Friday 13th at Concordia: it was the best of times and worst of times
Who’d have thought superstition would have followed us all the way to the bottom of the world.
I have to admit it has been a difficult two weeks for reasons I cannot talk about, forcing a short delay in research and breaking my usual routine.
Without explaining this, I have had suffered silently and ‘cracked on’ through arguments and shouting accompanying the various problems, on base. And yet we haven’t even lost our day-night cycle yet. It leaves you to wonder what is yet to come in the 24 hours of darkness. For a short time, madness gripped Concordia by its throat. In same week we became a family, we started the usual family behaviours.
That Friday (13th) Feeling
Friday 13th was a crescendo with high glass-shattering E note – that ended the bittersweet symphony of the previous week. And to top it all off, it was my turn and day to wash up – but that wasn’t to blame. I am not usually superstitious – but now I will take extra care. Fortunately, there are no black cats down here, just snakes and ladders. Even the regular apres dinner game of american doubles pool I play every night, partnered with fellow DC8 crew members, Sebastien (Frenchie II) against Bruno (Mechanic) and Gerard (Plumber), on Friday night ended with just the 13 ball left to pot last (before the black)... which took a considerably long time. Typical for Friday 13th.
I must mention at this time now before I forget - Bruno's nick name is now 'Two Shots' as he is renown for giving the opposition (me) two shots regularly enough to merit the name. His other name is 'Le Grand Chasseur' meaning 'The Great Hunter' as he holds his pool cue as such.
It is strange also, but even down here, Weekends feel exactly as such – Sundays feel lazy, where I often take a little afternoon snack – Le Gouter (usually enjoyed by school children in France) - with fellow DC8 crew member, Sebastien Aubin (Frenchie II), and catch a movie, such as our favourite, Le Grand Bleu (The Big Blue). Now we are working through the back catalogue of Polanski and Fellini, Goddard’s next.
Lost in translation
A few weeks ago it was Jean Reno night – where we stayed up and watched a few Reno movies until 5am. In the past week, some of the French crew had watched night after night the entire Alien collection of movies. Despite successfully enduring one night outside in minus 75, I couldn’t suffer Alien(s) in French voiceover with Subtitles. It just didn’t seem right.
I have been laughing around the translated titles of English Language films – for example – ‘The Hangover’ the title of an American comedy released a few years ago, is translated into its French title of ‘A Very Bad Trip’.
Tell me why, I don’t like Mondays
Today it is Monday. Things are calmer. Getting up this morning – it was pleasing to find the start of a new week – hopefully with what may bring resolution of problems we’ve suffered in the last week. After a few minutes, I was surprised to see, like Friday 13th, the dreary eyed feeling of a ‘Monday Morning’ had caught up with us here too. The whole crew felt it together. Eyes dropped to the floor and smiles melted as we embraced the new week.
Overwintering in Antarctica, it is the best of times. And it is the worst of times.
I turn up my song of the day and drift away into the new week…
Tell me why I don’t like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats… enjoy!
For more information regarding the process of ‘Le Gouter’ see:
And today’s weather report – ‘clear skies, minus 65 or so, its business as usual’.
|-64.5 °C||Windchill||-84 °C|
|-72.7 °C||Pressure||645.8 hPa|
|4.2 m/s||Relative Humidity||33 %|
|8.2 knots||Wind Origin||231°|