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Now that’s entertainment (magic)

8 September 2005



As the season winds down, and I prepare to leave at the end of the month I thought I’d do a run down of all the not really work stuff that is all part of island life, for myself and the other island inhabitants.


So what do you do for entertainment? Is a question the rangers often get asked. The answer is we do it the old fashioned way and make it ourselves.

The Factors House doesn’t have a television and radio reception is decidedly patchy. On a Sunday morning Sarah is regularly to be found with her portable radio wired to the window frame trying to filter out the white noise listening to the omnibus of a certain popular Radio 4 agricultural soap. Whilst I can be found reading an out of date paper pilfered of a passing vessel for the umpteenth time.



Early on in the season a ‘dinner’ party at the Factors House ended in us spending an hour or so battering marmite with a spoon……………. No please bear with me on this one I haven’t lost it completely!! Having invited one of the QinetiQ Estates staff up for a Mexican night. The topic of conversation changed to breakfast and marmite. Yes, that’s another favourite subject amongst the NTS staff, FOOD. When Cliff mentioned did you know you can turn marmite white by hitting it? That was it, our evening sorted we were told the technique was to put a SMALL dollop on a plate and mix(no not hit) it. This we duly did taking turns and the result is pictured below. So go on try it!


Marmite bashing


Well that’s got you all thinking hasn’t it, if that’s what they were like at the start what are they like now.



 susan puff



This maybe!!!!

Sorry Susan couldn’t resist it!!


So what else, well occasionally we get invited for a change of scenery (and food) on one of the visiting cruise ships. When I say change of scenery I mean instead of looking out from the Factors house into village bay, we get to look from village bay to the Factors house! On one occasion whilst enjoying an evening barbecue on board the Gregory Mikeev. We suddenly found ourselves surrounded by lines of people dancing and singing about Kippers and Jam mmmmm (food again). Well they do say Kilda has a profound effect on people.

We even got to have lunch at the Captains table on HMS Westminster, which was an experience for us all, no marmite at that one I can tell you.


Of course the arrival of the work parties brings entertainment of their own, old friends and new acquaintances. Kilda camaraderie is all part of the experience. People who have never met before are literally thrown in a boat together, often by the end of their fortnight it can be hard to get them apart. Oh yes, there are some stories there but I’ll not go into those!


Visitors to St Kilda come from all around the globe.




Can you guess where this one is from?


Over the course of the summer we’ve had the raft race (see the Wacky Races entry), Bar BQ’s, Face painting, Burns nights, Quiz nights, Pin the Sand Eel on the Puffin (and before you all start emailing no puffins or sand eels were harmed in that one) and many others.


mike puffin

Can you guess what it is yet? 


Many visitors have talents to bring to the island like the Magician Malcolm Russell who appeared as if by magic this week. Well no, actually he had to use more conventional means to get here. Anyway for those of us on the island he held a magic show in cottage number 1. Malcolm has been touring the inhabited Scottish islands putting on magic shows. St Kilda marks his 104th and final tick on the list so congratulations to him. I’d have to admit is card tricks were probably better than Cliff’s marmite one.






These are just a few of the memories that stick in my mind from this season. So hello and thanks to all the people who were involved in these (and other) antics, those whose antics we were involved in, and all the other people whose company we have enjoyed. 


Neil, Kilda Ranger.

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