Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Far, Fresh, Friendly, Familiar in parts....

Hi from Stanley -
Christ's Church Cathedral and whalebone arch
First impressions had been very positive. I am now in the throes of finding out where everything is and who does what. I was reminded of the Iceland telephone directory, which lists people by first name, as it's easier to find people that way, rather than plough through all the “Magnussons”!

You want your lawn mowed? – call Bert the grass man. Or Michelle for cakes, or Jim for unlocking Sim cards, etc.

Lonely King Penguin
 The shops stock an eclectic mix of products. Some familiar - eg, Black Sheep Ale from Yorkshire and “Arran Mustard”.

I'd had many a happy time on Arran, just off the Scottish coast in the Firth of Clyde. So, even though we were far from the UK, we could still obtain little tastes of a previous life. I did buy some mustard, and also some delicious local home-made (by Harry Ford) pickled beetroot. In the UK, you don't see international brands side-by-side on the shelf with home-made produce.
Penguin emporium

Some products are in short supply – wireless modems, apparently – resulting in me visiting several wifi hotspots in an effort to connect to the outside world. Eggs are scarce, unless you keep chickens, and one has to keep an ear to the ground to find out whose chickens are good layers. Still, it makes one an imaginative cook, if we are to avoid the “Not beetroot sandwiches again?!” cry from “the Boss”.

Sunset view from kitchen
 Other reminders of the UK come from the radio and TV, which is mostly BFBS (British Forces Broadcasting Services), an eclectic mix of the “best” bits of BBC Radios 2, 4, 5 etc. So, we might wake up to the familiar voices of John Humphreys or Nicky Campbell belittling some politician and warning us of traffic delays between junctions 8 and 10 of the M25!

But the weather forecasts cover places like Cyprus, Oman, Afghanistan and the Falklands – wherever British Forces are stationed. Makes a change from finding out that the West of Scotland is in for a hurricane, again.

Kay's B&B
 Thought some of my UK friends might like the photo of this B&B - maybe a little business for someone?
Kay's B&B's garden
 This is the garden of the B&B with dozens of 'residents'.

Flightless Steamer Duck - unique to Falklands
So, those aspects of media provide a tenuous link with the UK, although I think I'll be weaning myself off it, as I become more immersed in local activities, and less interested in congestion on the M25. There are also Falkland Islands TV and Radio, which provide for the local community. I've not yet had time to explore these avenues. And, of course, the excellent Penguin News.
Female Flightless Steamer Ducks?
 What I have done, that I never thought I would have the chance to do, is join a Hash House Harriers session.  Falkland Island Stanley Hash House Harriers (FISH) advertised for new runners and walkers, so, as it was a beautiful sunny day, I went along to see what this entailed. I had a rough idea from speaking to expats I'd met, but was still pleasantly surprised by the friendly and informal “run/walk” around Stanley.

Star Princess and Amsterdam outside the Narrows
 It was a small, but dedicated, group of all ages who ran, jogged, walked and stumbled up and down the hills.  The Nordic Walking poles were particularly useful on the uphill sections.

Afterwards, we had time to socialise in the garden of the Globe Tavern, and I discovered one of the organisers was a taxidermist who'd worked for the local museum, including that on South Georgia.
"Penguin Travel"...beats swimming!
Spookily enough, I had visited that very museum about 10 months earlier, and had been struck by the stuffed albatross! How do you find a dead albatross to stuff? And doesn't it look a lot bigger when it's in a room rather than gliding over the waves of the Southern Ocean?

Anyway, here sitting next to me was the man who created that stunning sculpture. Small world, as they say..

Anyway, enough hogging of the bandwidth. I must get some exercise on those hills.  More later,



  1. Thanks for letting us share in your adventure.

  2. Hope it's OK. If anyone has any questions, or would like me to explore different topics, please let me know. Peter