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Lands Conquered and Improved




India and the Sub-Continent

Over the years Alf has traipsed around the diverse and astonishing sub-continent. Here are some of the places that he transformed:

Goa

Goa Cathedral

Alf discovered India in 1432, and built this cathedral (in 1444) in the enclave he had conquered, and which he called Goer. He sold this small province to the Portuguese in 1476, and under their almost 500 year rule the name became corrupted to the present day Goa. To help him with the somewhat daunting task of building construction, Alf convinced one of his mates, Frank, to come to India, where he surpassed himself both in terms of carpentry and in the kindness he showed to the local people. The day after the opening of the cathedral (which was not initially a church, but a music hall) unfortunately Frank died, probably of a Meningococcal infection . Many people thought that Alf's mate was quite extraordinary and so, they made him a saint (one of the Francis's). His embalmed body still lies in state in the cathedral, but unlike his football team, he never even made it into one grand final. Another notable contribution dating from this era was Alf's invention of the new curry style now referred to as Vindaloo. He developed this fiery curry soon after selling Goa to the Portuguese, to counter the ever-present problem of worm infestation, consequent to the close relationship between humans and pigs that developed under the new rulers.




A Boat in Goa

Alf introduced fishing to India, and to this day the same technology is employed in fishing boats in Goa as that he developed in the 1440s. Similarly, nets were unknown until Alf invented polymer chemistry in a lab in the capital of Panjim, sometime in the 1520s, which is why the Goanese are amongst the most skilled net fishermen to this very day. He also urged the powers that be to encourage the cultivation of the indigenous caju (or cashew) tree, but alas his penchant for cashews seems to have been ahead of its time.




Manali

Manali Festival

Alf introduced apples and sheep to this pretty area of Himalayan India, and also showed the locals how to put on a good procession. Note also the instument being played by an accomplished Kulu musician. Alf invented this in India and later brought it to Europe - the ancestor of the modern clarinet, which evolved with subsequent re-interpretations of a sketch Alf made on a beer coaster during a Bavarian festival in 1789. Today, Alf's social, economic and musical legacy is much valued by the people of Kulu.




Zanskar

the Town of Padum

Zanskar is one of the best kept secrets in the travelling world, but Alf has been visiting for hundreds of years. He designed the capital city of Padum, which has changed little since it was first constructed in 1684. His major legacy in the area is the construction - in one weekend of feverish activity and supervision - of numerous astonishing monasteries, having introduced Buddhism to the area during the previous long and unusually bitter winter.




Rajahstan

Rajahstani Town Scene

Until Alf's arrival in this spectacular desert area of Western India, the versatile camel was practically unknown outside the ken of a few adventurous Rajahstanis (none of whose reports were believed). He introduced the first breeding pair, and today the camel is an integral part of desert life, even in the towns. Another contribution was the construction of numerous fort towns throughout the western deserts (Jaipur and Johdpur are famed), which along with the introduction of carbon, then titanium alloy steels (in 1665 and 1672 respectively), and the subsequent development of kevlar armour (1685), has led to Alf being blamed by some for the war-like nature and turbulent history of the Rajput warriors in the ensuing three centuries. He has always maintained that fighting came naturally to the Rajput caste, and, in fact, the spread of the camel (known in these parts as the tank of the desert), was more influential.





Europe

Europe has also experienced the Alfwave, and has never been the same since:

Barcelona and Granada

El Paseo de Colon

Alf built this monument, el Paseo de Colon, when on holiday in Barcelona, Spain in the 1800s during a boring Sunday afternoon. He has often complained that there is no one around on Sundays in Spain. He also rates this as one of his lesser achievements. The weekend after this, he came up with the idea of Anarchy, and although intended as something of a joke, the philosophy has found a constant following among the Catalan people of the region ever since. The well-known Anarchists' symbol, the letter A within a circle, was misappropriated, as it initially was the logo on Alf's first web site (refer below). Barcelona police believed that he contributed to the anarchy of this lively mediterranean city, by his incessant frisbeeing with Peter the Bastard in a number of plazas during one of his prolonged stays. Incidentally, the A symbol initially appeared on Alf's first web page - before many people had even heard the word computer - in 1748, and the frisbee was one of his earliest useful inventions (1299).

The Anarchist Symbol




The Alhambra

The beautiful Alhambra was built over a series of Sunday afternoon sessions with the aid of a few Granadan locals of North African origins. Although not quite as spectacular as his later Taj Mahal in Agra, its intricate designs and majestic lines are nevertheless among Alf's finest works. He has always expressed some satisfaction with the finish he achieved on the ceiling.




Venice

A Gondala in Winter

In the 1400s, the east coast of what we now call Italy was a dangerous place, and it was during a break from the monsoons in India (before he perfected his anti-malarial drugs) that Alf decided to help the local people to protect themselves from marauders.

He designed and later supervised the construction of a unique city, built on the water, which afforded a 360 degree defence. When it was finished he suggested the name Venusia in honour of his very attractive girlfriend at the time. The name was adopted, but as is common in this part of the world, it became corrupted by ensuing regimes. The city-state developed quickly, largely due to Alf's contacts in Persia and Asia Minor, and was soon a powerful trade centre. Meanwhile, the name slowly evolved to that we all know so well today - Venezia, or the anglicised Venice. Alf also co-designed the famous Gondola (pictured here) with a forgotten man from Vinci, but has never admitted it was really a cheap modification of his Goanese fishing boat.




South America

Peru was the main destination for Alf the Builder, an 11 stone bundle of athletic muscle let loose on an innocent environment:

Cuzco & Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Whilst holidaying in Peru during the early 1500s, Alf realized the great threat the Spanish conquistadors represented to local culture. He counselled Inca leaders to build an unassailable fortress high in the mountains. The ingeniously constructed city of Machu Picchu was the result, featuring some of Alf's secret joints binding together finely hewn stones of many tonnes in a manner still not reproducable with all the wonders of modern technology. The city was never found by the bumbling Spaniards, although they did manage to get their hands on a fair bit of gold. Note that the small peak or bluff behind the hidden city in this picture, is shown below in close-up. This latter shot dates from the 16th century, and is one of the few extant pictures of the camera-shy, travelling Alf, who has always preferred his deeds to speak for him.




Alf at Machu Picchu

This snap was taken as Alf rested on the precipice, visualising the outcome, before completing the daring feat of jumping from this bluff overlooking Machu Picchu into the river 3000 feet below. He used his patented belly-whacker landing to survive the leap into 6 feet of water.

This feat was reportedly done to impress a local Incan princess, who, instead, labelled it as an act of stupidity, and never spoke to him again (Alf had learned most South American languages in his first few weeks in the region). Another unappreciated feat was the 1531 Cuzco invention of the disco, celebrated by a subsequent vertical leap to a mezzanine floor during the playing of Grand Master Flash's iconic hit of the era, "It's a Jungle Sometimes, It Makes Me Wonder How I Keep From Going Under". While this leap was not captured on film, it was allegedly completed without the use of any local stimulants, although Alf's only comment on the issue to date has been"No comment".




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Alf Davies: alf@BackPocketRecords.com
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Last revised April 6th 2007
Copyright Alf Davies 2002 all rights reserved