2022: Blog | Reading
One of the little luxuries that we have in the Nissen hut is a small library, well stocked with a range of books from local wildlife to cookbooks. One in particular, Fit for a FID, is a combination of the two. It also has several books detailing the exploits and adventures of the original Tabarin members, which of a normal season would sit on the end of the bed of an eager Lockroy staff member never to be read owing to lack of time.
One of the snippets that jumps out of these rarely read pages, which Taylor called “the biggest hoax of the year”, is an occasion where Beck and Farrington, the radio operators, were decoding a message updating the party of upcoming plans. Instead of relaying the message they decided to tell some of the others that they would be moving to Peter I Island, to which uproar ensued while they tripped over tables and chairs trying to locate the isolate island on the map. Which, if you look and try and find, is as Ashton rightly and eloquently put “the bloody island’s almost off the map!”. It makes Port Lockroy look comparatively accessible.
There are humorous moments like these throughout but also some that are much more compassionate that highlight the lasting impression of Port Lockroy and life there on its original inhabitants. One such is during an interview with Gwion Davies years later, talking about his experiences, with photos of his family on the mantelpiece along with a picture of Gertrude the pig, who he had a particular affinity with.
From reading these excerpts it made me wonder what it would be like to read back over our time at Port Lockroy. Would any of our team mates ever be interviewed, in our more senior years sitting below photos of family and loved ones with a photo of Betty the penguin also taking pride of place on the mantelpiece? Or possibly, more telling, what would our fellow team member say about each of us? “That Adams is good at making carrot cake but walking into a door ... really? Must have wanted a bit of time off to put his feet up. Definitely one to watch!”
Kit Adams, Port Lockroy General Assistant 2021 - 2022
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