Week one back on island has been terrific for so many reasons.
My welcoming committee on dry land made me feel like I was returning home which was truly humbling. The short walk from the wharf into town took more than 15 minutes owing to the number of people who came over to say hello and to ask how long I am staying! One of my welcoming committee could also go by the title of social secretary! Gay Marr had a list of the local events mapped out for me over the forthcoming month, one being a meal at Ann’s Place which is one of the local eateries.
Fish is obviously one of the most popular items on the menu and at this time of year there are two varieties of lobster (or crayfish as the Saints call them) in season. One is the stumpy which is a small rock lobster and the other one is more akin the UK lobster except it doesn’t have the massive pincers. On the menu at £12.00 for a whole one, which is enough for two they are a real bargain. The photo shows the half grilled lobster I had and as you can see it was falling off the plate. The sweet white tail meat must have weighed in at 300g and that was just half the beast, I’ll certainly be back for more.
Whilst on one of my food shopping sorties I spied Tesco long grain rice in 2Kg bags for 70p! Bargain I thought, must be the sell by date. When I got back to my apartment I discovered the reason for the good deal. The rice was full of Weevils, turning my white rice into a speckled moving mass! Now having lived in Dubai I am familiar with these little critters, the size of thunder bugs and loving anything starchy. I thought I could kill them off by putting the rice in the freezer which is what I did…the next morning there was still movement so back in the freezer went my rice. One of my colleagues at work when I told her gave me a far better remedy which I will certainly use next time……..weevils hate the light so spread the rice on a tray and the weevils will disappear! Wish I had received that information before as I now have dead weevils in my rice, I am hoping they float away when I boil it, if not I guess its extra protein and not as bad as the cockroach I found in rice on my previous visit here!
Good Friday on St Helena and in fact Sunday and Monday are some of the quietest days of the year in Jamestown. The locals head for the hills with their families and go camping for the weekend. Friday is the day everyone on island eats fish with most of the local men spending Thursday evening perched on a rock somewhere catching it. These traditions remind us of a way of life long gone in the UK where the bank holidays are some of the busiest in the year for the stores, whether in towns or online. I know which I prefer!
Work has taken off at full pelt with much to do and little time to do it in. Easter obviously has an impact on getting things done as will the arrival in a week or so of the biggest cruise ship of the year, the MS Arcadia 2400 people are potentially vising the island for one day, this is only 500 folk short of the whole population of the island so it will be an interesting day to observe how things develop.