Frank in the half light

December 17, 2007 at 8:48 am | Posted in Assistant Post Mistress, Dreams and imagination | 5 Comments

3rd December

Moved my bed 180 degrees, so that the midnight sun may pass over head instead of into eyes. Not sure if it’s an improvement. Flash of metallic sun through open curtains. We’re ready for Mikheev. Take some time to further absorb facts and figures on the information posters in anticipation of film crew’s questions. Helen cleans the Loo Bucket Salon – pine fresh! and also fashions blocks of wood to stop her stack of Thermarests sliding off. One passenger tries to buy a wooden plank from a 1944 expedition crate – she’s very surprised when we explain that it’s not for sale. Lots of Spanish visitors. There’s a seal again, on the island with no name, I can’t tell what kind, even with binoculars, and walk down to look – an emaciated weddell. The Ushuaia steams in from Peltier Channel at two thirty. We are ready, just about. Monica the (lovely) Matriarch and her staff arrive. Rick carries her bag (full of passports and her delightful watercolour postcards) up to the hut. Cups of tea all round. The ship has been chartered by a group of Japanese who are cruising round the world. They are very excited about shopping and bring a fantastic translator, who patiently explains everything as well as helping me add up and bag up all at the same time. Quite an onslaught, in a good way. By the end, we have sold a lot of stamps, and penguin USB charms. In an extraordinary random act of kindness, one gentleman, who appears to be sporting a pair of oven gloves (in place of the more usual polar hand warmers) bows and donates them to us! The amazing thing is, we were really wishing we had some, as folded thin tea towels are not quite heat proof enough. Well wow. We have one hour to turnaround before dinner. Monica and Captain are so kind, they have been deliberating on wine choices to go with our meal, and arranged the loan of cabins with fresh towels too. Rick and I frank, Helen cashes up. Make stock list, whiz to boat shed, and it’s already immersion-suit-donning-time.

A well-lubricated funny night, with numerous passenger photo ops. We have been given the most enormous tub of dulce de leche (I could fit my whole face into it,) a crate of fruit (Rick reluctantly had to send two back) and two huge chunks of meat… when we mention that a bit of bread would go down well… THREE boxes, with SEVENTEEN loaves in, is secreted ashore. Oh thank-you for everything. The Japanese have written about a hundred more postcards since their landing. Tip back up to our hut, frank in the half light, climb into bunk



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  1. hi Rachel!
    Really enjoy reading all this-what an adventure! Hope you have a great white (hee hee!) Christmas

  2. Hi Ratchel

    Good to read blog and see that you seem to be coping well. Hope you are managing to take in your own washing!
    Best wishes for Xmas and the New Year we will all be thinking of you when we tuck into the turkey at Kit and Ewans

    Luv and cuddles from

    Joe and Hazel XXX

  3. Hey Rach

    So sorry for not being in touch. I’ve been really enjoying your blog and was so chuffed to be mentioned. It sounds like you are having the trip of a lifetime and your photos are amazing!Mel was discharged from hospital last week and we thought she would be home for xmas but unfortunately she had to go back in yesterday. Hopefully they will allow her out to spend a bit of xmas day with us all.

    Jamie (the teething monster) sends you a big drooly kiss as does Steve and we look forward to hearing more about your adventures on your return.

    Have a wonderful Xmas Rach


  4. Rachie Roo,
    Oh how beautiful your blog is and what a picture you paint. I do so miss you, but feel so much closer now i’ve read your inspirational daily entries. It is bleak here by the seaside, (Brighton), as I type up boring research to finish my work at the University. A new studio beckons in the new year in Manchester for 2 months intensive making for my exhibition in March. I can’t wait to catch up with you poppet. Please visit me on your return. I have much news to tell re. the elusive one in London!! Warm blanket kisses and hot water bottle hugs, Love you so LLA x

  5. can’t wait for the next update…when will it be???

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