Friday, June 29, 2007

Open Wide

We all went to the dentists this week. As if it wasn't bad enough that everyone had their teeth seen to by a doctor with 3 days dental training and an over eager grin, the doctor got by far the worst deal. He let us all loose on his dentures as doc school gave way to dentist school for one week only. Here you can see Jimbo, the carpenter scraping away tartar like a pro.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mid Winter

Mid Winter marks the half way point in the long dark night that is the Antarctic winter. Scott and Shackleton celebrated it, and we keep the tradition alive...

Midwinters day was special.

It started with beakfast in bed: tea and a veggie sausage sandwich delivered by the base commander.

Then a late mid morning ski, followed by the customary naked run around the building we live in. Next, I wrapped the present I'd been making for the carpenter, put it under the tree (yes, a Christmas tree in June) and put on my posh frock ready for...

Mid Winter Meal 21st June 2007


Chilled glass of Champagne

Thyme peppered beef fillet on a mini rosemary Yorkshire with horseradish cream
Pear ratatouille on a tomatoe & basil bruchetta
Seared salmon nicoise
Tarragon & mushroom baked cream tartlets

Amuse Bouche

Honey roasted butternut squash shot with panfried porcini mushrooms

Prestige Menu

Cappuccino of white beans with charred smoked bacon

Duo of trout & mjonkfish fillets with bearnaise emulsion & an asparagus, green bean & shallot salad (without the fish for veggies like me)

Marinated barbecue noisetes of lamb, canon of beef on a bed of onion puree served with griddled vegetables, fondant potatoes & a raspberry balsamic port jus

Risotto verde with olive oil pesto & parmesan crisps

Quenelle of melon sorbet

Caramelised compote of pineapple with coconut tuile biscuit

Strawberry tart tatin

Selection of the finest "frozen" cheeses

Fresh filter coffee and chocolates

Ant hard at work preparing a feast fit for royalty despite no food deliveries since the start of the year. Incredible.

The midwinter presents, revealed at last. For the last weeks and months, we've all been secretly slaving away in the workshops, and trying to conceal our creations from the eventual recipient (not so easy when, your making for the carpenter). It was great to finally see what everyone had been working on, and the results were really impressive. They included a working steam engine, an antarctic shaped cheeseboard, candlesticks, a chess board, an antarctica picture frame, a huge knitted blanket, sculptures, paintings, poems and puzzles. Best of all was my present from fellow metbabe Kirsty, a beautifully presented kit for the construction fo a full scale brass model of Halley, perfect to the finest detail (I'll put pictures up when I've built it!).

The presents under the tree. Christmas decortations in june feels surprisingly normal amidst the darkness and the snow.

Here you can see the box and some of the pieces for my Halley model, and behind it, the zoetrope (a kind of animation toy) that I built for Jimbo.

The Mid Winter holidays are the only time of the year when everyone on base gets time off work together. We had a packed program of events including...

A Biathalon (I won the women's category, somewhat helped by being the only woman taking part). We don't have guns on base so instead of skiing and shooting, we did skiing and throwing snowballs at cans.

A murder mystery

Crazy golf

and carol singing.

We wish you a merry midwinter,
we wish you a merry midwinter,
we wish you a merry midwinter and a happy new sun

Even with the sun at it's lowest point below the horizon at thsi time of year , it's not all darkness and gloom.This photo was taken just a couple of days after midwinter as the horizon glowed with every colour of the rainbow to remind us the sun was on it's way back.

Thanks to Dave and Tom for more great photos.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Merry Midwinter!

Lots has been going on lately, in the run up to this week's midwinter festivities. The week kicked off on Friday night with an office party on the Simpson platform (the building where I work). There was Christmas music, merriment and games a plenty. I'll write a lot more at the end of the week, after I've finished frantically touching up my midwinter present, writing for the midwinter magazine, and forcing festivity upon all those that cross my path.

The Base Commander Turns 50

Pete, our Base Commander, turned 50 a week ago. He had an explorers themed party and the met team of myself, Kirsty, Dave and Tom got roped up together for the night.

Staying roped up all evening meant doing everything together. Here we all are helping Kirsty with the washing up, and below, Dave waits in the corridor whilst me and Kirsty are in the loo.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

It's dark outside

Me, Deano, Sune Jimbo and Tom (taking the photo) putting skidoos to sleep for the winter months. They're kept on a sledge to stop them getting buried and wrapped up under tarpaulins to stop them filling up with snow.

Our morning hour of painfully bright light 20cm form our faces, to 'reset our body clocks in the absence of natural light'. Thankfully it's only for two weeks at a time, in the name of medical research.