Friday, 2 March 2012

Is a Banana an acceptable Anniversary present?

What can I do for a Wedding Anniversary?  I'd brought tea in bed, along with a freshly-downloaded copy of the Guardian on the Kindle... What about a rare, prized banana with the porridge, and a trip to a penguin-filled island?  What more could a woman want?  (I'll probably find out later today!).

Still evening at the jetty

Juvenile black-capped night heron
 The Falklands have been enjoying a rare bout of High Pressure this week, with clear skies.  I could relax and hang out washing without the risk of it blowing away or getting soaked in a shower!

But I had some paperwork to deal with to prepare for the arrival of our shipped belongings.  I headed down to the shipping agents and paid for all our shipping, which is due to arrive any day now.  1.4 cubic metres, (15 boxes of stuff I've already forgotten about),  plus a car...

Then, in preparation for our treasured, old Freelander arriving, I took out insurance - it's too old for comprehensive, so 3rd Party, Fire and Theft (although I suspect there isn't a lot of theft.  Where could you take the car?  People leave the engines running while doing their shopping!).  But I can't complete insurance unless I have the car's registration......

So, walk along the seafront to the Royal Falkland Island Police station, to register car (£40) and pay road tax (£110).  (This for about 35 miles of road!)

But....Registration can't be finalised without proof of insurance cover!  So, back to insurance office....  Collect insurance certificate, and return to Police Station.  Hurrah.  Is it like this elsewhere?  I haven't registered many cars!

Now, I just have to complete the Customs declaration; hope the car passes the Bio-security check (no alien seeds or creatures stuck to its wheels); and then hope that it wasn't damaged on the voyage.

On the plus side, diesel is only 75p per litre!
A litre of fresh milk is about £2, but there's a bottle shortage.  Only UHT is in the shops.
Fresh  milk is available, but BYOB!
Having heard rumours of bananas being in town on Sunday, I wander into the supermarket to see what's available.   Lo and behold!  little, conical red fruits.. that's right - strawberries!  Wow!  And Oranges, from the US of A....a mere £1.39 each!  No wonder we used to get scurvy! :-)

Just for interest, I jotted down the prices of some of the fresh fruit and veg -

Kiwi fruit -  48p  each
Lemon - 66p each
Grapes - £4.50,small punnet
Strawberries -£4.50, small punnet
Leek - £1.50
Onion - 60p
Avocado - £1.83
Lettuce - £2.40
Pepper - £1.60
Vine Tomatoes - £2.70
Cucumber - £2.60
6 eggs (Chilean) - £2.40

No supermarket price wars here! However, fresh meat is very reasonable -

Leg of Lamb - £6.50
Shoulder of lamb - £2.20
Lamb chops £5 per Kg
Mince - £1.80/kg
Forerib of beef - £4.80 for 2Kg
Fillet steak - £18/kg
Plus there is plenty of mutton, and offal!  Where's my Atkin's diet book?

So, no need to eat the Elephant Seals, even if it was allowed!

Lunchtime banana on Victory Green
 And so, hidden between the onions and potatoes, I came across the mythical yellow fruit that I hadn't seen since the middle of January.  I saw people buying them by the dozen - maybe they were making banana bread?  But I restricted myself to 4.
More bananas posing with the treasured Banana Guard!
What more could a woman want?  On Sunday, we visit Bleaker Island.  We like bleak places - Rannoch Moor,  North Yorkshire Moors, Iceland, etc.   So this might be up our street:  bleak, with penguins!  Report and photos next week.

Many thanks for your interest and messages.  Over 1200 hits on the blog now, with people in Australia, Canada and Brazil now reading this!  It's saving me a small fortune in postcards and stamps!  ;-)




  1. Happy Anniversary. now there's a thought always wondered what I should do with the empty vodka bottles. What's vokda milk like? - guess I'll find out next year!

    1. Thanks, Bx! In my rugby days, I once shared a jug of "Brown Cow" - a pint of milk with a bottle of Tia Miara - with a team from Oban. Very healthy! Vodka milk is ok, but I tend to fall asleep mid-morning if I have it on breakfast cereal!

  2. What an interesting way to spend an anniversary. I loved hearing about the food prices and shortages - the bananas look just right for a prezzie. Intersted to know just what you considered to be esseential in your shipped belongings?(Also wondering what were your eight records and one essential item for your own 'Desert Island Discs.)!
    PS. Leg of Lamb £24 in Waitrose yesterday. xx

    1. Yes, Annabelle, I, too, am wondering what I thought was so essential that I had to drag it halfway round the world! It may have been kitchen utensils, but as we were provided with a loan kit, we didn't really need anything. I've bought a potato peeler, a wine stopper and some wooden spoons, and that's about all. I would like some better cutlery, so here's hoping I packed the steak knives!
      As to the DIDs, prior to moving, I was asked to convert my wife's vinyl collection to digital format. I had to listen to them all - David Essex, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, etc, etc. Put me off music for a couple of years.
      Essential item would be a windproof/waterproof jacket!

  3. Hi a + p, trying to work out how the hell to leave a comment ...

  4. Hey, it worked! Wanted to wish you happy anniversary, i remember the evening you told us you'd got hitched, it was quite a surprise! Bet annie looking forward to seeing Felix, hope he rode the waves ok. Horrified at the thought of you having to survive on UHT milk, yuk, yuk!

  5. Ay up, Julie + Ian, great to hear from you! Thanks for greetings. Glad you can remember that far back. Yes - Annie waiting impatiently for Felix the Freelander...just hope some tank hasn't crushed him in mid-Atlantic.

    Just back from lovely Chilean meal, so having an early night.....cheers.