5 survive “scruffy August”

Hi y’all! Sorry the Ansell’s haven’t blogged for a while, life on St Helena has been moving along and we thought we didn’t have much to blog about, however, when I stop to think about it we have done quite a lot over our winter months!
We are just coming out of a long winter here in St Helena, the saints have a saying: ‘scruffy August’ due to the wet and cold weather in August, however, this year we had scruffy August, September and October! Just in the last week Spring has sprung, we are back in shorts and we were back on the beach this weekend, everything looks better in the Sunshine.
Since we last blogged Ruby’s arm has now healed completely, the twins have turned 8 and I have started work. We survived a four-week winter school holiday unscathed, Ruby has started piano lessons and had her ears pierced, Matt and I have been to a ball, Cooper and i did the Pink walk and we had a Halloween party. We have lived through an egg shortage and now added to that a flour shortage, we tasted our first strawberries since being here on the last 2 ships, (but if you don’t get them the day the ship come is then they are gone) and this week I had my first yoghurt for months!!
We have also witnessed some exciting developments in St Helena over the last few months, the first proving flight, followed by the first commercial flight in and out of the island which some of you will know that Matt was on! He left St Helena for the UK on Sunday 15th October for a conference and Came back on Saturday 21st October, I think it was a first for someone to leave the island, go to the UK and come back within 6 days. We really missed him, but he came back with lots of treats, so he was forgiven.
The winter here is the time to view humpback whales and we have been on a few boat trips during August and September to see them, they are quite amazing, and so close to shore that if I walk Cooper in Jamestown we quite often see hump back whales in the bay, I’m not sure there is anywhere else you can do that!
Ruby has been treading the boards since we last blogged and has been in 2 shows; St Helena’s got young talent with her ballet group Arabesque, and the Brownie guide variety show last week, they are events that are open to the public to see and it is great that she has the opportunity to do these shows whilst we are here.
Since arriving on the Island our car has not done well, it lasted 2 months before going in to the garage and not coming out again. We had 3 different parts sent over on different ships over the course of 5 months, but it seemed that nothing worked. Matt decided that we needed a new family car whilst we are here as we had already spent a lot of money on hire cars, so we have invested in a highly practical Alfa Romeo MITO! 3 doors with a tiny boot for the 5 of us and Cooper, it is snug when we all get in. Isaac has fallen head over heels in love with it and wants us to bring it back to the UK! (we are not!) I am very pleased to report that on Friday we got our car back, it feels like driving a bus compared with the Alfa but now we are now 2-car family. Cars on the island are a bit of a challenge as the roads are hard on the cars and parts are not readily available. From order to arrival in the past it has been 2 months minimum shipping to get parts from the UK, however that may all be about to change with flights.
Cooper has not stopped growing over the winter months and has been really quite naughty, let’s just say he’s had his fair share of fillet steak and chickens recently, he also wonders off when we are out walking, so last week I decided that he is now in training boot camp, with the amount of treats I must give him as rewards though he’ll be a very fat, well-trained dog!!
The brand-New Hotel Mantis St Helena opened last week and already, we are making the most of it, I went for a lady’s lunch on Thursday and Matt and I went for a meal there last night, it is such a lovely place to go for a drink and Dinner, there is nothing else like it and it will be a great addition to the Island. We are looking forward to a night there over the Christmas period whilst Nanny babysits (not sure if she knows yet!).
We are now on count-down to Christmas, all presents, and Tesco food order were placed last month, so my yule logs, mince pies and prosecco are on their way as well as about 6 boxes of roses!! Santa takes a while to get the orders together for St Helena, so we have to send our letters well in advance, but with the benefit of no toy adverts the kids have no idea what they are missing in the UK (until we skype their friends). We are looking forward to my mum coming over for 2 weeks minus her high heels and experiencing a St Helenian Christmas.
We will blog again nearer to Christmas lots of love From Jo, Matt and the IRA! xxxxx

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