August 20th, 2006

It is cold here today, and has been for a few weeks. Mind you, living here gives you a whole new set of meanings to the terms “warm” and “cold” – a “warm day” is anything above about -5! Yesterday we had the lowest temperature recorded this year, -30 Celcius, but it was a glorious sunny day with little or no wind, so four of us (Jamie, Mark S, Agnieszka and myself) decided to ski over to Lagoon Island as a day out. You might remember that I went to Lagoon at the start of my winter trip two weeks ago, but we weren’t supposed to have gone, given the sea ice situation. Well, in the last fortnight a lot more ice has formed, so we can now travel to Lagoon whenever the weather permits.
We skied out over a soft snowy surface on the sea-ice, making it much easier than it was last time, and reached the hut for lunch. It was bone-chillingly cold inside, as without either sunshine or exercise to keep you warm we were all pretty chilly even in down jackets. At these low temperatures your breath tends to freeze on the clothing and hair around your face, and those with beards (which currently includes me) find that they get ticklish icy lumps in them and then freeze to your balaclava, which is most uncomfy. Here we all are looking iced-up:

Agnieszka the meteorologist


Mark the builder / carpenter


Jamie the generator mechanic


I don’t seem so badly affected by facial ice – I think this is because I’m careful with my breathing to avoid fogging my spectacles

There are other fun things you can do in low temperatures – check out what -20 does to soap bubbles in this little video

In other news, this week Riet (our erstwhile Chef) has been on nightwatch duty, so it’s been a succession of volunteer cooks for the whole week. There became something of a competition over the week to produce interesting puddings, culminating in me making a Baked Alaska – which is sponge cake and ice cream covered in meringue and then baked at a very high temperature to brown the meringue without melting the ice cream.

baked alaska

Mmm…baked alaska!

5 Responses to “Cold!”

  1. John Says:

    Is your next winter down there going to be as the chef then?

  2. John C. Kirk Says:

    I’m glad to see that you attended the Pie Off in spirit, if not in person :)

  3. silar31@livejournal Says:

    Soap bubble video gets Cool Video Of The Day, dude. And I hope your Baked Antarctica came out as good as it looks :-)

  4. Matthew Says:

    How long did you spend distractedly sculpting that into the shape of a mountain you’d seen in a dream and wishing it was mashed potato?

    Just so long as you don’t start dreaming of the submirged spires of R’lyeh you’ll probably be doomed to nothing more than a very tedious encounter with very uninteresting aliens.

  5. Michael P-J Says:

    John B: my next winter?
    John C K: I was too late to get it registered…
    Silar31: It was excellent. Particularly with the pistachio icecream in the centre.
    Matthew: No, that was just the shape it came out – there was rather a lot of ice-cream to get under all that meringue.

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