Gerard's blog

so where in the world am I?

As I sit by the window, I can see a stream of low cloud rushing into Cumberland Bay. Just above sea level, it is well below the lower mountains of the Banff Peninsula to the east. Cumberland Bay is in fact a large series of bays and inlets fed by glaciers on the central north coast of South Georgia. The two largest sections of the bay are known as Cumberland Bay West and East - I am tucked into the western coast of the latter, at a place called King Edward point - a kilometre, maybe less, from the whaling station at Grytviken. More about that in a minute.

south georgia marathon...

Well, here's an admission. I flaked out on the marathon. Well, it was only a half marathon, so I suppose that is strictly only being half-flakey. The problem, here, is that there are just too many interesting things to see and people to share experiences with. My plans to run were thwarted at the starting post, when as we lined up, I managed to get placed next to Mat Kenny and Katie Museum who planned to do the walk back to front - heading first to Myviken to the hut there before tackling Brown - a big lump of a hill at the back of the whaling station.

arrived at South Georgia

This is the first time I have had the chance to sit down and write since arriving last night from Stanley. The journey across has taken us six days in total - and it was absolutely fabulous. We sailed on a fishing trawler based out of Stanley - the New Polar - a 75 metre boat that fishes in the South Georgia and Falkland zones. The boat is home to 50 or 60 Spanish, Peruvian and Chilean blokes - an amazing group. There were five of us on board travelling as scientists and observers - taking the chance to see how the fishery works in practice.

Bleaker island visit

Just back in Stanley after a wonderful trip to see Mike Rendell on his organic farm on Bleaker island, just to the south of East Falkland. The flight over, in a small Islander plane is at low level - so that the coral white sand beaches and inlets really shine - sea lions, penguins and the odd cetacean are seen easily - it is stunning - think Hebridean white beaches and you are about there.

sunshine in Port Stanley

So, here I find myself with a mild sunburn. Sitting, out of the sun now, life is good. Cold, iced water and the promise of more to come in a few days, quite literally when I jump aboard the Sil, a Spanish fishing boat to sail to South Georgia. The boat is carrying out a sample survey for the Falklands' Government, so I will be working on the fish survey - factory setting, lots of tooth fish, smelly, cold, wobbly - should be quite an adventure.

South Georgia plans

So, here I am sat in the middle of a heap of packing getting set to fly to the Falklands, where I am about to get on board the fishing boat Sil to cross 900 miles or so to South Georgia - I will be posting blogs as and when I can, so please keep checking this account as I will hopefully be able to post some pictures as well - take care now, Gerard

Food 360, Hull, growing and cooking

Had a good day yesterday at the Edible Garden Show at Stoneleigh with the guys from Food 360 in Hull - a local Grow and Cook campaign run by the excellend Adrian Fisher, Louie and Margaret - all working really hard in Hull to make a real difference to the prospects of people in the city. Collected some Alexanders for a demonstration which I stir fried with some lovely squid and ginger. Delicious. Back home now with plenty of jobs to do - my chicken book is nearly finished, then going straight onto another book for Save the Children, all being well.....Happy cooking and gardening!

nearly there!

Just sat watching my bees out of the kitchen window - they are busy flying this morning - the sun has brought them out - they are Welsh girls here at home, and happy and hard working bees too, I might add.
Just considering a beautiful piece of belly pork I got from Anna's happy trotters - - it is a beautiful piece, well butchered and is about to be turned into a piece of beer cured bacon - should just about be ready for a butty on tuesday - what could be easier than that?
Happy cooking!

book writing going on apace

A damp day here in yorkshire - perfect weather for sitting by the fire writing the last few chapters of the book. The Beekeeping book sold out last year and is about to be reprinted, and thankfully the girls managed to get through the winter successfully - eight hives did anyway, with only one loss so far. The warm weather last week saw themout feeding on the aconites and snowdrops, with a couple of very busy days, signs of new brood emerging I think.
The new book is still underwraps, but is out in October.

Bees and Beekeeping Explained

My latest publication, "Bees and Beekeeping Explained" has just been published by those nice people at Countryside Books.

book jacket
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