The Cerro Sombrero – Primavera Phoenix were the hometown team of Cerro Sombrero. Cerro Sombrero is the second city/town/housing collective for the Tierra del Fuego Province. Tierra del Fuego province an area predominately known for its Swimmers, love of a Gallina de Palo, seasonal rains, agriculture, extensive deforestation, birth-rate & landslides. As it transpired though love of curling was not
one of these things, with some of my new colleagues breaking through the language barrier to share their first game experiences. Largely this involved a lot of gesticulating, guess who meets charades meets 20 questions hands across the ocean efforts, but effectively it was a common message. The fans of this team had a propensity to show up, entertainment in hand, from Scrabble and connect 4 to battleships and hungry hippos the debut games of new signings had been supported by all of these. Rumour had it that in the teams hall of fame, among the browned pictures, largely dedicated to the glory filled season of 47/48, amid the great Laffer depression, rocks and sticks could be seen strewn about the stands as make shift naughts and bound together crosses.
I say rumour had it as the evidence, one way or the other, had been lost downstream, along with the hall. This had occurred in a time before but contributing heavily too, the regions landslide fame. Now all that remained was a commemorative bench, located on the spot where the hall had once stood and fashioned solely from its rescued wooden remnants.

Anyway – I’m getting ahead of myself.

The journey here was fairly uneventful for the most part, the only memorable occurrence came after boarding the final internal flight. It’s a sketchy memory at that, i was tired and had fallen asleep on board long before the attendant had even started to think about pointing out the emergency exit, in case it went unnoticed as you passed through it on the way in. In a quickly passed lucid moment id pondered on whether in fact the whole top might simply swivel open in an emergency, the place having something all to a kin with lego about it.
My slumber was broken by the roaring of an engine and then again, with bleary eyes i saw an engineer pop his head in the still open door and shout something round the corner toward the pilot. Now, as mentioned , I was pretty sleepy at this time so i don’t know how long this went on for. My slumber however was perforated a further three times by the head popping engine reving routine. It wasn’t that it was something akin to a cold morning when your car won’t start and the helpful neighbours are found riffling around under your bonnet, it was exactly like that.

I have no idea why i didn’t dream a helpful dream, something about a smart but sheepish little character who simply shuffled onto a stage, coughed politely, tapped the microphone before shouting “DON’T GET ON THAT PLANE – SUCKER!!!”, pushing his glasses back up his nose and shuffling off stage once more. That way i might have awoken on one of those occasions with these most helpful words still ringing in my subconscious. But i didn’t. Instead i was treated to another screening of the ever popular chased by teletubies dream – the one where they’ve gone and developed the gummy bear’s knack for high velocity bouncing, along with some nifty power ranger style hats and martial art wizardry. Well that’s what you get for plundering their temple of blooms, hell hath no fury like a telly tubby who’s prize winning daffodils have been unceremoniously plundered.

For all that the flight seemed to start and to end with a pleasant lack of incident. So as not to besmirch my own character unnecessarily, I’m just going to take this lull in these otherwise most meandering of proceeding to point out: I didn’t actually take to plant thievery, nor for that matter can i fly (another equally popular theme) otherwise i should not have been sitting in this, most intriguing interpretation of the whole airplane concept.

–Airport Arrivals–

Sitting in arrivals, perched on a metal grate that passed as a window sill, those who were to collect me either were not here or were choosing to keep an impractically low profile. A small building, there appeared to be doors at either end through which people rolled in and rolled out. Not exactly a steady stream more an irregular drip.

Ignoring the unproven theory about kettles that are watched, I gazed around hopefully, turning my head to whichever door showed some sign of life. Wondering if i had been forgotten, or perhaps, whether the next face would be one of a person with the collection of my person on there things to do list.

With the passing of further time the consideration started on how best to make my own way from this place. For this sill, the one upon which, as the most comfortable horizontal surface in evidence, i had elected to sit, was proving notably to shallow and a little to gratey for any sort of night time resting.
Around the time that this plan was nowhere near to being worked out, a minor rush broke out. A man and his bucket (a wheeled bucket, he steered with its accompanying mop, the handle of which he clasped in hand while the presumed ‘mop’ end remained plunged unseen within) was accompanied by at least 3 others. Excitement abound.

I held onto some small hope that some part of this surge was related to my continued and ever more uncomfortable sitting. It was a passing thought, pushed down by a sense of an old memory or something akin to deja vous, a face that seemed unconventionally familiar.

Quite fortunately, it transpired, that among them my lift was numbered and accompanied by a translator, the familiar face that probably wasn’t, who i came to understand was otherwise more commonly employed as a fellow phoenix curler. As the journey went on i sat, on a cushioned seat, looking out the window at the colourful and vibrant scenery which past. Still pondering on where the distant sense of familiarity was from. Considering whether i might mention West Asia Regions and the route vegetable industry, perhaps that might encouraged a reaction of some sort. Eventually I concluded this might seem an odd topic of conversation, especially as these were new people whose perceptions were just waiting to be formed. Being commonly ill-classified as a Ginger, i’d learnt that it served to be prudent in such matters. To avoid fanning the flames of the wholly justified perceptions attached to this particularly recessive group.

A comfortably sized flat had been arranged for me. Located directly above a couple of local stores and directly beneath the roof, rough square beams cut across the narrow confines. An uneven floor intermittently broken up by great protruding slats, reached by following a dark narrow stairwell which ran along the back wall. A single bulb struggling to light the way, as it hung unsteadily from on high, impractically isolated directly above the back door, well, well above the back door. I mean if that thing were ever to stop working I’d need should an indoor hot air-balloon & accompanying basket, a pyramid of locals for the climbing or a precautionary hard hat and trampoline (in case of building up an excess momentum) simply to reach it.

If i wasn’t tripping on the floor, then i was having inadvertent comings together with the slantey ceilings that doubled as walls. It took some getting used to this odd little flat with its barge inspired layout and its ill-fitting rescue wood, but it seemed rather right for all that.The next couple of days past by quickly, they were spent settling in and being given a few introductory tours of the town, the surrounding area and the team’s facilities. Facts, incidental anecdotes and people who seemed largely friendly but who’s names as always escaped me even as they were being offered. Teammates, fortunately, came with name embossed outfits and having met most of them on my second day, informal introductory drinks were scheduled to cap the weeks end.
So with all that and some end of week drinks, we’re back to Cerro Sombrero, the town with its bench & the Phoenix, the team with the fans all to ready to make their own entertainment.

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