Shop Manager's Blog - 16/01/08

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It’s another busy month at the museum, and Christmas has come and gone. The week before Christmas our local builders from Morrisons did a great job of repannelling the Bonner room, so Elsa had her work cut out first clearing the room, then replacing the artefacts once it was finished.

Christmas week was a very busy one for the museum with two ships on Christmas Eve and two on Christmas Day, but we still managed to squeeze a couple of courses of dinner in between the ships, thanks to the Morrisons chef, Andy Peterson. Boxing Day should have also brought a ship but there were extremely high winds so the Bremen stayed out in bay, giving us a well-earned break. I decided it was a good idea to join some of the BAS folks for a Boxing Day swim in the sea, followed by a sauna. It was surprisingly fun but I won’t be jumping back in the freezing waters in a hurry!

The busy week of Christmas was closely followed by a very quiet New Year’s week. The fisheries patrol vessel, Pharos, was along side the jetty at King Edward Point so there was a party in the boatshed for New Year with museum, BAS, Morrisons and Pharos people all attending. The dancing took a while to get established but once it did it carried on to the early hours.

Both Sarah and I took advantage of the time without ship and went on camping trips. Sarah went to Harpon, a two hour walk to the other side of the Thatcher Peninsula. There is a small hut there right next to the Lyell Glacier, a fantastic spot. I went over to Sorling to meet the geological field party (again!) then helped them move their camp to Corral, about a fifteen minute boat ride away. On our free day we went for a walk over to the macaroni penguin colony at Rookery Bay, a gorgeous place but the weather wasn’t on our side and we walked back to the campsite in the snow.

This week has been one of the busiest weeks of the whole season, with six cruise ships, two research vessels and a Royal Navy ship all visiting the museum. While it was exhausting it was also great fun meeting a variety of people, and trying to guess who came off which ship.

One of the research ships, the GO Sars, brought in three Norwegian geologists who will be staying on the base for a month. This means that Elsa and I are now sharing a room, so far it’s happy families but she might get fed up with climbing onto the top bunk every night!

In between the ships, the outside work continues, with Sarah working on the artefacts on the forecourt, and John and I working on the cemetery. The dandelions were starting to take over so we decided to take action with a strimmer and a rake. Brian Summers, from the Falkland Islands, was around to tackle the bittercress problem at King Edward Point, and kindly donated his time and some weedkiller to tidy up the graves, so many thanks to him.


Miriam Iorwerth