Monday, 14 December 2009
Joy indeed. I had to attend an interview I did not want to go to and was quite down about this. Some things are forced upon us and I was going to go through with it as all options otherwise failed. Joy of joys! Someone had been stealing the copper wire used in railway signals and set fire to a station on the line! There was no way I could reach my destination! Hallelujah! Phoning the contact I discovered there was no other dates as this was the last! So, sadly, that job has gone and I am back to looking for something that I can actually do! Whatever that is?
Who says prayer does not get answered?
Today in1911 Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole. Quite what made him do this in wintertime is beyond me. Why didn't he wait until summer when it would be warmer and the journey so much easier? I have never understood why anyone would wish to spend an enormous amount of time and energy crossing vast acres of ice in subzero temperatures. Just what is the joy in having your toes frozen off? Give me sunshine and warmth every time I say.
Anyway Roald made the journey with the usual Norwegian efficiency. He used dogs rather than the horse which I believe Scott used, and prepared solely for an attempt on the Pole, rather than a scientific exploration. He reached the pole a month before Scott, leading the British effort. Scott was of course regarded as a hero,but the more I hear of him the less I find this to be the case. Shackleton made an effort on the Pole also but turned back as he was unwilling to lose his men. Indeed at one time he left many men on the continents edge and bravely sallied forth on a desperate journey to South Georgia to find a ship with which to rescue his men. Scott's determination to get to the Pole first left him careless of both his life and his men's. Amundsen, on the other hand, was Norwegian, and as such better prepared I guess to make such a journey.
The Norwegians are an underestimated people.
Sad people with an ice fetish can find out more here on Cool Antarctica.
Though why these folk need to refer to it as 'cool' is beyond me, the place is freezing surely?