Monday, December 31, 2012

Evernote 2013

I love Evernote and use it on a daily basis to store my bits and pieces. I hadn't thought of moving  old bits and pieces into the service.

Shoukd I make this a goal for 2013?

Holiday project: move all of your information to Evernote - News - PC & Tech Authority Mobile Edition

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Retrospective

This banner ad just appeared on a site I was visiting.

I wonder how many people will be tempted to book?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Hope is the last to die

On our recent visit to Poland we visited Auschwitz-Birkenau. We asked our guide if she could recommend a good book to read about the camp and the experiences of someone who was incarcerated there.

She suggested "Hope is the last to die" by  Halina Birenbaum who was 10 when the war in Europe broke out. The book was available in the bookshop at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum but unfortunately the museum was closed by the time we completed our tour. I tried to purchase a copy in Krakow and Warsaw and then in London without success so I listed purchase as a task on my return home. 

I have just spent half an hour trying to find a reasonably priced copy of this book on the internet. A new copy can be purchased from the Museum but the only payment method is Paypal; I had an account but can't remember the details so this wasn't much use to me. There were secondhand copies available for prices of up to 80 British pounds at other sites. I finally purchased a secondhand copy through for 15 pounds including postage. 

Estimated delivery time is 2-6 weeks. Once I have read the book I may blog about it but I will certainly add and rate it in my online library at Librarything.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hygiene Helper

One of the nifty inclusions in the public restrooms on The Seven Seas Mariner  (a ship on which we love to sail) was something that should be mandatory in all public bathrooms where one has to manually open a door after one has washed one's hands.

It was a paper tissue dispenser from which one could take a sheet of tissue to hold the door handle when exiting the restroom. Before the door self-closed one could dispose of the tissue into the pedal bin mounted  on the wall below the  dispenser.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


On my recent cruise my habit was to have a Strawberry Daquiri after dinner while watching the show. After about 20 nights of daquiris I thought I needed a change. I told my waiter that I wanted a long refreshing drink, not too sweet, with perhaps a vodka base.

After a few minutes Veejay, the waiter, came back beaming "I have a Harvey Vallbanger for you" he said. I exclaimed "A Harvey Wallbanger - that's perfect - we used to drink those in the seventies." I enjoyed my reunion with Harvey so much that from that time on I changed my post dinner drink to a Harvey Wallbanger.

I was quite a trendsetter as I noticed after a few nights that more ladies on the ship were getting to know Harvey.

Now I am home I thought I would find a recipe for a Harvey Wallbanger so that Mr Geniaus could prepare one for me.

This is from at

This drink was created as one of those "all I got in the bar" drinks. Supposedly, the host of a party in the mid 60's had only vodka, orange juice andGalliano available. After a couple of these drinks a guest named Harvey was found to be banging his head against the wall and cursing the drink that caused him his misery. As such, the Harvey Wallbanger was born.

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 2 minutes

Yield: 1 Drink



  1. Pour the vodka and orange juice into a collins glasswith ice cubes.
  2. Add the Galliano.
  3. Garnish with the orange slice and maraschino cherry. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The finish line is in sight

We have been on a race through Europe, Britain and South America over the past nine+ weeks. I ambitiously thought I might post every day but touring and discovering got in the way. I will be posting more of my photos and  memories some time soon.

I am now sitting in Santiago airport in Chile wsiting to be called for the final leg of our journey.
We have been fortunate to have such a marvellous experience.

If you get a chance to travel...just do it.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Food Glorious Food

9 December 2012

Since we started travelling we have done a lot of eating and tried a few new things.

Polish Pork Cutlet
For our first meal we visited a restaurant in Warsaw's Old Town  where we feasted on a typical Polish Meal of Vegetable Soup,  Pork Cutlet (more like a schnitzel) with Fried Potatoes and Cabbage and Gelato in a waffle cup (not sure if this is too traditional but it tasted good).

Our last meal in Buenos Aires was in the restaurant of the Buenos Aires Sheraton where I had Sweet Potato Soup, Veal Parmagiana and Cruz Alta Brazilian Chardonnay.

Brazilian Booze

Merry Christmas from Buenos Aires

Father Christmas is waiting to hear from Argentinian children at Galerias Pacifico Shopping Mall.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Is a swim in order?

I feel like diving off my balcony and swimming over to this island at Punta del Este, Uraguay

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Culture on the high seas

1 December 2012

Boat Building Competition
Needlepoint, bridge, enrichment lectures,deck sports, trivia games, bingo and casino capers are some of the activities available to amuse guests while at sea.

Vocalists, instrumentalists, jugglers and stage productions provide evening entertainment.

Tonight we attended the fourth recital on board given by concert pianist, Panos Karan, an exceptionally talented young man. Even Mr Geniaus who is not a fan of classical music (and tonight it was a heavy Chopin program) enjoyed Panos' performances. A spot of culture doesn't go astray on the high seas.

I am looking forward to attending Panos' lecture tomorrow about Keys of Change a charity he founded in 2010 to promote and establish musical education and its benefits in remote areas around the world.

A clean state

30 October 2012

Today our ship pulled up off Porto Belo in the smallest Brazilian state, Santa Catarina.

We  were delivered by the ship's tender to Porto Belo one of three towns we visited. We noticed that the infrastructure in PB, Itapema and Cambirou was of a higher quality than we had seen anywhere else in Brazil. The towns were clean and the roads and footpaths were in good order; the beautiful beaches were also clean and I didn't notice the herds of wandering dogs that we had observed in other areas.

Dock in Porto Belo
Porto Belo Beach

Cambirou Beach - sea level
Cablecar guy

Rainforest transport
Cambirou Beach from on high

Rainforest traffic
In the rainforest

Rainforest inhabitant
Above the rainforest

Friendly Brazilian schoolgirls
From the forest to the beach

Brazilian Beach Belles

Christ came out in Cambirou

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mega Metropolis

1 December 2012

Our visit to Sao Paolo in Brazil a couple of days ago was a bit of a disappointment not due to the city or its lack of delights but due to an exceptionally poor tour guide and an inappropriate itinerary on our 8 hour tour. We took this extended tour so that we could have a good look around. The good news was that our coach was super comfortable with lots of legroom and comfy deep foam headrests.

Sao Paolo is a city of around 12 million people with a population of 20 odd million if you include the surrounding areas. Our tour was entitled  "The Best of Sao Paolo", if what we saw was the best then it is a sad state of affairs in that city.

Our guide totally lacked passion or enthusiasm for her city or the sights she was showing us. She let us loose in two museums that only had information about the exhibits in the Brazilian language while she sat in the foyer and waited for us to look around. Good guides give some guidance in this sort of situation. When we drove past important buildings she simply said "Here is the University" etc.  It would have been nice to know when it was established, how many students it had, what courses it offered etc. Her commentary on all the sights we saw was similarly dismissive. The most disturbing thing was that she did not count the members of her group or announce when we were moving on. It's lucky that some of our group didn't get left behind in Sao Paolo.

The guide made a decision to defer our lunch to a later time of 2:30 pm. As we had breakfasted at 7:00 am and had not had a break for a snack this decision was not popular with our ravenous tour group. When we finally got fed it was a great meal at a typical Brazilian Churasco restaurant

In spite of the poor itinerary and lack of guiding we had a fun day and took lots of photos in this city that seems to just go on and on and on. Following are some snaps of a few of the 12 million people on Sao Paolo.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Turds in Paradise

28 November 2012

Ilha Grande is an island and state park in the Rio de Janiero state of Brazil. There is very little development in this extremely attractive area that is blessed with some beautiful beaches.

We spent a wonderful few hours in this area today. After our tender ride from the ship we wandered around the tiny town before finding a shady spot under a tree on a beach not too distant from the pier where we had landed.

The water looked so inviting that I stripped down to my costumes and waddled to the water's edge ready to plunge in. There on the wet sand staring at me were two dog turds; I had a 30 second paddle and headed back to my towel, Although the water looked inviting and I was hot I was not going to swim there. To top it off after I had decided to pass on the swim a dog came along and added to the turd tally near us.

In spite of this Ilha Grande is a beautiful place.
Breakfast with a view of Ilha Grande
Pulling in to Ilha Grande
Our tender vessel at the pier
Restaurants line the beach
The policeman on patrol had trouble with his vehicle
View from under our tree
Needed my walking stick to negotiate the pavement
Blooms were everywhere
Flip-flops for every taste
Happy tourists

100 not out

For my 100th post to this little blog I am sharing a photo of a fellow cruiser on the Seven Seas Mariner snapped at lunchtime today.

Each day when we visit the pool deck we see some very silly people roasting themselves in the midday sun. These people fall into two categories - pale-skinned people from the UK or northern US states who turn red as a beetroots and wrinkled old folk with tanned skin like old boot leather. In both cases these people must not realise that they are putting themselves at risk of skin cancer or melanoma.

If you are lucky enough to spend a bit of time in the sun please heed the message of the old Australian sun safety campaign and Slip, Slop, Slap. 

Slip, Slop, Slap! Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


26 November 2012

The pace on our cruise has picked up with several consequetive days in port so time to prepare blog posts has gone out the porthole.

Today we had an amazing day in the beautiful city of Rio de Janiero. When time permits I will add more pictures to this blog. In the interim I am posting a mugshot of the travellers that our guide took from Sugarloaf.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

County Fair

23 October 2012

The ship's crew requested that all passengers leave the pool deck by 2:00 pm so that they could set up for the County Fair. At the appointed time of 3:00 pm the 650 adult kids on board the Seven Seas Mariner were allowed back onto the pool deck to join the fun of the fair.

Gone were the deck chairs, tables and chairs to be replaced by what we in Australia call Fete stalls. Each stall was hosted by a department of the ship: casino, waiters, housekeeping, beauty salon, bar staff, galley etc. At each of these stalls was a different game or challenge; those who were successful at the challenge were awarded a yellow raffle ticket for each "win". At the conclusion of proceedings 15 lucky people won a prize when the captain drew their tickets from a barrel.

Mr Geniaus netted one of the best prizes of the day - he won me a bottle of Vera Wang "Truly Pink".

There was a great carnival atmosphere on board as most of the passengers engaged in the simple activities on offer in the quest of the yellow tickets. It was great fun.

The crew members go to an enormous amount of trouble to entertain the old kids in their charge.

The old girl with white hair won the stewardesses relay

Helmeted for American Football

The beauty salon game required women (while blindfolded) to apply makeup to their men

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