Almost ten years ago I spent a short part of winter working on a research station, conveniently located on a tropical island.
It was July so the weather was relatively mild. I went mad anyway. Ten years later, in the great clean up of 2017 (three days of ‘sweatin to the oldies’) I found bits of my island diary that survived being submerged in salt water several times;
“Skin infections (bites, grazes, stings and angle grinder mishaps) flourish in the heat. At 27c bacteria discover they enjoy a tropical holiday as much as the next person. The combination of hot weather and a bumpy flying doctor flight ushers in a certain conservatism with power tools….
“Customs sprung me this morning, roaring up onto the beach in a Lego-style zodiac. Why is it that I only get called ‘madam’ by people with guns? It gave me quite a shock. Standing on a baking roof in the middle of the Coral Sea, I’d quite gotten used to the peaceful solitude of removing salt-encrusted nails with a rattle gun…
“I’ve seen no news or TV, although yesterday the barge operator dropped in a DVD of the Olympic opening ceremony. At dusk we sat under a large, billowing tarp and watched four thousand Chinese dancers perform their routines with the measured exuberance of bunny rabbits on ice, as we drank cold beer. The television eventually sank into the loose sand…
“Although sausages like to travel in packs, they will sometimes break from their ‘stroke’ to sneak up on unwitting prey, as in the hallowed tale of Moby Spotted Dick, where Captain Rehab ran out of whisky and attempted to harpoon the largest sausage ever sighted on the twelve seas (fourteen if you squint).
Although sausages are territorial, it is not unknown for them to mate with other groups, as a group of intrepid Australian researchers discovered in 2008. Armed with little more than a set of tongs and a pallet of tinned beetroot these hardy souls ventured into areas previously unknown to science.
I’m not sure where this is going….but I think you can see I’m not cut out for research.