7 July 2013

Storytelling Sunday- the journey

When I was seven my family and I moved to the other side of the world for a year.
We moved to the Falkland Islands. 
I remember being told about the Falklands and not being able to get my head around the concept of it. As a seven year old I forgot that Britain was an island too and imagined that as soon as we stepped out into the Falklands, the island would tip like a plastic toy in a bath tub!


That year on the little island is probably the most magical of my childhood. 
I remember our school which had just 24 pupils. I remember walking to school one day in a blizzard and my four year old brother being bowled along the road by the force of the wind. 
I remember wearing walking boots everywhere, about travelling around in the land rover and visiting the nearest "town" 30 miles away on a road with ditches along each edge.


I remember not being able to get most foods. Of drinking UHT milk for a year. I remember how lemonade was saved just for Sunday because it was so expensive. 
I remember school trips in helicopters and aeroplanes. Holidays to deserted corrugated iron houses where we sat two feet away from penguins. 
I remember watching dolphins jump either side of our boat and seals and sea lions bathing on the rocks.


I remember the endless blue sky and the trees that were bent horizontal because of the force of the wind.

I have hundreds of stories of our time there. 
Enough to make a series.
My memories are the vivid and colourful recollections of a child. 

As a family we often talk about our time there. We have lots of things around our house to remind us of the Falkland Islands but perhaps the most precious is our bell. 

There were many skilled craftsmen out on the Island and sadly there was still clear evidence of the war. Before we left my parents commissioned a craftsman to carve into this old bomb shell and make it into a bell. The map of the island is inscribed into one side and our family name and dates into the other.

A Naval officer who was a family friend made the beautiful red and white rope with which to ring the bell. 

For years it hung by the stairs and was rung when it was time for lunch or supper. Now it hangs in our porch, to be rung enthusiastically by my Granny whenever she enters the house. 

It is precious as an object in itself and precious in the memories it stirs of that journey to the other side of the earth.  

Today I am joining in with the lovely Sian and her Storytelling Sunday- pick your precious. Do pop over to visit other bloggers and read about their precious things. Thank you Sian for the prompt about holidays and journeys. It was just what I needed to tell this story! 

27 comments:

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

What wonderful memories you've shared Abi. An amazing experience, to have lived there when you were young enough to embrace it and old enough to remember it. It's also lovely to see something different associated with the Falkland Islands, which usually bring to mind war and politics. Memories from my teenage years.

Jennie said...

Oh my - wonderful memories there Abi - how lovely to read about the Falklands through your eyes as a seven year old. I love your bell - I find it very beautiful - as someone who also lives on a small island - though much nearer to the UK, I loved your descriptions. J x

Missus Wookie said...

Oh that is a gorgeous bell - your memories are precious too of course. I hope you are writing some of that series down!

Karen said...

What a fabulous story, Abi, and what a great adventure! That bell is the perfect keepsake with so much symbolism. I hope a book about your memories there is in the future!

scrappyjacky said...

What an amazing year for you,Abi...and the bell is wonderful.

Ladkyis said...

Fabulous! how precious that must be

debs14 said...

Wow, Abi! What an amazing post, and what an experience!

Jane said...

memories of a magical childhood!

Sian said...

Abi, you have taken my breath away today!What a wonderful, unexpected and interesting thing to find out about you..it is indeed magical. I'm going to scroll back up now for another look at those pictures. Love it.

Thanks Abi, this is brilliant.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

A lovely story and I know for sure that I would be one of the ones who would never pass up an opportunity to ring that bell as I walked past it. I can't think of a more perfect souvenir for your family to have as a reminder of your precious time in the Falkland Islands. Lovely story today, Abi! :o)

Mel said...

What a unique experience for your family and a great momento of your time there.

Sheena said...

What a wonderful story told in words & photographs. Many thanks for sharing.

Ruth said...

I'm so pleased that you told the story (or some of it) of your trip to the Falklands. I was there in 1987 as a teenager in the Military so had a completely different experience. I do think your family's photos are much better than mine!!

Sabrina S. said...

Thanks for this glimpse into these islands and your time as a child there. It really looks and sounds like a very special place. xoxo from France

furrypig said...

gosh that is an amazing story Abi I echo what Sian said and would really love to hear more about your time there xxx

Rachel B said...

Oh wow Abi, what an amazing post! Such fab pictures and how wonderful to have the bell in the porch too :)

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a surprising revelation; yet somehow it all fits. Lovely story today.
Rinda

Beverly said...

What a unique and special souvenir of your time there. You are fortunate that you were old enough to hold onto that special year in your memories.

Alinor said...

you're so lucky you had such an amazing experience as a kid. i'd love for mine (you know like one day) to be able to travel and open their mind like that!

Miriam said...

How absolutely wonderful to have such memories. Thank you so much for sharing them with us. The bell is of course fabulous as you say but your memory of the year is amazing. Do tell us more some time.

Becky said...

What a wonderful story to share with us. How lucky you were to spend time there and be able to remember it. I would love to hear more about your time there :)

Alison said...

What an amazing experience to have had, Abi..lovely memories and a wonderful souvenir!
Alison xx

Chipper Newman said...

Living there was a fabulous childhood experience! I love your bell, it holds a lot of memories :)

Jo said...

What great memories and I really do love that bell x

Cheri said...

It's a gorgeous bell Abi, but the memories it conjures are absolutely priceless! I can't even imagine being that close to penguins and dolphins in the wild!

Sinead said...

Abi, this is such a lovely story! Thank you for sharing - it sounds like such a great experience to have lived abroad at so young :D x

Karen said...

What wonderful memories and such a special precious.