POLE POSITION – A WINTER AT ROTHERA

Beckside Farm – Falklands

There are nine of us on the minibus taking us to an isolated cottage a short drive away from Port Stanley. A 15mns drive doesn’t sound like an awful long time but on this island it’s enough to take you to the middle of nowhere. Beckside farm, our new residence, is a large house surrounded by windswept moors and craggy granite outcrops rising against the horizon like great spiny dinosaurs’ backs. The farm sits halfway between a vast dusty quarry and the abattoirs, both of which are remote enough not to trouble us unduly. If you strike across the moor you eventually reach the sea. After two weeks in a bedroom this newfound freedom seems almost overwhelming – I should imagine that this is how inmates feel upon their release – a mixture of elation and trepidation – as we hang around for a while, soaking up the sunshine and taking in the view, none of us too sure how to handle this sudden freedom. I’m lucky, being a chef gives me something to do. It feels good to be holding a knife again. The house is lovely, the surrounding scenery is stunning and there are plenty of interesting birds to spot. Most of my housemates will be working on this year’s large building project – all of them Scots with wonderfully broad accents. I cook lunch and dinner using the very generous stock of foods of all kinds the kitchen is supplied with; when I’m not cooking I climb up hills, take photos of the local wildlife and go for invigorating dips in the sea. It’s rather wonderful and all of a sudden the thought of another few days of quarantaine doesn’t seem all that bad after all.

Un chef pas manchot

Beckside Farm – Iles Malouines

Enfin libre! Apres quinze jours de confinement un minibus vient nous conduire a une ferme isolee en plein milieu d’une lande que recouvre une petite plante grasse qui repond au nom charmant de diddle-dee. Comme nous sommes en ete le diddle-dee est couvert de baies rouges, petits joyaux cramoisi sertis dans un ecrin vert tendre. Je suis accompagne de huit Ecossais a la barbe heroique, tous couverts de tatouages et s’exprimant dans une langue qui ne semble offrir qu’une ressemblance passagere avec l’anglais de sa Majeste la Reine d’Angleterre. On se comprend neanmoins et tout le monde s’entend tres bien, meme si, au premier abord, nous ne savons trop quoi faire de notre soudaine liberte. La lande et les collines nous cernent sur des kilometres a la ronde et l’on peut facilement acceder a la mer ou nous nous baignons avec le plus grand plaisir tandis que petrels et cormorants planent au dessus de nos tetes. De retour a la ferme je fais la cuisine pour tout ce monde et tout d’un coup la perspective de passer ainsi quelques jours en attendant de prendre l’avion pour Rothera s’avere des plus agreable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: