MID WINTER BEGINS
This is a time when all of the bases on the Antarctic share midwinter greetings and messages. There is also a 30 minute BBC world service midwinter broadcast for all of the BAS bases delivering midwinter greetings from family and friends along with a music selection from each base. It is a turning point for those staying for the year, a mark thats been reached and passed. The warm weather and light nights will soon be arriving, or at least that is what we make ourselves believe. A nice happy shot of the group in front of the bar just before the meal.
Champagne and h'dourves for starting the evening. The food is only just beginning. There were about nine courses, all absolutely tingling the taste buds. A few people but on a few kilos over the week, shown in the weight watchers club. James, jules and chris are behind the bar guarding the rich pickings.
The table is set for the 18 guests. The green cloth is laid and the candles lit. The placing as per usual on a first come first served basis although everyone now has certain areas or positions on the table that they deem as their territory. Trespassers not welcome.
One of the desserts.
A carmamelised compote of pineapple with coconut tuile biscuit with a strawberry tart tatin.
As always after large meals and crackers and party hats and jokes the table gets a little messy. We all have to clean it up afterwards though.
A chance to let the vocal chords feel the chilled night air. A sing song on the laws platform choreographed by tamsin and alex.
After the food, their was brandy, furry hats, cigars and a pipe to tell a good ole yarn about the good ole days when ther was no communication with the outside world for 18 months and definately no blogs. How did they survive? On this day of midwinter cheer it was only -27oC but black, total darkness, covered the land apart from the few lights from the nearest buildings.
The next thing on the agenda was the unveiling of the presents. At the start of the year you drew a name out of a hat. You then you had to make them something for their winter present. Roughly about 4 months to come up with an idea and implement it. The presents were placed in a corner and opened one at a time. Its a delight seeing the expressions on the various faces. The whole present idea seems easy enough, not...Many nights towards the end where spent on the presents, stress levels and expectations were high.
The winter presents.
A great variety and a great collection....i think everyone is relieved to have handed something over and grateful to have received something in return.
Glad we don;t have to do it again at xmas. For all of those at home and abroad send presents and gifts to the usual address ;-). And please not that post is always slow going out and can often get lost.