Last Call / by Jerry

One of the reasons I've now got the time and resources to update my blog a bit is because in this week we've been through the traumatic experience that is Last Call. Traumatic is a stupidly hyperbolic word to use but saying goodbye to everyone was very difficult. Particularly with Hannah and Steph, with whom I've spent almost every day for the last 16 months. I couldn't have asked for better company for my time down here. They now get to travel, with the rest of the departing staff, on the Ernest Shackleton down to King Edward Point on South Georgia, Signy and down to Rothera on the peninsula. It should be an amazing trip and I hope I get to go that way this time next year.

As well as waving goodbye to friends we sent off all our waste and recycling from the summer season, a few boxes of scientific samples and all the kit from the building project. It added up to a significant amount of lifting and took a day and a half. In return we got a load of food to help us through the long months ahead – frozen, fresh veg and beer.

As the others sailed away on on flat seas, with the mist parting to let the sun through, the base began to feel strangely empty. We changed a few things around immediately – spreading myself over the whole room and two desks while Rob took a few chairs out the dining room and lounge to make it feel comfy for four rather than feel like everyone's missing.

We kicked off the winter celebrations with Jess serving our dinner for that night; sausage and chips, wrapped in newspaper and at the end of the jetty. The following evening Cian treated us to a house-warming dinner in his new room. Invention and creativity are key to surviving the winter, so the early signs are that this will be a great one.

Honestly, the youth of today seem to spend all their time sitting on benches eating chips.