The calm before the storm

Today, Han’s parents left their home heading for Shannon airport. They have boarded a flight to the UK and are making their way to RAF Brize Norton to begin the 18 hour ‘Airbridge’ flight down (via Ascension Island) to RAF Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands. They land tomorrow afternoon and it’ll be the first time Han and I will have seen them in well over a year. Next Monday, Han’s brother and sister arrive at the same place to join us. It’ll mean we may be off the blog for a while but you can rest assured we’ll be getting up to plenty, going on numerous trips showing off the Falkland Islands and all they have to offer those willing to make the journey.

Christmas in Stanley certainly won’t be the same the second time around and we look forward to what the next few weeks brings. I do wonder if, like us, they ever thought they’d find themselves flying to the Falkland Islands to, say, watch the traditional Boxing Day races at Stanley racecourse or see a curious baby gentoo look you up and down. I guess our decision to move here has had wider effects than we first thought it might.

No Ordinary Meringue

Signs of Summer’s arrival are everywhere lately; the stunning sunsets, the near-luminous yellow of the gorse, the return of the penguins, the cruise ships dropping in every other day and the wild flowers turning some of the hilltops into something akin to an Alpine meadow. Over the summer, the islands seem to come to life.

We went for a wander to Bertha’s Beach a while back (you may recall) only to find that the gentoo penguins were sitting on eggs again, marking the annual breeding cycle and showing our time here is rolling on. The thing is, as cute as these guys are, the gentoos lay two eggs but cannot feed them both, so sadly one dies to maximise the chances of the stronger chick surviving.


Yes, the eggs are out but they won’t all make it

This sounds cruel, but there is a bizarre upside and one that I never would have thought would be possible anywhere in the World; you can obtain a license to collect a few gentoo eggs without harming the penguin population of the Falklands. We were lucky to be gifted some gentoo penguin eggs recently and deferred to local knowledge for what to do with them. The fish/squid/krill diet of the gentoos lends obviously has an effect and the eggs have a clear white with a deep red yolk. Predictably, when scrambled, this leads to a deep orange for, say, an omelette:

The first recipe was a straight-up omelette with some cheese in – after all the oddities of preparing it, it tasted like a regular omelette with an odd after-taste. You’d definitely tell the difference but it wasn’t unpleasant; I ate the whole thing for lunch.

N.B. I was on lunch from work, I don’t usually wear a shirt and tie to cook. The apron was entirely necessary, however, to add some visual appeal. You’re welcome.

The other egg was set aside for something else we’d been told: penguin egg meringues were the best meringues ever. I was skeptical given the marine diet but multiple people assured us this was the case so I went ahead with it anyway:

Turns out they are very easily overcooked in government housing ovens that won’t go down very low and also, like the omelette, they tasted fairly similar to regular meringues but with a ‘distinctive’ after-taste. We did not finish them all and probably won’t make them again. That’s all I’ll say on them.

Still, where else in the World can you nip home for a penguin egg omelette and nip back into work without anyone being remotely surprised by what you’ve just eaten?
We’ve been a little low on blog posts throughout November, I know. An unexpected Windows 10 update went through when some settings reset, eating up our satellite internet so we have to switch off until December began or incur some heavy costs. It’s at this point that some younger and cooler people would put a number symbol and some catchy phrase like ‘Falklands Problems’, but I’ve yet to understand the purpose of that so I’ll skip it. The internet is something much under discussion here at the moment with the government (8 Members of the Legislative Asembly) trying to pass a Communications Bill to much popular resistance over the terms of it, but we’ve been up to a little more in November than we’ve been able to let on so with a little luck we’ll get time to let you know all about that. In the mean time, just rest assured knowing you’re not missing that much by not trying gentoo meringues.