Wow this mid-winter festivities thing is time consuming.
While work continues on around station it seems that much of our spare time this week (and I must admit even some of our work time) has been taken up with preparations for our mid-winter celebrations.
The invite has been sent and replies are incoming. Some not quite getting the joke and indicating that they’re busy filming in some far off exotic location or we just haven’t give them enough time to get a trip to Antarctica into their schedule, but some others providing very inventive and entertaining responses which we look forward to hearing and watching next Thursday evening.
The Red Shed needs some work; refurbishments mean we’re living amongst a building site but this will not be the case for our celebrations. Nick and his team have been working frantically to make sure we have a clean, building materials free, location for our party. All going well, we’ll be using the new Splinters bar and the new first floor (and even new ablutions) next Thursday. For just one short week of the winter we can have a reprieve from the renovations.
Dom is busy in the kitchen working on the menu of goodies to be consumed through the day. The luxury goods he and Jason, in the green store, have been hiding away for the last seven months are being extracted from their hiding places ready for a grand appearance as part of our bountiful banquet of delicacies.
The photo of the team has been taken, ready for the mid-winter greeting to be dispatched to all Antarctic / sub-Antarctic stations. This year we’ve rocked the historic explorer look (a’la Mawson’s men on the Aurora) and we have a magnificent photo; thanks to Dom’s spectacular photographic skills and largely due to the fact that we’re an extremely photogenic and good looking lot!
Then there’s the entertainment. Video production team “Jeff-Mann Productions” has a tight schedule of filming to ensure not one winterer misses their chance for 20 seconds of fame. Whether they want to be famous of not. No excuses have been accepted. Locations, scripting, soundtrack recording, acting coaching, costuming, herding of penguins, it’s all happening for our “sounds of penguins” movie. To be premiered on the red carpet next Thursday. Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely that it will be coming to a movie theatre near you… you’ll just have to take my word for it that it’s Sundance Film Festival worthy!
And the swim… as much as I’d like this to be a long forgotten tradition, it seems that we will be swimming in a hole, in the ice, next Thursday morning. Plans for cutting and extracting the ice have been made. Monday we start, chainsaws, augers, manpower all drafted in for some cold work down on Newcomb Bay. We’ve had our medical brief warning us of the imminent dangers, we’ve signed our waiver, and now with much trepidation we await to fulfil our part in this very questionable tradition.
Happily, the outdoor spa has made an appearance, serviced and ready to warm us up after the swim. Here on station we don’t just fill it up with a hose… oh no, the skid steer dumps snow in to be melted and heated over the next few days. It might even get a pre-work out over the weekend. Well it’s in location, why not give it a tester?
So, party planning underway; here’s to a successful festival of the winter solstice. See you on the other side.
Rebecca (Casey SL)