"Full-time traveller, part-time worker, professional dreamer"

This is a quote from the film “Encounters at the End of the World”, a documentary by Werner Herzog (who also made “Grizzly Man”). In this documentary, Werner Herzog travels to McMurdo, a US research station in Antarctica. He’s interested in the landscape, but also very much in the stories of the people (scientists, engineers etc) staying there. He meets some crazy characters and the film is full of brilliant quotes. A linguist working in a greenhouse (long story!), when asked how he ended up in Antarctica explains: “When we have nothing to hold on to, we all fall to the bottom of the Earth”. The quote in the title came from a forklift driver, referring to the scientists working in Antarctica. It makes a very entertaining (and funny!) documentary. He also shows really fascinating footage filmed by divers underneath the sea ice, and shows various research projects. I absolutely loved this film, and would recommend it to anyone – not just to scientists! I’m not sure how easy it is to find a screening, at the very least here is a trailer.

We saw this film as part of the Tromsø International Film Festival, a very welcome distraction at a time when it’s mostly dark! We’re seeing 6 films in 5 days, tonight is the last one. Some highlights of other films we saw: Man on Wire, a documentary showing the incredible story of the French tight rope walker Philippe Petit who walked between the Twin Towers in New York, in 1974 – at a height of 450 m!! Of course this was not allowed and it all had to be planned in secret. Incredible! We also saw a few short films, the best of which a very funny one about a guy going up the cable car above Tromsø, planning to commit suicide but then the cable car stops half way up and he is stuck with 2 sisters and the conductor. 

Anyway… enough about films ;) We haven’t been up to much else though. Last weekend the weather was horrible, it rained for 2 days and all the snow melted. So we made fudge instead :) It was our first try, it was lots of fun and it turned out REALLY good…. 

  

This weekend the weather has been a lot better, and we went for a ski trip today. The sun is also back!! I haven’t had the sun on my face yet, but the days are getting longer quickly now. I didn’t take many photos today, but here are two… it was beautiful!

 

I almost forget to share some good news here… I have been given an office at the Norwegian Polar Institute! I am using the office of someone who is abroad for several months – so I even have an office all to myself, with a great view! I’m really happy about this, and it’s been great working there instead of at the dining table at home. In return, I have to give a talk, but I think that is only fair.

That’s all for now, we have to go see our last film now!

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