Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Final note

Friday 29 February 2008

Now I am in Cape Town waiting to travel back home. Like Mr. Ben I got to keep a memento from the experience: my pink neck wrap. I'll wear it as often as possible, so if you ever see a fat bloke wearing a pink neck wrap this summer it's probably me.

It strikes me, now that I am no longer in the direct service of BAS, just how just how much you are shielded from the stresses of normal life (as well as being shielded from the hostilities of Antarctica). Slowly the realisation of this is returning to me: Back in the real world I am surrounded by people, traffic, congestion, smoke, noise and adverts. Other worries start to become more apparent too such as the state of my overdraft, bills, the mortgage, and where my next chocolate bar is coming from.

The Antarctic is a most fantastic place and Halley is just incredible. It is not flat: The site undulates, rises and falls, the terrain is like a solid fluid, changing all the time. The landscape is always reshaping itself, and claims back its territory from man at frightening speed. It is not white: It changes colour every hour of the day every day of the year. There is a never-to-be-repeated photographic moment happening all the time. The sun plays tricks with the snow scape and the buildings that hover above it to produce a myriad of colours and moods.

Everyone, even the most well seasoned Antarctic visitors are alert to the changes around them, never tired of what they see and never tired of trying to capture it on film. I feel very privileged to be here and very privileged to be here with BAS. The Antarctic is a fierce and unforgiving place. It really is a hostile environment. Stray outside too long, in the wrong conditions and you can be in very serious trouble. Travelling with BAS and you feel as safe as you could ever be. This is a far cry from the days of early exploration where humans had to brave the Antarctic elements without any additional human support.

Something that sticks in my mind in particular is Aspley Cherry-Garrard’s description, at the point of extreme exhaustion, starvation, hypothermia and near death is how much he missed peaches in syrup. Our journey has not nearly been as hard as this, and there are lots of peaches in syrup on the base, out on the servery counter every day for breakfast lunch and dinner. There are pears too and the rice pudding is not to be missed! BAS provide for everything – well almost everything.

Unfortunately, what they can’t replace, and what I have been missing for the past three months is a Greggs cheese pasty. Please send your spare Greggs cheese pasties, in any condition, to:

The Greggs Cheese Pasty Appeal

Hugh Broughton Architects

41A Beavor Lane

London W6 9BL

(or a sticky bun will do)




Anonymous said...

I'm a graduate student studying architecture at ASU and I'm interested in coming to Antarctica to see the new station this coming season. I have read through your blog and find it fascinating. I was hoping you might be able to point me in the right direction as far as heading out there to visit goes. I am currently applying for a traveling scholarship to cover the costs so I'm preparing a proposal for an interview I have at the end of this week.... If you have any advice on heading up their to study the living conditions and the new structure that would be great!
Thanks! Stacey

頭昏 said...

你不能和一個握緊的拳頭握手 ..................................................