Ruth's blog

From South Georgia Museum

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We’ve been having a very busy time here at the museum since I arrived around a month ago. It’s my first time here in South Georgia and I have come along with my husband Keiron, who is one of the two Government Officers. I’ve been lucky enough to get a job at the museum assisting Ainslie and the team here.

Ainslie, Steve, Elsa and Bridget have all made me feel very welcome and I’ve had a lot of fun already working in the shop and learning how to use the new tills! The Museum itself is beautifully organised both in the display rooms, shop and the rabbit warren of store rooms and workshops upstairs. The way the building has been maintained and looked after is quite amazing and it makes for a great working environment – the whole building has a lovely feel to it and you have a real sense of the rich history it contains.

We are also expecting the arrival of a new exhibition of prints taken by Theodor Andersson which should be very interesting and a fun project to get involved in. The variety of jobs to be done makes for an interesting day every day. Bridget and I have spent a few days re-organising the store rooms and have become quite obsessed with straightening out the T shirts (I may now have to go home and use a piece of cardboard to fold all of mine!). I’ve had the opportunity to set my hand at many different things including scraping down the mast of the Albatros at the front of the museum in preparation for repainting, designing and building a cabinet to display my locally made jewellery (Hopefully with the help of Thies, one of our visiting Yachting friends) and have also become a dab hand at mopping and cleaning the museum (I shall be an expert before I leave…). We also have a lot of painting to do outside but have to wait for better weather – I thought it was always sunny here ;-)

Our latest arrival is Hugh, who has stopped off on the island quite a few times but has never had the chance to stay here before. He is our handyman and is currently busy digging out a trench near the cemetery to ensure our visitors don’t get bogged down in the mud when they come to visit Shackleton’s grave. So we now have a jolly team of four people and lunchtimes have become an extravaganza of last night's leftovers and chocolate cakes. I shall have to get walking up those mountains to counteract the bingeing.

I think everyone struggles to describe how it is to live and work here in South Georgia because it is so different from any other experience. I read everything I could find about how it might be, but it’s still taken me by surprise. Life here is very comfortable and the small community we have is very welcoming and everyone has a great sense of sharing the real privilege of being here. The scenery is breathtaking (as is all the uphill walking) and the wildlife is so close – it really is like living in a zoo!

Finally, this Sunday we enticed the base members at KEP to come along to the church and set up the Christmas Decorations. We all got into the mood with mince pies, sausage rolls and mulled wine and left the chapel looking very festive – we’re all looking forward to a busy Christmas with quite a few ships due in over the holiday period followed by a well-deserved few days break in the New Year.

Ruth Fraser