Thursday, July 21, 2005


Hi All,

well they say that July and August are the 'dark' months on station,
referring more to the moods of the place than the lack of light outside.
People did fall in a bit of a slump post-midwinter, as the additional
weeks stretch away before you with no highlights near in the offing.
Several creative attempts have been made by some of us to put such
boredom and depression aside. Last week the highlight for a half-dozen of
us was a spirited game of Hide-and-Seek in the new station. What seemed a
dubious idea ended up being way more fun than it should have been for a
group of 'adults'.

Very ingenious hiding spots were invented, including Jared the
tin-knocker fitting in a sewing cupboard that didn't look physically
possible to get a three-year-old in, and then a spot of concern at the
end of our last game when we completely 'lost' Steve. All five of us went
around the station a few times, calling his name and telling him he'd won
so he could come out. I had horrid visions of him getting somewhere crazy
and freezing or suffocating to death. Then the Inquest: [Coroner]: "So, Dr Dempsey,
as the Station Science Leader on the Station, can you please explain how
one of the scientists on station froze to death in the meat compartment
of the walk-in freezer?" [Dr Dempsey]: "Well, we were playing


Anyway, nothing so dire occurred. On Kelly and my fourth trip to the
galley, Steve emerged grinning, and limping because both of his legs had
'gone to sleep'. Where were you???! we demanded and he promptly giggled
to us that for the last forty minutes he had successfully wedged himself
entirely behind the soft-serve ice cream machine. He had not heard us
yelling because the ice-cream machine makes such a loud noise!! Much
silliness and fun was had by all, and we are talking about a rematch...

In other news I attempted a controlled cooking experiment in the galley
on Sunday, preparing a thai meal for a few friends as guinea pigs for a
larger version I may do for the whole station on the next long-weekend.
It was a bit of a mission in the industrial kitchen but it didn't go too
badly. It was certainly nice to be cooking again, something I haven't
done for over eight months, which seems crazy.

It is still lovely and dark and cold outside. We've had some lovely
aurora and at the moment the moon is up and fat and silver, and it is
always enjoyable to be able to see where you are going. It is weird as it
has come around so fast, but after this moon sets in a few days we will
have our last stretch of complete darkness in the winter. When the moon
rises again in August the first light will begin to appear on the horizon
and be very visible by the time it sets. Then it will be September and
sunrise is here. Quite strange to think of, really. I have loved the dark
but I won't pretend that the idea of the sun isn't also pretty exciting.
I will need to find a good pair of dark glasses though, the bright will
be a bit of a shock...

I also chatted to a couple of great fellows on Adelaide's ABC radio the
other morning. They were a lot of fun, though it was a shame that my
phone connection cut out half way through - I had been meaning to tell
them how much I missed the cricket and to ask them if they could get me
tickets to the Aus v. Windies test match in Adelaide this November! Alas,
I ran out of time. Sigh. Was very fun though, and had a bit of feedback
from the family in Adelaide who got a bit of a buzz out of it.

No other big news at the moment so will sign out. Hope you are all well,
drop me a line as always if you are bored,


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