Remembrance Sunday Jamesown
The Remembrance weekend was marked in St Helena by a Sunday Service beside the Ocean at the Cenotaph.
Many of the islanders attended, with the Police, Scouts and Guides marching through Jamestown. Wreaths were made from tropical flowers rather than the traditional poppies.
On the day before I was invited to a special celebration at the Briar’s Pavilion which is the first place that Napoleon stayed when he arrived in St Helena.
The event was hosted by Michel Martineau who has been on the island for 25years in his role as honorary French Consul. He was using the occasion to recognise the work that Mike Dean, our outgoing Tourism Manager has done in his three years here. Many of the island’s residents came along to enjoy good food, wine and company in some very special surroundings. One of the highlights of the party was two enormous cakes featured as centrepieces.
The RMS St Helena made it to Jamestown with only one engine functioning. This caused some angst as many of us are expecting shipments over the next two voyages. My container containing car and personal effects is one. Of more importance to the island are the plethora of Christmas items for the local shops and returning family.
The ship will be picking up spares in Ascension Island so all should be on schedule.
One thing that did come off the RMS this time was FRUIT. Now in the UK we just stroll down to the local store and pick what we fancy with the knowledge that if more is required we just go back for more. Well here it’s different!
The word got out that fruit was in town! One of the girls in the office asked me if I wanted some fruit. When I responded that I would get some tomorrow I was told it would be all gone by then! I hurriedly gave her some money and out she dashed. Half an hour later she returned looking flustered. “I got peaches and plums but they have run out of grapes!” She headed out again in search of grapes but to no avail which was a shame as she wanted them for her children.
Later on my way home I was walking past one of the small stores which was closed when I heard a “psst”….looking around it was the lady who owns the store. She said in a stage whisper “have you got your fruit, cos I got some if you want some”. Well what an offer! I didn’t take her up on it as living alone there is only so much fruit I can take!
Why is it like this you might ask?
Well the island has no cold store so anything that comes off the ship has to be stored by individuals in their own fridges.
The ship takes 5 days to come from Cape Town so the ripening process is already as week gone by when the RMS gets to Jamestown. How this is going to impact my training restaurant I can only guess and plan accordingly. I think even
with the arrival of an airport there is a need for more cold storage on the island. The farming community have to harvest their products to meet market needs which means that Thursday and Friday are the best days to get vegetables from the shops.
Something I MUST remember!