Race 12 is over, race 13 began yesterday and is a short hop over to New York, with the fleet expected to arrive by the end of this week. I hope you get to read this before then as ONCE AGAIN the internet mast is playing up. As Race 13 is so short, around 700 nautical miles, there is no Ocean Sprint, no Scoring Gate and no Stealth mode. Not surprisingly, no boat decided to play their Joker. A maximum 11 points then.
Results for Race 12: Sanya first, GTB second with Joker, WTC third with Joker, PdE fourth, Unicef fifth, Zhuhai sixth with Joker, Qingdao seventh, DTL eighth, HLB ninth, IYK tenth and Seattle eleventh. Scoring Gate: WTC first over followed by Sanya and GTB. Ocean Sprint: PdE fastest followed by Qingdao and GTB.
Current standings are thus: Qingdao still in the lead with 119 points, HLB second with 113, PdE third with 106, Unicef fourth with 95, WTC fifth with 90, Sanya sixth with 87, GTB seventh with 82, IYK eighth with 71, DTL ninth with 59, Zhuhai tenth with 58 and Seattle bring up the rear with 47. We have yet to find out about any penalties.
As we still have three races and three teams to play their Joker (Sanya, Seattle and DTL), it’s all to play for. (Race 13 being included in this, only two of these could score the maximum 22 points). I calculate a maximum of 45 points are up for grabs (assuming the last two races have both a Scoring Gate and Ocean Sprint), with the three Jokers meaning a possible maximum of 56 for those three. This is highly unlikely as a team would have to win a race plus the two Scoring Gates and two Ocean Sprints, but who knows? Especially if there are major penalties for any boat. At the moment, Seattle are 72 points behind Qingdao so I think we can safely say Seattle won’t win. Sanya are looking good though, yet to play their Joker and only 32 points behind.
Unicef might not have won this race nor the Scoring Gate nor the Ocean Sprint, but they did win something this race: To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Clipper challenged the boats to a Jubilee Bake-Off whilst at sea. It was a close contest, with teams putting up their top bakers for the challenge. Judged by Bermuda Tourism, the winner was Unicef! Here’s a picture of the winning cake from the Clipper Facebook Page:
Back to my life. Although we have no builders in the house, the decorators are still trying to finish their job, so we still have stuff in store. Most of it is my Penguin books, which will be going into the last room to be completed. Adie is helping the decorators, although I don’t think they really need her.
I decided to be sensible and change to a smaller lock up unit. Such a simple task, I thought, I’ve been back and fore most weeks and chatted to the people in charge. Well, the original contract is in JD’s name only and even though I have the key and could have moved everything out, I cannot move it into a new locker without his say-so. I could, of course, have taken out my own contract, but then we’d be paying for two units. I explained why I couldn’t get hold of JD and after the usual fascinating discussion about Clipper, they still said no. Thankfully, we both have Powers of Attorney (PoA) so with that plus an email from him (when in Panama) I was able to tick this off my to-do list. Only took half a day! Any of you who are wondering who needs a PoA, you never know when you’ll need it.
I haven’t got round to mentioning two great Sunday lunches I had in London, both with George and Yangtze. The first was at Kerridge’s Bar & Grill in the Corinthia Hotel. This was arranged by George’s Godmother Val as a late birthday present for him. It was an impressive venue, although I cannot remember the details of the headless sculpture behind George. They did manage to give our bottle of wine to another table, for which they apologised and gave us a free replacement, but not the same year (and no, not a better vintage).
The second Sunday lunch was at The Clink. No pictures of this as it is in HMP Brixton and all staff are inmates (other than the head chef, who is training them for life outside). We had to arrive half an hour before lunch was booked, hand over our passport or driving licence as proof of identity, wear a lanyard and go through a security check similar to airport security. No sharp objects, phones, chewing gum and other stuff I can’t remember. The food was good, thankfully no tough meat as the cutlery is all plastic. There is no alcohol but really tasty mocktails were served. I need to go back as London’s last surviving windmill is next to the prison and looked well worth a visit:
In addition to The Clink charity, which looks like it’s doing a great job of sending offenders out into the much-depleted hospitality trade, which is crying out for workers, I attended an Opera Awards dinner (with George and Yangtze, they can’t get rid of me!). A very different experience, held at the Drapers’ Hall in the City of London. The Drapers were in the woollen trade and formed a Guild to look after their interests in the 1300’s. They are now a philanthropic association so if you want to, you can hire the hall. The Opera Awards Foundation is a charity formed to support any aspiring musician or company associated with opera. Over the last couple of years, they have given emergency grants to people who were unable to work due to the Covid restrictions. A very different form of charity but there was an interesting link between these two. One of the recipients told us that, without support and encouragement to sing, he could easily have ended up as a young offender.
Changing the subject (grasshopper mind at work), the Star Wars spacecraft designer, Colin Cantwell, died aged 90 recently. A fascinating chap, he worked at NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, as well as having studied animation and architecture, so he knew in depth what he was designing. He also wrote two SF novels which I’ve downloaded onto my Kindle, as I can’t find hard copies anywhere (at a sensible price).
At least one other person reads my blogs. I’ve struck a chord of what you’re interested in. First, the GEORGE cocktail. Then, the ANDY cocktail. This time, I bring you the DAVE. I was wondering if John’s twin grand-daughters would request something special for their 18th birthdays, that would have really stretched my brain.
You might remember that I started these Friday (and Saturday) cocktails in lockdown in order to use up the leftovers of weird bottles we had picked up on our travels over the years. I have to make an awful confession: I am now buying obscure (to me at least) liqueurs purely based on their name, just to fulfil this new challenge. You can see the latest haul in today’s header. You’ll be delighted to know that I have created an alphabetic spreadsheet of bottles I have (and don’t have, for future reference) of all liquids that I could use. It includes soft as well as alcoholic, I’m not trying to get the whole country drunk.
Before I get onto DAVE, in order to whet your appetites, I was reading in the newspaper about the latest fad: vegetable cocktails. I had considered buying some Asparagus gin for the ANDY but decided against, maybe I’m not a leader but a follower. If you’re going to ask for a cocktail named after you, be warned I might be experimenting with rather outré ingredients for future requests. There was a lovely quote in The Times, especially in these times of increasing costs: “We all eat avocados once or twice a week, on toast or in guacamole, so we wanted to translate that flavour into cocktails,” she says. “You’ve got the saltiness, the spiciness, the citrus of lime and then the avocado, so it’s a very similar flavour profile to guacamole.” Here’s the cocktail, created by the Isabel Mayfair restaurant. Looking at their website, I might just find myself there one Sunday. I have to admit though, not for this cocktail.
For an Avocado Martini, take one avocado, 15 ml Ancho Reyes Verde or freshly sliced jalapeños, 40 ml vodka, 10 ml agave syrup, 15 ml fresh lime juice, 1 lime cut into wedges (for the puree, and to rim the glass) and crushed sea salt (ideally black lava salt), to rim the glass. Blend the avocado with some lime juice to a puree, shake in a cocktail shaker with all the other ingredients then strain in a martini glass with a salted rim.
If that doesn’t float your boat, how about an asparagus martini, a purple carrot cocktail (pickle the purple carrots then blend the brine with vodka and vermouth) or a beetroot negroni?
No, me neither. However, I have come across one I fancy making, in Country Life to celebrate their 125th anniversary. I forget the name but it’s 45 ml gin, 45 ml Italicus (the bergamot liqueur I like), 15 ml lemon juice and 10 ml tonka syrup. What is tonka syrup, you ask? It’s made from tonka beans, obviously. What a silly question. BUT, what are tonka beans? Do they make toy trucks out of them? Nope. They come from a South American tree and smell similar to vanilla. They have medical ‘claims’ but have been banned as a food item in the USA for many years due to their toxicity. Maybe I’ll just use vanilla extract.
I was about to wrap up today and publish this before the internet goes again but I realise I’ve not given you the DAVE. I’m still perfecting it but I do have two new ingredients that I need to tell you about, so I think I’ll ask you to wait until next time. It’s OK, Dave’s birthday isn’t until August so he’ll not miss out. In case you need something to keep you going, here’s me drinking a sort-of G&T made with ‘Glaswe-gin’ (raspberry and rhubarb flavour) topped up with raspberry and rose lemonade.
Very refreshing. It might not look like it, but I only had the one.