Thursday, May 6, 2010

5 May, 1911

You do not want to know about the wind or the temperature, so instead I will describe life here a bit for you.

It is delightful to contemplate the amount of work which is to be done at the station. No one is idle--all hands are full, and one cannot doubt that the labor will be productive of remarkable result.

That sound a bit wordy doesn't it?

...the labor will produce remarkable results. That's better.

I do not think there can be any life quite so demonstrative of character as that which we had on these expeditions. One sees a remarkable reassortment of values. Under ordinary conditions it is so easy to carry a point with a little bounce; self-assertion is a mask which covers many a weakness. As a rule we have neither the time nor the desire to look beneath it, and so it is that commonly we accept people on their own valuation. Here the outward show is nothing, it is the inward purpose that counts. So the 'gods' dwindle and the humble supplant them. Pretense is useless.

Goodness, I do go on. I suppose what I'm saying is that the quieter among us are the most strong; that the most demonstrative have in fact the least to say. The meek shall inherit the earth and all that.

Bowers, for example: to his practical genius is owed much of the smooth working of our station. He has a natural method in line with which all arrangements fall, so that expenditure is easily and exactly adjusted to supply, and I have the inestimable advantage of knowing the length of time which each of our possessions will last us and the assurance that there can be no waste. Active mind and body were never more happily blended. It is a restless activity, admitting no idle moments and ever budding into new forms.

Cherry-Garrard is another of the open-air, self-effacing, quiet workers; his whole heart is in the life, with profound eagerness to help everyone.

Oates' whole heart is in the ponies. He is really devoted to their care, and I believe will produce them in the best possible form for the sledging season.

And Wilson, of course, my old friend, is an invaluable asset, always ready and willing to give advice and assistance to others at all times; his sound judgment is appreciated and he's therefore a constant referee.

Solid chaps, all.
I wonder what they think of me.

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