Friday, June 24, 2011

By-election and its just old age

Yesterday saw our first by-election since the last election approximately 18months ago.  It wasn't a surprise with talk of people taking wagers on how long it would be before this representative resigned.  To be honest I think he probably lasted longer then a lot of people expected.  One of his portfolios was agriculture, this was a little concerning in the beginning because he was a representative for Stanley.  It turned out that he was a sound representative for the agriculture sector and to be honest I believe he did a good job on our behalf.  He has been replaced by someone who I believe is invaluable when it comes to representing us overseas and can truly hold his own in the international arena.  With the pressure we are currently receiving from Argentina I believe it is imperative that we have a representative that can do this.  I believe some current and former councillors find him difficult to hold their own against.  In my opinion if you can't hold your own and fight your own corner then you are probably too weak to be representing me.
Christopher has been stuck in town all week.  He came in for an eye specialist appointment because he felt one of his eyes was deteriorating rapidly but apparently it is no worse then the last time he went and its just old age!!!!  The weather in Stanley has been calm but it has been too windy out around the islands.  On the way to Stanley the pinion went in the front axle of the Strada. Yesterday and today has been spent repairing that and it is now running again.
Tiphanie is now on the isle of Wight reading to play badminton at the small island games.  I think we have in the region of 44 competitors across the different sports.
It has been a busy week at work.  Today I sent out a list of special offers to our camp customers.  Well I tried to, in the first instance all they received was a cover note with no attachment.  By the time I get to grips with it all it will be time to go back home for the summer. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I have been busy finishing off my housework for the weekend but find that I seem to have memories of 1982 constantly on my mind.  I guess it is because we are only two days away from liberation day. I have decided to write down some of them that remain as vivid as they were nearly 29 years ago.
As the conflict wore on dad and I continued to be pretty much the first out the door of the West Store when the curfew ended, mum would stay behind and tidy up etc.  This mean't dad and I were usually home about fifteen minutes before her.  This particular day we got home to find the house had been broken in to.  Two Argentine soldiers were still there, they didn't speak English and were doing something in the electrical fuse box which was just inside the door.  They were either putting fuses back in or taking them out, we are not sure but they were also pointing at my bedroom window.  It soon became clear that I had left in the afternoon to be back in the West Store before the curfew started and because it was still light I had left my bedroom light on.  I had no black out blinds in my bedroom because we were never at home at night time.  We both knew this was going to cause trouble because one of the main reasons for staying in Stanly was to hopefully stop the house being occupied and here I was the cause for the break in.  Anyway dad quickly got a hammer and nails and nailed the broken door frame back into place and we waited to see if mum would notice.  It was my lucky day and we kept the secret for 20 years. Mum never did notice the repaired door frame and it stayed like that until last year when mum had the porch re-clad and a new door put in.
The Sunday before we were liberated mum decided she would take an older couple called Mim and Jim home for Sunday lunch.   They lived at the top of the hill and it was just getting to dangerous to go too far from the West Store and it had got to the point were I didn't really want to go home during the day because it just didn't feel safe.  Mum had went to a lot of trouble to do a nice lunch and had cooked my favourite, syrup pudding for dessert.  We had just started eating when this systematic  boom started.  It was very close and I believe it was a large gun of some description situated in the back yard of a house two doors down.  Everyone continued eating but I was felling pretty scared, the reality of war had set in and all I could think about is sooner or later someone is going to fire back at that gun and if they miss we are pretty close.  Anyway I was desperate to get away from the house and probably for the first time ever I washed the dishes as they each finished their meal.  I can remember thinking for god sake hurry up.
The last one for today.  As well as having our houses constantly searched when we were home we were also constantly counted in the West Store.  This particular day was different and we were all taken outside and lined up against a mesh fence.  We were all in single file with our backs against the fence.  In the middle of the road  also lined up facing us were Argentine soldiers with their guns.  Behind the mesh fence a large hole had been dug.  I didn't think much of it but some of the women were crying and I didn't know why.  I probably thought they were a bit wet to be honest.  It was sometime before I realised that they thought we were going to be shot and that the large hole was probably for us.  In the end it turned out to be just another counting and checking exercise but it made us nervous, maybe that was the idea.  We then all had to sign our names and were allowed back into the building.  I was probably about half a dozen behind this old chap, when a bit of a fuss started.  He refused to sign his name and the soldiers were getting agitated and I though the old chap was just being stupid.  I remember thinking sign your bloody name, your going to get us all shot.  It turned out that he wasnt playing up and that in fact he was illiterate and couldn't write his name.   I believe if I recall correctly he signed with an x.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

It must have been the plumb

I have finished all the wallpapering I can do for the time being.  I now need Christopher to come in and remove the stove and ceramic chimney.  You may think it is odd that I am decorating when the room isn't ready but Christopher is so busy that if I wait for him to have time to do the whole job at once then I will never get the room done.  He is very careful however and I am sure he will be able to remove it without causing any mess or damage.  Anyway, I had a sneaking suspicion that the wall paper was creeping up on an angle and had already decided that when I went around the second corner I would use the plumb line to make sure it was straight.  It couldn't have been further out if it had tried.  I partly blame the corners because they are not nice straight corners but it was so far out that I had to overlap part way down to get the paper straight again.  Although a bit drastic I have a cunning plan to put display units right along the end wall so where I have had to overlap will be hidden.  The paper has got to go straight on the wall I am working on now  because there is no where to hide any more mistakes. If I go out as drastically on this wall as the first it will probably be side on by the time I get to the end.  Luckily the design allows the pattern to creep up without any ill effects.  I was thinking about past papering expeditions today when I remembered my second attempt at papering.  We had just bought our first farm. I had papered the sitting room which had been quite uneventful and decided the following year to paper our bedroom.  The ceilings in the house were not in good condition, they were warped and the paper over the joins was coming away.  I decided the solution to make it look better would be to paper the ceiling with anaglypta and then paint it.  I got on and done it and was quite pleased with myself.  Tiphanie was still sleeping in her cot in our bedroom at the time.  Anyway I woke up to the noise of zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  I knew straight away what the noise was, it was the paper letting go on the ceiling.   "Christopher, Christopher the  papers falling of the ceiling, its going to wake the baby"  That was my one and only attempt at wallpapering ceilings.  We got up and pulled it all off and the baby didn't wake.  I think it probably didn't work because the house wasn't heated properly and the glue didn't dry quick enough.   Luckily  I have quite a good sense of humour.  I thought it was really funny
Out on the island work continues on the house.  Despite sending out another £200 worth of plumbing and fittings they are still 12 elbows short.
In Stanley I am now trying to restrain myself from opening up the first of the display units.  The end of the room where they are going is now finished and they could be built and put in place.  I know I don't have any of the right screwdrivers etc for the job, but I really do want to get at them.

Another first on the way

Huge congratulations to our daughter Tiphanie for passing the taught section of her masters degree with a B+.  Tiphanie's main degree is in Marine Biology and her masters is within the same field.  She is the first of both of our families to get a degree and a masters will be another first for us.  She is one very determined young lady.  Tiphanie left school with 10 GCSE's all grade C and above.  She then had a bit of a bomber first year at college but pulled out all the stops to get the required grades to get onto the marine biology course at Portsmouth university and hasn't looked back since.  She now arrives home on the 3rd July and will complete her dissertation here in the islands.  She will  have two supervisors here plus her supervisors in Wales.  I have to say that I am a little worried about her doing her dissertation here and would have preferred  her to return to Wales to complete it.   For her final piece of work she is doing work on fish in one of the rivers and this all relies on her supervisors here in the Falklands  getting out with her to collect the information required.  She has put herself on a very tight deadline because she has already taken up employment as a fisheries observer.  She will have ample time to work on her project as long as she has the information to work with.  This and the fact that she will go to sea for several weeks at a time without Internet access will place added stress on her.  I am confident however that with the support of her supervisors here and in Wales she will have a masters degree come September. 
At the same time I have to congratulate my nephew Callum who has just completed his level three as an electrician at Chicester college and who returns to the islands this week.
Shaun our son left school with 9 GCSE's including an A* an A, 5B's and 2C's.  Shaun went off to Bicton agriculture college where he completed his first year and then returned to the islands to complete his second year of practical work which he did.  He then had a tragic vehicle accident that prevented him from returning to complete his third year.  We looked at him completing the course a year later by correspondence but he wasn't interested.  His outlook is "look at you dad you've done alright without qualifications".  True enough he has and like his dad he will do okay.

Tiphanie graduating as a Marine Biologist

Callum and Tiphanie

Shaun working on the house demolition
 Well congratulations finished and it is now light enough to start wallpapering.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Raining Ash

The eruption of the volcano in Chile is now resulting in it raining ash.  The vehicles are grey and  I looked out the window at work and the big macracapa is also grey.  Helicopters and the Islander aircraft are grounded.  The last two airbridges from the UK have both been cancelled with no indication about when the plane may leave the UK.  At the end of the day it is better to be safe then sorry.  In 1991 we were badly effected by the eruption of a volcano in Chile.  The ash is that abrasive that we had to get boots for our working dogs because the ash wore holes in the pads of their feet.  It was so dense at one point that day became very much like night.  Lets hope its not that bad this time.
Christopher is back on Speedwell, Tony from the agriculture department was supposed to fly back to Stanley today but was unable to fly back because the planes are grounded.  He is thinking he may take him over to the mainland tomorrow and then someone can come out and pick him up.

Dissappointed in you America!!!!!

I can't believe that the United States of America are urging Britain to enter talks with Argentina over sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.  What makes it so difficult to believe is that America seems to stand up for every body else's rights but apparently the right of self determination of 2,000 plus people means nothing to them.  The Falkland Islanders are unanimous in their desire to remain British, we are British, we have always been British.
We were invaded by Argentina, 255 British soldiers lost their lives so we could remain British.With the anniversary of liberation day  on the 14th June.  I remember laying in my sleeping bag on the floor and listening to the whistle of shells overhead and actually thinking I don't know if I am going to survive this war.  We did and we will be forever grateful to Britain for liberating us.  Sovereignty should never, ever be discussed.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Snow and 106 page views

Wow 106 page views from the USA today.
 I walked to work again today, the snow was quite deep but again most people were driving.  The snow was deep enough on the hill to give quite good grip.  Busy day at work getting the orders ready to go away.  Quite a brain strain day again for me as most of the work has to be done on excel and I have never really used it.  It appears to be all quite simple but because I don't know the programme I find I have to keep asking what appears to be trivial questions to get my work done.  I think I have got to grips with using it for this part of my work now so tomorrow should be easier.
Another busy day out on the island.  Shaun and Tanya have spent the best part of the day running the new wiring in their house.  They now have a couple of days by themselves while Christopher is away.  Shaun's jobs are to run all the wiring for the lights and plugs.  He then has to wire the plugs but leave all the faces off for Christopher to check when he gets back.  After that he has to build the rest of the kitchen units ready for them to be installed.
Christopher is away down to George Island on the boat to take the rams off.  He arrived down there after lunch and straight away went and gathered the back of the island in to get the hoggets.  He said they are in good condition.  The island is very wet which ties in with the summary of the weather for May which was apparently wetter then usual.  Tomorrow he will gather the front of the island and bring in the 1,100 ewes to take the rams off.  The island will then be left open so that the hogs can come onto the front of the island.  The front has much better feed then the back but we have no alternative other then shut the hogs on the back to stop them getting in lamb.
Tomorrow Christopher has the islander aircraft coming to George with a member of the agriculture department.  Not really sure why Christopher has requested a visit.  Its a chance to get the rest of the copper pipe out so that is really good, we wasn't sure that they would be able to take it because of the length but FIGAS was as ever very helpful. I see that Christopher's dad Bruce has been to the house and collected the pipe and fittings so it is all down at the airport ready to go.
7:35 am on the way to work this morning

Theo at the George Island jetty.

The Islander on the George Island airstrip
My mum went back to work for three weeks today.  She is 78 years old and despite having a serious illness is as fit as a fiddle.  Each time she gives up work she says this is it I'm definitely not going back but then they ring and of she goes again.  It is an easy job, answering the phone and taking orders etc in a carpet shop.  In three weeks she is off to the UK to see my sister and brothers and spend the summer with them.  I will miss her as she has been cooking dinner for me every day.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cowboy Decorator

I didn't go to MPA last night because I decided I wanted to be fresh to start decorating the sitting room.  I may as well have went.  First sheet of paper right, second sheet of paper six inches too long at the top, oh six inches too short at the bottom.  Didn't look properly, got the match wrong.  Third sheet of paper right.  Fourth sheet of paper wrong.  Two inches too long at the top, two inches too short at the bottom.  May just get away with that one if the new skirting board is a decent height.  I could slap myself because I know how to do it but I am in such a rush to get it on the walls to see what it looks like.  So pleased when the first sheet went on, just loved it.  Spent ages on the Internet choosing it and then arranging to get it shipped down.  You can't buy wallpaper in the Falklands and even when you could it was mega safe.  Nothing off the wall that the shop might get stuck with.  This is an off white back ground with big purple flowers. Oh I love it!!!  I would love to be an interior designer.  Only design it, not do it you understand.  Right better get back to it, maybe for this sheet I will get on the chair and measure to where the match needs to be instead of standing back and guessing.  Enough decorating for this weekend.  The room is too dark now and it is difficult to see to do the butting together.  
Another wintry day with some snow showers.  Out on the island Christopher, Shaun and Tanya continued to work on the kitchen.  The door is now in through to the passage, the three new radiators are hung ready to be connected.  The plumbing is now in for the washing machine and sink and the gas cooker is sitting in place.   Tanya started un-packing ready to move in.
Lovely new purple wallpaper
I spent the morning working on the accounts.  A very, very expensive month.  First bill £4,000.00 plus, freight bill for shipping our container of wool away.  Second cheque £400.00 to bring Tiphanie home, worth every penny, third cheque Shaun's wages.  Then there was the fuel bill and another £200.00 for more copper pipe and pipe fittings for the house.  Phew,

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Rice Krispie House

Its thirteen years since we brought this house and I am still finding rice Krispies.  They seemed to be stuck everywhere when we bought it.  Today I decided to start getting the walls reading to paper in the living room and where Christopher took the tongue and groove out, there they were again.  They don't half stick like **** to a blanket.
A quiet day today.  Still cold.  I am supposed to be going to MPA to play bowls tonight with the girls and boys from FIC but I am thinking that if I dont I may get more work done to my walls tomorrow.  Work or play!!!
Walked to work again yesterday.  I found muscles in my calves that I didnt know existed.  The hill is so steep going down and seems even steeper coming home.
Monday I have to pay Tiphanies flight for her to come home in July.  £400 plus one way and that is half price because she can fly on student rate.
Out on the island Christopher and Shaun are hoping to get the three new radiators fitted today.  He has had trouble getting pipe fittings because the old pipe is an unusual size that it has to be connected into.
This afternoon mum and I are going shopping.  Im looking for a birthday present for Tanya as it is her birthday on mid winters day. 
Time to go, got to get ready to go to Shorties for lunch.  Must try and get some photos from around Stanley to put on here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

OOOOO it's cold & facebook again!!!!

Um, got home from work yesterday to see my sister had put a link on facebook again.  I then had to go down to the shops and felt all embarrassed in case anyone had seen it.  Not much chance they hadn't because it was on there 4 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Got up to a covering of snow this morning.  Decided to walk to work because it seemed quite slippery.  Most people were driving past me though so I guess it was fine.  Its so cold and windy.
A near disaster in Shaun and Tanya's house this week.  The whole kitchen newly plaster boarded, all the seams plastered and finished, the coving up, everything looking good. Next job take out the old boiler.  Turn on the water to drain the boiler down and forget that you disconnected a pipe.  Consequences water running down through the coving and  new plasterboard.  Very, very lucky that Shaun and Christopher were both there.  Christopher knew straight away what it was, he rushed up into the loft to cover the pipe while Shaun turned the water off again.  Pretty depressing for a while I think but they mopped up the water laying on top of the ceiling and put on some heating and it dried out with no damage.  Phew.
Lastly 5 followers, still a long way to go to conquer the world.
A rough day out on the islands