The New Yorker:

It is a place to retreat to in a time of plague. Outside the town are miles and miles of empty land, and few roads. Nothing anywhere but whitegrass, dark, scrubby bushes growing close to the ground, and rocks. Only low mountains and no trees, so there’s little to block the incessant wind that blows in from the sea. It’s very quiet, at least when the wind dies down, and some people find the silence and the emptiness hard to take. Before the war, in 1982, some of the bigger farms employed dozens of men, and there were settlements with forty or fifty people living in them, but most of those people are gone now, either moved or emigrated. These days, there is one person for every twelve square miles. Some of the old houses are vacant and derelict; others were hauled out of the settlements, leaving not so much as a gravel track behind, because the people who lived there rode horses.

At the edges of the two big islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, are more than seven hundred smaller islands, some empty, others inhabited by only one or two families: a couple of houses, some generators, a landing strip. There is plumbing and Internet. With a big enough freezer, you could stay here without contact for months. Longer, if you know how to live as people did here until very recently: killing and butchering their own mutton, milking cows, collecting seabird eggs and diddle-dee berries, digging peat for fuel. During the war with Argentina, when people were fleeing the town and turning up at farmhouses, there was not much worry about feeding them, or the British soldiers who took shelter in henhouses and shearing sheds. The farmers had vegetable gardens, and countless sheep, and flour and sugar in fifty-kilo sacks.

Go to link