This week Davis commemorates ANZAC Day, samples the Doc’s specialties, celebrates a birthday and drills the sea ice.

Lest we forget

On ANZAC Day, as the day dawned cold and bleak, we stood beneath the Australian and New Zealand flags flying at half-mast to remember those Australians and New Zealanders who lost their lives fighting in past wars, and those that are currently deployed in the service of their country fighting in foreign lands. We honour their sacrifice that allows us freedom to live full and happy lives, and to pursue dreams free of persecution and fear.

The ANZAC tradition that still ties us as brothers was obvious as we warmed inside with ‘gunfire’ coffee and a welcome cooked brunch of bacon, eggs, baked beans and Turkish bread.

That Aussie/Kiwi sibling rivalry came to the fore during a rather noisy game of 2-Up where our Davis money was lost and won in the blink of an eye. There could be only one winner and — no surprises — that was Goldie!

After matinee ANZAC movies and Leslie’s tasty ANZAC biscuits, we finished the day demolishing the fabulous barbecue prepared by slushy extraordinaire Vas along with plenty of help from the masses.

Sunday slushy syndrome

I have discovered a new medical syndrome in Antarctica: the ‘Sunday Slushy Syndrome’ or SSS. Here on Davis station, the chef has a well-earned Sunday off and the slushy, or kitchen hand of the day, cooks brunch and dinner. This is a challenge for many of us and an even greater challenge for the rest of the team who must eat it.

This week I had the honour and decided to use my culinary inheritance. For brunch, I researched my Scottish paternal grandmother’s culinary archives to recreate the McParker muffin: a base of sourdough bread, walls of crispy bacon, innards of melted cheese, a heart of black pudding with a crown of egg baked so the yolk stays runny like yellow blood. For dinner, my Italian maternal grandmother’s ancestry handed me down a Milano tuna, garlic pasta bake but the piece de resistance was my Anglo-Saxon paternal grandfather’s, step-mother’s, trifle — a witch’s concoction of sponge cake marinated in fruit juices, potency herbs and liqueurs, encased in a gelatinous web, submerged with creamy custard and lavishly topped with whipped cream and a jelly design of the standard of the ancient kingdom of Wessex.

The next morning I braced myself for the SSS as a run of intestinal or testosterone-al revolt but fortunately, being ANZAC day, the 0500 tot of rum seems to have acted as an antidote and all has been calm and unmoving.

John Parker

Testing the sea ice

The ice is back and it’s been open to foot traffic for a few weeks as we only need 200 mm to safely walk on it. To get anything heavier onto the ice it needs to be ‘proved’ so on the weekend Ladge, Dr John and myself — Darren — went out to drilling it to find out its thickness.

For quad bikes, we need a minimum of 400 mm for safe travel. Drilling every 50–100 m ensured that the ice was still good. Currently it’s ~490 mm so it’s not going to be long now and we will be able to take the Hägglunds out as they need it to be a little thicker. Only 110 mm…

After drilling and confirming the depth at the GPS locations, making it out as far as four kilometres from station, we then marked the spot with a cane. Dr John and Ladge did find out that once the canes have been put in the ice, they are difficult to remove.

Dazza celebrates

We helped Daz celebrate his 45th birthday this week — another delicious cake so, needless to say, we were all at the table.

Daz’s choice was a delicious moist sponge with very pink icing that we ate with freshly whipped cream — yum.