Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Winter in Antarctica: Time to Party
These Emperor Penguins aren't the only beings partying hard in Antarctica. It's mid-winter there, so it's time for the British Antarctic Survey to take a week off and celebrate. From 75 Degrees South.
Right now the workshops are buzzing with activity as everyone is busy making a winter present for one of the other base members. These have the long-standing reputation for being of a very high standard, often with many weeks of painstaking work going into making them. Presents made last year included a scale model of a sledge unit, a brass and whalebone knife and even a working primus stove turned from brass. Everyone keeps what they are working on secret so it's great fun when we all get together to open them.
The presents are handed out on Midwinter's Day (21st June) just before the traditional midwinter meal. That's followed by a special broadcast on the BBC World Service for all personnel wintering at British bases in the Antarctic. It's a half-hour show featuring messages from our families, requested songs and an interview with a BBC celebrity (it's Ricky Gervais from the Office this year).
Other events we've planned include a Cabaret/Talent night, a "Weakest Link" quiz night, the traditional big screen viewing of John Carpenter's The Thing and bar-room bungee (yes we will get round to it this year!)