Archive for December, 2010

Spinning Yarn: Eskimo arrives in Christchurch #48

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Taking everything I needed and being only 5 kgs overweight – baggage that is – was a bonus, yet having to carry three times more that ususal when I travel, made the task quite a bit harder. One whole bag of Antarctic gear, another whole suitcase of normal clothes plus laptop, carry on bag, handbag and then the blue parka – well, I was overloaded.

 New Zealand customs looked at me  this strange woman carrying the world with her, dressed as an Eskimo in a blue parka when it is 22degrees in Christchurch that day…and asked me for my hiking boots.

 Gosh- which bag are they in?

 This lovely customs officer washed the sole of my hiking boots, bagged them, and allowed me to catch my next plane – to Dunedin

Spinning Yarn: My Bags! My Bags! #47

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

My bags are packed, I’m ready to go….(isn’t that a song?) I shall just check my ticket again…..What do they mean only 23kgs in total? That is just my Antarctic gear! How am I going to manage that?! Silly bathroom scales! Don’t panic, just because this is the day before you go and you bought the ticket way back in March.

 Call the airline. Double check. Yep, only 23kgs per person. The rest is excess baggage at $10 per kilo over the allowance.  That means for me another $170 added to my trip! Spinning a yarn, I ask to upgrade my flight –and that is an additional $740 PLUS $65 to change the booking. That is not going to happen.

I resign myself to paying the extra, and start to repack, Rosalinda allowed me to borrow her smaller suitcase. Repack. Nope! Still too much. Take out some stuff. Nope, no go!

 I called my son Richard over to get his suggestion, thinking he will tell me what else to remove from the bags, but no – he says he has a better suggestion for me:

TRY LOOKING AT THE KILO SCALE instead of the “pounds” scale!

Sigh.    I am now back to taking everything I needed.

Spinning Yarn: 2 Sleeps! #46

Friday, December 24th, 2010

 I say 2 sleeps, but really, who can sleep when the dream of their heart is about to be realized? I am all packed, wearing my parka to the plane because if I pack it, it takes up a whole suitcase! I have decided to wear my hiking boots, too, instead of packing them. Now all I need is cold weather to board the plane, and the “Eskimo” look will be in fashion….

 There is still time to send a photo to the website – Make an effort, because the postcard from Cape Denison is s special postmark, very collectable!. And I have only so many to mail.  Send a picture of somewhere special to you, a special person, or event. Spin a yarn for me, telling the whole world about your dream.

Spinning Yarn: Imminent Departure! #45

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

After all this time of preparation and publicity, it is now only 3 sleeps only before I fly out to New Zealand. Then 2 sleeps and I am on the Orion, and away!

 I pack my bags today, and make any last minute purchases.

 It will be a fabulous adventure to be there, at the headquarters of the Australian Antarctic Expedition of 1911, stepping back into history, and experiencing the environment while imagining the hardships and the joys of polar exploration. We will have all the comforts of the modern world near us, they did not. We will have the wonders of our technology, they did not. We will be dressed in Explorer Red against the white and blue of the ice, they wore “sepia”. (the colours of the old photos). All is different, yet all will be the same. And I will be spinning yarn!

Spinning Yarn: Ice Lounge #44

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

The Chill On Ice Lounge was a great place to practice spinning yarn in Antarctic conditions! Set at minus 10 degrees, I stayed and did my spinning yarn for two and a half hours before I could no longer feel my toes.

 That was part of the experiment, actually, having my 2 pairs of socks in rubber boots. That is what is recommended for alighting the zodiacs, since we will be landing in water. This experience showed me that I will take my land/snow boots I wore at Mt Hotham, and change into those on land.  The straight rubber was just not adequate for me.

I also have a selection of the small chemical heat pads, just in case. Crumple the packaging, wait a few minutes for the chemicals to activate and then there is heat that lasts for hours, literally at your toes. I may very well need these while I sit spinning yarn on the ice….

Spinning Yarn: 2 weeks to go! #43

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Whoever thought that I would be living my dream! Spinning yarn on the ice in front of Mawson’s Huts, in Antarctica! The time is closer and closer…..All the lists have been made, the clothing bought, the equipment mustered, passports stamped and I have practiced in similar environments. All that remains is to pack and get on the plane.

 The newspaper coverage has been fabulous. Lots of people are very interested in the project and the Mawson’s Huts Foundation continue to be very supportive with time and equipment and also with their offer of filming. Majacraft Wheels are donating the Little Gem for me to use. Fibre and tops have come from a number of companies and spinning groups. All is in anxious readiness – and I am the one who is excitedly anxious!

I would like to award more prizes for the photo competition, there is still time — so send in the photos that illustrate your dream. Remember to be spinning yarns about each picture – two sentences will do…I will publish them for the world to share.

Spinning Yarn: Pictures from the Competition: #42

Monday, December 6th, 2010

A New Kind of 'Hot Dog' - the Patience of April....

 The practice run at the Chill On Ice Lounge is on tomorrow  (7th December) FROM 12NOON. I will be spinning yarn of exotic fibre and testing its spinnability in temperatures of minus 10. If you would like to come down and visit, watching me spin the fibre, please do so, and introduce yourself. Come and talk to me about Spinning Yarn in Antarctica , about Mawson’s Huts and about my adventure.

 In the meantime, here is the winner for September: Congratulations to Margaret (and April….). Your prize is well deserved!