Late May saw the workshops over-run like sale-time in a Hong Kong department store! Ok that’s a bit dramatic, but the approach of mid-winter saw people crank up their present making (more on that later) so the metal and wood workshops became the go-to place if you were looking for someone.
That didn’t stop James and I taking a couple of days holiday in mid June to explore some of the western side of the Thatcher Peninsula. James was particularly keen to get away as he would be spending several weeks at sea after mid-winter, observing on one of the fishing ships.
If you remember the photographs at Christmas you’ll have noticed it’s not a huge celebration here. Mid-winter is our Christmas..and more. Mid-winter marks the half way stage for most people on a Southern tour, and the slow return of light leading into summer. The week is a holiday for everyone on base. We started on Monday the 16th and finished a week later. While the big day is the Solstice (21st) there are various events planned before the big day! There’s a Winter Olympics – comprising various activities including: sledge racing, wellie tossing, pen flare shooting at petrol doused cloth, and javelin. I have some footage that I’ll try to make into a short film and find a way to put on here in time, but for now all I’ll say is my team won the team event and I came out top in the individual table. There was a movie day, treasure hunt and any remaining time is useful for finishing off presents. The main day itself starts with the Base Commander making everyone a fry up breakfast (which he offers to deliver to people’s ‘pit rooms’). That’s then followed by an event that usually gets the Doctor a little twitchy (there is a real chance of hypothermia)… the mid-winter swim!
Ok so keeping the writing to a minimum is proving quite hard, though the mid-winter thing deserves some explanation. If I’m missing something or you have a question leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer it in the next post. I should have the next post ready in a week or so, hopefully with a video or two! It’s looking like monthly posts after that.