Sunday, 14 April 2013

Summer Daze...

We've had a successful day so far, a moochy morning with toast and coffee in the sun. Headed off to pick up a few kilos of bacon, some sausages and by chance got a black pudding- a proper black pudding. Sunday dinner in St Helena is going to bear a close resemblance to an English breakfast.

In the afternoon we drove down to Horse Point to watch the RMS sailing by. Next time it comes up this way Nain and Taid will be onboard. You can imagine the level of excitement for yourself.

Last few weeks have been a happy mix of swimming (Pip now able to swim the full length of the 33m pool but chooses not to if asked to do so....), mooching in the sun, barbecues and... all the normal things that fill family life. The little things make a lot of difference here. One thing that has made us smile is a more or less constant supply of potatoes while the shops have seen none since January. People here like Pip- polite and ready with a smile and a wave- they've made sure she hasn't gone without. 

Summer is heading in to it's final days/weeks/minutes- can never be sure how long sun will last (or rain wind or other for that matter). We've had more rain the last few weeks- very welcome relief after several weeks of baking sun. The water levels in the reservoir on the "dry side" of the island are off critical.

The island measured approximately 4x6 miles, for the last month one half of the island has been on hose pipe bans and urged to save water wherever possible. Our side has been sunny but soggy. On the Easter weekend we went for what we thought would be a guaranteed dry walk down towards Cox's Battery. We walked for ten minutes then stood aghast as a solid wall of rain approached off the sea. I counted down from five then it hit. Another five seconds and we were drenched through. It lasted long enough for us to squidge our way back to the car, the dessert dust clung to our feet like clay. When the car dried out a few days later the caked mud just blew away.

The first day of rain came with the "Summer Sizzle" our big fundraiser for the school. Absolutely amazing. A year ago nothing seemed further away than standing on stage in my mac belting our specially modified song the "Harford Primary PTA". Pip did the Birdy Song dress in a pink sparkly bowler hat, a flower garland and bee wings. Rather distraught that I have no photos of that but you can have a few others instead.

Sploshy day down on wharf.

Ice-cream after a Sunday swim

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant!
Plo/Pilau on the beach with her friend.
Plo (rice, curry power and veg) is now a staple :-)

On the glass bottom boat. Before Pip had a go at steering and made lots of people queasy...

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Time flies...

15th January 2013- first of our second Christmas'
It's close to two months since I last wrote. Perhaps I'm not cut out for blogging. Perhaps I just need to find a more sensible way to do it- quite a fiddle getting on the computer, means I have to drag myself off the sofa. Life can be tough can't it?!

We've been happily bashing along here. Work is busy, Pip is busy, Bob is busy. Rather oddly for homebodies like ourselves we've been busy getting out and about. I think island life brings out the best in us.

We've had....

Burns' Night- absolutely fantastic. Very different and one we will never forget. Can not recommend highly enough if you ever happen to be passing- the food (including an extremely impressive first time go at a haggis), the speeches (very funny, rude about lots of people but not us), the decoration (Anne's Place is covered with flags from around the world, Burns' Night committee added some picture of the man himself), the setting (covered but open air just off the botanical gardens, waves crashing in the background) a very welcome night "off" thanks to the lovely Vanessa babysitting.

Lemon Valley- a boat trip on an extremely bumpy day. Very good to visit, a beautiful spot but no Lemon trees... looking forward to going back when roller season is out of the way!

Pancake Day- Races at school, Pip won her class race. Bob gives credit to the light-weight racing pan we bought her, I think it may be more to do with her being at least half a head taller than the next closest competitor. Bob cooked pancakes for the school... the whole school... about 120 in total. Apparently he's a "great tosser". I competed in the adult race in Jamestown- sprinting down the high street I found out I'm better at running and pancake flipping than standing still and doing it. Not sure when this skill will ever be used again but at least I know it's there if I need it.

Lots of swimming- before Christmas Pip was extremely reluctant to go near the water. Now she hurls herself in and is well on her way to being a completely water baby. Much better at swimming under water than on top of it and getting better every week.

A new trampoline- Pip is very happy to have her bounce back!

Bought a pig- someone rang up to ask if we were interested in some quality pork. Somehow this turned out to be a live pig. It was given it's last squeak the Bob and Pip went to supervise it's dismantling- there's more than one way to joint a beast. I was very pleased to see it turn up with a head or trotters to deal with. Even happier when Pip tucked into it oinking gleefully.

School disco- part of the delights of being on the PTA is helping with fundraisers. We've had a New Years disco and a Valentines one. Quite a hectic way to spend a Saturday evening but good fun- very impressed at the number of kids who are up and dancing, and not at all surprised to see Pip in the middle of them!

Late Christmas- two separate batches of late Christmas presents and cards. The thoughts and treats were ever so appreciated. It's extra good to be drawing out the experience- Christmas doesn't come once a year on St Helena, there's a mini-revival with every ship!

Glass bottomed boat trip- a chance to see some of the hidden delights of St Helena. Pip was allowed to drive which is another tick towards her plan to be a ships Captain when she grows up (or a hairdresser- she won't be pressured into deciding).

I know we've done much more on top of this but it's mostly just the normal adventures- picnics, dealing with oddities of St Helena life, enjoying the sun, missing home...

Will write something more interesting soon, but at least you have an idea of what we've been doing while we weren't keeping in touch.