Well, after a verrrry long journey, I’m finally here. Well, I finally arrived here late this morning, the journey could only be described as epic. So epic, in fact, I thought the first part was going to end with a cliffhanger and part two of the journey would resume next week. But I made it. Finally. And almost all in one piece.
Cluddunt, for those of you who may be unaware, is an island of unusual scientific interest situated just a little north of Nordaustlandet and on the way to the actual North Pole. Now you may be thinking wasn’t Tom complaining about all of the snow the other week; what’s he doing up in the North Pole, where there’s tonnes of it? Here’s the thing. This island is like a tropical paradise. Palm trees. Luxurious golden beaches. Lapping waves (the sea’s a bit nippy, but you can’t have everything!) and the most delightful breeze you can imagine. The staff at the hotel here call it the aroma of the buttercup orchard, or in their language, cludduntsnyff.
The climate of the island is caused by a similar kind of phenomenon that creates the eye of a storm, only here its the Sun’s electromagnetic variance coupled with polarised and neutralised ionic particles, other ionic radiation and the slipstream of the gulfstream. They give out brochures on it in the hotel, just in case anyone who arrives here is actually from the scientific community wanting to study the place… with these brochures, they have all the answers they need and can spend their time walking the many miles of golden beaches. Needless to say, visitor numbers are strangely low, as many people regard the island as a scientific outpost rather than an out of area paradise island.
The brochure also mentions the cludduntslachtlachts; their ‘sleep lights’ or the Aurora Borealis which become extremely active at 11pm. I’ve never seen the Northern Lights in the UK, but knowing my astronomical luck, I probably won’t get to see them here either. In fact, knowing my luck, it will probably start to rain once I doze off on the deck chair on the beach, with the waves gently lapping away a little in the distance.
The Sun doesn’t really go down here, except for possibly an hour or two later on. It seems to be a warm twilight, if you will, from noon, with the mornings being a warm dawn. It’s just warm. Luxuriously so.
Cludduntsarocka, the volcano at the very centre of the island, has been inactive for – well, forever, it seems, as records have never really began here so nobody knows when it last erupted. There is, every now and then, a slight rumble and puff of smoke but things settle down. A team of seismologists left to explore the volcano this morning, just before one of the ‘cludduntsarockawobbles’, or tremors, but they haven’t been seen since.
My portable purple portly printer exploded at customs – it’s the printer I carry (or used to!) for whenever I want to print out one of the photos I’ve taken on my mobile phone. I’ll not be doing that for a while now. I walked through the body scanner at the rowingboatport (hence the epic journey!) having completely forgotten that I had the printer in my bag, and since it had been charged by the ionic radiation, the x-rays and infrared doodahs interacted and interfered with the electronics and my bag went up in a thousand sparks. The printer, bag, and cheese and onion butties all gone. The customs guard looked at me, and then pointed to a poster just above my head. It contained a photo of a purple portly printer within a red circle with a line through it. He also advised me that they are so used to this happening it doesn’t faze them anymore, but a part of me couldn’t help but wish that they’d mentioned it to me before I’d gone through the scanner. I was looking forward to my cheese and onion butty.
But that was then. I’m now here, on my Sun lounger. Stretched out. I’m now eight feet and seven and a half inches tall – that’s another effect of the island, this time the gravitational pull in relation to the North Pole makes everything more relaxed. Looking at the hotel staff, you can see just how relaxed the place is.
Well, time for me to have a slurp of my Cludduntsringo, or orange juice to you and me. They make it especially on the island, and infuse spices grown only in the orchards I mentioned earlier. They also have a lovely relaxing effect as well.
Oh, I’ve scheduled the party post on Saturday, to appear just after midnight UK time, just in case I’m not back in time. I do have wonderful internet access here on Cluddunt, so I may be popping in throughout the day regardless. I’ve also scheduled the Letters To The Universe, so all I can do now – and all I actually want to do now – is lie back and relax beneath this luxuriously deep blue cloudless sky which looks as though it should be freezing, but isn’t!