By now, you might recognise Cape Pembroke above, the sort-of Nature Reserve not far from our house. We say ‘sort-of’ as the government recently refused to back a motion banning driving off-road in the Reserve, so it continues to be trashed by unrestricted motor vehicle access, despite being a significant bird habitat and the location of a rare plant only found in one other location in the Falklands. If you’re sensing frustration in the tone of our writing, it’s because the Falklands are a wonderful place, but you do tire of years of witnessing the government’s continuing refusal to make a single decision that errs on the side of ‘gutsy’ (even when the official public consultation is overwhelmingly WITH them, as in this case). This one was a no-brainer and they still crumbled. Thankfully for them, in this political climate they can’t be accused of being the least effective national government around.
Anyway, as we were saying, the other day we nipped down to the Cape after work (driving on the ROAD, we might add, built recently at significant cost to allow all areas of the peninsular to be less than a mile from vehicular access, further adding insanity to the above decision). While this time we didn’t see any of the many Southern Right Whales that have been spotted there over the past few weeks, we did casually stumble into this large, sleeping female sea lion. You might have noticed from previous posts that this is quite a common occurrence here, really. We can’t count the number of wild sea lions we’ve seen up close in the Falklands in the last 4 years, it’d be impossible, but it’s amazing how adapted you become to such instances. The fact that this is so ‘normal’, then, might get you asking why we mention it now. The purpose is this: some things cause you snap out of it and realise that the ‘everyday’ occurrence that you just brushed off isn’t as ‘everyday’ as you might think.
This particular realisation came because we soon depart the Falkland Islands to return to Europe for the arrival of our first child. These island experiences will soon not be available to us. Imminent loss so often causes you to think about the things that you take for granted.
Our upcoming departure obviously means that we will be spending months off the Islands that we have written so consistently about for these past four years. Post-birth (we have been repeatedly assured) we’ll then be in a whole new world of priorities. Similarly, we have always been keen to point out that your life online is not your real life and real life should always take precedence. So it is, then, that we see little reason to pursue Pengoing South during our absence and sign off this blog for an indefinite period (with a predictable mixture of feelings).
We will be returning to the Falkland Islands, as a family, early next year but the extent to which we will be able to continue this blog alongside our role as parents remains unknown to us right now. It seems right to semi-retire the blog until we return and then to assess the feasibility of continuing it in the light of our new-found parenthood. This isn’t the end (I imagine our final post ever will be a far grander affair than this) but it might be the beginning of the end.
Thank you to all of you who have stopped by, kept up, enjoyed the pretty pictures, hopefully learned a few things and commented to let us know that we’re not talking to ourselves. In turn, we hope that you were able to enjoy Pengoing South for what it was always intended to be: a running account of our lives in these remote and unforgettable lands.
See you on the other side,
B & H