Cave swifts

The neighbouring island to the resort island of Ko Phi Phi Don is a smaller island where no-one lives called Ko Phi Phi Lee.


The island is one big rock, but it is not a solid rock, it is a huge cave. This cave is the home to many animals, one of them is a small bird, the cave swift, which is a relation of the swallow.

This bird makes a very special nest for its eggs. The nest contains many nutrients, and is used in cooking to make bird’s nest soup.



It has been very popular in Chinese cooking for more than 400 years and it is very expensive. A regular nest will cost about US$50, but a special red nest can cost about US$2,000.

The male swift builds the nest in about a month on the cave wall. It is very difficult and very dangerous to collect these nests. The collectors are normally the sons and grandsons of past collectors and they are very strong and agile.

These people are very careful not to take too many nests, but, because the nests are so expensive, there are many thieves who will sometimes take all the nests from a cave and now the cave swift is an endangered species in many places.

Ko Phi Phi Don

Another photo, this time taken from above, which shows the strange shape of this famous island.


But it is for a very unusual culinary delicacy that its neighbour Ko Phi Phi Lee is also very famous. You can read about this in my next post.

Deep and shallow

This is an amazing photo of an amazing island, Ko Phi Phi Don. The sea on the left of the photo is extremely deep, and this is the side that boats enter, and the sea on the right is incredibly shallow, in fact you can walk about 200m and the water is still only up to your waist!



The word Tuesday comes from the Nordic god Tyr. Tyr is a god of war, much like the Roman god Mars, and many European languages name Tuesday after Mars. In Old English the name was Tiwes Daeg, and in Middle English it was Twisday.

Here is a painting of Tyr.


PSV Eindhoven 0-1 Spurs (1-1, 6-5 pk)

So Spurs were able to win their UEFA Cup game last night against PSV Eindhoven (Holland), with a goal from Dimitar Berbatov (Bulgaria). But what do the other numbers mean?

Basically they mean that Spurs are out! PSV won the first game and Spurs won the second game, so the total score was 1-1. So the game was decided by penalty kicks and PSV won the pk contest 6-5. It was very close, and now Spurs cannot win anything more this season.

However they have qualified for the UEFA Cup again next season so let’s follow them again from August.

Here is a picture of Jermaine Jenas (England), who later missed his penalty kick!


Daily storm

Found another great photo, this time a storm.

This storm occurs off the coast of Venezuela. The lightning flashes about 100 times an hour, for about 10 hours most nights. How do they sleep?


Tottenham 0-1 PSV Eindhoven

Oh no, not a good result. PSV Eindhoven (Holland)  played very well and deserved to win, the winning goal was scored by Farfan (Peru), which you can see below.
The second game is in Eindhoven, and Spurs obviously need to win to progress to the last eight. A 1-0 win for Spurs would mean penalty kicks, and a 2-1 win (or any other win) would mean that Spurs can progress because they will have scored more away goals. A draw is enough for PSV.



Recently I have been feeling very guilty about the amount of garbage I have. Yes, I do recycle things like paper, polystyrene, bottles and cans, but twice a week I still seem to have a big bag of rubbish that is collected.

What happens to this rubbish? It is either used for landfill, or burnt. It has really been bothering me that I should be doing something more to reduce my rubbish. So today I bought a compost bin (made from recycled plastic!). It looks a bit like this:


It is very simple. Just place it on some earth and fill it with all your natural garbage, like the parts of vegetables or fruit that cannot be eaten, tea leaves, egg-shells etc (though not meat or fat!). Even a little cardboard can be thrown here, like cereal boxes, but it should be cut into smaller pieces first.

Then let nature take its course. I’ve put my compost bin near the riverbank opposite my house, let’s see what happens.

I reckon that about 10% of my rubbish can be put into the compost bin, so I can save about 5 yen every two months on plastic rubbish bags. The compost bin cost ¥2,480, so in 206 years I will get my money back!

But that’s not the point is it? It will also mean that 10% of my rubbish will not be burnt, and less gas will be in the atmosphere. That will make me feel a little better, but it’s only a first step, there must be some other things I can do.

Last view of winter

Looks like spring is here, earlier than usual. It’s nice to have the warm weather back, or is it? The reason it is warm is simple: global warming.

So here is a view of winter to remind us of what we are going to miss when global warming really hits us.