Alexander Kumar: Guest Blog – Wool Week

Celebrating wool week: warmest greetings from the coldest place on Earth

By Dr Alexander Kumar

One year ago I had no idea what I was getting myself in for, as I prepared myself for my departure to the coldest place on Earth – Dome Charlie located high up on the Antarctic Plateau – the world’s largest desert and the coldest, loneliest, most desolate and remote place on Earth.  And here I stand, still alive with 10 fingers and 10 toes, which have been protected by Shetland’s finest.

 100 years ago Sir Ernest Shackleton brought fair isle wool to Antarctica.  Following his fashion and sense, I decided I would do the same.   Jamieson & Smith (Shetland Wool Brokers Ltd.) based Sandra knitted me several bespoke, unique and colourful items which I was fortunate to have through what I now describe as the ‘worst winter in the world’.  We are completely isolated here for 9 months from February until November.  Temperatures dropped below -80 degrees Celsius as the sun disappeared for over 3 months- leaving our European team of 13 alone in the dark.  Over the Antarctic winter your senses turn to perceiving in black and white, but now the sun has come back I can enjoy the colours once again and the Shetland Fair Isle designs are wonderful and warm.  And in that, because I am still warm, I can leave you with my warmest greetings from the coldest place on Earth, proud to wear like explorers of times gone, Shetland’s continuing unique contribution to Antarctic history – happy Shetland Wool Week!

 To read more about Dr Alexander Kumar’s adventures, please visit his website www.alexanderkumar.com

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