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Whittle away by Ian Frearson

It was June 1983 and three of us were revisiting my old survey stations from 1975 in order to recalculate the position of a glacial front. Like an idiot I had left my eating iron (a spoon) at Base Camp and was forced by necessity to seek an alternative or go hungry. Luckily there is no shortage of timber around the shores of Spitsbergen so, locating a suitable small piece, I took to my knife and whittled myself one for the duration.

So chuffed with the outcome after less than half an hours work, I brought it home and have introduced it as a talking point at dinners to confuse and entertain diners who have been asked to guess the age of this crude implement.

One of the things I keep reminding myself about this item is that without my trusty bowie knife I would not have been able to either make it or eat in relative comfort. Luckily, some 70 million year old sandstone did provide me with some comfort, which I’ll explain next time…

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