Fair on Longwood Green and climbing Flagstaff Hill

We had no time to sleep in after all the fun of the ball last night, as we had  decided to attend the bilingual service conducted by St Helena’s bishop at St John’s, up Market Street past Patsy’s mother’s shop, Romans. It was a steep climb in our Sunday best. The sermon, readings and all the hymns were in English, with some pointers to give the French the idea of what was going on. We met a Deacon, Catherine who we were to run into later in our stay as she is involved in other Island activities.

We wended our way back home via The Run, the creek that goes down through town to the wharf in a rock sidewall. It was a peaceful retreat with finch like birds flitting about.

 Then into the car and out to Longwood Green, where  a fair was in progress. A sailing ship had been put in place for the children and we had fish burgers with our friends.

The island craft of flax weaving was demonstrated. 

Despite the cloudy and windy conditions, we decided to climb Flagstaff Hill, which is one of St Helena’s 20 Postbox Walks. Down in town it was much warmer and I only had a cheap poncho for protection. We crossed a vast and windy plain where Boer soldiers had been held during the Boer War. It wouldn’t have been a pleasant spot.

This glamour photo shoot is me protecting myself from wind and rain. I needed my hands free for balance, so the bag is round my neck like a chaff-bag on a draught-horse.

The solemn event of the day was wreath laying at Napoleon’s Longwood Tomb, but embarrassingly, we arrived late and only saw the wreaths laid by the VIPs, including the French ambassador, Monsieur Mendelson, Napoleon descendant Prince d’Essling and the St Helenian Governor, His Excellency Mark Capes.

Delighting in the independence of the car, we drove down the new steep road to Rupert’s Harbour, which will be the island’s container terminal.

Even on a Sunday the road was hair-raising. Then drinks at the nearby Standard Hotel with Patsy and Philip and Marijke and leftovers from the ball together, our first and only dinner party at Fowlers Town House. Already we feel at home.


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