Caine is gone

Dear readers

Sadly we have to tell you that Caine has lost her battle with cancer and died yesterday morning.

Life threw much more at Caine than it had any right to, yet she was still and always a passionate and compassionate fighter for what is right, for human dignity and decency. Many here started our time out on Pharyngula by being whacked over the head by Caine, whose zero tolerance for people being assholes made her a fierce commenter.

But Caine was so much more than that, she was a wonderful artist, great photographer, a loving partner and a good friend, even though most of us never met her in person. She created this space and this wonderful little community.

Dear Rick, we feel your pain and our heartfelt condolences are with you.

Dear Caine, you will be missed and remembered. None of us believed in an afterlife, except for the one in the hearts and the memories of the people we touched. Dear Caine, you live on in many hearts and the tears that are cried for you.

Two feathers swimming on water

Stupid Work

Do you know this when you’re doing something that is physically and intellectually easy but takes so much time you cannot believe it? As you may know I started a new job this week, which is as a special ed teacher.

Now, I’m not a tidy person. Actually, saying that is probably like the Queen claiming to be not amused when her house just burned down. And because I’m chaos incarnated, I need to be very organised, because I cannot be trusted. So to have a good start, I created a folder for all my kids, with their files, their names printed on colourful paper sorted by their class, note paper,…

That stupid shit just took me two hours of my life. Who has got time for this? Do tidy people simply get a few hours more a day in whi9ch they can be tidy?

Blue folder on a cluttered desk

As you can see in the clutter behind the folder, I struggle with keeping my workspace clean.
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Barcelona, the Zoo 2: Gorillas

Since we were talking about apes anyway…

My favourite great apes are gorillas. I could watch them for hours, especially their eyes. The group in Barcelona just gor some snacks when we were there, so some of the images will be them foraging.

Gorilla on green grass

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Young gorilla climbing a rope

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Young gorilla sitting

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Gorilla, eating

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Barcelona: the Zoo 1

We’re leaving the Aquarium, but stay with the animals. Zoos are something we love to visit wherever we go. The zoo in Barcelona has the perk of having not one but two species of hippos, and I love hippos. These are the pygmy hippos, which are a solitary species, quite unlike the “normal” hippos who live in groups.

Something to keep in mind the next time somebody tries to tell you about human behaviour because of chimps or something.

Pygmy hippo with open mouth

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Side of pygmy hippo

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Pygmy hippo, full length

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Backside of pygmy hippo going into a pond.

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Barcelona: The Aquarium 4: Creatures of the Sea

The last images from the aquarium. Oh, and I won a bet that day. When we walked past the gift shop on our way in I swore we’d leave with one of the penguins on display. Sadly, nobody who knows my kids would have held that bet.

Head of a seahorse

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Green and blue corals

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Jellyfish in a blue light

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Sourdough update

I made another bread, and what a difference.

First I think that despite having followed the recipe, the starter wasn’t ready yet the last time. This time the dough already felt very different when I first mixed everything together. During the subsequent kneadings it would be much lighter, too, and I had to shorten the final resting time from 5-6 hours to 2.5, because otherwise it would have run out of the bowl (that worked nicely, thank you). I also preheated the stone thoroughly and look how this turned out. I also added black caraway seed and rosemary and that is delicious.

A round loaf of bread

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A cut loaf of bread

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a lice of bread with butter, one corner has been bitten off.

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Warm with butter, the best thing in the world.