Wednesday, April 27, 2005


In French Guiana people drink ti-punch, the famous Caribbean drink. And it's so humid there that drinking rum at lunch time seems quite cooling. Here's how you make it:

White Caribbean rum
Sugar cane syrup (I suppose a home made sugar syrup would do just as well)

So. Cut a thick slice or wedge of the lime and squeeze it into the glass and then drop the lime in. Pour some rum over. Then add enough sugar syrup to stop yourself wincing at the rum (that's how it works for me anyway). Stir. Adjust to taste. Add ice cubes if you want. Voila!

Claude from Guyanespace Voyages, who was our tour organiser for the International Space University trip to Kourou, very kindly gave us the essential ingredients for ti-punch. I took the bottles back to Paris with me, thinking a ti-punch would go down very nicely after my long days in the Documentation Centre of the Musee de l'Air et de l'Espace. But it was cold in Paris, and dry. Somehow ti-punch was just too strong there. I gave the bottles to Regis Moello of SNECMA, who works on the Vulcain motor for the Ariane rockets but has never had the opportunity to visit Kourou. A taste of the tropics in far off metropolitan France .....

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Back to Earth

It's my second day back in Australia after an epic journey through the space places of French Guiana and France. I must express my heartfelt thanks to Juan de Dalmau (International Space University), Regis Moello (SNECMA), and David Redon (Mairie of Kourou) who all contributed to my having a fabulously wonderful time. Also Marie-Pierre Joseph-Alberton (CNES), Christophe Rothmund (SNECMA), Laura-Kate Wilson (ESA), and the staff at the Documentation Centre of the Musee de l'Air et de l'Espace. My return journey was twice as heavy as my outgoing one: from the quantity of books and papers I was carrying in my luggage, and I must confess, slightly more of me too - after a distinct lack of restraint in the direction of French patisserie and boulangerie. I was in Paris over Easter (enough said).

So now I am trying to get back into a work routine, in Perth where I am teaching in the archaeology centre for a few months. I will relate more of my space adventures soon.