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Halley Diary — June 2011

The following events took place between 1st June and the 30th of June

Welcome to the June diary, June has been a busy month for all of us on station, the closer it got to mid winter the busier it got, as people put the finishing touches to their winter gift. Mid winter is a big deal for us living down here in Antarctica, it signifies the half way point of our winter season, and means the days will get longer and with it that the return of the sun.

Mid winter’s week is a time for us on station to relax and let our hair down, although the day to day tasks of gash, melt tank and night watchman still continued.

Before the celebrations got under way, we had a station scrub out, ensuring the Laws was all clean and tidy.

Rory was talked into a change of image by Emma our comm’s manager, an hour in the mechanical workshop, and Rory’s locks were turned blonde.

Emma with hair colouring products (photo by Rory Fleet)
Emma with hair colouring products (photo by Rory Fleet)
Rory patiently waiting for his colour to take (photo by Emma Philpott)
Rory patiently waiting for his colour to take (photo by Emma Philpott)
The finished end results and Rory unveiling his new locks (photo by Chris Walton)
The finished end results and Rory unveiling his new locks (photo by Chris Walton)

The mid winter week celebrations for us started on Saturday the 18th, where we had a group photo taken for our mid-winter greeting card.

Everyone outside the Laws platform for our group photo (photo by Chris Walton)
Everyone outside the Laws platform for our group photo (photo by Chris Walton)

Next going to the pub took on a whole new meaning with people donning down jackets and trousers, tempex suits, mukluks’, gloves and head torches, before heading off into the night on the Halley pub crawl to visiting the garage, VSAT, Simpson platform, Bart, Drewry and finally the ice bar for a drink, before returning to the Laws to warm up.

Inside the VSAT (photo by Chris Walton)
Inside the VSAT (photo by Chris Walton)
From left to right: Ben, Chris, James and Rory in the Halley ice bar (photo by Emma Philpott)
From left to right: Ben, Chris, James and Rory in the Halley ice bar (photo by Emma Philpott)
The gang inside the Simpson (photo by Jenny Hine)
The gang inside the Simpson (photo by Jenny Hine)

Sunday the 19th was a relaxing day, in the evening the Cine projector was set up, and we watched some of the old news reels.

Chris the chef and Emma in comms attempting to figure out how the cine machine works! (photo by Paul Barwick)
Chris the chef and Emma in comms attempting to figure out how the cine machine works! (photo by Paul Barwick)

On Monday 20th the workshops were probably at their busiest as people put the finishing touches to their winter gifts. In the evening we sat down in the lounge and had pizza, made by our wintering electrician Paul cool-beans Barwick, and watched a movie.

Paul with his home made pizza made on the drum of an oil lid (photo by Chris Walton)
Paul with his home made pizza made on the drum of an oil lid (photo by Chris Walton)
The Monday night feast in all its glory! (photo by Chris Walton)
The Monday night feast in all its glory! (photo by Chris Walton)

Mid winters day on the 21st got off to an early start, with a full English breakfast cooked by our base commander Ben, this was followed by watching the movie called the Thing. In the afternoon another Halley tradition took place, the Halley dash, Andy, Ben Brett, Chris, Rory and Paul, ran around the platform in nothing more than trainers and hats, at minus 34 this is not as tasked to be taken light heartedly. In the evening we gathered at the bar for champagne and Canapés, before we had a Skype call with the winterers from 1966, it was really good to hear what they got up to during their time down here in Antarctica.

Everyone gathering at the Halley bar for our canapc3a9s  and champagne (photo by Paul Barwick)
Everyone gathering at the Halley bar for our canapc3a9s and champagne (photo by Paul Barwick)
Our video call with the 1966 Halley bay wintering team (photo by Chris Walton)
Our video call with the 1966 Halley bay wintering team (photo by Chris Walton)

It was then onto the main event, the mid winter meal, Chris our chef had been planning for this for several weeks, and we were not disappointed, creating a nine course meal.Our 9 course mid winter day meal

Bar canapes (photo by Chris Walton)
Bar canapes (photo by Chris Walton)
Rabbit terrine for our starter (photo by Chris Walton)
Rabbit terrine for our starter (photo by Chris Walton)
Fruits of the sea to follow (photo by Rory Fleet)
Fruits of the sea to follow (photo by Rory Fleet)
Chocolate tart for desert (photo by Chris Walton)
Chocolate tart for desert (photo by Chris Walton)
Party Time. (photo by Ian MacNab)
Party Time. (photo by Ian MacNab)

With waist bands stretching it was back to the lounge for the unveiling of the winter present, these were all wrapped on the pool table apart from one which was too large. Each of us took it in turns to unwrap our gift and find out what had been made for us and guess who had made it. We then all sat around the bar and listen to the BBC broadcast of Mid winter messages from family and friends from home, the partying continued into the wee small hours.

Ben's present made by James (photo by Ben Mapston)
Ben's present made by James (photo by Ben Mapston)
Andy's present made by Chris (photo by Ben Mapston)
Andy's present made by Chris (photo by Ben Mapston)
James' present made by Frank (photo by Ben Mapston)
James' present made by Frank (photo by Ben Mapston)
Jenny's present made by Brett (photo by Ben Mapston)
Jenny's present made by Brett (photo by Ben Mapston)
Frank's present made by Ian (photo by Ben Mapston)
Frank's present made by Ian (photo by Ben Mapston)
Ian's present made by Andy (photo by Ben Mapston)
Ian's present made by Andy (photo by Ben Mapston)
Paul's present made by Jenny (photo by Ben Mapston)
Paul's present made by Jenny (photo by Ben Mapston)
Chris's present made by Emma (photo by Ben Mapston)
Chris's present made by Emma (photo by Ben Mapston)
Emma's present made by Rory (photo by Ben Mapston)
Emma's present made by Rory (photo by Ben Mapston)
Rory's present made by Paul (photo by Ben Mapston)
Rory's present made by Paul (photo by Ben Mapston)
Brett's present made by Ben (photo by Rory Fleet)
Brett's present made by Ben (photo by Rory Fleet)

The 23rd was spent recovering from the day before, in the evening we played a game of trivial pursuit, won by Ben and Chris. On Thursday the 23rd we had a cheese and wine evening.

Cheese tasting event (photo by Jenny Hine)
Cheese tasting event (photo by Jenny Hine)

On Friday the 24th the winter Olympics were held, Ian our GA helped by Brett the vehicle mech set up various activities outside, there was a firing range with flares, skidoo trials and sledge pulling, it was back indoors for the final two events, the bungee run, and a game of corks organised by Rory our plumber.

Rory in full flight doing the bungee run down the Laws corridor (photo by Jenny Hine)
Rory in full flight doing the bungee run down the Laws corridor (photo by Jenny Hine)
Jenny and James getting ready for the sledge pulling event (photo by Ben Mapston)
Jenny and James getting ready for the sledge pulling event (photo by Ben Mapston)

On the final day of the mid winter week, the crazy golf competition was held.

The crazy golf course set up in the kitchen by Chris our chef was rather challenging. No hole in one for this round (photo by Chris Walton)
The crazy golf course set up in the kitchen by Chris our chef was rather challenging. No hole in one for this round (photo by Chris Walton)
Homemade grass bunker (photo by Jenny Hine)
Homemade grass bunker (photo by Jenny Hine)

Like all good things they have to come to an end and so on the 27th we all returned to work in time to complete yet another monthly report.

Rory crazy golf setup made good use of some pipes around the base (photo by Jenny Hine)
Rory crazy golf setup made good use of some pipes around the base (photo by Jenny Hine)

Frank Jaffray
Generator Mechanic