Shifting horizons

November 27, 2007 at 6:30 pm | Posted in Assistant Post Mistress, Life in the snow, Observations in Antarctica, The Practicalities of Everyday Life Out Here | Leave a comment

7th November

Awake in the night, cold bones. Lie still listening to the others breathing. Warm up by morning, so don’t want to leave cocoon. Peppermint tea and porridge. Washed up, washed self, phew. A loving e-mail keeps me warm all day. Start preparing the museum lounge, well one wall and two built-in benches, using a one-inch scraper all round. Surprised to get really into it, even asking if I can clean up inside the bench, where no-one can see. Cheery but tired by lunch – beans on toast with a very special treat – three slices of chorizo, yum. Small discussion on the first ethical dilemma in Helen’s book… end up talking about suicide options Marie Celeste style instead. V. chuffed to have finished the undercoat by six thirty. (How my horizons have shifted?!) My turn to cook – the others are already planning to order a takeaway, cheeky.
Resulting curry is good enough for Helen not to add Tabasco. Cooking with frozen tins of mush is an acquired skill that one can hardly expect to master at the second attempt. Hair is reaching unwieldiness close to dreadlocks. The others vote to shave it off. Aie! I’d lose my identity, wouldn’t I? The thing is, there may be a hair-washing opportunity in ten days time…but can’t depend on circumstances/weather. Hmmn. Will ponder another night at least. Rick has a pain in his lower back, which gets him a Deep Heat rub AND out of the washing up. Hope it wasn’t the yoga.

Tudor accompanies me up the Stairway (the gulls are  waiting – bleurgh!) and I accompany him to chains landing to pour out the slops bucket, too heavy to hoist up and over the hill. Now the snow has ceased, fresh wind blows plum dark blooming clouds across behind Anvers island, throwing white bergs and snow lines into the foreground. The penguins are building nests and lovemaking (as they were even during blizzard.) Looks like krill is returning. So hot in bunkroom –   at eighteen degrees Celsius  – the hottest yet. Step into cooler lounge to tear brush through tangles. Eeeoou. Painful ten mins later, hair has gone frizzy and big… no need to cut it off yet. The comms guy rope is slapping intolerably against our roof. Helen braves the gusts as we’re all tucked up in bed and heroically fixes the irritation as sleeps takes me, warm and toasty in double sleeping bag.

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