Four Countries, Two Days

Hi all!

Sorry for my absence! I have been away for the past few days and I am now going away again. Crossing four countries in two days. It sounds way better than it actually is! I left Ireland towards the UK. After that, I took the boat and needed to cross the beautiful country of Wales until I arrived in England. Now, I am just a couple of hours away from flying to Brazil.

It’s quite tiring, but I am not complaining! Just posted this quickly to let you guys know I am still alive and will post some new stuff very soon!

Backyard Wild Yeast Plum Mead – Part I

THis post contains 3 photos. Click to enlarge them.

This is a bit of a risky kind of brew, but I will give it a go anyway.

Some fruits come with a natural coat of wild yeast on their skin. This can be beneficial to your brew, but dangerous, because wild yeast can infect your brew.

The way this mead was done was:

  1. Pick the healthier plums from your tree. In this case, I picked them from my own backyard;

  1. See the white coating? This is the wild yeast on the fruit. The aim of this brew is to use that yeast and that alone to kick start the fermentation. This mead is expected to be low in alcohol, so that the fermentation is quick and it gives less times for any infection to develop;

  1. After a quick rinse, the plums are deseeded and quickly hand pulped. This would make homebrewers cringe, but I did sanitize my hands well! Well, back in the day, wine juice was extracted by stepping on grapes, so why not use my hands? Then soak them on a solution of water, honey, lime and lime zest, which was boiled for one hour. Dump the boiling water onto the plums and close the fermenting bin. That’s it. Give it a bit of a mix for the next two days and leave it. A bit of natural selection, after the boiling water in dumped, only the strongest yeast will survive!


  1. 2.5kg of deseeded plums;
  2. 2.5kg of honey;
  3. 13L of water;
  4. Juice and zest of 2 limes;

Updates will follow.

Picking Wild Fruits: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

This post contains 5 photos.

Picking wild fruit is such a great thing to do. Just walking about the place and knowing that you don’t really need to buy everything you eat is just great! Well, at least I think it is!

Fortunately, I am just a short walk from my University, which offers a few of these wild treasures, but students and bypassers sometimes don’t respect this and abuse the privilege a little bit.

I decided to write this post because what I thought was common sense really is not.

So, before going picking some wild fruit, take some time to think….

  1. Why are you picking them?

What do you plan to do with them? It’s great to be able to go and pick as many as we can possibly fit in our backpack, right? Well, if this is how much you need to do whatever you are planning, good! But take the time to think how long they last for and if you are going to be able to use it all before it goes off. Wasting is bad and you will most likely throw it away in the bin, where it won’t get used up by nature. So, if you can’t use it, better let it fall on the ground and fertilize the tree to keep it alive for years to come.

  1. Pick only the ones that are ripe

Fruits are not hard to pick. If they are ready to be picked, they will just come off the branches with no effort whatsoever. Fruits don’t become ripe at the same time. If you pull it a little bit and they don’t come off, move on! They are not ready to be picked. Come back in a couple of weeks or so and they might be there waiting for you!

  1. If you can’t reach it, don’t pick it

Depending on what you pick, the branches can be full of thorns and can hurt you. We are humans and are extremely whinny. Anything that hurts us, we just complain. So, if you can’t reach the fruit, just leave it alone! Trying to reach can hurt you and, just as important, can hurt the trees on the way.

Photo below credit to @Symphlythebest.

  1. Pulling branches to pick fruits

This is related to the topic above. if you can’t reach the fruit, just leave it there. Get a ladder if it is too high, try a different path to try and get it, if you can’t reach it horizontally. Pulling branches can break them and that’s another branch that will never bear fruits again.

  1. Respect the Wildlife

Maybe near the trees, you will see some birds that won’t go away, even if you come really close to them, hissing geese and swans, bees etc, they are not doing these things for no reason! They are doing it because you are imposing into their territory, they have nests etc and would like you to stay away. Try invade their privacy… you will get a geese ass-whopping!

Volucella Pellucens

  1. Keep an eye out for scumbags

Yeah, scumbags! I said it! When going for a walk, a run or whatever, keep an eye out for people doing harm to plants or local wildlife. Sometimes an angry look does the job to make them aware that they are doing something wrong! Sometimes not, but ah well, we all have different approaches (Maybe I also think that geese are a bit scummy? They love hissing at me at any time for the year… so….).

Well, I think I said my peace! Respect nature and you will be rewarded! Given my container, you can guess what I will use my berries for!

Trafalgar Square, London – With Canada on the Background

Canada, you say? Just the embassy… (Well, legally it IS Canadian soil!)

I love walking around London. Every time I have the opportunity, I hop on the train and just walk around aimlessly. I love spending time at the National Gallery. When I have spent enough time in there, I just sit on the steps at Trafalgar Square and watch people walk by, how chaotic everyday life is. Every time I go over, I am able to see the city in a different way.

Trafalgar Square has been a place of many demonstrations in recent history. Across the square from the Canadian Embassy is the South African Embassy. During the 90s, it was the location of very harsh demonstrations against the apartheid regime in the former colony (That’s just a quick example!)

When Ireland was part of the British Empire, a Statue of Nelson was erected right in the middle of O’Connell Street in the centre of Dublin. Needless to say, the IRA blew it up in the 60s. Ah well, glad all these things are in the past… but sad that new demonstrations are arising.

Henley-on-Thames… An Anecdote of Avoidance!

How can I say this without being mean… this is probably the only place in the entire world that I vow never to return!

I am very open to new experiences, visiting new places and absorbing the local culture. With the Regattas, retreat for rich artists, fancy restaurants, extremely expensive real estate etc, Henley is a nightmare for the humble! And my God, if you look different and just gaze at a shopping window, you can expect a little enquire from the local police!

I brought my father to visit the place and, after a very pleasant day, it ended with two police officers asking us all sorts of questions at the train station. The allegation was that we looked suspicious while visiting a jewellery shop. Apparently, there were videos of my father and I, the two “suspicious Eastern European looking fellows”, inside this place, in which we never went. After I asked who accused us of “looking suspicious” and asked to be brought to the police station to see the video, but the officers backed up and said it was not necessary. I insisted, with no luck. That occurred after they took all our details.

This was a horrible experience and promised myself I would never return to that place. I love England, have been living here for almost four years now, but for that experience alone, my dad will probably never return here to visit me.

Because I can laugh about the incident now, I supposed it became an anecdote, but I can laugh far away from that place! Never again!

Old photo… new perspective

Going through some of my photos, I found a few from a christmas party I had in 2012, if I recall correctly. My former German housemate introduced me to “feuerzangenbowle”, a german christmas drink. It was very nice to have experienced that! Here is my favourite photo of the evening! Not the best, only my favourite!

Paris or London?

Hi all! I am really sorry for my absence… trying to get my PhD done and the free time I have… well… I want to stay away from a computer!

Well, I like to compare things… sometimes unfairly and the question always needs to be answered. What’s the best? What’s the worst? What’s the most beautiful and I come up with answers that, I think, never reflect the truth, but satisfy me! One of these questions is: Paris or London? I have a biased opinion as I live in close to London and love the city with all my heart. On the other hand, even if I find Paris an amazing city, I have more bad experiences than good, which tarnished my image of the city.

Do you guys have an opinion? What makes a place better than the other? Is there a fair way to judge this???

A collection: So far

It’s official! I have the homebrew bug! So far, I have brewed 4 beers and all successful so far! But unfortunately, one of the brew I just did for the heck of it! Didn’t really have anyone or any celebration in mind, so I didn’t have a label for it. For the other three that did have a label, here is a picture so far!

From left to right: A sourdough lager, a doppel bock and a spiced honey weissbier. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I have!

Sourdough lager, Doppel Bock and Spiced Honey Weissbier... Anyone for a beer party? (I only have 110 bottles)