Welcome... Velkommen


This is my, Oliver Grant's, re-vamped Blog, which I originally created for my trip to the Arctic way back in 2011 (hence the name).

Since then I have graduated from the University of Reading, entered the world of work with Hertfordshire County Council, and then rejected real life to go back to University!

I am now about to embark on a Master's course at the University of Bergen, Norway! Studying Quaternary Geology and Palaeoclimatology, and hope to share some experiences here.

Ha Det!

Some Photographs from the Field...

Monday, 29 August 2011

Field-trip and Polar Bear!

So earlier today we got back from an incredible week of field-tripping (lots of tripping on Alice's part) in which we:
  • Saw a POLAR BEAR!... the only field trip group this year and the first time in 5 years for our lecturer!
  • Saw Walruses!
  • Spotted loads of Puffins
  • Had a pod of 8/9 White Whales swim past our camp
  • Sent postcards from the worlds most northerly post office (Ne Alesund)
  • Drank a beer (or two... maybe three...) in the most northern pub!
  • Visited the abandoned and very creepy Russian mining town of Pyramiden
  • Drove around loads in Zodiacs (inflatable boats) which meant donning the very fetching survival suits
  • Casually soaked in a hot tub while anchored by a Glacier
  • Took hundreds of photographs
  • ... oh and I guess a bit of work here and there... mostly digging and looking... proudly
  • Plus loads more!
So yeah a pretty exhausting week being cut-off from civilisation (probably for the best having seen the scores from the weeked) but an unforgettable one! please enjoy the photos! heres the Polar Bear (whimpering off into the distance after a good bare-handed wrestle)...
Ha Det!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

So the Heatwave Continues!

Hey! Now into our third week we have been treated to the warmest period since 1998! with temperatures hitting 17.1degC! it's even made the national news! Who'd have thought we'd be in shorts and t-shirts in the arctic?... especially as only a week ago we had snow! In other news after another successful friday gathering the moon was visible for the first time in the two weeks we've been here... even though it was still broad daylight and 4am...

So on monday we are off on the Quaternary History of Svalbard field trip for a week which involves 3 days on a boat and 4 days camping... which means Polar Bear watch with huskies (or tamed Wolves as I like to think of them)! but also some serious work, it appears the term projects will not write themselves, so best be off to read!
Ha Det!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

First Days of School!

So, after spending nearly two weeks chilling out and exploring Longyearbyen we have finally started lectures! The lecturer has already invited us out for beer and pizza so not the average first school day! In other news we are still struggling to get hold of a rifle so are yet to really get out of Longyearbyen... although it's all good anyway! We've been able to watch football, hit the gym and start an explosive fire (having to dodge exploding rocks (extreme geology!)). Best get reading!
Ha Det!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Flexing the Guns...

So we are now into week 2! and are ready to face a Polar Bear thanks to our rifle training! although I hope my contact lense doesn't fall out in a real situation. After firing 20 rounds it was time to don the fetching life-suits and jump in the Arctic ocean... shame they were as holey as the shooting targets.
So after shooting and freezing we celebrated Oscars 21st in er... style on thursday, beer pong and Minttu shots are a bad combination, especially when you have to get up at 7:30 for first aid training the next day! (Thanks to the birthday boy for waking me). So a long day yesterday, the recovery position was definitely needed. After some camp set-up and trip wire training we were then whisked off to the supermarket to buy supplies for the Friday gathering! So today might well be a write-off, thank god for the start of the football season!

Also we had our first real snow! here is Mike loving it... either that or providing a moving target on the shooting range...
...and some snow capped mountains...

Ha Det!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Day 5... Getting Stuff Done!

Wagwan? So after watching Get Rich Or Die Trying (with FiddyC) we have decided to form our own gang, the likes of which the streets of Svalbard have never seen before! This is the tip of a very productive iceberg! We have been on a 5 mile hike (casually strolling accross two glaciers as you do(pictures above)), been on an epic shop, and an even more epic walk home! Went for a run this morning having seriously overestimated my fitness/ability to put one leg in front of the other! and have finally signed up for the library and access cards! now to drink Minttu and some sweet Aass... stay safe out there.Ha Det!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Day 3... Finally have the internet working!

Hey! so after arriving in the arctic on thursday night (if you can call it that!) the last two days have flown by! After surviving a polar bear attack (from the comfort of our halls and a distance of 25 miles) we have so far:
  • Posed as residents of a 5 star hotel to get a free breakfast
  • Been very confused by the midnight sun
  • Walked into town and bought a sandwich (definitely worth a mention)
  • Been suitably shocked at how expensive everything is!
  • Cooked a whale bolognese... quarried over the ethics, but it's cheap protein... and cheap won out!
  • Finally connected to the internet
  • Met loads of cool people from all over the world!
  • Attended the infamous "friday gathering" at the uni, drinking 10 Krone (£1.20) beers
  • Paid 46 Krone (£5.48) for a Carlsberg at a bar
  • Slept loads
  • Climbed up to an abandoned coal mine and explored
  • Took lots of pictures
There is still so much to do... so best catch up on my sleep, 6 hour hike in the mountains tomorrow!
Ha det!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Test Test Testes Test

Woo new Blog! lets hope I actually remember/bother to update it!