Saturday, June 18, 2005

Dark Photos and Invitations...

Hey there,

sorry for a bit of a break, but in truth there is nothing terribly
exciting occurring at the moment. We are all in a bit of a pre-Midwinter
lull, but I don't doubt I'll have plenty to tell you about the
celebrations that will occur then. Life is a reasonably smooth routine
at them moment and my telescope is behaving himself admirably. We had
another trauma drill this week, this time involving the 'rescue' of a
hypothermia victim from outside. Our victim was Canadian Eric, the chef,
and the poor fellow got a bit more than he bargained for - he hadn't
been told that we would run through some drills in medical for those of
us learning the med/surgical course. Suddenly he found himself connected
up to a bunch of machines and hears the doctor ask one of us to put in
the catheter - wow, did his heartrate skyrocket! We didn't of course do
anything so horrible, but it was amusing none the less. I think he has
now forgiven us.

The weather outside has levelled out at just plain cold - sitting in the
-65Cs most days. We haven't had another sub -70C day yet, but I am sure
it is not far away.

In other random news, my once-purple-and-orange hair had faded to a
frightening array of dim blues, sickly greens and horrid yellows, so
yesterday, Vicky and I bleached the hell out of it. It is now
white-blond, which is pretty fun and I guess some photos will turn up
sooner or later on my page. Will let you know when.

We are now getting ready for midwinter - the official date is next
Tuesday, the 22nd - which is winter solstice. This is the day the sun
stops drifting away from us and starts making its return journey. Hard
to believe it has come about so quickly. We will have our party for it
on the following Saturday and it looks to be a humdinger. A massive
sit-down meal (and everyone goes all out, formal dress and all) and then
not one, or two, but three bands have emerged from the wilderness,
including our Al Dente, and should put on a great show. I think it will
be fun all round.

Yesterday we all converged in the Dome to take our midwinter picture.
This pic is sent out with a traditional invite to dinner to all the
other winter stations in Antarctica. Each station does this, sending a
dinner menu and a photo, usually, and it is fun to see the collection of
other people sharing the darkness, from Brazil, Russia and Germany to
China, Australia and Chile. And fun to see people on the coastal
stations whinging about the 'freezing' -30C temperatures and laugh! Hah,
they're summer temperatures!!! I haven't seen the pics yet, but we were
sitting and standing around a bunch of food boxes - and being in the
cold, the main problem is getting 86 people to hold their breath all at
the same time while the photo is taken...otherwise it is just a photo of
steam! If I get one soon, I'll post it on the site.

Enough rambling from me, must get back to work. Hope you are all
enjoying yourselves - drop me a line if you have time.

much smiles,
Jess

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