Monday, 26 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Woke up on Christmas eve to find it had been snowing, I had woken up just before 3am to see if I could see Comet Lovejoy, but it was cloudy, and there was no snow. Fortunately that was early enough to go back to sleep. Then when I woke up just before 8am I found a classic winter scene! I had to take some photos one of which I have been using as my Christmas greeting.

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It didn’t snow for long, but left a few centimetres. The down side of snow, slightly ironically for an Antarctic base is that it nocks out our internet and main communications satellite link! That did make for a peaceful morning though, and when it all came back on later in the day I was able to phone home to wish mum a happy birthday.

All the Antarctic bases send each other eChristmas cards, here is our base photo, taken on the 20th it was much nicer weather as you can see!

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On Christmas eve we went over to Grytviken Church for a service of carols and readings. The church was lit by candles and looked really pretty. There was also mulled wine, always a bonus on a chilly evening. It felt particularly Christmassy being cold with snow on the ground. Afterwards, back on base, we exchanged our secret santa presents relaxing in the lounge. Matt mech had welded me the most enormous mug out of a piece of steel pipe, I reckon it holds a couple of litres, brilliant :-) !

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On Christmas day I had to go over to Maiviken to count the Fur Seals in the study plots. Before that though, our new base commander, James, had made croissants, and a cooked breakfast, so I left feeling well fed. It was a chilly and peaceful walk, and quite nice to get off base for a few hours.

20111225-DSC_2359 Light-mantled Sooty Albatross in Maiviken

On Christmas day we all keep off the internet and have time slots each so that we can ‘skype’ friends and family, this way it works reasonably well and you can usually get one way video too. It was great to call home and chat with my parents, sister, niece and brother-in-law.

Dinner in the evening was the full trimmings, canap├ęs, prawn starter, 6 cooked chickens and a rack of beef, roast potatoes (which a cruise ship kindly gave us), veg, yorkshire puds, stuffing, gravy… Desert was even better, trifle, gin and tonic sorbet, raspberry sorbet, lemon tart, delicious! Then it was Irish coffee and a fruit cake (all the way from New Zealand) to finish off the evening.

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Well, that’s it' for the moment, it’s snowing again, but the internet has just started working again, so I’ll get this uploaded quick while everyone else is still in bed, I’m on earlies today. Leftovers for dinner, easy :-)

3 comments:

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  2. Was great to chat to you too :-)
    Your Christmas card is real I am sure & yet it almost looks false......it is so pretty!
    Glad you had a good meal & a quiet walk too & snow - which is more than we had.
    Mainly grey, dull & drizzle!
    Love from dad xxx

    PS Light-mantled - beautiful!

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  3. Totally real, just made a couple of adjustments to the levels in photoshop and that's it :-)

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