History and celebrity

January 2, 2008 at 5:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

5th December

Sleep of the dead. Fair with many blue patches on high. Expecting an early visit from Polar Star. The Molchanov is already in the back bay landing at Jougla Point. The two ships pass each other about eight thirty am – the first and only time I’ve ever seen more than one vessel here. Because Rick’s talk is going to be filmed this morning, Helen and I go aboard too, for moral support. It goes well, and the landing that follows is particularly special, as John Williams, descendent of Operation Tabarin member, Gwion ‘Taff’ Davies, is amongst the visitors. He has come to see Port Lockroy and its history – he’s moved to see the museum and his uncle’s handwriting. The brilliant BAS/UKAHT detailed map of the peninsula is the morning’s top seller, thanks to a plug from Polar Star’s EL, Hannah. After franking, snack turns into lunch. The enormous pot of Dulce de Leche is opened and dived into. Stock shelves and down to the boatshed for fleeces and t-shirts, this time with camera trail ing. Many of the penguins now have three eggs, perhaps knowing how slim the chances are of first one hatching. We watch a skua fly off with a whole egg in its beak. Lots of the free new information/membership leaflets have dispersed over the last week – we hope that means more people becoming Friends of Antarctica. Sit soft and drink tea. Rick weary from talking all morning and being interviewed; he snoozes. Type to catch up. Fram announces their arrival. Step out into the cold to take some air and listen to ship’s anchor chain. More retail mayhem. Hilarious time speaking French and dealing with one particular lady’s expectations of me being her personal shopper. Ian slightly rushes the groups so that we can go aboard for dinner, but we can’t – work to do, and the camera wants to watch us cooking a meal in the bunkroom. Restock shop. Trashed. Perfect steak sandwiches cooked up by Rick, as we’re hyperglycaemic. We’ve all been under pressure today, with the added distraction of  pretending, to the camera, that there are just three people here. Too tired and wasted to act normal. After dinner and a drop of red, it’s time to film removing mail from the red post box and franking. The light is fading. Wrap it up (isn’t that what they say?!) and finally to bed about midnight.

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