We are back online! It’s been a week since our arrival here and it’s taken a while to sort a phone line and internet, then we used all our data allowance for the last two days of August rather quickly … but I feel sure that the difficulties of internet and data will be a blog post all of its own down the line.
We survived the flight, well flights actually, without too much difficulty. The leg from Brize Norton to Ascension Island was not too tricky as we left so late and it was through the night that actually the boys were out like lights and stayed that way for the most part. We were in a cabin quite busy with families and young children but you wouldn’t have known it. The stop-over in Ascension Island was brief, and outdoors in the sunshine, we got our passports stamped there for a small donation and the pages in our passports with that stamp and the entry to Falkland Islands stamp is, I guess, fairly unusual. The second flight on from Ascension Island was harder work and took its toll a little, it was another 8 hour flight and keeping everyone busy yet inactive for that period was not ideal but we managed it. Arrival at Mount Pleasant Airport was through some quite low cloud so views of the islands were minimal. It was a chilly, grey afternoon but nothing to be phased by. Our passports and work permits were duly checked and stamped and then we attempted to manage claiming 21 items of baggage on to trolleys, keeping 3 small boys vaguely calm, allowing the sniffer dog to do its job, ensuring Max understood that the army personnel working on customs were only joking about taking his Scalectrix and managing to push the 4 trolleys we had out of the airport!
We were successfully met by school representatives and piled into a minibus along with 2 other families whilst our luggage filled an accompanying Land Rover. I would love to give you an idea of our first impressions of the Falkland Islands from that drive but Sam and Jack immediately fell asleep and one side of the minibus was so caked in mud we could see nothing through the window so impressions were limited. It was a 45 minute drive until we were dropped at what is our new abode in the gathering gloom. Bags were piled high in the hallway, boys were dashing about as giddy as kippers and my new head teacher was at the door as all this was going on to check all was ok and to tell me she would collect me in the morning for a bit of an introduction.
We have certainly been lucky with the house, it is extremely spacious and warm and comfortable. The boys were given rooms and were happy with the choices, after a slightly fraught evening of over tiredness kicking in they were in bed and we rearranged the downstairs to allow them a playroom and get rid of a separate dining room. The view from the back of our house is stunning! This picture (not the best) is from the landing window in the early morning and we could watch the view changing all day long.
I will not go through day by day as we do not intend the blog to be that kind of commentary – we arrived Thursday evening (26th August) and we are now on evening of Thursday 1st September. We have filled our days quite easily with all the usual things that need to be organised – setting up bank accounts, setting up PO Boxes, joining the library (Max was desperate for reading material), sorting out the phone connections, checking out the swimming pool, food shopping and trying different shops, exploring the nearby parks (we have one slap bang at the end of the street), getting heating oil delivered, sorting childcare for the boys and so on. We were lucky to be lent a ‘truck’ from Chris’ work for the weekend so he has done his first bit of Falklands driving and that was really great for getting some shopping etc done. It also gave us the chance to feel like true locals by leaving the key in the ignition all weekend as instructed by the company owner! It also gave us the chance to drive to a beach and catch our first views of some of the ship wrecks in the bay. We are now awaiting our Rover arriving but it has been successfully registered and issued with its own Falklands number plates already.
This are feeling pretty ‘normal’ already. We have had our first guests around for a cuppa, Chris has been for a couple of runs, I have begun work today (although I will not be discussing work via the blog for evident reasons), I attended a yoga class last night followed by trying out a bar for some g&ts and Chris has been out for a few pints.
So far, so good. Tomorrow the boys are at childcare for the first time for the whole day and these bags are lying in wait for their starting school on Tuesday. The boys asked me to take their picture outside school as well as they thought their cousins (particularly) and others might like to see their school.
Do please carry on commenting and so on – it is great to get bits back 🙂