The job description was to live on a frozen Island for the Southern Hemisphere’s Summer… look after the world’s most southerly Post Office…Port Lockroy… just a crew of three …working in the shop, cooking, cleaning, conserving… observing and recording the penguin community.


This job was meant for me.

Too stupid to be a scientist, too poor to be a tourist, this seemed the only way to get to Antarctica and have a worthy reason to be there. With a good base in cooking and cleaning with practical skills and friendly and personable demeanour I felt I was in with a chance.
Sure, I’d miss Dougie – even the family but hey – they would survive and maybe benefit from the change.

Application was mailed.
Reply came: Unfortunately not….and no reasons can be entered into etc.
Was it my age, family or admission to the mildest of asthma?

What could be bought as a souvenir from that cold, old P.O shop? Photos looked like it stocked the usual merchandise: Pens, pencils, historical books, maps, t-shirts, mugs, badges.
What about a penguin stamp card? 1000’s of lovely Gentoo penguins inhabit the island. Tourists send postcards franked with the mark of the most southern Post Office from Port Lockroy.
I gave the three kinds from the same species – Pygoscelis Penguins – a sketchy hat as an explanation as to how they’d acquired their names.
Pygoscelis Penguins