Peter’s odd and curious world

IFACH: I watched people coming off the beach carrying all the remains of a serious day's pleasure. Photo: Shutterstock

AS this is my first article for EWN, a small introduction to new readers may be appropriate.

I have been writing a monthly column for RTN for over a year now under the above title describing a combination of things I have read or heard that piques my interest or curiosity, which best describes the odd and curious brain that I was born with. Most of the stories I relate are largely autobiographical. I have travelled extensively in the United States and Australasia and have experienced hotel fires, earthquakes, met people and been in situations that you would have loved (or hated!) I read ‘Time ‘ each week and ‘Astronomy’, ‘Scientific American’ and ‘Discover’ monthly so keep my interests up to date on many fronts. I hope my writings will entertain, amuse and sometimes give you food for thought. For my first contribution I offer ‘Memories’, from an experience last summer which I hope to repeat this year. Please send any comments to

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Memories are made of this….

While enjoying an early evening meal at my favourite little restaurant ‘Calpe Playa’ on the Arenal beach, the thought came over me that at that particular moment in time there was nowhere else in the world I would rather be. With a panoramic view from the Ifach to (almost) the setting sun, I watched people coming off the beach carrying all the remains of a serious day’s pleasure; lots of strollers, many with their pets, taking a paseo, looking for somewhere to eat.

But, I began to think, If I wasn’t here where would I like to be. The association of food with location was uppermost and I began to think of food with a view. The revolving restaurant high over Las Vegas as the sun sets and the desert all around changes colour would be high on my list. The food’s not bad either.  I don’t usually eat oysters, but three locations where I have made a pig of myself are, an evening dinner-boat trip round Sydney Bay where the oysters are some of the finest in the world; New Orleans with dinner and oysters at the revolving rooftop restaurant is a must, and in San Antonio on the river walk. The river snakes its way across the town deep in a self-carved gorge with river taxis, shops and restaurants serving  the most mouth-watering oysters. Once, in San Diego, I invited a dear old lady friend of mine to dinner. To my embarrassment she completely ate and drank me under the table on a feast of oysters, champagne, Guinness and red wine. I slept through the most severe earthquake that night dreaming only of pink elephants climbing the wall.

A few odd items…

  • I read that a bacterium that can ingest plastic and turn it into a harmless chemical residue has been found by accident. (With plastic waste much in the news these days, I hope it has a voracious appetite).
  • The oldest known footprints have been found in South China. The 546 million year old fossil imprints represent the earliest known record of an animal with legs. ( Definitely not one of us! We weren’t around for ages.)
  • The Earth has been given a new geological Chapter, named ‘The Meghalayan Age’. ( Named for the Countess of Sussex?) This covers a period from 4,260 BC to the present.
  • The beginning was marked by a dreadful drought which saw the end of a number of civilizations across the planet. The extreme weather forecast for this year may very well mark the end of it !
  • A well-known dolphin in the Firth of Clyde named Kylie may well have been chatting up a porpoise. The dolphin ‘click’ sound they make to communicate  is normally at about 100 kilohertz. After an exchange with the new friend the ‘click’ was raised to 130 kh. The normal frequency of porpoises. (Hope springs eternal, even in the animal world.)


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