I discovered recently that Tristan’s policeman, Conrad Glass (one of the 7 surnames on the island), who is also conservation officer and all sorts of other things, has written a book about his experiences on Tristan. So I ordered it – it is RIVETING And I’m realising for the first time what wasn’t obvious to me as a child – that life on the island is physically incredibly demanding and strenuous, especially for the men. He talks of sailing to Nightingale island in the longboats, and the loss of a boat at sea, and helping to rescue people on nearby Gough Island … and going up the mountain in the middle of the night to herd sheep, and shear them. The women will then wash and card and spin the wool, although I would guess they no longer do it all by hand.
The thing that stands out most is what expert seamen and fishermen they are. I knew they had this reputation from my father’s letters: that clearly hasn’t changed at all over the past 60-odd years.
Amazing… I’m off for another read