Listening to BBC Midwinter Broadcast

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Midwinter celebrations are the most important event in the life of any wintering team in Antarctica. This year the day started with a special breakfast prepared by the Station Leader Jess, followed by a drinks reception in the afternoon in the Lounge and the team members exchanged present they have laboriously been making throughout the first half of winter. Shortly after there was a Skype call with the members of the 1966 Halley Wintering Team (interesting fact: these people wintered here exactly 50 years before us, and exactly 50 years after Shackleton’s arrival here!), during which we asked each other lots of questions. The technology might have changed, but the spirit remained the same. Then came the time for the main event – fantastic dinner prepared by the Halley Chef, Victoria. Finally, after the dinner we all gathered in the Comms Office, to listen to the BBC Midwinter Broadcast over the HF radio – this is a programme that BBC World Service run specially for the 48 people who are wintering at all four BAS stations in Antarctica: Bird Island, King Edward Point, Rothera and Halley, and which gives us a chance to listen to midwinter greetings from our families and friends. Even now, when we can easily stay in touch with our loved ones over the phone and via email, it still is very touching to listen to them on the HF radio.