Sunday, 14 January 2007

A Brief History of Colonisation

Dear Sir / Madam,

I apologise for the tardiness of my reply, but Miss Begonia has been most insistent on the order in which things must be done and I am afraid that writing our report has been at the bottom of said list. However, after your recent letter I feel we must raise this matter to the highest priority, lest you believe the colony to be lost.

As you may be aware due to a slight navigational error (apparently a common problem when travelling via Mr Sputnik’s peculiar conveyance) we arrived on the Northern coast of the mainland, rather than the planned Southern coast. We at first believed we had made a grave error as we were descended upon by hordes of brightly dressed native peoples. We feared for our lives and Mr Sputnik and myself stood back to back, Miss Begonia between us, revolvers at the ready…

It transpired that the natives were only after land, which had, they told us, just been released for their use by their gods – mythical beings called El El (as near as I could make out). We smiled and played along that the great El El had also granted land to us and this seemed to make them happy and there was much rejoicing, celebration and feasting. The next morning, having recovered from their local beverages and after unloading our supplies, Mr Sputnik departed and we were left to begin our life on the mainland.

It has now been a month and a half since that fateful day and although we have been made very welcome by the locals we have not had the opportunity to venture far from our initial camp site. Miss Begonia has been organising things on the ground level, while I have been rebuilding my uncle’s Flying Circus at the top of our airship docking spire (itself quite a task to complete, standing at a height of well over 300 metres). Sadly just last week the docking spire received major structural damage in high winds and had to be carefully disassembled to prevent injury to ourselves or any of the surrounding natives. Thankfully the main Circus lift structure was already complete and has enough buoyancy to stay airborne without support.

I have, however, suspended this work having received word in our recent mail parcels from Caledon that the political mood there is now for exploration. I have decided to answer the call of our homeland and assist in this great undertaking.

As I understand an exploration of the mainland to the South of us is already underway, I propose to set out Northwards towards the rumoured location of another major continent.

Miss Begonia has elected to stay behind and report on the local customs and trading posts and to stay ready should the explorers to the South of us penetrate this far inland and need respite from their journeys with a good strong cup of tea.

I must make preparations and will endeavour to make contact again when I am ready to set out.

Your Faithful Servant,

Prof. Alfonso Avalanche

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