A Ukulele Wails

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic » Saint Helena
April 13th 2012
Published: April 13th 2012
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Friday April 13th

A fine night on the harbour front! It’s no surprise that so many people congregate at Donny’s Bar late afternoon on a Friday. No English ale I’m afraid – Iain, perhaps we should open our micro-brewery here! – but G&Ts or a beer whilst the sun sinks into the Atlantic is a spectacular way to end the working week. Grilled Yahoo (fish) and chips is good to – but a serious absence of mushy peas.

Twilight is very brief here as the sun drops very quickly and sinks out of sight (I know it doesn’t really) after a very brief explosion of colour over the sea. Is that because St. Helena is so close to the equator – I have a sense that we are travelling much quicker here than we would further south or north.

Had a chat this evening with the island’s astronomer about the various planets and star constellations that are visible. I thought that the clarity of the stars in Shropshire was spectacular but I think it’s rather finer here – not much light pollution anywhere.

Work is going well. I can see progress from last year and I’m beginning to fathom strategies for the next few months. An advertisement is being placed for a teacher/advisor to come out and do further work in September. If between us we can’t achieve something then I’m not sure what will bring results. The previous acting Director, John, has done an excellent job in raising the profile of education on the island and securing extra funding and the new director Colin seems just the right person to move it further forward.

I’m managing to kick-start most of my personal challenges out here. The ukulele came out earlier this week but the sound was terrible – not much chance yet of a debut concert. Some physical activity everyday – walks, visits to the gym and even a trip to the outdoor pool yesterday – impressive, eh? Plenty of time in the evening for reading – I’m really enjoying ‘Bleak House’ – the first time I’ve read Dickens since I was at school. The language is more accessible than I’d thought, the story complex and intriguing and really very funny. I’m also watching the DVD of the TV series which I missed first time round – it’s utterly fantastic.

I’m hoping for some quiet fun rather than adventures this weekend – I’ll let you know how and if I survive.


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