Keep waking up tired these days, though slept well.

May 19, 2008 at 10:13 pm | Posted in Assistant Post Mistress, Rachel Hazell | Leave a comment

3rd February

Just going down to the landing when zodiac zooms round to collect Rick – dang! Is nowhere private?! Get ourselves together. Helen’s throat, tonsils and glands are very sore – should she succumb to penicillin? Molchanov’s passengers are apparently unresponsive; the visit is slow and smooth. A small boy from Swansea is anxiously waiting to play with the penguins Afterwards feels like Sunday – want to curl up. Frank first then do so, for forty-five mins. Rick has commenced extending wooden handrail around deck. Helen helps saw. Drag my body up. Helen was on the way to restock. Two skuas are perched above a chick corpse, it’s eyes pecked out. Misty damp cloud draws towards us. Discover two more boxes of info leaflets and a box of t-towels – believed we had run out of both! Bring up postcards and posters etc and unpack. Curry reheated for lunch. Washing up as Antarctic Dream pax appear (had heard hum of zodiacs as they landed at Jougla Point first.) Seventy pax. Maria Agnes’ birthday. Good to see Julio with gifts of wine, jalapenos and unidentifiable black beans. Helen has had genius notion of bringing Tesco’s Finest Christmas Cake up from the boatshed so we can have tea and cake on deck. Rick’s safety rail is nearly complete and it is only snowing slightly. Watch Australis motor in. They radio hello, with plans to land tomorrow, but we expect three ships then, so now is better. Not much to frank. Half an hour later they are here, a jovial bunch, wanting group photos by the flagpole. Roger seems well and is considerate as ever. Mixture of punters; Dutch, Australian (inc. a weaver) and American, having a ball. Helen is painting white on the window frames and Rick is finishing rail, so I hold the fort, chatting away with Tony (one of those Antarctic sea dogs like Bob, who he knows, of course.) Persuaded me to cancel some stamps then and there which I Never do – clearly touched some kind of charm button. Another lady selects loads of items for her staff – she has asked the price in dollars, euros and pounds, then decides it’s all too expensive and puts most back. Sigh. Thought my camera was fixed, but it won’t hold a charge. One technical chap says it is shorting out, but could work if I just put the battery in when needed. Pooped. Rick has prepared enchiladas with remains of bolognaise. Ooh I’m full. Tinker and tweak t-shirts in the shop, hoping we don’t need too much more stock. Tootle down for more plastic bags and pink fleeces, past Gentoo statues, beak tucked under one wing, on domes of rocks. Bedtime for them. Icebergs are glass ornaments scattered on chipped marble table top. Tired and wondering about tomorrow. Others are counting money into thousands, heat cranked up. Pass out on top of sleeping bag… a huge effort to get in.

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