Saturday, 23 February 2008

A weekend of fun and pain...mid-Feb '08

1st ever Halley sponsored Ski-to-the-Pole
Fundraiser for the RNLI
Sunday 17th February 2008
Please donate to our cause

It was proposed back in the beginning of February that the staff at Halley should pool their efforts and attempt to ski the equivalent distance to the pole in 12 hours. 1600km in 12 hours by 110 or so people. It was no easy feat but Sunday from 1000 to 2200 saw plenty of people either skiing, walking, running, kiting or man-hauling around the 5km perimeter. It was a bold proposal, but it gave us a goal to focus on. In the end we completed a total of 214 laps (106 short of the 320 needed), but we did pass the 1000km mark. To date (22nd Feb) we have raised £3500 and it is still going up. If you wish to donate, there is still time.

You still have until 17th April 2008 to donate

Sat 16th Feb ’08
Folk Night

It was proposed by Kirk early in the season that Halley should host a Folk Night.
A chance for people, if they so chose, to put on an act, sing, play music, tell jokes, read poems, etc. for the entertainment of everybody else.

The day had finally come.

And with some careful planning by Dave Evans (and others), a venue was organised. Using the temporary skidoo repair tent (more than large enough to accommodate all), a stage was installed, as were lighting, projector, sound system, heating and decorative signs.
The stage was set for a evening of the best entertainment in town.

The venue kicked off at 1930hrs (local) with the first act on at 2000hrs.

Acts included:

- a rewritten version of Monty Pythons “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” with comical references to summer life at Halley,

- a rewritten version of The Eagles “Hotel California” from the Halley VI site prep crew with lyrics about life in the cabooses 20km away,

- poetry, so moving that the whole tent became quiet,

- the girls performing a brilliant parody of “Grease Lightning” complete with BAS issue overalls and tight t-shirts (much to the whoops of delight from us lads) and riding into the tent adorning a snow-adapted Honda quadbike,

- Kirk projecting a fantastic “mockumetary” video of him as an ex-fid presenting life at Halley complete with footage using the bloopers from his footage.

- and, of course...myself.

"Pray tell what this performance of yours was Dave"

I performed a mini-play written by myself, starring myself, all about myself. (I titled it “Ego”).
It was a short piece with me on stage talking to an on-screen pre-recorded projection of myself.

I spent 7 minutes talking to me about how funny I was, and how great an actor I was.
The latter was confirmed with the me on the screen prompting the me on the stage to portray a series of emotions, which I did so with passion.
I told myself a joke or two particularly about the time I met a beautiful woman on a narrow bridge and debating whether I should have blocked her passage or tossed myself off!
And then I accidently let slip that I loved me. After an awkward moment between us, I concluded by confessing my undying love to me.
The performance concluded by me singing a duet with myself to Elton John and Kiki Dee's “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”.

I think there were several bewildered faces in the audience at first, but then it soon dawned on people what I was doing and soon they got into the swing of it.

Z or Dead, recovering from the loss of bass player Alex, had a replacement...
...scientist and unstoppable running machine* Andy Rankin.

To herald the new line-up, they renamed themselves as Toucan Rool, (no prizes for guessing the inspiration for that name) borrowing the Toucan from the Guiness advertising slogan as inspiration.

The band played a couple of acts and rocked the joint with their versions of classic rock tunes. By the end of the night everyone was singing and dancing and generally having a bloody good time.

It was a good release after a hard long summer. And my appreciation goes out to all those who helped organise the evening and put on acts for the entertainment of the rest of the base complement.

* so called for his contribution to the sponsored ski-to-pole

17th Feb ’08
RNLI charity Ski-to-the-Pole

Ouch ouch ouch!
My feet were in pain.

Three laps in some brand new plastic ski-boots and my feet were already shredded halfway through the 1st lap.

But it was in aid of charity and so I persevered.

By the end of the 3rd lap I was in agony. I knew I should have opted for the older leather boots, but I was being greedy and wanted the newer ones. Oh, how I paid for that decision.
I had to stop and don my tracksuit bottoms and running shoes and jog the final lap.

And I am glad I did jog the last lap. It is somewhat really refreshing jogging in -15C. As I went round the base perimeter the sun dipped below the cloud layer which had been hanging over the station all day and gave a breathtaking view bathing the entire white surface of Halley in a pink hue augmented by an orange glow under the cloud.

How ironic it was that I was carrying my camera with me all day until I started jogging. So, no piccies of said view.
However, as I finished the jog, I fetched my camera and managed to get a shot of a sun pillar that had suddenly appeared at the time. Yet another meteorological phenomena captured on “film”. Fantastic.

Some people pledged 4 laps (such as me) other pledged 10 (Rich). Those kite-boarding clocked 15+ laps. But Andy Rankin (the new bass player), often seen jogging round the perimeter during the summer, just kept running and running.

And running.

By the end of the day he completed 19 laps purely from jogging. 90km or so in total. Mad...but also very noble.

Note...I may add piccies to this entry at a later date when I get hold of some from other people.
But for now, all you have is the poorly shot ones I have here.


Anonymous said...

Pass this message onto your colleagues David.
Well done to all of you.
Mum xx

Anonymous said...

Looks like a good time was had by all - 90km though. That's impressive!