Saturday, August 13, 2011
Last Thursday Christopher, Shaun, Tanya and myself made a last minute decision that we would go to the Goose Green two nighter. Two nighters are held on the larger farms, normally at the end of the shearing season or for a championship dog trials but sometimes they are just a social event for people to get together and have a few drinks, dance and socialise. This two nighter was held at Goose Green a 152,000 hectare farm with 42 inhabitants. We rented a house for the weekend but many people stay with farm residents whose houses bulge at the seams with friends, family and weekend revellers needing a bed or a space on the floor for the two nights. Although we do not attend many these days I believe they are a social event that the Falklands can be truly proud of. Despite the consumption of alcohol, in some cases quite copious amounts they are family occasions.
I was working until 4:30pm on Friday and because we had made the decision late on Thursday we were not ready to leave straight after work. By Friday lunch time it had started to snow and by 4:30 it was freezing. Shaun and Tanya got away by 4:30 and rang us to say that the tarmac on the Mount Pleasant road was starting to get slippery. We eventually got away from Stanley at 6:50pm. The snow had set in by then and an hour into the trip I was beginning to wish we hadn't left. The snow had turned to a blizzard. We had taken my Pajero an automatic 2.5 litre diesel. It was quite nice to be passed by one of our friends on the MPA road and lucky that we recognised his vehicle in the dark. Still being in mobile rang we were able to give him a ring and he slowed down and stayed with us for the rest of the trip. The biggest problem with the automatic in the snow and ice is the lack of gears to use as control on the hills when you can't use your brakes. We finally arrived at Goose Green around about 9pm.
As adults, quick stepped, samba'd or in some cases just did their own thing there were children taking turns on a skateboard and scooter in amongst the dancers. I love the fact that these are family events. The dancers do their best to avoid the kids and the kids do their best to avoid the adults their is total tolerance towards the children they are not viewed as being in the way or a nuisance, it is an occasion for them to enjoy to. The youngest reveller last weekend was 5 month old Connor Joe, he arrived in the hall around about 7pm with his mum, brother and grandparents and left for home about 5 minutes before us which was approximately 2:30 am, despite the loud music and just the general high noise level of a large group of people talking, laughing and generally having fun he sleep the whole evening through under the watchful eye of his family.
Saturday afternoon started with camel racing for the children. This was followed by horse racing for the adults, there was even a tote. The horse racing was on the tele. A proper programme for such occasions where you can back your preferred horse and collect your winnings if you are lucky. All money made by the tote was then given to a local charity. This was followed by a mixed doubles darts competition. Again this was a super family event. Christopher's partner was a lovely young lady called Lucianne. I'm not sure how old she is but I would think she is 11 or 12. Christopher and Lucianne won their first game but then came up against Lucianne's grandmother who is quite a darts player and they went out in the second round to Luciannes grandmother and partner. They had a good game though and it could have went either way. I was drawn with a young man named Leo who is about 10 years old. You probably think this is too young to be able to play darts effectively but that is not the case. All Leo's darts landed in the board and although we did not win our game we were down to our double and had our chances. The weekend was then rounded of by another evening of dancing, socialising, putting the world to rights, farming stories and a few more beers.
Sunday morning saw Christopher, Shaun & Tanya up and away by 7 am to go to Speedwell for a day trip to move sheep leaving me to make my way back to Stanley on the still snowy roads. I waited until midday and then made the decision to leave for Stanley but I decided if I found the road too slippery then I would go back and wait for Christopher at Goose Green. I met with my sister and her children who were also at Goose Green and equally as nervous about driving back in with snow still on the roads. It turned out that the roads had cleared significantly, we both had little skids, me when I braked at a cattle grid and I saw Stephanie doing a bit of a zig zag in my mirror when she was stopping behind me to give me a message from Christopher. Two of the valleys had very snowy slopes which I wouldn't have chosen to drive through myself but we had gone too far to go back so it was a case of you know what to do so do it. It took us two and a half hours to drive back to Stanley. I guess that is about an hour longer then it would usually take but we were pretty pleased with ourselves. An end to a great weekend.
Next time. Tiphs dissertation and trip to London. The day trip to Speedwell and perhaps you could check those bolts dad.