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...
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
Honey roasted butternut squash shot with panfried porcini mushrooms
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
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.