The Tom Crean Diary of Polar Exploration Feb06

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The Tom Crean Diary of Polar Exploration

The Tom Crean Diary of Polar Exploration

Dear Thelma

Things have gone from worse to bad and then to okay, on to fine, then not too bad, back to fine and straight down to worse, skipping okay and bad on the way. It’s really really cold now. There’s never enough socks. Palmer wore all his out and tried to trade his pet hamster Arnold for a new pair but Scott said hamsters only break your heart and he’d been through enough already. Cooper hates hamsters and all kinds of small, hairy animals with the exception of Browny who got mould on his knees from not bending them enough.

Scott gets more irascible by the day. Everything with him is a big deal. Yesterday, Tawny Owl used the last of the toilet paper to make a papier mache shoulder of bacon for Bloom’s birthday and from Scott’s reaction you’d swear he’d eaten all the rations. Then he ate all the rations and Scott had to be prostrated in the reserve tent for several hours until he stopped frothing at the mouth.

Me, I’m struggling along, still trying to get to grips with my French linguaphone course. Cooper’s aunt says it’s a waste of time since we’re not going to meet any French speakers on the expedition. I said, “All art is useless,” because I’d heard Cooper say it and I thought it sounded intelligent. Cooper’s aunt countered with, “You’re the useless one,” so naturally I said back to her, “You’re useless!” and she said “You are,” and I said, “No, you,” and then I said back to her, “You,” and she said “It’s you,” and then…hold on. Wait. Uh-oh, Scott’s giving out again. I’d better go. I have to dig some latrines and I just remembered now that I promised Tawny Owl I’d play snakes and ladders even though he refuses to go down the snakes.