It has been quite the festive season down here at Davis. It was a little strange when Christmas rolled around. Other than the decorations in the LQ there is no real indication that it is Christmas here. No crowded shopping malls, no traffic jams, no supermarket Christmas carols, no TV movie Christmas specials. It almost came as a surprise really. Some of us had been working up to it for a while tho. The chefs in the kitchen had been preparing food for the last two weeks and those of us in the band had been practicing nearly every single night so that we could get a set of eight songs ready for our first performance on Christmas Eve.
Our annual Davis station summer band for this season, named The Blue Slots after the ice crevasses in the nearby glaciers and plateau, currently has nine members, consisting of myself and two others on vocals, three guitar players, one bass player, one keyboard player and one drummer. Interestingly, most of the band members come from science or Met with our senior tech and our store man as the other trades. We focused on mainly rock songs where we could get the crowd up and dancing and singing along. All of us are just there to have a bit of fun and create something enjoyable for everyone else. Our first performance on Christmas Eve was very much anticipated by both us in the band and everyone else on station. We played upstairs in the lounge where we have all the right equipment for speakers, mics and amplifiers. We got all set up in the afternoon and it all went incredibly well. Some of the songs that were sung were Brown Eyed Girl, Summer of 69, House of the Rising Sun and Wild Thing. Lots of crowd favourites that led to a lot of enthusiastic audience participation through dancing and singing along to the choruses. We were really happy by the end of the performance that we’d done so well and look forward to learning some new songs for our next one.
Christmas morning was a quiet affair. The kitchen served brunch from 10am – 12pm and we all relaxed into the morning while we waited for the arrival of Santa. Not even Davis station is too isolated from him and we were excited at his arrival at the LQ. After a bit of fun outside and the handing out of numerous chocolates we all went upstairs to the Christmas tree where the plumbers led a few Christmas carols in a fairly dubious tune and Santa and his elves gave out the presents that had appeared under the tree for each of the expeditioners (placed there throughout the week by expeditioners as part of our Kris Kringle). After a lot of laughs and silliness Santa left us and we all disappeared to our rooms to make phone calls home to our friends and family to wish them well and hear some stories from home.
Christmas evening was our main event and everyone put in some extra effort to throw on a dress or shirt and tie to celebrate the special occasion. Our chefs put on the most extraordinary selection of food for us for dinner like I have never seen before. Turkey, ham, spit-roasted lamb, fish, oysters, prawns, mussels, roast vegetables, salads with fresh vegetables, so much food that even a second plate by some was barely enough to make a dent. Then there was the dessert table. Gingerbread houses and men (decorated by expeditioners), custard-filled profiteroles, almond biscuits, truffles, chocolate ganache and custard tarts, Christmas cake and steamed pudding with hot custard. We ate until we were full and then we ate a little more because it was just so good we couldn’t help ourselves. Paired with the excellent company of all of our now closest friends it was truly an evening to remember and one that I expect won’t be outdone outside of Antarctica any time soon. We were also joined by a group of Russians who are doing field work nearby in the Vestfold Hills. They had been invited to celebrate with us while they were away from their station and we enjoyed each other’s company immensely. If diplomatic relations could be forged in Antarctica, we definitely left a good impression.
Boxing day was a quiet and casual affair. We all spent the day relaxing around station and enjoying the day off. The menu for the day was ‘catch and kill’, which down here means that the chefs are having a well-deserved day off and we could eat whatever was available in the servery. Due to the abundance of food from the night before no one went hungry. The tradies fired up the BBQ in the evening and cooked up a bunch of meat for us for dinner and we sat in the sun and enjoyed the beautiful weather and good food for one last time before heading back to work in the morning.