Thursday, December 31, 2009

Allen's 39th Birthday


Allen celebrated his 39th Birthday yesterday. He had a relaxing start with coffee and bacon sandwiches in bed. He then went off to the gym for 2 hours. I made him prawn sandwiches with a special homemade seafood sauce in for lunch and then we went off to the beach again. It was very different to the day before weather wise. It was blowing a gale and a bit damp! We did however see a king penguin, some gentoos and some magellanics. I've not seen all of those at Burtha's before so I was impressed. The kids had fun playing in the sand. Unfortunately it was too rough for the dolphins.

We then went to the cafe for cakes and I cooked a fish tea that everyone enjoyed. We made Allen a ghost cake and put candles that were like sparklers in - I've included a photo of Allen and the kids with the cake and one from the beach.

We then watched the new Star Trek film which I really enjoyed (I slept through the last one I watched!).

Happy New Year everyone


Grandma's Arrival


Grandma Melrose arrived safely on Monday afternoon. The airbridge down here is currently a bit all over the place. FlyGlobeSpan went bust, that's the airline that was used from here to the UK. So now it's any airline they can get! Marion came on HiFly. It had rained all day but as she landed it cleared up and was a lovely calm evening. The next day was sunny so we got the key for the beach and headed down there. It was beautiful, calm (unusual) and sunny. We same loads of dolphins. I've included one of a jumping dolphin. They were really showing off, splashing their tails and swimming through the waves. We also saw a group of penguin swimming. I've also put in a photo of Marion and the kids on the beach and one of just the beach as it looked so good!

Christmas 2009


We had a very Merry time over Christmas. Jacob and Abi were up at 5am, I couldn't believe it! Santa had delivered a stocking to their bedrooms, a mistake on his part I think. They'd opened this and were outside our room by 5.30am. I was annoyed I'd missed the present opening but luckily Santa had delivered another stocking under the tree in the lounge so at least I saw them opening that one. So they were in front of a Spongbob DVD by 7am and we were back to bed!

We gradually opened presents during the morning. I've put in a photo of Jacob playing with his favourite present - his Playmobil house and accessories, a brilliant ebay purchase. The other is of Abi in her pink roller boots. She wore them all day.

Our babysitter came around at 11.30 for bucks fizz and Jacob and Abi decorated Christmas biscuits. At 12.30 we went a couple of houses up the road for our big Christmas celebration. Lunch with 33 was fun, loud and definitely not boring! Joss had set a table for 13 kids in the conservatory and another one for 20 adults in the lounge/dining room. One family had done starter for everyone, very tasty and then we progressed with other families bringing dishes for main course and then pudding. We took gammon, mince pies and brownies. There was loads of food and lots of wine flowing. We staggered home at 7pm to watch Dr Who - I slept through it and had to watch the repeat! I've put in a photo of me and Allen at the dining table and one more of the kids in front of the tree at our house.

Hope everyone had a Happy Christmas!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa at MPA!

Jacob and Abi went to the children's Christmas party on base today. It was a lovely weather day so I walked across with them. They then played outside in a courtyard for most of the party. Lots of the adults were hung over from the Christmas do at the Mess. Allen went into work and to the gym so he missed it all. I enjoyed chatting and sitting in the sun. Santa arrived and gave out all the gifts. I've put in a photo of Jacob and Abi with Santa and then one of Jacob pulling a cracker - a great face on him! A busy week ahead leading up to Christmas Day when we're sharing dinner with 33 neighbours. Have a Merry time everyone,

Last days in Chile.


On the Wednesday we went back to Lago Grey and did the walk to the icebergs and then the children played in the sand dunes for an hour or so while I slept in the sun and Allen read his book. We then had a picnic in the forest and did another hike to a nearby campsite. It was relaxing and fun. The only down side of the park was no ice cream places and it being very dusty and dirty. Not many people spoke English and we know no Spanish so I felt quite thick alot of the time. It made me want to learn the language so I'll be looking into that - when I have the time! Thursday was a day around our cabin. We did a walk up the nearby hill and a wander along the river. Jacob and Abi, once again, spent alot of their time with the kittens and dogs. They were both keen to take a kitten home on the plane, luckily I persuaded them not to. I've included photos of J&A with the dog and kittens and one of an over all view from above where we were staying. We drove back to Punta and popped into the town for lunch. Managed to buy J&A shoes while we were there. Had our last night back at La Casa Escondida, again with excellent BBQ. We then flew out on the Saturday arriving back in time for me to have my hair cut for our Christmas do at the Mess that evening. It was a good holiday followed by a fun night out with friends.
One more post to end the week and it's seeing Santa!....

Glacier Grey


On Tuesday we decided to do the Glacier Grey boat trip. We had a lazy morning at our cabin - Hosteria Tyndall, where Jacob and Abi played with the 2 Labradors and 4 stray kittens. They built the kittens a little house. I was amazed that the kittens let them pick them up and cart them around without too much scratching. We had a drink in the hotel before we set sail. We were the only Brits on the trip, the rest were German. We went past a few icebergs on the way to the glacier. Allen was in charge of the camera so there are no photos of them. A shame really as they were really dark blue due to their age. We stopped en route to pick up some campers from a camp site on the lake's edge - German too. Abi had a great time playing with the microphone and singing Christmas songs. Jacob did drawing most of the time plus a few songs too! Allen and I enjoyed the views. When we got to the glacier we had lots of photo opportunities, it was strange as it's actually quite dirty and ridged close up. It is also lots of different shades of blue. I've put in a photo of Allen and Abi in front of a part of the glacier and one of me and Allen enjoying a pisco sour - Chilean drink with Glacial ice in it. I had had a pisco sour in the Falklands as one of our neighbours had been posted there but this one was lovely as it was made with fresh lemons. Allen and I actually had about 3 pisco sours so the rest of the journey was very enjoyable! There's also a photo of J&A on the boat in their life jackets.
Next post our last days in Chile...

First hike in Torres Del Paine


Our first proper day in the park was lovely. Sunny but windy, which we're used to living in the Falklands. I've included a photo of me and the children as we'd just driven through the entrance to the Park with the main mountains in the background. The views were all stunning and the colours were amazing. We then drove to the parking area of the Salto Grande - Big Falls. It was very windy walking up to the falls but they were good to look at. Nothing like Niagara but good all the same! We then did a 4 km hike to Mirador Cuernos, stopping on the way by the side of a lake for a picnic lunch. I've added a photo of me and the kids near the waterfall and one of us on the walk and the final one is us at the end. We then had to walk all the way back to the car, not too many moans due to bribes with chocolate buttons. We went back to our cabin where the children loved exploring outside. It is set on the River Serrano, a huge river with good fishing apparently.

Next post Lago Grey Glacier....

First day at Torres Del Paine, Chile.


On Sunday we drove to Portes Natales. It's about 2 and a bit hours from Punta and is a tourist town for the park. It was election day so the supermarket didn't open until 3pm. We found a cafe for lunch and waited until the shops opened. Being election day also meant we couldn't buy alcohol which was a pain. Then we set off for the National Park - Torres Del Paine. It was an hour and a half on gravel roads, just like the Stanley Road (Dad you'd have loved it!) The first photo is of us on the way into the area with Lake Toro in the background, the colours are amazing. So we arrived very dusty. We had booked self catering, the only self catering around. It was just outside the boundary to the park itself. It was an older place and was a bit run down but was just what we needed. We had a 2 bedroomed cabin and then went in to the main hotel for breakfast. On arrival we were the only people there but, as the week went on, more people arrived. I've also put in a photo of the view from our cabin with strange clouds and one of Allen and the kids outside the cabin. Next will be our first proper day in the park....

Chile 2009

I am doing 5 posts to cover the last week as I have so many photos I want to include! We flew to Punta Arenas last Saturday. It was the quickest flight that we had done in a while being a fast hour and 15 mins, the kids couldn't get over the fact that we got a drink and a snack, read 2 stories and we had landed. They didn't even get time to go to the loo on board. Anyway we arrived at Punta, Chile around 5pm. The plane we got off was going up to Santiago so as we waited for our bags we were a bit worried when one didn't arrive. A lot of arm movements and waving of tickets and someone went to find our lost bag - I wasn't that bothered as it was all of Allen and Jacob's clothes in the missing bag! Anyway 30 mins later it did appear. The person meeting us at the airport spoke excellent English - not a common thing in Chile as we found out. He helped with the retrieval of the lost bag and then drove us to his Bed and Breakfast. We were greeted with beer - always a good sign in my books. It was a lovely place, all wooden set in a forest with play bits for the children. We were the only people that night so they gave us 2 ensuite rooms next to each other. They cooked a tasty BBQ for us that night and brought their children around - Deigo and Vincente, we didn't see the kids until bed time and it was great! I've put in a photo of Abi outside the B&B, all built by the owner. There's also one of them in the tyre climbing thing and one of us enjoying breakfast. So we had a brilliant relaxing start to our holiday. Torres Del Paine next.......

Friday, December 11, 2009

My 2 Angels!


Christmas is upon us in the Falklands, strange as it's not dark until 9.30pm and the weather has improved 100% as it's stopped snowing! Jacob and Abi did their Christmas Nativity/7 lessons and carols show at school. It was held in the church and they had lit it nicely and used black out blinds. Jacob was the thousands of angels and Abi was angel Gabriel. I think they had chosen Abi due to her blonde hair and she probably is an angel at school but I reckon she would have been better placed as a little devil at present! So Abi did have a bit to say and she did it brilliantly. The singing was excellent too and we are all still humming along to some of the tunes. It was well rehearsed but I think J&A are pleased it's over and they could get back to normal things at school. I've put a group shot in and one of just my angels too.

They also had an end of term assembly where J&A got their level 2 waterskills badges. They are great swimmers and will beat me easily pretty soon, must get their water skills from their Dad I think, I am a good floater though! So the other photo is from the assembly. Abi also got her smiley card 5 and Jacob his number 6 so all is going well at school. Both J&A's best friends left over the last few weeks. Abi is missing Emma loads and Jacob's a bit lost without Harry. I know they'll sort themselves out especially as we've got a month off now.

Pre school was hectic this last week. We didn't have time to get everything done as planned and our Nativity was a bit different with our crocodile and fairy instead of sheep and kings - oh well I loved it and so did they. Everyone stayed for lunch afterwards and played outside as we've got lovely sunshine at present.

We go to Chile for a week tomorrow so the next post will be about that. I'm so looking forward to a week away with the family. It's been very busy socially here recently so a break will do us all good.

Have fun decorating for Christmas


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jacob's Birthday - a bit late!

Jacob celebrated his 7th Birthday while I was in South Georgia. He had a party at the bowling alley on base for all of his class and then, on his actual birthday, he had a friend (Harry) and his brother (Ben) round for tea. I felt bad for missing it but I think Jacob had a wonderful time on both days. After bowling they went to the cafe for chicken nuggets and chips - his favourite!
I did phone him from the ship each day so I knew what was going on. Mum had to make 3 lots of cakes, the party one was a coffin, his actual day a number 7 cake and then cup cakes to take into school too - no silly rule out here that you can't take cakes into school thankfully.
Allen was in charge of photos so of course there aren't many! I've included on of him and Abi on the 10th Nov, one of Jacob in his new top sent by his friend Jacob in Arizona and one of him with his number 7 cake. Luckily lovely friends here helped out with the party so it was well in control even though I was away, so thank you Jacqueline and Dianne.
Hoping I don't ever miss another of their birthdays.
PS will add the photos later as it's playing up!