Professor Humperdink III

Easy Reading

Add to Google

30.6.08

Great-uncle Humperdink


.
When she was young, Aunt Humperdink, and her brothers and sisters, had to put up with the hopelessly irresponsible great-uncle Finnian Humperdink. Her experiences prompted her, when she was older and had the resources, to open her world famous Great-Uncle Sanctuary, which, now, is the home to many thousands of happy, mad, old men.
.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary

29.6.08

The Carstairs Gambit


.
Feh wx in the duck, or, the invention of the Carstairs Gambit
.
One day Carstairs and Findlater decided to give a fireworks display for the local poor children, to celebrate Guy Fawkes day, and to imbue them with enthusiasm for the empire.
.
"Esseh Finletter", said Carstairs, "wonfilz trooli-munificentenofferin thiserrvent, end won offaz thashurns thet the wokkhouse children wilberxcluded frirm the festivitehs."
.
The evening of the show dawned, dull, gloomy and drizzling slightly. It was a typical November night, and promised a splendid background for the display. Carstairs and Findlater were having so much fun with the preparations, they were observing a tacit cease fire, although one that could end at any moment. Findlater had constructed an enormous bonfire, using some Jacobean furniture he had found in the attic, a big pile of tradesmens’ bills, and the contents of some of the tied cottages occupied by his tenant farmers. It towered thirty feet above the village green, and was topped by a scarecrow purloined from a nearby field. Carstairs had occupied himself selecting and purchasing the fireworks for the event from the Imperial Firework Manufacturing Concern of Stalybridge, and had assembled a magnificent collection of rockets, catherine wheels, roman candles, jumping jacks, bangers, and so on. At this particular moment, he was reading the instructions on a large and gaudy jack in the box of which he was particularly fond.
.
Detonation of this pyrotechnical device is effectuated by the application of a taper, lucifer or fuze to the blue paper located at one extremity. We counsel that the use of a flint would be misguided for this purpose. Ignition achieved, one must retire to a minimum distance of one and one half furlongs. IN THE EVENTUALITY OF FAILURE TO IGNITE, ON NO ACCOUNT MUST THE FIREWORK EVER BE APPROACHED BY ANY LIVING SOUL. God save the Queen!" .
Carstairs smiled contentedly, and replaced the purple and yellow firework in the brass-bound, ebony inlaid mahogany box the manufacturers had supplied it in. There were enough combustibles here, he thought, to provide a series of bangs loud enough to fell a cow at twenty paces, and that would last for four minutes, at the rate of one every fifteen seconds.
.
Carstairs and Finlater had shared the most pleasurable tasks between themselves, and the servants were busy setting up trestle tables, and piling them with mountains of penny buns, and with jars of ginger beer. Venables, Carstairs gamekeeper, was already stationed by the duck pond with a large knobkerry to keep order. He was fortifying himself from a hip flask containing some of Mrs. Venables’ sloe gin, and drinking it neat. A hammering could be heard from the nearby workhouse, as the windows were boarded up to prevent the inmates watching the fireworks.
.
With a crash and a bang the first rocket shot into the sky. Carstairs and Findlater had agreed that this was their favourite –
.
"Deshit Cosstez, the bellything’s pecked with nerlessenfaw powndsv guncottn!" Findlater had observed, and Carstairs had smiled seraphically in agreement. There was a brief moment of disappointment when the rocket, evidently overburdened by its gigantic payload, fell short, but it detonated with a deafening roar in the rectory, demolishing the entire structure. Carstairs and Findlater were so pleased they each permitted themselves an almost audible "Goo-cherr".
.
The poor children, excluding those from the workhouse, were yelling with excitement, and Venables, striding among them with his knobkerry flailing, had his work cut out to maintain a respectful silence.
.
Another roar, and a roman candle shot a jet of magnesium, sulphur and copper forty feet into the air. Little white particles of chemical precipitate started to fall gently on the crowd, and stick to their faces, which were damp with the light drizzle that was falling, and glowing red from the intense blaze of the crackling Jacobean oak in the bonfire. A light stench drifted on the breeze towards them, mingling the odour of burning fireworks with that from Jenkin’s pig farm across the valley.
.
While the roman candle was pouring light and heat into the evening air, Carstairs and Findlater were choosing the next firework. Carstairs was already bored with their cease-fire, and looking for an opening.
.
"Demmit, Finletter, weenid something really spectaculaw, layke thissn," he said, indicating the jack in the box that was his pride and joy. Findlater nodded, and Jones, the blacksmith, and his boy, hauled it towards the yard deep emplacement they had excavated that morning, using the rollers thoughtfully provided by the manufacturer. Carstairs picked up his fuze, and advanced towards the jack in the box. He lit the touchpaper, heard it fizzle, and ran back to the shelter of the trees. And then…………………nothing.
.
"It’s gawn owt", observed Findlater. "One murstv felt fiffle of the explosivs, end felledte laytit correctly", congratulating himself on a small point scored. "If won exemins the fehwok through wons tele-scopp, wonken dteminf thezaglow", awarding himself a further point for officious helpfulness.
.
Carstairs felt corralled into compliance, took the proffered telescope, and peered hopefully into the gloom. There was nothing. "It hezzgawn utt", he said, "won musnawt approchit. It’s fiffly powafull." He scented the opportunity of a rally.
.
"Deshit Costas", replied Findlater. "Thetwd be keddish. The paw children are lessn ahondred yodds aweh. Fit girrz awf, thellbe massacred! Ay think thet foolish blecksmith entrenched the jecknthebox fuhtoo clirse. Won shell dismiss him in the monnin. Won mirst ect. Ehthink yaw shd paw apailvwotter onit." Findlater felt that he was doing well. Two small points up, and already the opportunity for a decisive victory!
.
Now came the historic moment in which Carstairs invented his famous gambit. "Eftayaw, Finlettah", he said with calculated weakness. His face remained impassive, but inside, his intestines were revolving with excitement. Findlater was completely taken in. Surely Carstairs was capable of better than this flabby response? "Nir, nir, eftayaw" he replied automatically, falling right into the trap.
.
Carstairs opened his mouth, and watched with unalloyed joy as the words formed and flowed out of it, seemingly without any assistance from himself. "Er nirr, nirr nirr, yaw my guest. Eh kennot deprave yaw. Yooh doot!" In a masterly final stroke, he paused while Findlater became aware of the snare he had fallen into, and added "Plizz."
.
Poor Findlater! Certain victory had been snatched away from him, and humiliation stared him in the face. Not only that, but that awesomely powerful firework awaited him. Still he had no choice. Picking up the bucket, he trudged gloomily towards the silent jack in the box. The eyes of the poor children followed him with interest. Gulping, he climbed the escarpment surrounding the emplacement which contained the firework, and, on reaching the summit, closed his eyes, held the bucket as far from himself as possible, inverted it, and surrendered himself to whatever consequence might follow. There was a gigantic flash! Carstairs had filled the bucket, not with water, but with naphta! There must have been a small residual glow in the firework, and it all joyously exploded at once. Findlater had been completely correct. The poor children had indeed been far too close.
.
When the tumult subsided, Carstairs surveyed the scene with pride. Just how many points could he legitimately award himself? he wondered. However many it was, it had to be a huge number. Findlater had been utterly confounded, for one thing, and had even fallen for the old bucket trick, and, for another, Carstairs was the sole survivor. That had to be worth a hefty bonus in itself. And then there was the complete elimination of the poor children, excluding the ones from the workhouse. They would have to wait for another day, and their survival was the only thing that separated him from that elusive perfect score.
.
Contributed by Doctor Ropkind Scharf

28.6.08

Bells


.

.

.

.
Glancing through our photograph albums, we come across a lot of pictures about which we have no memory. Bakulebe thinks these are from the time we found a cache of underground bells and Juan claims to have a faint recollection of drinking a huge amount of Duff’s Defiance with some very amateur campanologists, and engaging in a shambolic bell-ringing contest. The details, however, are sketchy.
.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary


26.6.08

Steam Warriors


Goldsworthy Gurney, losing control of his road coach
.

Richard Trevithick, driving Midnight Express
.

Hardy passengers
.

The Birmingham - London Steam-carriage
.
Although Bakulebe is the most highly acclaimed locomotive driver of the age, he claims that, beside the great heroes of the early years of steam, the Steam Warriors, as he calls them, he is merely a dwarf, a shrunken, deformed, useless dwarf. We say that he may be going a bit too far, but, as he says, who can forget the incredible exploits of Goldsworthy Gurney, on his steam coach, or the fantastic journeys through the night, undertaken by Richard Trevithick and his brave friends. He mentions the immortal drivers of the steam carriages; the heroic pioneer, William Murdock, who ploughed up thousands upon thousands of gardens, free of charge, as he careered around Britain on his dangerous little steam engine, and the thousands of courageous, hardy, passengers, against whom, Bakulebe claims, we are mere toddlers; weak, drooling, tumbling toddlers, not fit to blow a toy steam whistle.
.
Juan suggests that Bakulebe is suffering from a lack of confidence, and reminds him that he has driven trains through innumerable war zones, behind enemy lines, under cover, and across some of the most inhospitable parts of the planet. We assure him that, in such conditions, the many accidents he has, tragic though they are, are only to be expected.
.
Juan opens a case of Ole Varmint Juice, a fabulously rare and wonderfully raw whisky from Pasadena, then, while Juan and I make train noises, Bakulebe sings sad railway songs until we collapse in tears, weeping at the loss of the great days of steam.
.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary

25.6.08

Leaving Antarctica


.

.

.
As always, crossing Antarctica has been a lot of fun, and we are sorry to leave this mysterious, frozen land, about which we have learned nothing. However, huddled on deck, looking at an iceberg, we realise that, soon, far away from ice, snow and penguins, we will be basking under a hot tropical sun, with hot tropical women. To celebrate, Juan opens the last bottles of MacKinlay's Rare Old Whisky. Toasting the health of our friends, shouting with excitement, dancing wild Tzigani dances and singing wild Tzigani songs, desperately behind schedule, we sail on, around the wild and wonderful world, as fast as we possibly can.
.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary

24.6.08

Prince Leopold Land

Bakulebe has been withdrawn and miserable as he doesn’t enjoy falling down chasms, walking thousands of miles, freezing, and starving. Juan and I made up songs to cheer him up, this did not work. Then, on the southerly gale from the coast, we detect the faint smell of whisky. This means we are only a few hundred miles from our ship. To celebrate, we break open the last case of MacKinlay's Rare Old Whisky and drink toast after toast to all our polar explorer friends. Bakulebe is relieved to be leaving Antarctica and claims that he is underfed, cold, bored, and tired. After a bottle or two of MacKinlay's, he asks why Juan and I seem extremely well fed, and then he asks where the dogs are. These are difficult questions to answer, Bakulebe loved those dogs. To take his mind off the subject, we link arms and dance the Highland fling, singing the Little Animal song, and throwing snowballs at Bakulebe, until he cheered up.
.
I have a little animal, small and fat and round,
When it feels insecure, it curls up on the ground.
It gets its straw and gathers it, and puts it in a heap.
Then it puts its nose in, and goes,
“Meep, meep, meep, meep.”
.
Oh, its hair is golden, and it’s very nice,
It eats chopped up peanuts and little bits of rice.
I gave it a ladder; it was high and steep,
It fell down, from the top, crying,
“Meep, meep, meep, meep-meep”.
.
I love my little animal; I love its pretty eyes
When it’s feeling unhappy, it nods its head and cries.
It makes its little crying sound,
That is high, (not deep),
And folds its ears up tightly and goes,
“Meep, meep, meep, meep-meep.”
.
Its got furry whiskers, and very fluffy hair,
It rolls round, on the ground, like a teddy bear.
It went out, in the field, got eaten by a sheep.
Before it died, it gently cried
“Meep, meep, meep, meep-meep”
.
I miss my little animal; I miss it oh so much.
I miss his funny little face,
I miss his tickly touch.
But, sometimes, in the night,
When I’m fast asleep...
I am gently woken up by a ghostly:
“Meep, meep, meep, meep-meep.”

I had a little animal, small and fat and round.



.
Then, after making several dozen attempts to build a snowman, confabulatingly behind schedule, we stagger on through the blizzard as fast as we possibly can.
.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary

To the Ship


Bakulebe, fighting the wind
.

Juan and me, enjoying the view
.
Desperately low on whisky, which is making us very nervous, also, although the view is spectacular, not having a train, the high winds and the freezing conditions are making Bakulebe increasingly miserable. Fortunately, despite being grossly behind schedule, we expect to arrive at the coast within a few days and we are looking forward to joining our ship, which is well provisioned with single malt, seeing our shipmates again, and sailing north, into the warm, beautiful, Indian Ocean.
.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary

22.6.08

Queen Maud Land


.

.
Making good headway, although sick of the sight of penguins. Juan and I both find the fifty degree below zero temperature and the blasting gales extremely invigorating, however, Bakulebe, in whose blood runs the African sun, is a somewhat fed up with it all.
.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary

21.6.08

Missing the Pole


.
Juan, while showing Bakulebe how to use a sextant, realised that, in order to reach the Pole, we have to turn through an angle of ninety degrees. However, Bakulebe, after thousands of hours of driving trains, is only comfortable travelling through a gentle curve. The only way we can reach the Pole, therefore, is by slowly spiralling inwards; splenetically behind schedule, this isn’t practicable, accordingly, we determine to carry straight on. I am somewhat disappointed at missing the Pole but Juan points out that the South Pole is much like the North Pole and, as he says, once you’ve seen one Pole, you’ve seen them all.
.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary

19.6.08

Birds


.

1. Ternate kingfisher. 2. Fiery-tailed sun bird. 3. White-booted racket-tailed humming bird. 4. Swallow-tailed goatsucker. 5. Great bird of paradise. 6. Superb plume bird of paradise. 7. Resplendent trogon. 8. Amazon parrot. 9. Australian cockatoo. 10. Bornean pitta. 11. Banded chatterer. 12. Cock of the rock. 13. King tody.
.
Come across a group of penguins; intelligent, inquisitive, friendly birds, and very tasty. To cheer up Bakulebe, who is tired of this monochromatic landscape, I sketch some birds of a more colourful plumage. Now, garishly behind schedule, we push on as fast as we possible can.
.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary

17.6.08

Crossing the Chasm


.
When Bakulebe and I stole the king’s train, with the king’s gold, and the king, Voinovich, to stop us, blew up the railway bridge we were crossing. Since that occasion, Bakulebe has been very nervous about crossing bridges in a train, and, without a train, he is even worse. Moreover, after driving hundreds of thousands of miles along a good, constant gradient, he is shy of attempting anything more than a slight incline. This, added to his concerns regarding degrees of transverse cant and the fact that his inclination gauge is frozen, means that he proceeds slowly and anxiously.
.
To help him, Juan insists he drink a bottle or two of MacKinlay's Rare Old Whisky. Because of his beliefs, Bakulebe rarely drinks alcohol, but, although Juan offered glowing descriptions of the malt, and reminisces of other polar journeys and expeditions, all of which were constantly warmed and invigorated by choice whisky, Bakulebe is doubtful and maintains that alcohol actually drives the core body temperature down, inadvisable when the air temperature is forty degrees below zero. We had never heard of such a thing but, to put his mind at rest, explain that the dancing, singing and fighting engendered by MacKinlay’s whisky has an overall warming effect. Persuaded by our arguments, Bakulebe joins us in toasting all our explorer friends with the golden liquid. Consequently, shambolically befuddled, it takes us two days to cross the first chasm we come to. Now, neurotically delayed and chillingly behind schedule, we head deeper into the forbidding interior as fast as we possibly can.
.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary

Ch’ien


.
Ch’ien - Creative
.
Professor’s Humperdink’s I Ching

16.6.08

Victoria Land


.

.
After the heat of the Australian outback, and the constant bleating of sheep, the sub-zero temperature and the icy howling of the Antarctic blizzard is very pleasant. Knowing we would be in the area, as a thank you for saving his life many times, in dreadful conditions, in some very dangerous bars, our old shipmate, Ernest Shackleton, very kindly left us the small supply of whisky he has hidden under his hut. Grateful for Ernest’s thoughtfulness, we spend some time digging under the hut, and removing ten cases of MacKinlay's Rare Old Whisky. We test a case or two of this excellent malt, with ice from the glacier, then, stopping only to dance, sing, vomit or fight, hopelessly befuddled and climactically behind schedule, we push on into the frozen interior, as fast as we possibly can.
.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary

Antarctica


.
Arrive in Antarctica viscidly behind schedule. Bakulebe, who has spent his life driving trains, is somewhat disturbed at being in a country that has no railroad. Juan, on the other hand, is very happy to be here as, with so many expeditions leaving caches, always containing a bottle or two of whisky, the entire continent, he claims, is awash with fine single malt.
.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary

13.6.08

Eaglehawk Neck


Eaglehawk Neck
.

Tessellated Pavement
.

Truganini’s family
.
Land on the north side of Eaglehawk Neck. Although Juan and I are always amazed by the Tessellated Pavement on this isthmus, Bakulebe observes that there’s little in the way of wild life. Juan points out that, when we were prisoners here, hundreds of mastiffs were kept on the beach, to stop us escaping, and that they were very wild.
.
Make a very quick visit to see Truganini’s family. As the last Tasmanian aboriginals, their imminent extinction weighs heavily on their minds. In sympathy for their plight, and to cheer them up, we leave them a bottle of sixty-year-old Duff’s Defiance, the rarest of all single malts, then, mortifyingly behind schedule, we push on as fast as we possibly can.
.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary

12.6.08

Sheep drive


.

.
Crossing the endless interior, damnably behind schedule and sick of the sight of sheep.
.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary

10.6.08

Shearing


.
Stop off to help shear some of aunt Humperdink’s sheep. Juan is a competent shearer, having shorn Lolita on many occasions, and I have won a shearing championship or two in my time, so, between us, we shear over six hundred sheep. Bakulebe, being fiercely competitive, tries to keep up with us, however, as has never sheared a sheep before; the result is a large amount of terribly injured sheep.
.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary

9.6.08

Melbourne


.
Arrive in Melbourne; visit Aunt Humperdink’s show room where we are pleased to find that her wool export business is continuing to expand rapidly and bringing great prosperity to the area. We would like to stay longer, however, childishly behind schedule; we have to rush on to Tasmania as fast as we possibly can.
.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary

8.6.08

Roger of the Outback

A story reprinted from "The Empire Book of Boys Stories, 1932"

Roger of the Outback, by "Imperialist".

Roger lived in the middle of the vast tracts of central Australia, where his father owned one of the many huge farms which are larger than many a European state, on which he ran millions of sheep.
.
One day, Roger was out riding his horse, and had reached a water hole about ten miles from home. He dismounted so his horse could drink, and he prepared to fill his water bottle. Before doing so, he surveyed the bush around him. Something strange happened. There was a rustling in the eucalyptus, and a figure emerged. This figure appeared to be aged about thirteen, Roger’s own age, and was almost naked, and very dark in colour. It was carrying a crudely fashioned spear. Otherwise it resembled a normal human being. Roger’s first reaction was to check that his rifle was attached to his saddle, and, having made sure of his own safety, to attempt to smile at the new arrival. Fortunately, the new arrival smiled back, and squatted at the edge of Roger’s water hole. Roger sat next to him, and said "I’m Roger. What’s your name?" In reply, he received a torrent of incomprehensible guttural sounds, and Roger understood that his new acquaintance spoke no English, and indeed that he was hearing Lardil, the dialect of the local aboriginal community. Armed with this realization, Roger said very slowly "I’M ROGER. YOU’RE JIMMY", and he received a toothy grin in reply.
.
Roger and Jimmy soon found that they enjoyed each others company, and Roger showed Jimmy how to play noughts and crosses, using a pencil and paper he had brought with him. In return, Jimmy showed Roger how to snare and skin a wombat. They parted good friends, after Roger had signed to Jimmy that they should meet the next day at the same place at noon. He did this by pointing to the sun, and rotating his hands once, and then pointing straight up. Jimmy enthusiastically nodded his agreement.
.
The next day, Jimmy brought a didgeridoo with him, and taught Roger how to play it, while Roger taught Jimmy how to play tiddlywinks.
.
And so it went on. Roger and Jimmy became better and better friends, and eventually Jimmy started to be able to speak a little English. One day, Jimmy said that they should become brothers. He brought out a sharp stone, and cut the end of his thumb. He then pointed to Roger’s thumb, and indicated that he should hold it out. Jimmy cut Roger’s thumb in the same way he had cut his own, and pressed their two thumbs together, so their blood mixed. They put their arms around each other’s shoulders, and stood together for a while enjoying the feeling of manly togetherness, and then Roger taught Jimmy how to shake hands. They parted for the night.
.
Events continued the same way for a few more weeks. One evening, Roger arrived at home to find his father waiting for him.
.
"Your mother and I are a little concerned, Roger, about where you’ve been spending so much time recently" he said. Roger told him enthusiastically about all his recent adventures with Jimmy. On hearing this, his father looked concerned, and said:

"Roger, you need to understand that Jimmy is an Aboriginal, and aborigines don’t think the same way as we do. I really don’t think it would be a good idea for you to see Jimmy any more. I realize this will be hard for you, but you just need to put a brave face on it."
.
Roger realized that he had no choice but to obey, and in a few weeks, he had forgotten all about Jimmy, although he never forgot how to snare and skin a wombat.
.
In the meantime, the mission doctor received an urgent summons to call on the aboriginal camp. He arrived, carrying his medical bag, to find that an aboriginal boy was very sick. It turned out to be Jimmy, although the doctor had no way of knowing who he was. He performed an examination.
.
"I’m sorry. This boy has hepatitis. There’s no hope for him". He said, and wondered how Jimmy had contracted that disease here, as he walked thoughtfully back to his carriage in the sunset.
...
Contributed by Doctor Ropkind Scharf

5.6.08

Darkest Proo


.

EPISODE 1: DARKEST PROO.

One day Carstairs and Findlater were trekking through the Peruvian jungle, in search of the fabled lost city of El Dorado, with its hoards of gold. Much to the amusement of a tribe of local Indians, who were concealed in the undergrowth, and intended to remain that way, they were advancing along a promising-looking path which actually led only to a noisome swamp which was full of tapirs, anacondas, cannibal headshrinkers and worse. However, Carstairs thought he had the scent of gold in his nostrils, and was plunging ahead, hoping to beat Findlater and thus get the lion’s share of the loot, in the best sporting tradition. Poor Findlater, who was somewhat overweight, was red in the face, and was huffing and puffing in a desperate effort to keep up.
.
Suddenly, there was a rustle of branches, a movement and a thump. An animate object had appeared on the path in front of them! Carstairs and Findlater stopped dead, completely failing to notice the well-suppressed giggles from the Indians in the undergrowth. Carstairs was the first to speak:
.
"Thet objet, Findletter, is kwet lek a ket, bot moch biggah. Enitis orange end bleck. It is growlin’ lek a peffekly-tuned mezeretty ona cold mawnin’. Ey think it is a taygah, end it is hongreh."
.
They considered this surmise for a few seconds and then both simultaneously squeaked with fear. Findlater, who was now completely white, managed to open his mouth first:

"Ey thinkyaw ret Cosstezz. Shouldwonhonttit? Aid lake a naice taygahskin rog fothe lonj, emminthe pahle."

"Nachurelleir" replied Carstairs, "end yaw most go fsst. Efta yew!"

"Errnerr", contradicted Findlater, "Meh deah chep! Yaw too caned. Efta yew."

"Ofindlater! Frevvens sek! Won most nevah fogget won’s mennahs! Aynsist (teeth slightly bared here), yaw mostgefost. Ay ebbslootly insist. Thezza good chep!"
.
And so poor Findlater felt he had no choice but to advance along the path that had looked so promising, and now offered naught but stripey fury. Eager tremors of anticipation gripped the Indians in the undergrowth. This was much, much better than they had hoped.
.
The outcome was inevitable. There was a flurry of movement, and a blur of teeth and topee and blood and shredded starched shirt! A few seconds later, and the tiger sat in the middle of the path, a satiated smile on its face. It burped, and winked at Carstairs. Carstairs took this as a signal to proceed. As he continued along the path, towards his own certain doom in the noisome swamp, he muttered to himself-
.
"Wonken only wondah et may presence of mayned, end et thet of the taygah heah in the Proovian jongle. It mostev escaiped frommerzoo.
.
The Indians in the undergrowth could no longer contain themselves, and howled with delighted laughter
.
Sincere apologies to the spirit of Effebeck Lodder, who did this sort of thing so much better while he was alive.
..
Contributed by Doctor Ropkind Scharf

4.6.08

Leaving Pão de Assucar


The Amazon
.

Mzi, coming down Sugar Loaf Hill
.

Bakulebe's first balloon
.

After the Brazilian jungle, we are desperate for a night out in Rio. Unfortunately, at Pão de Assucar, Mzi arrives in her cable car and reminds us that we are shockingly behind schedule. Disappointed at missing the nightlife, the wine, the carnival, and the fabulously beautiful women of Rio de Janeiro, Bakulebe, reluctantly, requisitions a balloon. This is the first time Bakulebe has flown a balloon so, to cheer ourselves up, we celebrate by opening Juan’s latest batch of single malt. Then, singing wild Tzigani songs, dancing wild Tzigani dances and variously sobbing, laughing, shouting and fighting over nothing at all, we let the wind carry us as fast as it can, hoping that we land before we crash.
.
Professor Humperdink's Diary




1.6.08

Leaving Copán


Copán
.

.
Chronically behind schedule, constantly lost and utterly sick of the sight of ancient ruins. Bakulebe, fed up with hacking through virtually impenetrable jungle, swimming dangerous rivers and climbing hostile mountains, requisitions a train. To celebrate, Juan opens a barrel of MacKinlay's, and we are heading for Columbia as fast as we possibly can.
.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary