BELARE 2006/2007 - Waiting for the coast party at Utsteinen

The days are beginning to stretch out but are so full of unusual events that it is difficult to say whether one day has passed or one week. We are waiting for the coast party to arrive, and Vaska has planned a nice warm dinner for them as they will surely be frozen, particularly Alain and Benjamin who are on the skidoo in the -18°C windchill. I made a small miscalculation. Since they are making good time they will arrive tonight at Utsteinen. Yesterday they managed to cover 70kms in 5hrs because of the good conditions on the route. Tonight we will have a lot of good stories.

At Utsteinen we are finding ways to occupy ourselves while we await the convoy: tending to the camp, measuring things, planning, plotting, and trying to make the most of the delay to catch up with other pending matters.

Jokes and diversions

In our down time, there are other interesting occupations to keep us busy. The Dutch speakers have devised a unique form of torture for the two french speakers. There will be a test of language aptitude at the end of our stay and the loser will win the Jos Fish in the pressure cooker, which has become necessary to contain the abominable fumes that are emanating therefrom. The tension is mounting between the candidates as the date for the final test approaches, and beads of sweat have been perceived as they feverishly leaf through the Dutch Assimil.

In addition, we are taking stock of our dominions and taking action to manage any situations which might arise. We are keeping a close eye on the Bandit Skua Band which predates the poor little Snow Petrels. We have given them a stern warning, but they have a scary way of facing you down, so we have put them on our "to watch" list.

There is another situation which has become preoccupying: the potential insurrection of the lichens.

Since we have taken lordship over these lands, it has come to our notice that a patch of territory about the size of the football pitch in Neder-over-Hembeek may, or may not, have called up an insurrection and have declared an independent state called Lichenistan (not to be confused with Liechtenstein, which is a stable country with its own stamps).

It is difficult to ascertain the real situation on the ground as all calls to lay down arms have gone unheeded. We will only be able to evaluate the real situation in Brussels, when Damien will identify the ringleaders and tell us which of those squiggly little bits are their arms.