"Empire Antarctica. Ice, Silence and Emperor Penguins" by Gavin Francis

August 21, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

It's that time of year again in which the good citizens of Edinburgh either shut up shop and evacuate their city for a month or head out and absorb the intoxicating abundance of culture which is on their doorstep.  In truth, I haven't attended anything other than several International Book Festival talks.  To my mind, there is something calming and absorbing about even being amongst books which enables me to shut out the crowd and get lost within their pages and one such which promises to allow me to do just that is the book above by Gavin Francis.

 

Gavin is a doctor who a few years ago undertook the rigorous process firstly of getting selected and then undertaking fourteen months' work for the British Antarctic Survey at the Halley Base in Antarctica.  This of course included overwintering which has to be for people of a certain tenacity and durability.  Unlike John Harrison's book, I haven't yet had time to read this one, but if it is written as eloquently as he speaks, then I'm in for a treat.

 

Is this a plug?  Of sorts, I suppose, not that I have any connection with Dr Francis other than his living and working in this beautiful city of ours.  Oh, and having visited The White Continent, although his experience far outweighs mine.  I did though learn that taking photographs at -50C was not so easy with a digital camera due to freezing batteries, etc., so he had the foresight to take with him an old film camera.  I doubt that I'll ever have the requirement for equipment working at such low temperatures, but shall bear it in mind if ever I do.


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