Part two of the Happy Midwinter Day!
In this post, I’ll show you a few pictures from our dinner, as well as a good few shots of various gifts that people made for each other.
The dinner Gerard prepared for us was absolutely fantastic, and a lot of work and thought went into it. The day was really fully packed, with a number of meals interleaved with other attractions.
First we had breakfast in bed, made and served by John. All winterers chose to have their breakfast served in the servery instead of their beds. Also, on the menu, you could indicate what time you’d like to have your breakfast served at, and for some reason my 16:05 was rejected, so I had to agree to 09:45 instead.
In the evening we had the dinner, with a number of courses, from starters, to main, to pre-desert, the desert and the cheese at the end. I don’t even remember the full list of meals we had, but I promise I’ll try to track it down and update this post. Needless to say, that was the best meal I’ve ever had! Thank you very much, Gerard – I know how much work and preparation it all took.
BBC World Service Midwinter Broadcast
At the time when the only contact with all Antarctic stations was over HF radio and everyone would get a single monthly telex to contact their loved ones, BBC World Service would air their Midwinter Broadcast to all people wintering in BAS stations South. This is still taking place today, and even though we can talk to our families and friends with relative ease over the phone and stay in touch by email, it was a touching moment to listen to the broadcast with members of our families sending us midwinter greetings – I must say there was a number of us who had a tear in their eye.
Another long BAS tradition is that at the beginning of the winter, everyone pulls a name out of the hat of a person they will be making a midwinter gift for. This is then meant to be kept a secret and nobody knew who they were getting their presents made by really until the moment these were given.
The quality of presents is simply mind-blowing, and the fact that not many of us has experience making this kind of stuff is even more remarkable. Everyone was simply chuffed with what they got and very proud of what they made, so it was all a grand success.
I got Silver, our vehicle mechanic, to make a present for and I’ve come up with an idea of a Sun Dial, housed inside a cylindrical box made of mahogany. The dial itself, as well as the pointer and the closing bracket are made of brass, with some hand-made engraving. The box construction is heavily inspired with the design of the wooden, traditional man-food boxes we use at Halley.
What I was given literally took my breath away and I was speechless. Al made this beautiful Ice Axe for me, made completely and entirely out of the parts left from the sledge N71 Myrtle we buried a couple of months ago. The Ice Axe, named “Myrtle” after the sledge, is presented on a base made from one of the skids. I love it. Thank you very much, Al!
You can see “Myrtle” as well as all other presents in the gallery below.