Tuesday, 17 September 2013

100 Not Out! Yorkshire Day! Penguin feeding!

[Continuing the reports on the minutiae of life in the Falkland Islands, as experienced by someone who arrived about 20 months ago......Sorry the gestation period for this episode has been a bit long, but I've been unusually busy in the last month.....However, if you would like a more regular view of the Falklands through a different set of eyes, I can recommend a look at this new blog >
Horses on the horizon
This blog has reached the milestone of being the 100th such update of trivial travails in the town of Stanley, capital of the Falkland Islands.   A century of blog posts!  Many thanks to those who encouraged me, especially Nick O'D (my mentor in a previous employment), and all of you who spur me on by simply reading and commenting on the blog.
Local micro-brewery
Looking at the statistics, it's clear I know only a handful of readers personally.  The bulk are scattered around the globe.  The original idea was to keep friends and family in the UK and Australia informed about how my wife and I were getting on in our new home, as communications links here are expensive, slow and often inconvenient, due to time differences.
Worth supporting...
However, it is clear that people from all over have shown an interest in life here as the Top 10 list of countries by viewers, read as - (in order of activity) -

Isle of Man !

I know someone on the Isle of Man, but I'm not aware of knowing anyone in Ukraine or Poland, or most of those countries, so "Thank You" for taking an interest!
Local (and free) lawn  trimmers.
The weather here is slowly getting warmer, but the biggest change is the increasing amount of daylight.  My wife now leaves for, and returns from, work in daylight.  The trudge through the dark for the last 3 months is over, and it feels as if Spring is coming soon.

And with Spring will come penguins, elephant seals, albatrosses and tourists!
Penguin beach near Stanley
To brighten up the dark winter nights, my wife (born in Yorkshire - "God's own county) decided to invite friends to celebrate Yorkshire Day.  OK, we were a couple of weeks late, but by the end of August most people had returned from their trips to the northern hemisphere in search of warmth and family.
White Rose of Yorkshire bunting
After finding some Yorkshire flags on the Internet and some Yorkshire beer in the shops, we defrosted a bag of Aunt Bessie's Yorkshire Puddings and invited some friends round to sample the delicacies.....
"You can always tell a Yorkshireman...... but you can't tell 'im much!"  Friends give up time down t'pit and whippet training to attend Yorkshire Day celebrations.....
We scoured the supermarket shelves for Yorkshire produce - Black Sheep Ale from Masham; Theakston's Old Peculiar; pickled eggs from Selby;  Liquorice Cakes from Pontefract.
The hall overflows with discarded footwear.....A Falklands tradition.
Friends contributed home-made potted meat, and Parkin - famous Yorkshire delicacies......
If you want to test your knowledge of Yorkshire, there's a Yorkshire Quiz from the famous regional newspaper -
Yorkshire exports......now empty.
Meanwhile, there have been some equinoctial storms heralding the arrival of Spring.  One of these damaged one of the many wrecks in Stanley Harbour.   The Jhelum has rested on the shallow water for about 100 years, but suffered badly in the recent gales.
Jhelum timber points to the wreck. The Sun sculpture behind.
Jhelum this week after the storm
Jhelum last year after 100 years on the spot.
The Ramblers group have been out and about in September, this time around an abandoned settlement near Fitzroy, about 20 miles south-west of Stanley.
A bridge
 It was thick fog as a convoy of cars left Stanley early one Sunday, but the blue skies soon returned.
No bridge
 We seemed to cross quite a few streams and rivers, but largely kept our feet dry, except on the occasional shallow ford.
Half a bridge
There was quite a few new faces on the walk, as the new term had brought in a batch of teachers.  (Is that the right collective noun?).  It was interesting to hear their obvious enthusiasm for their new home.
Previously the main route across East Falklands
On the wildlife front, summer visitors are beginning to return to breed.  Unfortunately, one King penguin has been found on a local beach covered in oil.
Penguin-feeding training.  Open wide!
Falklands Conservation staff rescued her and cleaned her up.  But it may take weeks for the waterproofing to return to her feathers.  So she is being kept in a facility in the meantime, and volunteers have been trained in feeding her.  Not that difficult, actually...open wide!
The alternative to TV.
Well, that's me just about up-to-date with happenings.   My driving instruction is tailing off, as the regular, full-time instructor returns from holiday.  But another 2 students passed their test on Friday,  so that was a tense day.
The Government here  has agreed to commission a memorial to Mrs Thatcher, who is held in high respect here, after all she did for the Islanders in 1982.   My office window, on Thatcher Drive (!), should have a good view of the memorial when it's built.  Photo to follow....

Next time - how a rat won first prize at the Craft Fair, and whether anything is worn under the kilt!



  1. Nice to see some blogging activity; are there any jobs left on the islands you've yet to try?!

    Strangely, when I looked at last photo of sunset I immediately saw a profile of Margaret Thatcher (a la Spitting Image!)(this was before reading the commentary underneath). :-)

    Spring winds and rains here; enjoying them before the baking heat parches everything and everyone!

    1. Well, Mags, nice to hear from you. Yes, lots of jobs to try, although I'm not qualified for all of them (but when has that stopped me before?).

      Off to Sea Lion Island at the weekend, so hopefully some Orcas will be around for the camera.
      Toodle pip,

  2. I hope you don't use one of Robert's photos to illustrate the under kilt wear! Are you going to translate the blog into some other languages? John

    1. I'm not sure I know what you mean, John. Which languages would like -Espanol? And why?

      Hasta la vista