With 2011 rapidly drawing to a close, we prepared ourselves for a big New Year’s Eve party. The location was the garage, normally full of dismembered skidoos and sick tractors, but for one day only turned into Rothera’s premier clubbing location. The entertainment was the old winterers’ band, cryptically called ‘Jog on Eric’, followed by a selection of the finest DJs on Adelaide Island. And to help the night along, there was a JCB bucket outside the door, packed full of beers on ice (literally).
Once the day’s work was done, we all showered and shaved before heading down to the new venue. A few people had chosen to wear fancy dress, but having been busy working during the day I hadn’t had time to prepare a costume. Fortunately, some of my helpful colleagues volunteered to help out, and proceeded to choose all of the most horrible items from the fancy-dress store for me to wear. Purple satin trousers joined a bright yellow fluffy waistcoat, all topped off with a Village People style naval hat and aviator sunglasses. I was truly a sight to behold.
The band rocked the garage to its foundations, and the dancing kicked off early on. Once they had finished their set, the DJs took to the stage and kept us going until shortly before midnight, when the whole crowd headed up to the veranda outside the Ops tower. It was still daylight outside, and the sun was hovering just above the horizon, lighting up the clouds across the sky. One of my Comms colleagues nipped upstairs and managed to tune in to all of our remote field parties on the radios, so by the time the countdown started, the Rothera contingent were joined by voices from all across the continent.
Once the new year had been ushered in, most people returned to the garage and the party peaked, before the early hours took their toll and the numbers gradually dwindled throughout the night until only a couple of people were left snoring in the corners.
As for New Year’s Day, there was no rest from the usual ops rota, and frankly, the less said about that day, the better.