The Lowest of the Low?

In case this blog hasn’t done much to turn your attention to the intriguing attraction of the Falkland Islands, the New York Times listed the Falklands on their 52 Places to Go in 2019 list. Yet again, the New York Times is way behind me on current trends (see also: fashion – I think).

Things like this give me (and many people) quite mixed feelings: on the one hand, it’s nice for the local tourist operators to get promotion and for there to be more awareness about the Falklands. After all, the ongoing dispute with Argentina is unlikely to get solved by World powers if 99% of the World population has never heard of the Falkland Islands. But it’s the same old story with tourism, isn’t it? It has the potential to make vast sums of money for (usually a select few in) the community but it can also truly ruin the feel of a place (see also: pretty much every major tourist destination in existence and most of the minor ones, too). The impact of this is often more noticeable in the numerous small communities across the globe who have seen vast shifts in their way of life (and environment) occurring as our increasingly globalised society seeks new and unusual travel destinations. The very attraction of the Falklands is in its remoteness and it will be hard for this community to keep its bearings or regain that once, like so many other destinations, the allure of the dollar has taken hold. This potential hazard won’t be helped by the incoming second flight (to Sao Paulo once a week, with a controversial stopover in Argentina once a month; possibly the only example of a country dictating a scheduled stopover for an international flight in exchange for passing through its airspace).

That being said, the Falklands are nowhere near as desperate for the tourist dollar as many other unusual destinations (they maintain 2.5 years’ worth of their entire national budget in the bank, have no national debt, no unemployment and no homelessness). There’s also definitely a less immediate danger of that happening while the restrictions (both financial and logistical) on the flights are in place. There is, too, very much a high and a low season here as the wildlife and weather dictate the attraction of the islands. We’ve had some recent short-term arrivals on the islands and have often expressed pity for them arriving at such a time, only getting to experience this place in the depths of Winter. As much as we can handle the season and there are things to see and do, it’s definitely not the Falklands at its best! It was with a little surprise, then, that the NY Times decided to follow up on their listing of the Falklands by sending their correspondent to visit at the Winter solstice. I’ve often shared the works of others here to communicate a sense of the place from other perspectives and it’s nice to be able to offer an honest perspective from the NY Times in this instance, with some pretty pictures to boot: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/23/travel/52places-to-go-falklands.html

I will add, with a little bias, that he never visited the excellent Historic Dockyard Museum (ranked in Trip Advisor’s top 25 Museums in South America, don’tyouknow), so his one week trip clearly wasn’t enough. Still, you get the idea.

Happy Anniversary

Don’t be ridiculous! As if I would put soppy things about our marriage on here! No no no, this blog is reserved for penguins, history and other Falklands oddities. Today marks FOUR YEARS since we began keeping Pengoing South!

These 127 posts (not including this one) have resulted in 72,796 words receiving 4,557 visitors from The UK, Ireland, Laos, United States, Australia, Falkland Islands, Italy, Canada, France, Denmark, Hong Kong, Argentina, Sweden, Chile, South Africa, Vietnam, Brazil, India, Croatia, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Brunei, Spain, New Zealand, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Singapore, Belgium, Jersey, Kuwait, Philippines, Russia, Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands, St Helena, Austria, Serbia, Turkey, Poland, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Cayman Islands, Greece, Romania, Bahrain, Peru, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Mexico, Pakistan, Zambia, Georgia, Malawi, Indonesia, Isle of Man, Finland, Japan, Uruguay, Slovenia, Bahamas, Colombia, Ecuador, Hungary, Bangladesh, Paraguay, Malta, Maldives, Honduras, Qatar, Montenegro, Belarus, Albania, Haiti, Barbados, Slovakia, Cuba, Tunisia, Vanuatu, Armenia and Ukraine all looking at the blog a surreal 26,380 times. It’s a little bit mad, that. We know it’s not huge numbers in the grand scheme of the interweb (some blogs receive millions of views a day) but we only began this to keep our friends and family up to date on what we get up to and the Falklands is a pretty niche topic, after all! We wonder what percentage of the World even know the islands exist? Now it’s being seen by people all over the World; some we know, some we don’t. Hello to you, whoever you are! Thanks for logging on. Don’t forget that you can sign up for updates by email using the box on the right. All this for free. You’re welcome.

I guess the Photo Highlights page gives a sample of what we’ve been doing and seeing in that 4 years, but how on earth we summarise these past four years I do not know. Even now, in the middle of Winter, there’s always more going on. And that’s if the scenery and weather aren’t enough to please you:

DSC_7842DSC_7828DSC_7826DSC_7418The Winter makes things feel a little different, inevitably. The wildlife really drops as seasonal migration takes place but there’s still things to see, as you’ll have read before. The casual conversations and attitudes you come across make the Winter feel far more accepted and embraced here, rather than feared or worried about:

Mid-Winter’s Day, for example, sees people go for a charity swim. Our friends couldn’t make the public swim so held their own private one. Han’s pregnancy made her thankfully reluctant to take part but we were there to will them on:

The dark nights also provide a twist on typical events, so there are highlights like the unexpectedly brilliant Museum at Night event, which I decided to capture with some long exposure shots and a little help from some of the school children that I know:

The pattern here is that, much as Winter can be dark and bleak, it’s also a fun time of the year to experience some of the things that even the people who visit for many weeks or months in Summer don’t get to see.
Four years has flown by and, while we have seen many changes taking place here, there is something reassuring and attractive about the simplicity and stability of life in the Falklands, hence our extended stay. We have few worries here; Brexit, for example, is a worry but doesn’t really make the news each week (which is lucky, as it seems we haven’t actually missed any real updates since the referendum so it’s feeling a little like all that reporting every day has been for nothing).
There ARE changes going on in town, mind: Stanley now has a cinema!!! 54 deluxe seats now mean that we can visit a cinema without a 45 minute drive down the gravel MPA road to have to return in the dark!img_1133 We’re very excited at having something else to do of an evening and it’s proving popular already. They’re even importing BrewDog beer to the bar so this particular ale fan is pleased about the 21st century luxuries making their way to these remote corners (other ales are available).
I don’t know why I’m bothering writing all this, though. I know all you REALLY want to know is how Milo is doing. We’ve visited him and had reports from others who have been out to see him (including a Parachute Regiment patrol, who wanted to adopt him as a mascot). He’s doing extremely well, he’s looking good, enjoying the company he’s getting and he’s following his new carers around like a dog so perhaps some things don’t change after all:

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MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH

Liberating

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The Union Flag is raised at Government House, Stanley

Today is Liberation Day in the Falkland Islands. A public holiday, of course. 37 years ago today the Argentine surrender was signed by General Menendez in the Secretariat, ending 74 days of armed occupation for the population here. It hadn’t come easily: 255 British servicemen, 3 Falkland Island civilians and approximately 650 Argentine servicemen (exact figures aren’t known) all lost their lives. Then, of course, there were the countless on all sides who bear the scars of War (both physical and mental).

There is a tangible build-up here in the days and weeks preceding Liberation Day. As the British forces closed in on Stanley and the war in the air and at sea raged on, one anniversary follows another at an ever-increasing pace. In the past few days, the key battles and major events have all been marked: the taking of Mounts Kent, Harriet, Two Sisters and Longdon, the advance across Wireless Ridge, the Exocet attack on HMS Glamorgan and the infamous battle for Mount Tumbledown last night. The course and events of the War are well-known (see the documentaries, there is one in the tab at the top), but it’s hard to put into words the sheer scale of the effects it had (and continues to have) on the islands.

As someone who is neither old enough nor has lived in the Falklands long enough to recall the occupation, it is nevertheless an important day for all of those who live here. Ultimately, the families of those men lost their loved ones to defend the rights of the people here and to defend the wider principles involved; no aggressive state should be able to invade another against the wishes of its people. Still, the sacrifice is a burden that weighs heavily on the collective mind of the population here. As a result, there is a sombre mood that hangs over the day and almost seems to physically do so as Winter brings its oppressive climate to the day. There is also, however, an undoubted joy at the liberation itself and a sense that this should be celebrated, for those who suffered. So, I’ll shortly leave to attend the parade and service at the Liberation Monument, before the government invites all citizens to a Reception.

We will remember them.

A Starkey reminder

It’s no secret that I’ve carved myself something of a niche in Falkland Islands history. It hasn’t been altogether deliberate but born more out of a mixture of insatiable curiousity and the need to teach the students here about their past. In some ways it’s an unfortunate specialism; like our in-depth knowledge of the habits of different species of penguins, it’ll be of little use if/when we live elsewhere, bar the odd pub quiz. In the meantime, I’ve been trying to make the most of it: giving tours to friends and family, my guiding on Sea Lion Island and some museum lectures for the local population.

Recently, I decided to channel my inner David Starkey and paired up with our local(/national) TV station to record this little gem for the Falkland Islands Museum and National Trust:

You’re welcome, Earth.

(Re)collecting moments

In 2015, when we made the decision to move the Falkland Islands, we knew this would mark some change in our lives. Like any significant relocation, deciding to uproot and transport ourselves to another country (albeit an English-speaking one) was likely to have some consequences and many (but by no means all) of those have been mentioned throughout the last 4 years’ worth of blog posts. Still, I think neither of us could quite have expected the extent to which this place would affect our lives. At various times, we have seen these islands affect our personalities, our hobbies/interests, our relationship (now marriage), our financial/career prospects and, I suspect, our future too.

Among the strange experiences that the islands have thrown up there’s been a few odd highlights. To name a few, there’s  been:

  • Walking in the minefield (with guidance, don’t worry)
  • Picking-up a young albatross and two types of penguins
  • Being attacked by a globally endangered bird of prey (Striated Caracaras)
  • Having King penguins swim around my feet
  • Driving our car to the top of a battlefield hill
  • Eating eggs from birds we hadn’t thought we ever would (namely: an upland goose and a Gentoo penguin)
  • Wandering among harems of 3-4 tonne elephant seals
  • Running from wild sea lions
  • Finding whale ribs taller than me (and I’m 6’5″)
  • Firing bullets left over from a War
  • Flying a plane
  • Whale-watching in our lunchtime
  • Climbing a lighthouse
  • Scrambling on 19th century shipwrecks
  • Owning (and walking) a pet sheep
  • Han creating a shawl from said sheep
  • Recording a history piece for the national TV station (watch this space)
  • Swimming with wild dolphins
  • Getting stranded on islands

and the list goes on and on. None of the above should be all that surprising to regular followers of Pengoing South but it helps us to remind ourselves sometimes of what a time we’ve had here. Similarly, regulars will know that I spent the Summer just gone working on the unforgettable Sea Lion Island. The reason I bring this up at this point is that last week I had another unpredictable thing occur: I was unexpectedly credited in a Belgian Porsche magazine.

Allow me to explain: while I was working on Sea Lion Island I had the pleasure of meeting and guiding guests from all over the World and from all walks of life. We saw tour guides, photographers, reporters, TV crews, researchers, biologists, military servicemen/women…you get the drift. Inevitably, I built up some great relationships with some of the most memorable guests and two of my favourites (I’m probably not supposed to have favourites, but you know…) were the fascinating and charming couple Sven and Kathleen. They have the highly-enviable job of traveling the World seeking out obscure locations of Porsches and writing about their adventures as they go. Yes, I did ask them, but I’m still not 100% sure how to go about getting this dreamy employment. Anyway, they managed to find a Porsche here in the Falklands and so they came a-hunting. Their Island issue is now out and available at the Porschist website HERE.

It is well worth a read for both the accurate descriptions and the stunning photography. It does a great job of capturing that inexplicable something that those of us who have been here find so hard to communicate to the curious. It’s also always interesting for Han and I to hear the views that other people have about our home. It’s certainly not for everyone, but we have this place to thank for a lot and we look forward to seeing what other memories the future will hold for us here.

Speaking of which, we’ve decided to stay for (yet) another year and we’ll have yet another reason to remember our time here:penguin egg

No, not off Scotland

As previously explained, I quite like to share the odd tidbit of Falklands trivia. This appeared on Facebook this week and it rings true of many visitors’ comments that we’ve heard here (along the lines of “you don’t realise how big the Falklands are until you get here”). Now comprehend the following with a population of 3,300 people (about the same as a UK village).

Contrary to popular belief the Falkland Islands are not somewhere off the coast of Scotland but this is how big they’d look if they were. The Falklands are actually about the size of Wales (UK) or Connecticut (USA)

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That Monday feeling

Not long ago, I posted a video made by a travel blogger. As a historian, I know all about how projected images can and do often (usually) skew reality: it is, after all, the basis of all social media and the reason why such platforms are so toxic at a social level. Still, we take part in it and, hopefully, remember that everything that we are seeing is what the creator wants us to see (or we don’t and our mental health has been repeatedly proven to suffer). It’s nothing new: I recall running a lesson on images of a monarch from over 500 years ago. My class of 13 year-olds were able to create a set of criteria that was being used to project a particular image (facial expressions, clothing, background, objects etc) and it took a surprising amount of time before they realised that the very same criteria could be applied to almost all of their friends’ social media profiles to prove that we have always and likely will always project images in a way that benefits us. Thus, this blog is just like one such object that happened to be in one of those images: a double-edged sword. On the one hand, we want to keep friends and family members up to date on what we’re doing and preserve our own experiences for future reference (already it is nice to look back on). On the other hand, we live in a small and isolated community with many close links and are contractually obliged by Falkland Islands Government (the largest sole employer in the country) to not say anything negative in public media about said employer. If you’re thinking that, perhaps, such a policy could stifle innovation or accountability then my only response can be an ambiguous “who can say?”. So this IS a projected image; a highlights reel of our life in another place. Why doesn’t this matter to me today? Read on:

There are, of course, downsides to living anywhere (especially Milton Keynes). While the Falklands is an amazing place to live, it can also be very frustrating as the potential of the place doesn’t always match the reality. When you see what some other small islands are doing taking advantage of their small populations to make mind-blowing progress on environmental issues, it gets a little irritating: taking Orkney as a case in point. Today, however, such irritations were kept well in check. I finished work and was driving home when I noticed what a nice evening it was (nothing unusual so far, the winter sunrises and sunsets are often the best) so I decided to check out a tip-off that I’d seen about some sightings off of Cape Pembroke so I extended my commute by about 15 minutes (that’s four-fold, mind). I soon pulled over at the edge of the road, halfway to Cape Pembroke Lighthouse to see several Southern Right Whales in the shallow waters between the Cape and the nearby Tussock Islands (I tried to photograph the coast so you can get some scale):

southern right2southernright3southernright4The mighty Southern Right Whales  (an excellent infographic on them here) are distinct for the calcification on the head and for the time they spend in comparatively shallow waters, so it was stunningly close to shore to be watching these mighty giants.

As if an after-work free whale-watching session wasn’t enough, they were joined by other cetaceans along for the experience (Commersons Dolphins) :Southern Right and DolphinSouthern Right and Dolphin2southern right and dolphin3Here I was thinking that just the sunset in this maritime setting was going to be cool enough:ladylizAs the blogger in the video so rightly put: there is something about this place that makes the outside world drift away. When you’re standing in a shirt and tie 20 minutes after finishing work watching whales and dolphins from the roadside on a cool Monday evening as the sun leaves an amber hue on everything around you, it’s hard to think about anything negative at all. We do live far from some of our friends and family and this place does have its daily irritations, but for all of that we can have other-worldly experiences like this. For nothing. Regularly. I’m finding it hard to argue with that projected image today.

Our Home

For friends and family that perhaps struggle to understand why we live so far from ‘home’, hopefully videos like this will give you a better idea about why we have chosen to live our lives in this remote corner of the World:

Ayo Gorkhali

It may seem odd to title a post from the South Atlantic in Nepalese, but regulars to Pengoing South will know that I am rarely inexplicable. If you can’t wait until the end of the post to find out why then various online translation services are available that can enlighten you. It’s late in the month, I know, to be getting around to updating and usually I’d have some explanation such as a stranding on an island or the general hustle and bustle of Falklands life. This is, after all, the most social place we’ve ever lived and makes island life extremely attractive. It is little coincidence that so many friends have left this transient community and found themselves on other islands (hello to our friends on the Islands of Man, Wight, Jersey, Guernsey and the Shetlands to name but a few). Still, looking back over our most recent photos, I realised that we hadn’t actually been as busy as we have been in previous years. Could it be that, after nearly four years on this remote outpost, we are finally calming down our time here? Certainly we’ve been away a little less than previous years and we’ve spent less time adventuring in the latter half of summer. The high season, such as it is here, has certainly ended and there are key symbols of that to be seen across the islands. img_0002The final cruise ship of the Summer closes the season by sponsoring an evening of free music in the Town Hall (ambitiously calling itself Falkfest, but I guess it’s all relative). The annual Tourist Board Tourism Awards take place, which I have to confess is usually an event that utterly passes us by but this year I was invited to collect my Tour Guide certificate (and also perhaps as part of my work on Sea Lion Island) so another fine evening reception at Government House beckoned. With the summer season ending, so we also said goodbye to several friends who had been working here (some repeat visitors that we’ll see again, some we may not), which has been a constant theme of our time here (still, we’re not ones to complain as I dare say we’ll be doing the same to others someday).

We’ve become adjusted to this constant turnover;; it is one of the nuances of living here. There are plenty of those! For example: the Queen’s Birthday is, unlike the UK, a public holiday here in the Falklands. A parade of the three armed forces plus the Falkland Islands Defence Force takes place on the seafront, with a fly-past from Mount Pleasant’s Typhoon jets and a 21-gun salute from the Victory Guns (two guns stationed on Victory Green only fired on key ceremonial occasions). It is always a reminder of just how ‘British’ this British Overseas Territory is.

In order to commemorate the Queen’s Birthday, Stanley played host to the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas (there it is!). They flew all the way down to assist in the celebrations and were warmly welcomed by the population. The Gurkhas are one of several Brigades with a familial connection to the Islands and these relationships are even more pronounced at this time of year. 2nd April marks the anniversary of the Argentine invasion and almost each day for the 74 days that followed has some significance to those who lived through it. There’s an excellent day-by-day unfolding for Twitter users here: https://twitter.com/hthjones but we are re-reading ’74 Days’ by John Smith. John is a good friend to us (with a surreal family link to home) but to those who don’t know him: he’s a local historian who recognised the historic nature of the events taking place in his home, remained in Stanley and wrote a diary of the day-to-day experiences of the civilian in wartime that has since been published. It is well worth a read, especially as people commonly do here: one diary entry per day from 2nd as the 74 days unfolded.

Anyway, back to the Gurkhas. Hailing from Kent, with an Anglo-Indian (and short) ex-military father, the Gurkhas have often intrigued me and it’s always good to see them here. img_0229The band were kind enough to put on a well-attended public performance in the FIDF Hall where we found out that, unlike most military bands, the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas aren’t musicians before they join the Gurkha Regiment (I did wonder how many tuba and cornet players would naturally emerge from the hills of Nepal) so their performance was even more impressive and further proves the adaptability of the Gurkha soldier. I don’t think I’d cope too well with being handed a brass instrument and told to learn it to band standard within a couple of years while also completing soldierly training and duties. Somewhat bizarrely, the conductor was a native of Kerry in Ireland so there was some familiarity for Han there too.

My run-ins with the Gurkhas didn’t end there. The following day I was in attendance at the unveiling of a recreation of a Mani wall (a type of wall found in the high Himalayas with Buddhist symbolism) that was to act as the first local memorial to the role of the 7th Gurkha Rifles in 1982. If you fancy a laugh and are also quizzical about the role that the Gurkhas played in 1982, it is well worth looking at some of the fanciful Argentine propaganda concerning them from the time. It is also interesting to note that Argentina, somewhat ironically, attempted to launch an objection to their deployment with the UN.

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The band add a poignancy to the proceedings

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The memorial is unveiled

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The memorial with Mount William in the background, where Argentine soldiers ran from the Gurkha offensive denying them active combat

Sadly, shortly after the unveiling of the memorial to 7th Gurkha Rifles I attended the unveiling of a second memorial nearby to a member of the Queens Gurkha Engineers:Cpl Krishnakumar Rai (QGE) small Corporal Krishnakumar Rai QGE was killed on 11th November 1982 in this spot while clearing the battlefield and setting off an Argentine booby trap. As you can see, the landscape that he was involved in clearing is no longer denied to the people of the islands (as some areas still are) and is now used to bring renewable energy to the population. It is hopefully of some tiny comfort to his family and friends that some good came of his sacrifice.

This ceremony had an added significance as my Dad served in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps and was involved in bomb disposal for much of his 22-year military career. I couldn’t help but wonder how many times he too could have been in such a precarious position (particularly on very active duties such as his Northern Ireland deployment) and how fine the line between life and death must so often be for those whose professions are inherently bound to armed conflict.

37 years may seem a long time for any community, but sadly conflict doesn’t seem as easy to shake off as peace.

Seasons change

Nearly four years ago I announced to friends and family that I had taken a job in the Falkland Islands and would be moving there in the upcoming Summer. It met with mixed reactions, some of which I’ll never forget. One common theme was the demand to be kept up to date on our adventures and to hear/see what life was like here. This is what led to the reluctant creation of the blog but it was something I understood; these islands represent a far-flung land that most people will never get the chance to visit and a basic curiosity about other places and cultures is embedded in the vast majority of people out there (apart from Americans, of course). I say the reluctant creation of the blog, as I’d never written publicly about my life before (never having considered it worth such attention before, nor do I now) but I do admit to holding a lasting concern that our daily goings-on wouldn’t really offer up much in the way of literary inspiration. In short, I worried I’d have nothing to say and this would soon spiral into every other social media feed you see whether you like it or not (namely: here’s our dinner, here’s a video of a cat/alternate creature, here’s what meaningless activity I just took part in, rinse and repeat). Luckily, the Falklands seems to turn up a little of the humdrum along with something a little different for me to turn my trusty laptop (Bernard) to.

We’re drawing to the close of yet another Summer here in the Falklands and the passing of time is marked by several key things (some no doubt familiar to you, some not): the steady darkening of the mornings and evenings, the thinning out of the cruise ship schedule and the commercial move from summer opening hours. This is also marked by the other annual schedule that we have tuned into here: that of the animal world. The adult penguins, now complete with their breeding and rearing, disappear out to sea and leave their juveniles to fatten up and molt into the feathers they need to survive the Winter. The juveniles, for their part, make their way to the beaches en masse and start learning to swim (far more successful than their attempts to fly) and the other birds and mammals follow similar threads before we say goodbye to most of them until next September/October. This would make the penguin appreciators out there a little glum, so Mother Nature takes this in her stride and offers something of a pick-me-up to make each March/April that little sweeter:

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Teaberries

And sweeter it is! Teaberries are native to the Falklands and grow extensively across most of the islands, including handily close to Stanley. They’re also naturally very sweet, with a unique and inexplicable flavour. Some relate them to candy floss, some to Fruit Salad sweets, others just give up trying. They take their name from the fact that sailors used to also make a tea from their leaves. One source I read mentioned that this tea “had a funny effect on them”, but I tried it and felt nothing but a nice taste – no widespread hallucinogenics here! It’s altogether possible that those sailors were scurvy-ridden and that funny effect was ‘health’. Who knows. Anyway, we’ve been making full use of them, enjoying them on cereal each morning, with our Easi-yo yoghurt in the evenings and, of course, in the mandatory way:

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Teaberry buns

This time of year, as if to signal that people are starting to have a little more free time after the tourist seasons, the Falklands likes to start ramping up the social side of things. The annual Horticultural Show takes place (picture every stereotype of a UK village horticultural show you can think of or have seen on Countryfile and add a team of gardeners from a former colonial Government House). Its charm isn’t lost on us and Han fed her competitive habit by entering the odd grown and baked goods for a little smugness:a21ffe6f-4543-4f02-821f-8baef4d849cbObviously, as a thoroughbred Irish woman, receiving only second and third prize for her potatoes did cause outrage and widespread disapproval across her family but she has promised to try harder in future. How embarrassing for her.
We were also delighted to go and support our friends in some local amateur dramatics by watching FIODA’s production of the witty and timeless The Importance of Being Earnest:img_9920I don’t think it’s unfair to say that amateur dramatics can be a little hit and miss for those of us not appreciative of the finer nuances of theatrical arts, but this was genuinely great; very funny and a really enjoyable way to spend an evening. It also reminds me of the first time I watched a FIODA production just over 3 years ago, catching myself having an odd moment realising the absurd way that life can turn out when you don’t expect it; spending my evening watching a play in the Town Hall in my home city of Stanley; a place I never  expected to even visit.
It hasn’t all been easy for us here. Last week, we made the tough but fair decision that our beloved and highly popular pet sheep Milo was simply getting too large for many of the gardens and their owners in town and that he deserved to spend some time out at a farm with other sheeps (actually being a sheep, rather than his usual disguise as a dog). It was difficult to decide on, but we had a kind and reliable offer of a good home for him at Estancia Farm where Milo could spend some time with other pet sheep. He had a few enjoyable days with us in town being spoiled before we took him out:

We were taking Milo to spend time at Estancia, which is not far off the North Camp road (see the map page) where we knew he would be happy and would be able to adjust well in the capable hands of our friends who own the farm:

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Picturesque Estancia

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Milo meets Shaun

It’s not the end for Milo and he may well make a return to town one day, but we wanted to give him a good place to spend the Winter without being tethered and having the space to roam for a while. If all else fails, he can always hop back in the car and come home:img_9950