Thanks to the Scottish Arctic Club for inviting me their annual gathering in Fort William last weekend, to speak about How to say 'I love you' in Greenlandic and The Night Hunter. I spent a few days at the base of Ben Nevis in the company of distinguished polar explorers and naturalists. It was great to meet such knowledgeable polar enthusiasts, including the first woman to ski across the Greenland icecap (now in her eighties), and the team who completed the first circumnavigation of Greenland in the year 2000.
My lecture was followed by dinner and great quantities of merlot and malt. Out came the Society's map, a large, multi-section American military chart of the Arctic region ('It's not very accurate, but it's a decent size', one member apologised). Several coffee stains from previous festivities were posing as islands.
As the evening wore on, intrepid members crawled across the map to mark the furthest points they had reached that year.
I was invited to mark up my residency in Upernavik, and I was intrigued to read the names of those who had been there before me.