I return again to the lodge but as I had expected there is still no news and Fabian has obviously been drinking steadily since I left and is in an even worse mood, openly blaming me for the no-show of Harry. I think he is probably right so feel pretty guilty. It’s getting late, even though the light is of course as bright as ever and I ask Fabian to try again. I then learn that he hasn’t telephoned at all and he tells me that he had the wrong number for Ken Borek Air. I suggest Fabian tries enquiries, 411, but he tells me to do it. I do so and find the correct number.
He doesn’t want to call, as he feels it will be of no use and we tussle for some time about whether we should. I try to persuade him to keep on trying and not to give up. Penny suggests that I call directly and I ask Fabian if he minds this. He doesn’t say anything but waves me on. I then take it that I have his permission to take over and in the circumstances am not usurping his leadership role. I find out the cost of the call is two Canadian dollars in change but none of us have any coins. Cecil and Pam are nowhere to be seen, possibly staying out of the way on purpose. There is no one else in the hotel to ask and I don’t want to lose any more time by trying to find change in the village.
Where Is The Arctic Ocean Located On A Map Photo Gallery
I decide to call collect from the call box in the hall and luckily they accept at the other end. A woman called Joan answers (it seems that everyone operates on first names only, presumably due to the fact that very few people live around here, particularly out of season). I explain our predicament, tell her that we must fly out urgently if we are to make our rendezvous with Goldsworthy and ask for assistance in tracking down Harry Hansen whom she knows well. I also tell her that Sir (I emphasise the Sir) Ranulph Fiennes had stressed that he wanted every assistance given to our team and that I could use his name to obtain any help needed. I even drop the names of other supporters, Lord Tonypandy, Nicholas Serota, the Tate Gallery and even members of the Royal Family. I’m so totally desperate to persuade Joan to do her utmost to assist us I would have mentioned the Pope if I had thought it would help.
Joan finally seems to understand the urgency of my request and tells me she will do everything she can. In fact she says the airport was closed for a while but is expected to open shortly. I am not totally certain if this is so or whether she is covering for the pilot. It doesn’t really matter as long as it will open now and the aircraft can fly out. Joan says it might take up to an hour to resolve and she will phone back as soon as she can (perhaps she really knows where Harry is holed up).
I tell everyone the news and they all, including Fabian, cheer up immediately. I tell them not to get their hopes up too much as things can still go wrong but it looks very hopeful. In the meantime whilst we are waiting, I invite everyone to come with me to the home of the carver to see if they are interested in the other two carvings he has. Outside I think the cold air has some immediate effect after the alcohol that has been consumed, as they all start singing and making an enormous racket. It certainly disturbs the peace and tranquillity of this exceptionally quiet place. Fabian is especially noisy and keeps wanting to sit down in the snow. He reminds me of the Russians I saw in Moscow enjoying themselves rather too much on vodka and also sitting in the snow in the kerb. Some were still sitting there the next morning completely frozen to the ground and no longer of this world. What many fail to realise is that alcohol dilates the blood vessels and enables the body to cool even faster than normal. Too much alcohol or too little food can quickly reduce resistance to the extreme cold. The St. Bernard dog with a flask of brandy around his neck makes a charming picture but it is not accurate. The time to have a drink in the cold is when you are safe and warming in front of a fire or heater.
When we arrive at the carver’s home I try to get everyone to quieten down but am not very successful. He is somewhat alarmed at seeing us all together and becomes reluctant to show the two sculptures. I finally manage to persuade him to bring them out. They are truly magnificent and I am again very tempted to offer to buy them. But I have already purchased mine so it is only fair that I let the others have their chance too. There is so much noise and confusion in looking at the pieces that I think the carver becomes nervous. For whatever reason he tells me that they are not in fact any longer for sale and are committed elsewhere. I don’t really blame him as I would only want such fine pieces to go to a home where they would really be appreciated and where they could harmonise within tranquil surroundings. They have a Zen-like quality and need to be treated with gentleness. The others don’t understand but I do. It means of course that I also can’t purchase them but in a way that is all for the best as I am carrying too much weight already.