Merry Christmas!


Right, not too sure how well this will work! Strangely enough I can get on to my blog but not my email this morning, so the long email I have sent to my friends and family is MIA, but hopefully this will get through. I’m having a great time down here. I’ve got loads to write about about lots pf pictures to share, but that will all have to wait until I get to Halley and better internet.  But I hope that the card/picture I took last night gets posted. The iceberg was around 300ft tall, had penguins on the top and was the most spectacular thing I’ve ever seen. I’ll probably be one of only a couple of humans to ever see it too!

I wish you all a great Christmas and happy new year. I miss you all loads and will try to call you as soon as I can. Hopefully within the week!

Lots of love to everybody back home,



I’m Away!

Well, I’m off to the ice and out in the Southern Ocean after a short stay in Capetown. Only a short post this one due to bandwidth constraints on the ship. Been at sea for three days now and although there is a bit of a swell at the moment there’s been nothing too unpleasant yet. Spent quite a bit of time on deck with my camera hunting for the whale shots I’ve promised. Seen a few at a distance but nothing I can post yet. Seen a few Albatross and various other seabirds with only one other vessel sighted since we lost sight of land. Could be a possibility of a bit rougher weather over the next few days and apparently the ice is causing problems for other ships further south than us with one stuck!

Hopefully the BAS team will have better luck and I’ll post a better update when I’m at Halley!

Love to all in Blighty.

I’m going to Antarctica….

Been getting ready this week, though I’ve still not managed to do everything I’m supposed to have yet. The joys of procrastination getting in the way i suppose. I’ve been  buying those last things I need for my time away, shopping for Christmas presents for my family back home and seeing people for the last time before the off. Had a great meal with my family last night – I cooked and nobody complained or got ill and had a really nice night. It’s weird to think how much different my niece and two nephews will be next time I see them, still, I’ll have some good stories to tell them. It’s Poker night with friends on Friday and then a quiet night in on the Saturday before I depart for somewhere less warm and sunny – It’s blowing a gale outside as I type this in “sunny” Yorkshire with the rain blasting against the windows and the sky looking moody. Wonder whether I’ll miss the sounds of creaking, banging and other assorted odd noises an old building makes in a storm when I’m settled in my new house? Though I’d imagine Halley IV will have it’s own particular sound sat in an ice laden howling wind. Speaking of sounds, I’m not gonna hear the sounds of traffic or birds singing or trees rustling as well as the sound of a Victorian house. It’s the little things like that that every now and again make me think “Man, I’m going to a strange place”

Regardless of who it is and what we are talking about I find I can cram in something along the lines of “I’m off to Antarctica” within a few sentences. This is especially easy when the weather has been like it has for the past week.

Delivery man: Bloody hell, bit wild out today eh?

Me: Not as bad as where I’m going…….

Plus plenty variations on that theme. Sometimes I don’t even wait for the right chance to pry it into the conversation, I’ve been that happy about the whole thing I have to stop myself from actually introducing myself with the words “I’m going to Antarctica”. I think in 2015 I’ll be back into the swing of it with “I’ve just got back from Antarctica” though it may well be that the wild look in my eyes as I find myself surrounded by green and living things might tip folk off that I’ve been somewhere a bit different anyway.

I’ve been out with my camera figuring out how to use it, still not there yet but it is amazing what a difference getting over to the manual set up as opposed to using the auto makes when using an SLR camera, you can take completely different shots and even some that you just can’t get on automatic. I’ve still got a way to go but I’m beginning to understand the basics of aperture, ISO and shutter speed and I’ve got a basic grasp of what the buttons do. I still haven’t been out to get the shots of the bleak and hilly Yorkshire countryside yet (I was gonna go today but I think I’ll wait till it’s a bit less crazy outside) But I did go have a wander round the abandoned brick works just up the road to have a crack at taking pictures in different light levels. I took loads of snaps and learned a bit, my friend Andy helped explaining things and it all became a lot clearer than just watching videos and reading. That’s not to say I managed to get any great pictures though! Most of them look like exactly the sort of shots someone learning how to use a camera would take but it was interesting nonetheless. Click on em for a better look.

auto settingsshot on manual

You can see the difference a bit of tinkering with the settings makes on the camera!

Below are a few more pictures of urban decay, including an obligatory black and white “arty” shot. I think they are all a bit cheesy, and none too good but I learned loads in a fairly short time. Maybe that’s why there are so many pictures of broken buildings with graffiti on? Then again it is quite nice shuffling around ruins with a camera.

black and white urban decay baby


urban decay baby 2

tumbledown decay

out of light


stay away from the light

arty black and white one

distribution board monster

Tried taking pictures of my family last night but none turned out too well, I’ve not quite managed action shots in low light yet. Hopefully I’ll learn that before my many months of darkness begins.

Edited to add: Now it’s snowing outside, I can say “I’m going to Antarctica” in even more conversations now!