It was one of those moments when you realise that, as an outsider, you have failed to pick up on a matter of local custom and have momentarily caused embarrassment to your hosts.
“Two eggs, sir?” the lady said. “I’m afraid that won’t be possible. We are down to one egg apiece now.”
The 2,500 people who live here are among the most isolated in the world and are getting more so.
The editor of the local newspaper, whimsically called Penguin News, wrote in her editorial this week about being asked again and again by visiting journalists to express the islanders’ excitement about the presence here of Prince William, on a six-week tour of duty as a helicopter pilot.
She described instead a call she had received from a friend who was bubbling over with joy not because of Prince William – and all that his stay here symbolised about the all-important bond between these islands and Britain – but because she managed to grow a pepper and a cucumber.
Like eggs, fresh vegetables are increasingly hard to come by. The islands – acre for acre – aren’t much smaller than Wales, but the land is rocky and unyielding.
You can drive for mile after mile across peaty moorlands of black and pale yellow. There are no trees, for wind comes in at you with such a force from the cold Atlantic that nothing stands a chance. I visited a sheep farm – 19,000 acres to sustain 2,500 sheep.
In other words, each individual sheep needs seven acres of land to get through the year. That’s how ungiving this land is. And yet the Falkland Islanders make it work.
Strange Random Egg Quote:
“What is my loftiest ambition? I’ve always wanted to throw an egg at an electric fan.” – Oliver Herford (American Writer, 1863-1935)
- 17 Facts About Those Tiny Falkland Islands That Argentina And The UK Are Fighting Over (businessinsider.com)
- Prince William arrives in Falkland Islands – BBC News (bbc.co.uk)
- OOPS: A Falklands Island News Website Has Labeled The Argentinian President A ‘B*tch’ (businessinsider.com)
- Don’t try it on, Argentina: As long as the Falkland islanders wish to remain … – Mirror.co.uk (mirror.co.uk)
- Tensions Bubbling Again Over Falkland Islands (npr.org)
- Argentina to raise Falklands UK ‘militarisation’ at UN – BBC News (bbc.co.uk)
- Falkland Islands: Argentina lodges formal protest at UN (guardian.co.uk)