Like ships in the night

January 24, 2008 at 7:53 pm | Posted in Book art, Life in the snow, The Practicalities of Everyday Life Out Here | Leave a comment

29th December

Storm is over. Our e-mail system is down (although our phone card is now topped up.) Grey and calm. Wet rocks. White ship in the distance, coming our way. Lyn asks if we’d like breakfast or showers, but time here is preferred. So Rick zips over while we sweep and tidy. Jolly keen folks; our first Silver member hurray. Talk about art work and next September’s exhibition in Plockton, seems a long way away. Rick has a migraine, well a man headache, probably from being outside with no sunglasses for half the morning. Emergency slice of stšllen. The nearest penguin chicks have a row of paparazzi observing their every peep. H and I have sore tummies, but hungry. Helen and Rick have pasta, and me a bowl of tuna mayo, followed by far too many sweeties. Turns out Irridium data satellite is down – everyone is in a panic, could be another eight hours. Nought to do but wait. We were expecting Fram this afternoon, but they are delayed. Itty bitty restock after Rick has brought deluge of waste under better control. Optimum levels of extra postcards now stacked under the display. Rick is repairing broken sledge rack and half needs an assistant. Helen volunteers and gets cold (and bored.) Big ship Rotterdam cruises past, too many passengers to stop here. I pack postcards, then type. Northanger radios, wanting to catch up with Rick, so I take the handheld down to him. Greg says they’ve had similar satellite problems but it’s working again. They’ll try to anchor at Dorian Bay tonight. I check computer, hurray we have communications again. Oh but bad news from Fram. Yesterday they had a power blackout and drifted into an iceberg, causing minor damage, no-one hurt. Needs to be checked out, so we won’t be seeing them anytime soon…and I’ve nearly finished Ian’s wee chart book. Helen picks meat off the chicken and boils up proper stock so that I can produce a thick soup. Also use up very brown bananas by frying them in butter with chopped pears, cognac, sugar and sp ices. Second film night in a row hey hey: Tudor sent us Groundhog Day for Christmas, mostly for Helen, as it highlights the certain repetitive nature of life here. Front row seats on Ricky’s bunk, connect speakers and sit back. Helen keeps asking questions about what’s going to happen next. Intermission to change batteries and eat Rick’s chocolate gingers. Afterwards, quite a few penguins are standing in their nests, revealing weak-necked chicks wavering in the evening air, their bean-bag bodies so fluffy and tiny velveteen wing flippers. E-mail cousin Katie the desperate news that her ship is not actually scheduled to visit Lockroy. Read a little more anthology and drift off.


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