The home brew is really used to supplement our own personal supplies of alcohol. Think how it is at home – whether you’re partying, at a BBQ, hosting a formal dinner, celebrating a birthday or enjoying a quiet time with friends – many adults would have at least one alcoholic drink and often more.
It’s no different here. In fact the only difference is we can’t just zip out to a bottle shop, pub or restaurant to buy what we want. Instead we have to purchase all our alcohol a year in advance and ship it down with the general station cargo.
Even then you can’t bring in unlimited amounts. There is a basic restriction of one cubic metre on the amount of personal luggage you are allowed to take to the station. While there is some flexibility in the amount, there’s not that much flexibility! Still the Division helps out – supplying a small amount of wine and spirits for the group – these are usually put out for Saturday night dinners. In addition we receive a carton of beer each month, although that privilege is soon to cease. These stores are kept over in ‘Fort Knox’ in the Green Store and distribution organised by Kimbo.
I think a fair proportion of the carton beer disappears at Friday ‘after work’ drinks. The drinks are a bit of a tradition here. Held most Friday nights before dinner, a different work area is responsible for hosting them each time. Several weeks ago it was Met (always a favorite as Ash and Maria always make yummy ‘finger foods’), last week it was held in the new cool room which is being constructed. This Fridays was a classic.
The Diesos are currently servicing the ‘Seeka’ in the Red Dwarf workshop, our 7 metre mono-hulled boat. They decided to host drinks in the boat… one of our more exotic locations. Lifejackets were optional for once.
Writing about alcohol on station is like stumbling through a minefield. I think as a group we have a fairly balanced attitude. Although it doesn’t dominate our social life, it’s a part of our life…
Excerpt from ‘Ingrid on Ice’ , ABC website, 22/8/1998