Thursday, May 03, 2007

They Say It Changes When The Sun Goes Down...

I feel quite happy pinching an Arctic Monkeys song title for this blog entry, since it not only fits perfectly, but I’ve also bought their excellent new album. So, what’s the deal? Well, it figured that after three months of daylight, we would eventually get the opposite. When asked in my interview how I thought I’d cope with the Antarctic winter, I replied “nowhere can ever be as dark as Birmingham”. In three months’ time I’ll compare Austral and Acocks winters, and see if I was right.

Pete lowers the Union Flag

Yesterday the sun disappeared over the horizon for the last time for about one hundred days. It was a beautiful day that was marked with number of celebrations starting with the ceremonial lowering of the Union Flag by Pete, the base commander and oldest member of the team. (The youngest member gets to raise a new flag in the spring.) With years of Arctic and Antarctic experience, Pete was ready for the calls of ‘speech!’ with words of praise for everyone’s efforts and comments on the excellent base morale.

Taking a break in the Simpson

The afternoon continued with a bit of an office party at the Simpson with games including feet-less entry into the hammock, flying Tom’s aircraft simulator and riding my 18” tall monkey bike. Meanwhile, back on the Laws, Ant and Richard had got the barbeque going and the streaks marinating. This BBQ was a far more civilised affair in the mild (-18C) still air. After dining, we retired to the bar for Halley themed sun-downer cocktails, expertly mixed by Tams and Kirsty.

Ant and Sune start the barbie

How am I going to cope with the dark? I don’t know. But I do know, like many ‘hardships’ down here, the real extent is subject to the individual’s perception at the time, and their descriptions later. To start with, the sun still lights the sky for a good 6 hours a day – enough for kiting and skiing outside. Which as far as I’m concerned, makes everything fine.

More photos, including a parorama, in the gallery.


Anonymous Becs said...

Hope the internet hasnt gone down with the sun!! Awaiting your updates, I have a new job soon and might lose touch with the rest of the world as a Pond Officer in a porto cabin in Mold.

9:05 am GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we've been checking out your snaps! How amazing is all we can say! We're very envious of you (but not of the cold). we like the kite boarding shots and I like the cranes. Mary likes the big bad snow quad machine.

Ruth & Mary xxxxxx

10:02 pm GMT  

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