixth. Dan Bodey, a circumnavigator on Unicef at the start and replaced Mike as AQP at the re-start. As we well remember, despite a strong showing in the four races of the second half with two podium positions, Unicef came in fifth overall with 117 points. David Hartshorn, who became skipper for Seattle, finishing tenth. I only have a shot of Mike, very proudly wearing the Unicef pennant in Cape Town when they came second. Before he (literally) jumped ship!

Then we have five who were AQPs on the second half of our Race: Hannah Brewis (who was AQP for David so a little competition between the two of them?); Ineke van der Weijen (on WTC); Fernando Antia Bernandez (known as Nano, from Uruguay on Punta of course); James Finney (on Zhuhai) and Max Rivers (on Bermuda).Finally, two new names to Clipper and us: Ryan Gibson and Greg Hunt.

Something tells me the 2023-24 Race is going to feature in our lives, even if it’s only watching Race Viewer. Here’s a link to the video of them talking about it.

As yet, we don’t know the AQPs or the boat sponsors or the ports, not even the start (UK, presumably London but we’ll find out soon). How about a little speculation? Josh on Ha Long Bay, Dan on Unicef, Mike on Sanya, Nano on Punta del Este, David on Seattle. Always assuming that these sponsors are still in the game. Now that I think about it, there will probably be some crew we know who couldn’t finish the second half last year.

Before it all kicks off, more of what we’ve been doing. Lots of good London restaurants, too many to mention all of them. One that was different and we’ve been to a couple of times is called Iberia, in Pimlico. Guess what type of food they serve? Bet you can’t (unless you know your old history). Not Spain or Portugal but the Kingdom of Iberia established in the fourth century BC. Ah, yes, of course, now you know. Georgia! Great food and wine, have a look.

OK, here’s an easier one. FISH! (Including the exclamation mark) in Borough Market. Somehow we didn’t see the sign (it was night-time) and so walked around Borough Market for about fifteen minutes before we gave up and asked someone. Again, great food and atmosphere.

Then, not knowing it was Wales Week in London, we visited a place we’d fancied trying, Toulouse Lautrec, which has a jazz club, starring a cabaret called Blodwyn’s in Town (and very fancy toilets). That’s not really her name but she says she doesn’t want to upset her home village!

She was very amusing and sang some songs we actually recognised, including We’ll All Go Together When We Go by Tom Lehrer. I had fancied using that as a Post title but if you know what it’s about then you might think it a bit apocalyptic. It’s his 95th birthday this Sunday so here’s a clip for you to enjoy, a few years ago unless he’s aged amazingly well. It led onto another track by him that I’ve never heard, So Long Mom (about World War Three which he reckoned in 1990 was close).

And once this has cheered you up, here’s something from a mere 79 year old Joni Mitchell, it made me cry:

Back to books, both JD and I recently read the Path of Peace by Sir Anthony Seldon. It is very moving and informative, although I’ve not been able to find out how far the Path has got in terms of being created. Every lead on the internet seems to lead back to the book.

One of the more interesting things he describes is a rather odd cat festival. (You might want to skip the first link if you’re feeling squeamish). It looks like there could be a festival next year (2024), see you there?

Back to music and listening to Radio 3 one evening while preparing supper, JD caught the name Carey Nutman. Can’t be many with that name he said, and it turns out he was right, it was the chap he was at university with. We had to listen to his compositions after that! I’m not sure I’d call them relaxing, they’re rather reminiscent of Delia Derbyshire (of Dr Who theme fame).

More music I’m not too enamoured with. One of our Country House Study lectures was about Inveraray Castle and what they do to keep the place running. In effect, anything that will help pay the bills. You might recognise it if you’ve watched Downton Abbey or the BBC programme ‘A Very British Scandal’ about ‘The Dirty Duchess’ of Argyll. In addition to these, they had a festival at which Bagrock was played. I think it’s a fusion of bagpipes and rock: whatever it is, it don’t appeal to me.

How many of you just skip to the end of these Posts to find out if I’ve made a cocktail? You’re in luck today if you do. (I think if you’ve read about Margaret and found the incriminating pictures you’ll need a strong drink). I couldn’t find a headless man so instead you’ve got an Undead Gentleman cocktail, using falernum, an ingredient I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet. It’s a rum-based slightly spicy liqueur with a secret recipe of exactly which spices are used depending on where you buy it from. This one came from Diffords, as did the cocktail recipe.

The Undead Gentleman is apparently a more genteel Zombie. I’m not sure where the gentility comes in, both strike me as reasonably strong. A classic Zombie consists of lots of different rums, pineapple juice, lemon, grapefruit and / or lime juices (with brown sugar dissolved in them, or syrup) and bitters. The UG has absinthe to coat the glass then 75 ml golden or dark rums (choose and mix as you wish), 15 ml falernum, 30 ml fruit juices (pink grapefruit and lime, or again what you fancy), a dash of bitters and 10 ml cinnamon syrup. I cheated and just put a stick of cinnamon in the rum. There’s still some in the bar (at least, there’s a bottle of something with a cinnamon stick) so I might be making it again for Easter. Or it might go into this year’s Christmas cake, if it lasts that long!