Friday, May 27, 2005


Create your own St. Helena

If you are fed up with life in the ‘real world’, or are suffering from stress overload, why not create for yourself a private “St. Helena” in which you can relax for a while?

You could even assign yourself a regular "St. Helena Day", where you just sit in the sun and drink beer (or whatever) all afternoon.

To really get the effect you need to:

Set it all up somewhere where there are no planes flying overhead and you can’t hear any major roads and then you can retire to St. Helena any time you want.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


Have your say

There was a "consultative poll" here yesterday, on whether to change the constitution. (It's called a "consultative poll" when the government doesn't promise to follow the verdict.).

The result was that most of the people who voted, voted "No".

But as the total number of people voting was, I understand, about 25% of the total potential electorate, I think we can fairly say that the majority verdict was "Who cares?"

Big Stick

The Queen's Baton came, and went.

There are some photos on the Melbourne 2006 website. One, in particular, illustrates what we men have to cope with here:

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Yeee hah!

One of the mysteries that beset me when I arrived here was the local addiction to Country and Western music. I hate Country and Western music, and couldn’t see why this otherwise beautiful place should be despoiled by it. I may now have the answer, and will document it here in case anyone else is equally puzzled.

It seemed so strange that a style of music peculiar to the United States should have taken hold here, given that the island has never been under US control, has never had any significant American military or civilian installations, and is not a major tourist destination from the US.

I am told that it is because, when the work situation here became really poor in the 1950s, a lot of Saints went up to Ascension Island to find jobs there, which were mostly in or related to the air base. That brought them into contact with Americans for the first time (don’t forget there was no TV here until 1998), and what they saw was new and seemed exciting. Hence it became fashionable to adopt American ways.

As far as I can tell, most American servicemen (and women) like ether Country and Western or Rock & Roll music. It’s just my bad luck that the Saints on Ascension encountered the former group. Otherwise this island would have a really good musical history.

As it is, we are forced to listen to music which has absolutely no cultural relevance to St. Helena whatsoever. It makes as much sense as listening to Gangster Rap in Cheltenham or British Folk Music in New York City (which, incidentally, I’m sure, people do).

I may set up a charity to reform the island's musical taste - please send Rock music CDs to ......

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Listen Live

SaintFM is now broadcasting on the Internet, so anyone with a half-decent Internet connection can listen in. You can then find out what radio is like down here.

Be prepared for a few surprises.

Think not in terms of BBC Radio 1, or any of the myriad slickly-presented FM stations the world over. Think instead of community ‘open access’ radio, presented by ordinary people, many with the benefit of nearly five minutes training. They even let me do it!

The station also has some proper (paid) presenters, who actually know what they are doing, and some of the volunteers are very good too. But if, when you tune in, there seems to be nothing going out, be patient – some music will follow shortly (probably).

To listen in to SaintFM on the Internet go to and follow the 'Listen Live' links. Particularly bad times to listen are weekdays at 08:00 and 10:00 GMT, when I am reading the international news, and 18:00 GMT on Sunday, when I present the Sunday Night Rock Show. You have been warned!

Maybe Radio St. Helena will get an Internet link too. Then you can all listen live to the local legislative council having one of their fascinating debates . . . . .

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