May 1912: Domestic Life at Commonwealth Bay

–from Douglas Mawson’s account “The Home of the Blizzard”–

“For downright, tantalyzing cheerfulness there was no one to equal the night-watchman.  While others strove to collect their befuddled senses [on being awakened in the morning], this individual prated of “wind eighty miles per hour with moderate drift” and “brilliant St. Elmo’s fire.”  He boasted of the number of garments he had washed, expanded vigorously on bread making–his brown, appetising specimens in full public view–told of the latest escapade among the dogs, spoke of the fitful gleams of the aurora between 1.30 and 2 a.m., of his many adventures on the way to the meteorological screen and so forth; until from being a mere night-watchman he had raised himself to the status of a public hero.”

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