Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, December 1915: ”Our spoons are one of our indispensable possessions here. “

–from Shackleton’s account “South”—

“Our tents made somewhat cramped quarters, especially during meal-times. ‘Living in a tent without any furniture requires a little getting used to. For our meals we have to sit on the floor, and it is surprising how awkward it is to eat in such a position; it is better by far to kneel and sit back on one’s heels, as do the Japanese.’

“Each man took it in turn to be the tent ‘cook’ for one day, and one writes: ‘The word ‘cook’ is at present rather a misnomer, for whilst we have a permanent galley [Charlie Green’s domain] no cooking need be done in the tent. Really, all that the tent-cook has to do is to take his two hoosh-pots over to the galley and convey the hoosh and the beverage to the tent, clearing up after each meal and washing up the two pots and the mugs. There are no spoons, etc., to wash, for we each keep our own spoon and pocket-knife in our pockets. We just lick them as clean as possible and replace them in our pockets after each meal.

“’Our spoons are one of our indispensable possessions here. To lose one’s spoon would be almost as serious as it is for an edentate person to lose his set of false teeth.’”


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