This week at Mawson: 6 April 2018

The sun keeps shining at Mawson.

A social station

When you tell people you’re going to spend winter down south with only 14 other people for company, one of the most common responses is “what is there to do?” Based on the last couple of weeks at Mawson, that is not going to be a problem here this winter. I’m thinking I might even need a diary!

The weekend before Easter started for us with weather conditions that ensured we were in the Red Shed for about 24 hours (essential travel outside only allowed in pairs; peak wind gust of 163km/h during the night) so Linc organised a quiz night to keep us all entertained which was well attended and got everyone thinking.

That Saturday, using my mother’s old technique for how to get a teenager to clean their bedroom (i.e. pile everything from floor on bed so they can’t lie down until they’ve cleared it away - or pushed it back on the floor but personally, fear of the wrath of my mother deterred the latter technique), I piled some old slot car sets found in the library on the pool table in the hope that someone would take the bait to find out if they actually worked. Bait was duly taken that night and we ended up with a 4 lane track that snaked under the pool table and more people getting sucked into having a go than initially thought they would. Then it got serious and everything needed improvement: Brilly was cleaning connections and rewiring, Nate rebuilding car chassis and Matt devised a computerised lap timing system. All of this had to go somewhere, so a Slot Car Derby was scheduled for the afternoon of Easter Sunday (the following weekend) allowing time for the track to be reconstructed as a replica of Phillip Island, Matt’s timer to include the ability to record lap and driver records and Nate to work out a derby draw so everyone got a go. On the day, there were some protests about inferior machines and lane advantages but all protests were shouted down and the winner in the end was Helen, who had only picked up a controller for the first time that afternoon!

In addition to the Derby, Easter weekend included some spontaneous exercise in the form of a couch being built into the blizz tail in front of the Red Shed, a small, but very enthusiastic, karaoke session (of which no photos seem to exist which could be a good thing?!), yoga, indoor wall climbing, sled-hauling on the Gwamm loop, TV series binge-watching and Donna spoiled us all with a pop-up burger shack that delivered to the bar.

Plus the Easter Bunny found us. So, as you can see, we’re all travelling quite well down here and not suffering from social deprivation at all.

We’ve also managed to beat all existing sunshine records for March with an average daily sunshine of 8.6 hours compared to a long term average of 5.3 hours. The previous record was 7.8 hours in 1956, so we totally smashed that. And lots of sunshine means we're getting some very speccy skies. Of course, just because it’s sunny, doesn’t mean it’s warm out there so we’ll need to keep practising our indoor activities. Word is that the slot car track is moving to Biscoe to be reinstated in various configurations for further play and may reappear in the Red Shed for Midwinter as ‘Bathurst’…

Esther/SL

A m an dressed as Elvis poses for the camera
Elvis turned up to host the Quiz Night
(Photo: E.Rodewald)
3 men playing with a slot car system
The track needs to be more complicated
(Photo: E.Rodewald)
A man smiles for camera in front of a slot car track
A happy Nate with his toy cars
(Photo: E.Rodewald)
3 people sit on a step cut into a snow bank
Matt, Helen and Brett try out the snow couch
(Photo: Patrick James)
a man hauls a sled while another looks on
Matt sled-hauling up on the Gwamm track while Cormac supervises (stay tuned…
(Photo: Nick Cullen)
Spectacular Easter Saturday sunset
Spectacular Easter Saturday sunset
(Photo: Nick Cullen)
Easter full moon over East Bay
Easter full moon over East Bay
(Photo: Nick Cullen)
A group of people around a slot car track
The race is on! Can you feel the tension?
(Photo: Nick Cullen)
Sun behind clouds over West Bay
Sun behind clouds over West Bay
(Photo: Cormac Cullen)
A burger menu
The menu from Donna's Pop-Up Burger Shack
(Photo: Donna Wightman)