Antarctica on a Plate by Alexa Thomson

By Alexa Thomson

She got here. She observed. She burnt the toast. a tender girl with a stellar urban occupation yet an expanding dissatisfaction with existence, Alexa applies for the placement of cook dinner with a personal corporation which organises Antarctic operations. Armed with an previous cookbook, she makes an attempt to create three-course food with out electrical energy or operating water and struggles to defrost meat within the coldest position in the world. existence in a skinny nylon tent within the corporation of scientists, explorers and eccentrics quickly starts to tackle remarkable dimensions. As 75-mile-an-hour winds blow and tensions upward push, friendships - and love - are cast during this frozen neighbourhood. Alexa Thomson has been an internet clothier for an funding financial institution and a author for She divides her time among Sydney and San Francisco

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I try not to think too hard about a similar tent I had when I was nine and how it was washed away by a brief thunderstorm. Charlie opens the flap for me and proudly points to the one ‘luxury’ supplied to me: a mattress. I’m touched. He tells me it’s only because I’m the cook and they have to keep on my good side. The next task is to get the mountain of food stored. Charlie turns to me and asks innocently what I’d like to do. I look at the pile of boxes on the sledge and think about the amount that is still waiting on the plane.

It’s true, there are only tents on the ice. in53 53 27/09/2005 16:35:34 A NTARCTICA ON A P LATE I had clung to a fantasy that when they said ‘camp’ they may have meant something like a luxury safari camp, only in a colder climate. This vain hope is duly crushed by the sight of the structures before me. Our personal tents are flimsy nylon shelters. They have had some polar modifications. Extra long nylon skirts have been sewn onto them and are weighed down with snow – to keep them from blowing away, Charlie informs me – but they are tents nonetheless.

It’s like waiting for the curtain to go up in the theatre. The others are standing up and crowding around the portholes. Strangely I feel reluctant to join the queue. I can feel the plane turning to cruise back up our runway. I sit on the bench and look blankly in front of me. in49 49 27/09/2005 16:35:33 A NTARCTICA ON A P LATE The plane comes to a stop with a final shudder. There is a moment of suspended animation as we adjust to the silence when the engines slide from a shriek to a low whine.

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