Flambeed bananas

The ante has been upped.  Flambeed bananas with ice-cream and brandy, courtesy of my delightful neighbours and their orphaned parrot. Life just gets richer..!

This goes way beyond any neighbourly act that I was given to expect in Costa Rica.. Am now moving into unchartered territory:  swapping music collections and children, amongst other things.  They get my music, I get their children. (Hang on a minute, how did I end up agreeing to that?)  Singalongs with the muppets, baking cookies and Wii dance-athons have all been proposed..  Yikes!

On the culinary front, I have promised a return match..(Coronation chicken and roly poly with custard??) Rather daunting considering the only ‘oven’ I have looks about 65 years old, just about big enough for the back-end of a chicken (but not the front), with 2 poxy grill elements that gently toast things on the top and the bottom but leave the middle largely un-cooked (witness recent attempt at banana cake).

And here’s the lovely hungry family (and parrot) awaiting their culinary adventure…

Spot the birdie..!

Relationships with resident domestic animals have also advanced (and regressed) in equal measure in recent weeks. There is the one that giveth, and the one that taketh away..

She that giveth, is the aforementioned little black chicken (Tia), who not only keeps the insect count down, but recently dropped by uninvited to lay an egg on my shelf..



Which is more than can be said for this four-legged rogue, Luke, who has demolished in the recent past, my birthday cake, a pair of dice, a few houses (mid game of monopoly), and my yoga mat. Here he is, sitting outside my window looking hopeful, having just weed on my bench in excitement.


Domestic life aside, the exotic continues to intrude, as it should.  About an hour’s drive away and you can get your fill of howling monkeys, steaming volcano, thundering waterfalls, and the splendiferous colours of the wild..

Just look at the colour of this plant/flower/fern/thing..! It was almost florescent pink in the dark undergrowth..  Like one of those  supposedly ultra-trendy plastic ones for lazy middle class people who don’t have time to water real plants. Except much nicer.

In the pink

….and a steamy volcano not far away…(which started fizzing in a mildly alarming fashion while we were there)

Getting steamed up before lunch

And then, a delightfully colourful couple of cows! (well, oxen, really, but doesn’t quite work with the alliteration)

Costa Rica is really mostly just a collection of overgrown villages in between the jungle, the beach, and the odd mall, at the heart of which beasts of burden like these have pride of place..All dressed in their Sunday best, looking suitably burdened.

A fine pair

And finally, a desperate attempt to photograph the devilishly speedy and beautiful humming bird feasting….   What with all that wing-beating going on (anything between 25–90 times per second..!) it’s not surprising I failed with my substandard camera.

Two interesting nuggets about humming birds that I learned in the process:

The aerodynamics of the humming bird have been fascinating engineers and a nerdy sub-group of people called bio-mechanists for decades. They do experiments with them in wind tunnels, apparently.

And:  the humming bird is the only bird in the world to be able to fly backwards. Fancy that!

Believe it or not, there is one there…. just see if you can spot it!  This is either just a pointless photograph of a red plastic thing or a true work of art..

Spot the birdie! (2)

Ah, there he is. Not quite so interesting to look at when he’s not humming.

Green blob on larger red blob

Not bad for a spontaneous Sunday afternoon though.  If I’d been in London I might just about have managed to get the Sunday papers, go to the supermarket, fix a lightbulb, and watched a dodgy pirated DVD of Desperate Housewives, or something equally mindless..

Actually, that sounds quite a nice way to spend a Sunday, now I come to think of it..

Next stop: Nicaragua.


2 responses to this post.

  1. No chickens in my cupboards….but managed to lock myself out last week and neighbours did a great job of hosting me, minus shoes, money, phone etc for a couple of hours….so big society does work. Spent Sunday on horseback, Saleem has just done his first jumping lesson! No humming birds….lost of geese. x


  2. Posted by Nick on July 18, 2011 at 2:10 am

    We’ve all weed on your furniture with excitement at some point. You can’t hold that against the poor animal.


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