Things are positively improving here. After finishing our kilo of Maragogipe and half-way through a kilo bag of Lavazza (bought via Amazon!), I was relieved to find that now we have the source of quality coffee beans in Corralejo. They could be found in the Marumba store in C.C. El Campanario. During our last visit there (yesterday, to be precise), I bought a bag of Costa Rican beans and a bottle of this delicious rosé from Catalonia. Try it if you can find it.
Sunday, 23 October 2011
Saturday, 15 October 2011
This beautifully told story is set on Bougainville, the Melanesian island of which very existence I was ignorant until now, during the 1990s civil war. I loved the book, but be warned. When the “redskin” soldiers appear in the village for the first time, you know it is not going to end well. Still, nothing prepares you to the horrors of their final visit.
My favourite chapters are the ones where Mr Watts, the only white person in the village, invites the parents of the children to come into his classroom and “share what they knew of the world”.
Friday, 14 October 2011
I bought this DVD on the strength of the Amazon reviews — and was not disappointed.
Quenia starts with Welcome and, in just two minutes, introduces the samba reggae Basic Steps. These look easy; that’s encouraging.
To my fellow Zumber@s, Quenia’s Warm-Up may seem more like “cool-down”: a lot of stretching exercises, some of them rather impressive. At 12 minutes, it is a bit longer than your typical Zumba class warm-up/cool-down. But you can’t have too much of a good thing. You will be sweating by the end of it.
In Workout #1 (about 37 minutes) Quenia builds up, well, a “routine”: shows a step, repeats, adds a new step, repeats “from the top”, shows a new step and so on. Non-stop. (Speaking of stops: the great thing about the DVD is that you always can use the stop button to catch your breath. I had to do that a few times during Workout #1.) “Routine” may sound boring, but actually it is a good fun. OK, I found Quenia’s verbal cues rather redundant and did not exactly fell in love with her voice. So what, I know how to turn the volume down, so it really is not a problem. It would be perfect if there was a way to quick-jump to particular steps, because the only way to navigate within Workout #1 is the good old fast-forward (or fast-backward).
Workout #2 (about six minutes) is basically the same routine as we learn in Workout #1 but danced at the higher pace. As by now we should know it more or less by heart, it goes without any commentary.
I love how Ms Ribeiro introduces her band and dancers and explains the role of each instrument. Once again, quite unlike Zumba Fitness Anonymous.
One day, I hope to learn how to dance samba properly. I can start with making good use of Quenia’s moves.
Sunday, 2 October 2011
Are we selecting the plants we want to grow, or is it the plants who make us to spread their genes far and wide? Michael Pollan invites us to take the plants’ point of view. He is telling the stories of four plant species: the apple, the tulip, marijuana and the potato, with an emphasis on their co-evolution with Homo sapiens.
At times, Pollan’s writing gets too florid for my taste, but it is the fascinating read all the same, no doubt helped by the author’s first-hand experience of (mostly successfully) growing the protagonists in his garden.