24th December: Halley Research Station


12.05am and the sun is arking off the sparkling, undulating snow. Frail, spidery bits of humanity are scattered around a few, flat kilometers. Radio-masts, buildings on stilts, snow-cats and skidoos all buzzing and levitating across white space. Countless orange boiler-suits are busy carrying things from place to place – like an endless wide-shot of the evil empire’s HQ.

But beyond this circle of orange silhouettes – nothing.
Pure, undiluted ‘nothing‘ as far as the eye can see. Except that I have no way of gauging how far my eyes are seeing – between the flimsy bits of Halley there’s no thing’ to see.

I walked out to CASlab – the 4th building set slightly apart so that they can measure the pure air blowing across thousands of miles of empty Antarcican continent. Following the rope handline (for when you can’t see further than your feet) I was walking steadily towards the building that was just there in front of me. I walked… and I walked… and I walked… but the building didn’t seem to get any bigger. I looked back and the Simpson Platform was indeed slightly smaller. I walked some more, overheating in all my Antarctic gear. The untouched snow (unbearable to look at without goggles) was alive with crystal fireflies of light but for all my clown-walking in huge moon-boots, the shimmering building ahead only grew a tiny amount – floating through infinity white. An evil angel was playing with me – blowing the building away across the featureless plain of white. If your eyes tell your brain things that don’t make sense, your brain tries to fill in.

Distance is totally screwed, space is warped and time packed-up and went home. Nothing seems real – I think I’d better draw the blinds as tight as I can and try and sleep.

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