Friday, 11 November 2011

Further than the Furthest Thing

You may have pondered the strange blog address.  It obviously refers to the island's remoteness.   But it is more than that;  I first learnt about Tristan da Cunha by watching a play entitled Further than the Furthest Thing at the Tron ten years ago.  (It was also staged at the Traverse and toured around the highlands and islands.)   Here is a synopsis:  On a remote island in the middle of the Atlantic secrets are buried. When the outside world comes calling, intent on manipulation for political and economic reasons, the islanders find their own world blown apart from the inside as well as beyond. A beautifully drawn story evoking the sadness and beauty of a civilisation in crisis.  If you are interesting you can catch it at the Ljubljana City Theatre, in Slovenia in April 2012.

Talking about remoteness, it has seemed pretty remote here recently.  My mum (85) fell and broke her leg badly a couple weeks ago.  Just the sort of thing one fears most about being stuck on such an isolated island.  Even in an emergency there is no medical evacuation.  Seriously injured or ill islanders are patched up and have to wait for the next scheduled ship.  Which is about once every month or two.  Or hope for a passing ship - and there are not many of them!  Anyway no sooner than I'd heard the news all communications were cut off for an anxious four days.

I'm very pleased and relieved to be able to report that she was up and walking the day after her 3 hour op and transferred to a local hospital within days.  There it is much easier for the family and village support network to swing into full force. Apparently she has even been conducting WRI meetings from her bedside.  (Get well soon, mum!)

On the same theme of remoteness...I've been without any fresh green vegetables for two weeks now.  But yesterday the MV Edinburgh arrived and managed to unload.  The supermarket was bustling with excitement and activity today and full of such exotica as pumpkin, squash, peppers, avocados, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, pears and pineapple.  There were even some barely blackened bananas!   I counted at least five bakkis (South African and local word for pickup truck) parked outside at once! So I went on a massive shopping spree.  What I buy now will have to last until whenever the next ship arrives and unloads in mid December.  I've unpacked my cache carefully and adjusted fridge temperature to optimise vegetable longevity.  Two degrees Centigrade I think might do it - unless anyone knows better?


  1. I don't care how carefully your fridge is set, James. I wouldn't fancy your lettuce or cabbage come December. Bah! :(


  2. At least there is squash on Tristan ;-)

  3. Very funny guys! Yes you get a lot less picky and don't through away limp-leaved lettuce or black bananas when fruit and veg are in such short supply!

    Would love a game a squash. Can you book a court sometime in May next year, please? Ali, would you like to give the blog address in the Squash club newsletter?

  4. In Stanley (Falklands) there is always excitement when in date food arrives in town! Though a chocolate bar two years past its sell by date was still quite tasty.....