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Luangwa River

Luangwa River

Monday, July 02, 2007


Just because of nothing in particular, here goes another update.
Seems my life goes on. Remarkable, actually, because I only recently looked up the official statistics on survival rates for the type and stage of cancer I had - They say that the 5 year survival rate from diagnosis with Stage 4 Oro-Pharyngeal Sarcoma (Throat cancer) is 30%.
Since I was diagnosed officially 0n 29th January 2004, it seems very probable that I will reach that 5 year mark. No symptoms of recurrence, though of course I.m constantly checking myself.
Yesterday i hauled my old bike out of the rubble heap and oiled it, fixed a puncture and pumped up the tyres. Today it.s ready to ride. Leaning against a cedar in the back there. Later, later.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ethanol and the Third World

Rising grain prices do not have to mean hunger in Africa. For years small farmers in Africa (and everywhere else) have been hobbled by the competition from subsidised 1st World grain farmers, and "Food Aid". Input costs in rural Africa ensured that maize could not be grown profitably as long as world market prices remained at $2something a bushel. Now perhaps there is actually incentive to grow food crops in countries like Zambia.
With the use of food grain as feedstock for Ethanol production, the demand for grain worldwide has jumped, and so have prices. Now people can potentially start out with very little, plant crops, and earn money.
Quite possibly the cycle of poverty and hunger can be broken, for many. For town dwellers of course, that will take longer. They will have to wait for the newly solvent farmers to need goods and services they can provide.
Perhaps this is the key to the different rates of development in Asian countries, as contrasted with Africa in general - rice has always been a profitable crop, while the crops usually planted in Africa have been subject to artificially low prices.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Long time no post, so its use it or-- . Spring is busy all around here, sun is shining and birds busy. I felt really miserable the past two days, snivelling in bed mostly, really down, despite the weather. Took lots of aspirin (dont like all the substitute things, the simplest medication seems to work) and some of that symptom- relief lemon stuff(almost as many ingredients as potato chips). Today woke up feeling almost rested, and able to breathe through my nose.
Last several months I have been busy, trying to get my novel into some kind of publishable form. Most difficult has been, and is, trying to see it through a strangers perspective, to read it as something fresh. Still dont know if it might actually might appeal to readers, and if so, which readers.Then the other thing is getting that first chapter and vital first page into something that will catch editors or publishers attention.
Another project has been getting together images and anecdotes about white animals, spurred by my encounters with the white squirrels that live in this area(Exeter Ontario). White buffalo, cattle, elephants, and horses have all been regarded as sacred by different cultures. Also other white animals such as the squirrels and peacocks certainly are very visually striking.