Birthday in Antarctica

December 17, 2007 at 8:34 am | Posted in Dreams and imagination | Leave a comment

22nd November

Rick’s Birthday!

All pile into his bunk for card opening – one of which includes ‘vouchers’ to cash in all day. We tuck into the chocolate gingers from Jo, and stay, three of us wedged in warm, for ages. Special servings of porridge, then tea, then toast. More presents opened, the highlight being a mate for Pooping Penguin (and bestly, a new supply of poops!) Rick’s only allowed to do nice jobs today, so me and Helen go up the slippery Stairway and also collect ice, and we’re down to the last drop of jerry can water again. Brash ice is spread over the rocks like a delicate levitating jigsaw puzzle. Treacherous for ankles (and tough terrain for landing pingus.) Find a table berg to use for smashing up smaller bits. Doesn’t take long…and actually I’ve been missing the melting… twenty kilos can be cumbersome to pour, the ice is easier to scoop with a ladle. This batch, however, turns out to be salty, ok for washing up, not for drinking. Fill up the baskets of pins/patches/charms etc. and work out what we need from the boatshed, which makes us hungry, so we gorge on celebratory spam pancakes (?) with fresh cheese and tomato. Helen solders broken torch connection…(‘ONE last try!’ about twenty times…) and fixes it! Speedy-ish re-stock with Helen. An hour’s typing. The other’s go for wee walk, leaving b’day sponge in oven. Now the oven does Hot or Very Hot and nothing in-between, and cake-making ingredients are er limited so the fruits of Helen’s labours do not satisfy her exacting standards (and the edges tinged after I’d checked it…) Yoga session next, all achey and toes never warm up – Rick’s progressing in leaps and bends (and I’m not just saying that.) Helen rises deftly to the challenge of cooking up a feast on two rings, the lounge is prepared – a table set with candles and a large red ensign as tablecloth. Rick’s favourite – Fray Bentos pie, peas and mash, with birthday cake for afters. Several gramophone tunes, a couple of whiskeys, and talking of times past the evening whiles away merrily.

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