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Principles of the SouthPole-sium
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Craobh Haven
Lunga House, our venue
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Wardroom Dinners on board the Discovery in Dundee
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COMMENTS SPARKED BY THE E-MAIL of 1 February 2014

• Many thanks for your email; this looks tremendous, and I'm very interested in coming. I'd also be delighted to give a presentation—with luck and a fair wind I should be in the process of turning my PhD thesis (which I finished late last year, ending up with the title 'Scott's Last Expedition and the Literature of Cold') into a more general book.

• This is great news! I was looking over the possible ideas for talks, and I would like to participate in one that deals with food and drink references in Antarctic literature. This would be a key piece of any exhibition that I might be able to mount in the future at the Culinary Arts Museum.
I would also like to see how food and nutrition concerns are addressed today, in comparison. I recently discovered that one of the chefs at Johnson & Wales now did a stint in Antarctica. I also learned that our Denver campus has had a relationship with the suppliers/provisioners. Plenty to think about and "digest."

• Looking forward to it already! Sounds great and I'd love to do something on my new book about the Antarctics in WWI—the book will be done and dusted by then, publication probably August/September 2015.


COMMENTS SPARKED BY E-MAILs of 31 December 2012 and 5 February 2013

• We, my wife and I, are interested. We may be going to western Scotland in 2014.

• Heather Rossiter passed on your email to me - I hope it's OK to jump in and respond. The SouthPole-sium in Scotland sounds wonderful and I'd be very keen to attend. I'm a novelist and my current novel (coming out in a fortnight in Australia) is historical fiction based on the first women to reach Antarctica. I also have a children's novel about Antarctica coming out later this year. My previous novel was historical fiction set in Scotland.
So if it's OK to gatecrash your list, please put me down as a 'count me in!' and I'd be keen for 2014 rather than 2015, which seems way too long to wait. I don't mind what month it is, and I'm not sure yet about sharing houses before or after, but I would probably be interested in that idea.

• This idea for a SouthPole-sium II is excellent; I would love to be a part of it if possible. My own preferences would be for mid-May to mid-June, in 2014. Please keep me posted, and I look forward to when our paths next cross.

• Sue and I are interested in the Scottish SouthPole-sium. Mid May is fine and we are happy with a Landmark Trust property.

• This is really exciting, and I'd very much look forward to being a part of this.

• At this stage, I am in the middle category: "Could be. Hard to say now. Please keep me informed."
Any of the dates in 2014 are fine. I'm actually considering retiring from my job in March 2014 with a goal of focusing on other things, so this might be good timing, since I won't have a Mon-Fri, 9 to 5 job tying me down.

• I think the SouthPole-sium is a great idea, and would definitely like to be involved, think I would prefer late May or early June, but don't have anything in my diary at all for 2014 yet. I would also be interested in the Landmark Trust, as well, and wouldn't mind either before or afterwards, and would be happy with any of the locations; it would just be good to meet up with friends and like-minded people. The only problem I can see is possibly one of mobility, as I have definitely noticed a decrease in the last twelve months, I can do things but not as easily or as quickly as I would like, and steps are getting more of a problem.

• Very interesting idea. Definitely maybe.
Scotland sounds fine. I have family near Stirling; my brother-in-law Jamie runs the Safari Park at Blairdrummond.
Indifferent as to when, chances of me attending are the same for 2013-14-15.
Another definitely maybe on a Landmark Trust House before or after.
Would probably bring my Scottish (more than politely—but definitely not rabidly—polar) wife.

• As far as 2014 and 2015 go, it is easy for me to say "count me in", I welcome a good reason to return to Scotland, and to the extent I may be helpful, I will be glad to do what I can to make your event interesting.

• I've never been to Scotland so it would be a fabulous opportunity for me.

• 2014 looks likely to be busy for Andrea and me as we are planning to go on our first trip South (with SPRI on the Shackleton centenary expedition leaving in November) and we are involved in organising the Shackleton dinner in August in Plymouth…so Spring 2015 would be best for us; or early in 2014.
Also would like to set up a book stall at the event, if permitted.

• Sounds great Rob!

• Would prefer a gathering in the US in 2014.

• I would be interested to go to another SouthPole-sium but I'm not sure about Scotland. A bit close to Athy, maybe? I liked the separation and new venue of Jaffrey, though I understand your reasons for not wanting it there again. Scotland may well be pouring rain, not that this matters for talking about books indoors. As far as accommodation, etc, Scottish hospitality and service can, for some, leave something to be desired, ditto for transport, etc.
I suppose at least by being in the UK you would get plenty of interest from the polar community, but I liked that your Jaffrey event was bringing some cultural history into the barbaric New World, surrounded on all sides by Dunkin Donuts.

• An Antarctic meeting in Scotland sounds very interesting. May 2014 sound like a good time for us.
If it is of interest I can contribute with a lecture about the dramatic Otto Nordenskjöld Antarctic expedition1901-1904. I have in my possession almost all the original photos from the expedition.

• Could be. Dates aren't critical—but later might be better than earlier in Scotland! Probably no to Landmark.

• My sister lives in Aberdeen so I could take some time to visit her as well.
My preferred dates would be mid-May to early-June, 2014.
I would coming with my wife, Millie, and possibly my daughter, Lian.
As far as a stay at the Landmark Trust sites, we are interested in staying in one of them, but we will have to say "maybe" on both before/after until we can work things out with my sister.

• We will be travelling to Canada end of May or early June 2014 from Christchurch and a stop in Scotland would be most enjoyable.

• This is very exciting, especially as I had to miss last year's gathering.
I am now living in central Victoria…
It is grand to have something like this to look ahead to. Thanks for thinking of it and having the energy to begin exploring it. I really hope I can come to it!

• Mostly for me it will be a matter of available $. The low cost of v.1, plus the free housing and relative proximity to Boston made it possible for me, and I am extremely grateful for that opportunity, with its continuing relationships and repercussions.
2012 was a bad year for me economically, I am optimistic about 2013 and hopefully by mid 2014 I will be able to travel to Scotland for v.2. That is so far in the future, I can only express my great interest and hope for the best to allow my attendance.
2015 would also do, of course it is so far out from here that real actual planning is pretty ephemeral.

• Your ideas for Scotland are exciting. We have great friends now living in the Highlands who let what was the main farmhouse at Lochgilpead, looking out over the Paps of Jura. We've stayed in the very comfortable house—it sleeps possibly 8, maybe more, but I can check if you would ever like the details. The house has a nice garden; but the estate itself stretches up into the hills behind the main (Georgian) house which is now owned by a publisher. It is very beautiful country. Falcon mentioned to me that he knows the estate.

• Thanks for your interesting email. It sounds very exciting and in theory I would be a COUNT ME IN! although as an almost constant traveller at the moment I find it difficult to pin myself down to anything so far in advance. But my responses are (highlighted in blue).

• If I can, I'd love to come—to my shame I've never been up there.

• Sounds like a pretty interesting idea, but really hard to say right now if I would be able to make it work.

• Very interesting! Pat and I don't know if we'd be able to participate, although it would be lovely to be part of such an event. We'd like to be kept abreast, in the case that timing and circumstances happen to be fortuitous for us, be it 2014 or 15.

• How exciting that it looks like the SouthPole-sium could be a recurring event. I would love to come, once again count me as a maybe. One thing to—as last time, the Polar Libraries Colloquy will be meeting again in 2014—and we will be in Cambridge from 6/29/2014-7/3/2014. Looks like your event will not be that late into June, but I did want to make you aware of this.
The whole thing sounds delightful…
But I sure would like to hold the door open, at least for the time being.

• Sounds interesting! Please keep me informed.

• Just received your SouthPole-sium II mailing and am enthused! I have not discussed it with Sally, but I am sure she will feel as I do. I pasted a copy of your questionnaire on Word and so we will work on it tomorrow. I think that having it in an alternate location from Keene makes sense. You'll make it easier for some to attend, bring folks to a new venue, and breath some life into SPII (which it does not really need). To me, the difference between Athy and SP II is that the latter provides a much more informal and intimate stage for all the parties. The Autumn school is a tad more academic, and it works well.
As you know, I did get a bit involved with logistics at SP I, but certainly not to the extent that you did. But it was a major task, and am somewhat concerned about duplicating this sort of thing on the west coast of Scotland. Procurement is one thing, but on site help and organization is another, and I think Sally and I can help out as much as you wish. I think we would probably couple this event with a latter side trip to Norway.

• I was sorry not to make the first SouthPole-sium and I'm keen to get this one. I've selected "Could be" simply because, as a part-time working mother of two preschool-age kids, I find the logistics of international travel challenging. I haven't been overseas (except New Zealand) for about six years, I think. On the positive side, I now have a research fellowship based partly in the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies here, so with much less teaching my time is more fluid. My specific responses are below.
Much of a muchness at this stage, with a slight preference for early June, which is outside our teaching semester—September would be out as there are several Antarctic events in NZ.
Thanks very much for putting up the information on my book. And yes, if there is a third SouthPole-sium in the Antipodes I'll certainly be involved as much as I can. It would be great to have one down here. I'll keep monitoring the plans for Scotland and hopefully I'll be able to make it.

• I'm VERY interested. Late May would be best for me in 2014. Sharing house before or after would be a great option. Please keep me informed.

• Count us in—2 definites! Favour early May 2014. Go as early as possible to avoid the midges. We wouldn't be interested in the Landmark Trust option—we might visit a few other Scottish Islands.

• I think the idea of having it at Falcon's and Jane's place in mid-2014 is brilliant, and I'd be totally up for it.

• Glad to hear SouthPole-sium II may be in the works! You can count me in. Preference date would be early June. If it's held 2015: Doesn't matter.
Sharing a LT before or afterwards: Maybe. Which LT interest me the most: Kintyre and Gargunnock. Which interest me the least: Isle of Bute.

• As I missed the last SouthPole-sium I would be most interested having the opportunity to attend the next one.
The dates would be all important for making the trip from New Zealand.

• As at this moment, count me in—plus wife Harriet. I think it's do-able financially, but barely and we can't make a firm commitment till summer when our financial picture clarifies sufficiently. But we very much hope to do it.
As for dates in 2014, they look OK, but granddaughter will be graduating from college in Ohio during that May-June time period and we're not certain when. Since I have contributed substantially to this happily-anticipated event, it's a command performance—want to see my expenditures confirmed! PS. Marietta College likes to have its graduations early. May 12, 2013. Presume 2014 will be around same time. We're pondering (distantly) to combine a trip to Ohio and Scotland. Not so easy to arrange from Seattle, but it can be done.

• I support the idea of another SouthPole-sium whenever it might occur. I wonder, though, whether a venue in the British Isles is optimal given that Seamus's Shackleton School is now a well-entrenched institution. A SouthPole-sium on that side of the Atlantic would be somewhat redundant in terms of attendees, certainly, and make it harder to recruit those of us on this side of the Atlantic. I think it would be best also not to compete in any way with Seamus's conference. I wonder, too, whether a venue on our west coast that is relatively easy access for Aussies and Kiwis might make for a good change from the Athy crowd. Seattle, Portland, SF, and LA would all work in the west. Or, a venue again in the east. I'm just not crazy about another event in the UK. My two cents.

• What do I think? Could be.
If in 1914, Early June. Don't know about 2015 yet. Accommodation? We'll see.
This is fairly nebulous, but will see how it develops.

• Many thanks for your email. I would definitely be interested in attending a SouthPole-sium, though cannot commit for certain now as it depends when. My best time would be late May either this year or next. I probably wouldn't be able to stay to go to Landmark Trust event afterwards. It would be great to have it in Falcon's area as it is a beautiful place.

• Could be for me, very tentative at this point. Best timeframes are mid or late May, either year.

• Great to hear that there may be another SouthPole-sium, I enjoyed it so much in Jaffrey. Most of the time I'm working with the printed word as something to be classified in one way or another, when what really interests me is what's between the covers of the books, and the stories behind them and generated by them...
I would be very interested in coming to join you all in Scotland. The 25th Polar Libraries Colloquy will be held in Cambridge from 29th June to 3rd July 2014—and though I'm not part of the organising committee I anticipate being quite busy at SPRI in preparation. However, mid to late May 2014 would probably be ok to sneak away for a few days. On the other hand, if there's a consensus for 2015, that might be easier for me.
In 2014 I probably wouldn't be able to take extra time off to stay in Scotland either before or after the SouthPole-sium—and it's a bit soon to say for 2015—but I would love to if I could. It's a beautiful part of Scotland and you're right, the Landmark Trust rental properties are a treat.

• This sounds a good idea. Please count me in, subject to further details, timing, general availability, etc.
Preferred Date: Early June 2014.
I cannot commit myself to Landmark Trust properties at this stage. I look forward to hearing more.

• Fabulous report on the SouthPole-sium and also projections for the future in Scotland. I'm sorry I was unable to attend, but for anyone mildly interested in the next one, refer him/her to the series of photos and all the rest of your ideas in order to sway them toward attending the next one. Excellent organization, and wonderful people.
I can't say about myself except to express an interest, depending on health issues… still working on some as my body seems to be telling me to sit back and relax for awhile. As a result, this is the first austral summer that I will not be going to Antarctica (on tour ships, since 1983) or in the field hammering on rocks… starting 52 years ago…
Anyway, any of the times in 2014 or 2015 would work, since I am doing little else, and interested in some of the excursions…I was on one or two round British Isles cruises years ago (on Alla Tarasova and also on Clipper Adventurer), with stops at some of the places you mentioned (Oban—great scotch whiskey), Fingal's Cave on Staffa), Islay (I think) (where the former physician at Grytviken lives (or lived), with his wife Audrey—they traveled on tour ships many times), and a few others.
So, please keep me informed, and if my legs and other body parts are still functional, what you are proposing might work for me.

• Steve Ross, whom I know well and who attended your last symposium, sent me your e-mail about your thoughts for 2014 in case I was interested, particularly given Scotland was mentioned! I just wanted to say that I'd certainly love to be involved in some way, so for what it's worth, my answers would be.

• Count me in/could be (the only thing which would probably stop me would be date clash or huge cost).
Dates: There are quite a few festivals around that time in Cheltenham and May is our only month when we have two bank holiday weekends—for what it's worth, in 2014 they are Monday May 5th (I would normally be going to our Jazz Festival here then) and Monday May 26th (no specific plans).
I gather from your e-mail that your keen to keep numbers down, but I'm happy to come along just for part of it and/or be a bit of a helping hand (I worked running festivals for about eight years plus done other event running). I've also met Falcon and Jane in Greenock, when we were there with Ranulph Fiennes in October for the Birdie Bowers day and obviously know David Wilson and a lot of the other UK-based writers, etc.
Count me in. 2014 or 2015. Nothing else booked for those years yet! May would be best for me. I would like to have a long stay—as it sounds as though there is a lot of interesting stuff to see—so would be prepared to stay at Landmark Trust house.

• Many thanks for copying me on this. I would be grateful if you could keep me in the loop as plans develop.
It is certainly a stunning part of the world and with Falcon's support I'm sure it would be a wonderful occasion.

• I think I can safely say—count me in (in some capacity but won't know what until nearer the time!).
I can also offer, if people were likely to be swinging past Edinburgh, to perhaps host a smallish group visit to our Polar Collections here at NLS? I'm always happy to have an excuse to get things out!
I can thoroughly vouch for the Argyll area around Oban as the most beautiful place, and the late Spring time you have chosen is likely to avoid the thick of the midges. Loch Melfort is a personal favourite—abounding in otters and even porpoise!
Do please keep me in the loop, and if you are passing Edinburgh later in the year, I would love to meet up.

• Like the idea of the SouthPole-sium v2 and whoever mentioned the midges in Scotland is absolutely spot on. They have a fearsome bite and there are trilliions of them!

• Midge season in Scotland is June-August inclusive.

• Re midges: June to August are worst (the holiday season!) but May and September can be bad.

• I am saying 'yes' to the idea having not been able to get over to the US last time; I will go with the flow on time, midges sound annoying!
I would add time front /after to make it worth while, especially re Bowers' home /area as I have some of his 'stuff' and can bring items to show / copy Postal Exhibit etc. if useful, my main hobby.
Good work so far!

• It has been written (in a zoology textbook) that the combination of midges and the wearing of the kilt resulted in the invention of the Highland Fling (a wild dance).

• I didn't receive your email regarding this but please put me down as a COUNT ME IN and will go with the flow regarding dates.

• Thank you for your communication. You have obviously put a lot of work into it.
In theory I would be interested, but we are unable to commit at present as I am somewhat tied by needing to help to care for my mother. As I recall the midges are a serious consideration so earlier might be better. The problem is that they do not seem to bother local inhabitants! and I don't know when they begin. Please keep me in the loop.




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