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The Travelling Bookbinder in Antarctica

Rachel Hazell is a bookbinder, book artist and iceberg fanatic. The opportunity to spend six months in Antarctica - stamping 80,000+ postcards and counting penguins - was just too good to turn down. "I see icebergs as vast sheets of paper."

Last Build Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2018 00:55:03 +0000


Lie staring, thinking.papericegirl

Mon, 19 May 2008 22:17:22 +0000

5th February My top bed cover went adrift, so wake up cold on the PO counter at three. Rick brings tea through just before nine. Lie staring, thinking. Commitment visits at ten. Tony has offered to take me on a jaunt to Palmer for two nights, but that’s impossible. Shame. He buys a lot of […]

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Grey. Glassy calm. Snowing small wet drops.papericegirl

Mon, 19 May 2008 22:15:31 +0000

4th February HAPPY Birthday Megan! Adults with clumps of grey fluff in their beaks from pecking their chicks. Admonishing, chiding, exercising their wings. Rick is still in pyjamas when Shane radios from Shokalskiy – he says we’re all up and ready. Helen keeps him focused on breakfast, shaving and into boat suit, cachet in the […]

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Keep waking up tired these days, though slept well.papericegirl

Mon, 19 May 2008 22:13:50 +0000

3rd February Just going down to the landing when zodiac zooms round to collect Rick – dang! Is nowhere private?! Get ourselves together. Helen’s throat, tonsils and glands are very sore – should she succumb to penicillin? Molchanov’s passengers are apparently unresponsive; the visit is slow and smooth. A small boy from Swansea is anxiously […]

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A disturbed night of wind and engines.papericegirl

Mon, 19 May 2008 22:11:13 +0000

2nd February Too hot. Wakefulness. At six thirty Endeavour is on the radio. Ten minutes later, we’re ready for the breakfast boat. I savour melon, honey and yogurt in solitude, until Rick and Helen return from showers. Bernd and his wife join us – he has brought mended camera, it was just the battery, hurray […]

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The sun is coming out but I’m so behind with typing.papericegirl

Mon, 19 May 2008 22:09:45 +0000

1st February Another month down! Slept content until six, then lay with eyes shut, smiling, until Helen brought tea through at eight fifteen. Get a scare seeing a dingy full of yachties coming our way, but thankfully they go past and climb the ridge opposite. Lazy franking. Thirteen from Berge Viking visit. The sun is […]

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Singing lightly in Thunder Baypapericegirl

Mon, 19 May 2008 22:07:28 +0000

31st January Hanseatic staff arriving in ten mins! Glorious morning. Two penguins down on the shore have started to moult; feathers a-flutter like leaves in Autumn. Because this process renders them un-waterproof, they won’t go swimming (i.e. no food) for as long as it takes – poor them! Hide breakfast bowl behind mounds of post […]

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Outside to sit on rock and consider the high horizons.papericegirl

Mon, 07 Apr 2008 17:52:37 +0000

30th January Poor Helen thrashing and feverish. Rick kindly makes tea, except it’s not peppermint… how long have we been here?! Polar Star are the first visitors. Warned by Rick, who has met pax during talk, that there are some serious philatelists onboard, as well as Bernard de Gerlache, whose ancestor explored so much local […]

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Presented with a painting of a chicken.papericegirl

Mon, 07 Apr 2008 17:50:08 +0000

29th January At five am Le Diamant departs Port Lockroy to be in place for an early landing elsewhere. We quietly brace ourselves for two large ship visits. Fram commences relaying passengers at nine am. Whilst it is not as frantic as previously, the BAS/UKAHT Peninsula maps fly off the shelf. Pace not steady but […]

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Our best French jokes are aired. Time to go.papericegirl

Mon, 07 Apr 2008 17:46:43 +0000

28th January Up at six for a six thirty start. Makes for a better visit when you’ve shared a table the night before! Very cold – five degrees centigrade in bunkroom. Several visitors put on clothes and buy them just to keep warm. Jerome (Wonder-chef top tip: sweet potato soup with crispy bacon topping.) brings […]

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I am persuaded to wear a little black number.papericegirl

Mon, 07 Apr 2008 17:44:19 +0000

27th January Risked snoring, so awake at four thirty… At seven thirty John, from Corinthian II collects us for breakfast. Utter luxury; fruit, yogurt, hash browns, sausages, salmon, croissant. Then shower in a gorgeous cabin, with time to savour it during Rick’s talk. John keen to get us ashore in advance of the pax, so […]

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Neon blue bergs in the grey again.papericegirl

Mon, 07 Apr 2008 17:40:56 +0000

26th January Six o’clock is a rude hour to wake after a night of carousing. Actually Delphin doesn’t start landing until eight thirty, staff/crew at eight. Helen leapt up to make tea and restocks before realising full extent of hangover. Luckily, the measured pace allows her to disappear sporadically and then permanently, a breathing exhibit […]

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I pretend to wear a cocktail dress under this immersion suit.papericegirl

Mon, 07 Apr 2008 17:38:55 +0000

25th January Burn’s Night! Wet wet wet! Rain drumming on roof. Aware of Marco Polo departing and Europa moving (dragging on anchor chains it transpires.) Slept well and finish Alan Bennett’s book, luxuriating in the long lie. There’s a risk I’ll be serving from this supine position. Helen brings peppermint tea around nine (saved me […]

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I would marry a Dutchman if I could only get my mouth round their words!papericegirl

Mon, 07 Apr 2008 17:36:39 +0000

24th January Rick up at six. Helen feeds him porridge and boils his shaving water. I stay swaddled ’til the last minute, seven fifteen, when Rick is picked up to talk on Maryshev. Sweep, breakfast, mail bundled for dispatch. Chilly fingers but a brighter dry morning, which lifts spirits. Mixture of Europeans and Antipodeans. One […]

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Slept soundly on my bed of stamps,papericegirl

Mon, 07 Apr 2008 17:31:51 +0000

23rd January …snug in sleeping bag cocoon.  Antarctic Dream have changed time, they’ll be landing at eight am, twenty mins to prepare. Still have uneaten bowl of cereal by the afternoon! Although the rain is pattering down, our visitors are happy standing in it to watch the chicks. Julio helps us out of a crisis […]

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Franking and hankering.papericegirl

Mon, 07 Apr 2008 17:30:05 +0000

22nd January Six thirty radio call from Endeavour. Rick assumed we wouldn’t want to get up, but we’re easily lured by the possibility of breakfast. Dressed up and down to landing site in ten mins. Help ourselves at buffet and meet Bernd, who lends me his (spacious) officer’s cabin to shower in, while Helen uses […]

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Sheathbills clutter regardless.papericegirl

Mon, 07 Apr 2008 17:28:20 +0000

21st January Stormy. High winds. Patchy disturbed sleep. Stay mummified ’til nine thirty. The building creaks in the bigger gusts. I’m tempted to stay lying in the hope that my horizontal weight will help keep the roof on better. Arise eventually, bunkroom is the only habitable spot in this wind and wet. Heater on. Stick […]

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…which is special, because the night light is so like the inside of a shimmering shell.papericegirl

Mon, 07 Apr 2008 17:25:57 +0000

20th January But a storm blows up, wind and rain. Lie still, happy and solitary until Helen brings mint tea at eight thirty. It’s cold enough to have the heat on. Finish reading Anthology with bowl of granola – I’ll send it to Palmer for Phil to read and pass on to Stacie, who may […]

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