Thursday, November 3, 2011

Beef, gardens & a referendum

A beautiful day out here on George Island. Close to 20 degress centigrade. Christopher's father Bruce is still here with us. Bruce came out to look after the dogs and pet lambs while we were in Chile for the week. It was intended that he would stay here to unload the Eager Beaver but with the dates being pushed back he needs to get back to Stanley to plant his poly tunnels.
On Wednesday Christopher and Bruce killed a beef. It is now hanging on the palinki (that ones for you Philip), I think you will struggle to find out what that is even with the world wide web. I will give you a clue, it is a word that has been passed down from when there were gauchos on the islands. I very much doubt that it is spelt right. Last season we had a Chilean work for us for a couple of weeks and we asked him what mangera translated into and he said there was no such word. We are very fortunate here that even in summer we can leave our meat to hang outside without it getting fly blown by blue buzzers. This is because they are nearly non existent on George Island due to the quantity of little birds. The reason why I am not allowed any cats on the islands. Speedwell island however does not enjoy the same status and we could not kill beef up there at this time of year.
Christopher is now planting our gardens here on George Island and hopes to have them finished tomorrow.
I have been painting the masonry work on the front porch. It has never been done and I have been threatening it for years. We have three visits from the tourist ship Bremen this year so it will brighten the place up. George island suffers from not being the most picturesque. It is very flat with the highest point being 50 feet.
Today there is a referendum in Stanley. Currently the councillors we elect either represnt Stanley or the camp. Stanley residents vote for 5 representatives and camp residents vote for 3. The referendum is to see if the two constituencies should be demolished for a single constituency. I think there is a very high majority in Stanley who want to change to a single constituency but an equally high percentage in camp who will vote to keep the two. It is difficult, most camp people seem to believe that we need people from the camp to truelly represent them and understand the issues that affect those living in the camp and on islands. Christopher and I are split. He feels that someone from Stanley can represent us just as well and in some cases better then someone from the camp and by having a single constituency we will have a greater choice. I would love to have a greater choice but Im not sure about the single constituency, at least if our councillors live in camp or stand for the camp they are going to fight our corner but then again a Stanley councillor actually held the portfolio for agriculture this term and was very good. The camp does suffer from a lack of potential councillors standing making our choices very limited. We end up voting for people that we dont really want. We will see what the outcome is this evening, our votes are cast.


  1. manguera is a hosepipe in Spanish. Does that help?

  2. Well you have me stumped on "palinki" I have searched several slang dictionaries in English and Spanish (and Chilean Spanish) nothing near this word but I did refresh my knowledge of many naughty words in spanish of a sexual nature. It is interesting how these differ from one Spanish speaking country to another.

    "Mangera" or the other hand is a French word related to "manger" (to eat). It is the third person singular indicative future tense if I can remember enough French. One might translate it
    "He will be eating later."

    I never could bring myself to slaughter my own cows except for one I ran over with my big tractor and injured it so much we had to kill it.
    I then could not bring myself to waste the meat so a friend and I butchered it and saved most of it.

    It is interesting to learn that you have town and country issues there. (Stanley and Camps).
    However it works out there is always the option of organizing non-governmental lobby groups to pressure your "representative" to work on your behalf.

    The email address I found for you did not work.
    I was disappointed to find this out after writing you a rather long newsy email. If you are willing you could send me your email address to my email I would then send you what I had written.

    PS: I have not given up on "palinki" It would be helpful if I knew the proper spelling! :)

  3. Hi Philip,
    I think I have set you an impossible task. The problem is over the years the pronounciation and spelling have become confused and I really can not give you the correct spelling. I believe a book has been printed with them so when I am in Stanley next I will try and get hold of it. You will probably have seen my comment on what we believe to be a mangera.

  4. Have just found your blog thanks to a Tweet from Lisa Watson today 8/11/11. I have always been interested in Falklands wildlife and the effect of small predators (cats and rats) on small bird populations on islands - your note on being able to hang your meat outside thanks to the presence of small birds that eat the flies was most interesting.

  5. Hi Colin,
    Thank you for your comment. I was actually looking for a picture of a tussac bird on my camera to put on with this post when I wrote it but I didnt have any on my camera. Im sure you have probably seen pictures of them. They are not endemic to the Falklands but are quite rare as they only exist on cat and rat free islands. It is pretty much down to them that we can hang our meat outside even at this time of year.

  6. Palenque 1: Wooden fence that encloses a field, to protect or to close a place where an act is made public.

    Palenque 2: Land enclosed by the fence.

  7. Hi,
    The easiest way to explain it I think is as a gallows. The beef after it has been slaughtered is strung up by its hind legs. This makes sure the blood drains out properly. Although I havent seen them with a fence around them it is quite possible that in some places they may have as the beef will quite often hang quite close to the ground.