May – Winter

30 May, 2006

Well hello, may I take this opportunity to formally welcome you to the month of May? What does May symbolise in good old Blighty? Spring has sprung, summer well on it’s way, heavy rains and hosepipe bans.

Well, here at Rothera, May has a slightly different feel. It is the month where the sun dips behind the mountains leaving us in permanent shadow. The winds pick up, snow falls more regularly and some of the male members of the team spend more time than is strictly necessary in women’s clothing.

We started in fine fashion with a soiree loosely based upon a James Bond theme. I say loosely as although there where some incredibly convincing bond-esque ensembles, I can’t recall Elvis actually appearing alongside 007 either as a goody or a baddy.

‘Shaken not stirred’ doesn’t seem to cut it; ‘shaken and deeply disturbed’ seems far more appropriate.

May also saw the end of the first round of winter trips. The weather has been pretty poor really, a lot of time was spent inside tents and under skidoos. As members of the British Institute of Tirelessly Extreme Mechanical Engineers, Tom V and I were very sad as this meant that we could no longer spend every Saturday fixing skidoos. Tom is finding it particularly hard and can be found pacing the floor of the bar on Friday night wondering what on earth he can spend his Saturdays doing. As you can imagine we are looking forward to the next round of trips and we have already requested that they too start on a Sunday.

Here at Rothera we all spend a week over the winter doing a night shift. This involves checking that the base isn’t on fire and that important science is doing whatever it does. I was thrilled this month as it was my turn. The base has a strange feel to it at night, if it’s not to windy the walk over to the hanger is fantastic as long as you avoid the fur seals and on the way back the base looks amazing lit up. It’s good to be able to visit areas of the base that you wouldn’t normally see too, I can now honestly report that the scientists don’t just drink tea down at the Bonner lab, I’m sure I saw evidence of coffee too.

The rest of the month roared past in a blur due to the excitement of Polish night! It was an international affair with many opting to turn up in traditional costumes from around the globe. I was disappointed that Elvis didn’t show but hey, you can’t have it all. Amongst the multicultural throng we had an appearance from non other than Mr Sheen, taking the Polish connection just a tad far along with another well known Pole, Ski Pole. It has to be said that the food was incredible and even the sight of the campest Bavarian in history couldn’t stop me from going for thirds. A huge amount of respect for Agnieszka our Met babe who pulled out all the stops to make the night fantastic.

And there you have it, a month on the dark side. As you can see we have settled pretty well into the Rothera routine, life goes on as normal and every day brings a photo opportunity. I hope you have enjoyed May as much as we have, just wait until you read about June!

This months photos where provided by Lowri, Tim and Bernard.

Lots of love to everyone back home from everyone over here, especially Mum, Greg, Tim, Teej and Jode, extra special big kiss for little Livi but not for John.

Mat Richardson. Rothera Vehicle Mech.