Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Sunsets & Stamps

[Random observations of my life as an incomer, in the Falkland Islands.  The next post will not be for at least a month, as we are on our travels, again.  Hope this, and the older posts, will give you an insight to the Falklands].

This week the weather gave us some wonderful displays and also some horrendous and unusual conditions.  As I write, the lightning is flashing across the overcast sky, and the rain is belting down.  "The risk of sunburn is LOW", as the optimistic radio weather announcer puts it!
The Corniche?  
 I do like unpredictable weather - I don't think I could live somewhere where you know for weeks in advance what the weather will do.  Here, even if it is sunny and clear, you always take a jacket, and warm layers...
So, as we in the Southern Hemisphere slip into Autumn, and I slip out of the country, heading north for a change, I'll leave you with a few images and impressions of Stanley, capital of the Falkland Islands.
I've also seen a water-skier recently...  plus kite-surfers like this chap >
You might see the wreck of the Lady Elizabeth in the background, and some dolphins appear after 30 seconds.
Evening light
 I've been showing a newcomer around Stanley, just to help her get her bearings, and also to show that not all penguins have disappeared.
Watching the penguins in the minefield
We were lucky enough to spot dolphins, but they were too far away for my little camera to capture.
Back from a swim
 Penguins are much easier to photograph, but I will practice on the dolphins.
I know what you're thinking..."Not another @#* sunset!" .  But they're all different....
However, I doubt there will be many more good sunsets for a while.  It's now dark by 6.30pm.
Lamplight at twilight
As an alternative to watching the skies, we now receive 3 terrestrial UK TV channels, (BBC1/2, and ITV) rather than the consolidated mishmash via British Forces Broadcasting Service, so we no longer see adverts aimed at the military audience on topics like PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder),  and what's on at cinemas in Germany and Camp Bastion!
Very southerly Nordic Walkers heading to strange cloud (or alien spaceship)
Unfortunately, we have also lost a fair amount of Sky Sports output, (which is a concern to cricket fans in the household), and also Game of Thrones.  Still, we can always look out the window if we want an interesting scene to observe.  The weather is rarely dull!
An official invitation (and  Falkland's marine mammals stamps).
"Mr P regrets....".   Sadly, I cannot attend this reception, but maybe I'll get another chance?    I do like the stamps here...New sets come out every other month (or so it seems), and most are memorable.  Let me know if you want me to send you a postcard (with a stamp!).  It might be the closest you get to a dolphin!
A scale model of Torres del Paine, or My First Pavlova?
One aspect of life that I've enjoyed here is having more time to experiment at baking.  While still very much a novice, I can at least try baking stuff I wouldn't even had considered 18 months ago - scones, bread, meringues, muffins, steam puddings,  and other  light options.
Not local fruit!
Last week, I cooked for some friends, and tried some South Georgia reindeer in red wine.  It was, even if I say so myself, delicious.  
Sunday saw the regular Ramblers walk.  The plan was to walk up Smoko Mountain, but heavy fog at about 200 feet, meant that idea was swiftly abandoned.  Plan B was to walk up a lovely river valley (at least, I was told it was lovely!), and hunt for the elusive Teaberries, which reportedly were ripe for picking!
Rock slabs rear out of mist
Some of the chaps felt a more energetic walk was required so wandered round in the mist, and tried, sometimes successfully, to cross a fast-flowing stream.
Male walkers eagerly awaiting the return of the berry pickers to the cave....
We agreed to rendezvous with the Teaberry pickers for lunch in a lovely viewpoint (at least, I was told it was a lovely viewpoint), but lunchtime came and went with no sign of the other group.   It was at this point that I realised I had all my partner's food and drink in my rucksack......Oh well: waste not, want not!
The elusive and delicious Teaberries.
Possibly more worrying, it soon became apparent that our macho group also had all the maps, the GPS, and most of the mobile phones!  After what seemed like an age peering into the fog, we eventually heard familiar voices floating towards us through the gloom!  An old myth about a certain gender's inability to navigate was about to be dispelled!

Quickly diverting attention from the unequal distribution of equipment and food, we eagerly asked our companions how they had got on with the berry-picking.  Hurrah! A bountiful supply had been found!
Recipes for Teaberry muffins,  Teaberry pavlova and Teaberry vodka were exchanged as we walked back to the parked cars.

An enjoyable day out, despite the fog.
End of an era?

A Public Holiday has been declared on the Falklands for Baroness Thatcher's funeral tomorrow.  The Islanders are very grateful to her decision to send a Task Force, 31 years ago.....

I hope the main London event, and the London Marathon, pass peacefully.  My thoughts are with the people of Boston.

Back in a month.



  1. Just caught up on all your posts! Stunning photos, as usual!

    Have a fun trip and don't over-indulge at the lounge pre-boarding :-DD

    1. Thanks, but your advice has come too late...:-)