I have made it back to the UK via a short stay in Cape Town and of course five days on the RMS. I am very pleased to be home although memories of my St Helena days pop into my mind frequently. I have a couple of reports to write on the time spent there and then its off to the next challenge. That challenge at the moment is some work in London with the Montcalm group who have two five star hotels and a number of others. I am starting this week and I must say its sure going to be different to say the least!
There may be an opportunity to return to St Helena in 2012 depending on how the airport build goes and what support the tourism industry feel they need. This will unfold over the forthcoming weeks and I will keep my blog going to communicate any news.
In the meantime here is my best Cape Town picture which I am pretty pleased with
Last week I actually made it to Longwood House, the last home of Napoleon Bonaparte. It has taken so long as the property isn’t always open so you have to pick your moment. The gardens, as you can see from my pictures are lovely. The interior contains many interesting artefacts from the time Napoleon was here and the ladies who were acting as guides had some great stories to tell.
I actually returned to Longwood on Wednesday evening when a cheese and wine party was held in support of the Save Longwood House campaign, the house needs much work done to it and has many keen devotees who raise funds not only on St Helena but in France and the UK.
The BIG news this week happened on Thursday when the Governor announced that the contract between Basil Read (airport contractors) and the UK Government has been signed and it is now all systems go for the airport to start being built. The finish date is some three years away however the influx of 300 or so contractors is going to have an effect on the economy way before then for sure! Its early days but wheels are already in motion and plans being made to entice investors to this tiny spot in the ocean. The main thrust is going to be tourism with a green label which is good news for sure. St Helena has had so many changes to its environment by humans and not all of them beneficial.
The rare St Helena Ebony
I should be sitting on the ship by now waving off the masses of friends and acquaintances I have made on this tiny island but no I’m sitting in the tourist office knocking out my final Blog for St Helena. The ship endured bad weather in Ascension and so has lost a day of its schedule and is now sailing a day later than expected. This may affect the arrival time in Cape Town but no one knows until we get going tomorrow. In some ways it’s a good thing as I have plenty of loose ends to tie up as I was working in a Chef’s Jacket until 5.00pm last night.
The St Helena’s second ever food festival was a success and will be remembered for the introduction of Tabbouleh, Foccaccia, Cornbread and Alsace Onion Tart to all who came. The other stalls involved included the local distillery, wine tastings, cheeses and pate tastings, cakes in all shapes and sizes and a variety of local specialties. I didn’t get to take any pictures as we were busy from the time it opened until around 4.00pm when all I wanted was a cup of tea! My thanks go to Joan Peters and Ivy Robinson who helped me over the two days of prep and serving the food. I also had two NVQ hospitality students working with me, Kimberley and Danielle who were also brilliant!
So its Farewell St Helena and thank you to everyone I have met who have made my visit so memorable and rewarding. I hope to return in 2012.