Last Biscay boogie as ship leaves UK

Line dancing is best performed in mid-ocean, in my experience, and preferably in a rolling sea. The only time I’ve really tried it was on the after-deck of the RMS St Helena, steaming north up the African coast, and I’ve taken the view ever since that it’s not worth bothering if the floor isn’t lurching […]

The boy on the ship: a surprise re-encounter

Three weeks is a long time to spend travelling to school. A cargo vessel had already brought young Nick to Cape Town from his home on the world’s most remote inhabited island. Then he had waited a week or so, as I recall, to board the ship on which we rode the swell towards the […]

Fairyland and The Gates of Chaos: a St Helena word cloud

Jumbles of words are all the rage these days – they’re called word clouds – so here’s a completely gratuitous list of St Helena place names that are fun to put through the Wordle website: Asses Ears, Bamboo Hedge, Bencoolen, Bilberry Gut, Billy Birch Cliff, Breakneck Valley, Broad Gut, Buttermilk Point, Cabbage Tree Road, Cavalho […]

It’s a long way to Half Tree Hollow… so why am I blogging?

I’m not best placed to blog about St Helena. I’m 5,000 miles away from Half Tree Hollow – St Helena’s only suburb. I’m not a Saint (as the locals are called). I’ve never formally worked on the island, though I did present a show on Radio St Helena briefly, way back in the last millennium. But I […]