1. An Ill Wind

I have chosen to begin my journey into blogging by revisiting an adventure I had when I was a youthful man of 24 years, and had the world at my feet.

The title reflects more the circumstances I find myself in right now (February 3, 2015) – I have ‘flu and am at home with a few moments to write – than anything directly related to my story.

  • It is an Ill wind that blows nobody any good. Often misunderstood. The saying is based on the premise that when something is bad, someone else will usually benefit. However, it must be very bad, when nobody at all benefits. (Thanks Wikipedia, you have no idea how I have struggled to explain this to people).

On 22 February 1988, I received a letter from Peter Derham Associates Ltd, which was to change my life. I had a job offer to work in the Falkland Islands as a Fisheries Scientist.

I had been to University to study Marine Biology, and then took further studies in Fisheries Biology and Management, so I suppose it was a job offer that was too good to turn down. And it sure beat the hell out of the dismal temp jobs I had in London – photocopying flunky, stock-taking minion and billing accounts checker for a heating firm.

On the downside, I would miss my girlfriend and family terribly, and I was really entering unknown territory. I was a good traveller, with plenty of ‘Inter-rails’ and other trips under my belt, but this was a little more serious.

I had no time to fuss though, my flights, pending a medical examination, were booked for the 4th March – an incredibly short 10 days away.

Now to the point of this blog. I kept a log of my entire experience, and now have the opportunity, thanks to the incredible Interweb, to share the diary. I wrote it with the show-off inside me believing that it would interest others in time. I am not certain that will be the case, but I am rather looking forward to reproducing pages from the diary over the coming weeks and months. I hope you enjoy it too.

Enough already with the introduction, let’s get into the story with a beginning, a middle and an end, but without a deliberate or contrived plot. It is what it is, what it was.

Wednesday 2 March 1988. Montague Place, London.

I will always try to keep this diary as up to date as possible, but my past experience(s) is (are) not encouraging. I could make an introduction about how private this journal is etc., but it may be my intention for people to read this (if they can) after I return.

For two weeks now, since I heard about the job and made the decision to take it, I have been haring around London buying clothes, camera, pen-knife, Walkman, marmite, Stugeron, writing paper, books. I still haven’t finished. I have also visited Bangor with Andy and been to Newcastle to see Deb. That was last weekend.

My preparations are almost complete, but I bet I forget some things. Jim and I had a great chat yesterday. It brought me down to earth with a bit of a thump, thud, bang or crash and made the Falkland Islands a little bit more real.

I am very much looking forward to going, but will miss Deb, the family and friends. I am sure I can cope with the loneliness, and after all, it is a small price to pay to have a job which is really ideal for me. (Update 27 April 1988 – This is not true. It is a large price to pay!).

I hope I don’t get seasick!

I will continue with the blog, when next I have a moment.


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I am Stephen. I live in Bristol, UK. I decided to shorten my profile...to this: Wildlife, haiku, travel, streetart, psychogeography and my family. Not necessarily in that order.

17 thoughts on “1. An Ill Wind”

  1. I really wish this was on my Kindle. Years ago (can’t even remember when) I read a seafaring novel (Penguin Book) and I can’t remember what it was, but it was quite a departure for me, in the reading category. I’m very glad that you’ve linked back to the beginning, as I now have a much better understanding of the impetus for it. One question, what the heck is a “scooj”?
    Off to figure out what that book was. Kat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A nickname from school…my initials SCJG, I liked the moniker and have kept it for a host of stuff. Don’t try looking it up, I am Scooj. I’m glad you are enjoying it. I have to keep reminding myself that I was young…for me it reads how I spoke and thought. So much changes over a lifetime.


      1. Did you say what year this was? I’d like to put it into context as to my own position at the time.
        By the way, your “corporate” experience reminds me to ask you if you’ve see the Australian series “Utopia” (a.k.a. Dreamland) It is hilarious!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. P.S. I like the nickname. Best I can say is that I was called “Kathleen” all my life, until one day, I decided to become “Kat” online. It’s like being two people at once.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Scooj, I’m happy to stumble upon this. I was a Fisheries Observer here in the Falklands and lots of other places too, and coincidentally I have been sharing my diary from my first trip in 2001 on the Grand Banks (www.rbjames.com). I look forward to reading more. Thanks, Ross

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, that’s really good to hear. I look forward to reading your diaries. Some experience being down there. It is nice to know that someone will be reading this who knows and understands how it all works.


      Liked by 1 person

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