Well, I’ve not written a blog for a goodly long time. This has not been a result of not brewing, on the contrary I have brewed two Belgian ales and two British ales. Bottle conditioning as I write is an American Pale Ale, which I have high hopes for (o.k, I have high hopes for all my brews…) It really should be a very decent ale.
My most recent brew, is an Extra Special Bitter. Very nice it is too. Just needs a little more crystal malt to add some sweetness to round it off. Like I say, the journey is a learning curve. The area that was lacking has been addressed in my next Pale Ale which, though a different type of ale, has a malty backbone to it.
Anyway, outside of my brewing obsession, life has not been so simple. Moving back here from my home country, the UK, was always a risk. I have wobbled a lot and have many times said to myself and those close to me, that the move was a mistake. This has sadly resulted in problems, which to be fair were present anyway. To cut a long story short, I’m not sure what will happen from here on in. The storm is yet to make landfall in that sense, but it has been brewing off-shore for a very long time. I will be keeping up my brewing though, whatever happens.
Sadly, too my wife’s great grandfather looks as if he will be passing away in the next few days. We have always got along very well. Though he speaks a very strong dialect, which I can’t understand, and he is deaf in one ear, so can’t even hear me most of the time, we have always had great conversations. He has this special link to my own grandfather. Though they fought on opposite sides in WWII, they were both for a time anti-aircraft gunners defending their respective capital cities. They both told me the same story about their jobs. Basically, they both told me what a nonsense their roles were, as the shells they fired exploded at hundreds of feet, when the aircraft they were ‘firing’ at were flying at thousands of feet.
He has reached the grand age of 96, quite a good innings, and he has had the pleasure of seeing and spending time with great-grandchildren, which many of his generation will have never experienced. He has always been so cheerful and full of gratitude and therefore an inspiration. He will be terribly missed.
The weather like my private-life has been tumultuous. We had a close encounter with a typhoon in early August. We battended down the hatches for a few days and were then given the most amazing light show when the storm eventually passed. The cover picture shows the most extraordinary rainbow. All the more amazing because the sun (and only light source) was setting behind me. I’m not sure how the glow was generated, but I can assure you it is a not some trick photography. This was taken with a smart phone and has not been re-touched at all. Weird eh.
My anti-mosquito garden is seemingly having some kind of effect. I really do perceive less mosquitoes than before. I was not expecting such a strong effect. It could be an independent factor, of course, and therefore a coincidence. However, the result is the same, markedly less mosquitoes. So, growing chrysanthemums, marigolds, lavender, lemon grass, thyme and mints does seem to work somehow.
My brewery plan has hit serious skids due to legislation that will limit new brewery start-ups to producing volumes of beer which will not be possible with the kind of small scale investment I had in mind. I have a friend who is on-board and investigating the options of investors, but it is a long-shot. In any case, given my bumpy trajectory, I may not be around to develop this idea further here anyway.
Sorry, that this is not an entirely happy blog. Heh, that’s life, ups and downs.