Monday, January 28, 2008

SPIFF, Party, Shift Change

IceCube Party in Summer Camp

Several things happened this weekend which have made station life interesting. Saturday night we had SPIFF - the South Pole International Film Festival, where the whole station packs into the galley and watches the summer's crop of films made by Polies. Accompanied by free champagne, popcorn and raucous hoots from the audience, the festival is a true festival of camp, inside jokes, gutter humor, and heartfelt South Pole community spirit. Among others, two IceCube drillers (Tom Pi and Forrest Banks) each had multiple offerings.

One poignant film celebrated Sir Edmund Hillary by featuring his radio conversation with the South Pole from a few years ago, when he was at Scott Base (next to McMurdo).

After the SPIFF, the IceCube party in Summer Camp (from which there are many pictures posted on Flickr). I surprised myself by bartending for an hour or two.

Saturday we also had a change of shift, with Mark leaving and several new 'Cubers arriving. Things instantly got very hectic and all of a sudden I am very busy mornings and evenings discussing plans and helping the new arrivals. It may be quite hectic for the next two weeks. Fortunately I am the only night-shifter at the moment so I get a few hours of peace to do my work and nap if I am short of sleep that day (which is the case pretty much every day).

The gym is truly a lifesaver, and the cushion too. I'm going to try to get up to five miles, fast, before I leave. It is quiet enough nights now to meditate in the greenhouse, which, though noisy, presents a bit of humidity and an intoxicating panoply of smells.

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