Sunday, December 27, 2009

27 December, 1910

I expect you're sick to death of my going on about pack ice and the like. I am too. I wrote a lot about it in the journal, more than I ever thought I would, simply because it's been the only thing to report on for what seems like half my life.

I have a better idea of what is rotten in Denmark: I'm afraid the ice-house isn't going on so well as it might. There is some mould on the mutton and the beef is tainted. There is a distinct smell. I ordered the door of it open when the temperature fell below 28 degrees, in an effort to 'harden' the meat, but apparently you need air circulation. When the temperature goes down tonight we shall probably take the beef out of the house and put a wind-sail in to clear the atmosphere. If this does not improve matters we must hang more carcasses in the rigging. That ice-house cost me a fortune, too.

One has to be an expert in so many areas on an expedition such as this. One can't be expected to know everything. Clissold looks at me as though he wishes I'd consulted a food preservation professional before embarking, but really, how would that look? For a Commander of the British Royal Navy to go cap-in-hand to tradesmen for advice? He's just going to have to find a way to make it palatable, that's all. A good curry ought to take care of it.

I have noticed that towards the end of my journal entries I refer to myself in the second-person rather often. To wit:

"One must confess that things might be a great deal worse and there would be little to disturb one if one's release was certain, say in a week's time."

One feels this is appropriate, however, as one has to step away from one's work every now and then to contemplate it with perspective.

Good Lord, that stinks.

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