About a week before Christmas, I had met Paul and Dan, of the New Zealand Air Force, at Gallagher’s. Both were charming and delightful and I’d spent some time chatting with them on many other occasions at the Tatty Flag, Southern, and whenever I saw them in the galley. At the VMF party on the 23rd of December, Dan had been one of the Kiwis I mentioned who had made known his intentions towards me in a cute, harmless and clumsy sort of way (the other had been one of the mechanics from Scott Base who was somewhat more aggressive and with whom all contact has since been scrupulously avoided).
However, at our first meeting, I had asked them if they had any mates flying down that might be able to procure me some real milk. You see, even for someone like me who never drinks milk and only puts it over cereal and such, the powdered milk becomes disgusting after some point and you just crave real milk, even the UHT stuff that tastes like nothing. Some of you may have read about conversations we’ve had about exploring the potential for having a cow or goat flown down but kept off-shore so we could row the milk in. Or trying to milk a seal or a penguin. Yes, these are real ideas that are regularly rehashed when the prospect of more powdered milk just makes our stomachs turn over.
Anyway, Dan and Paul said they’d see what they could do and even after I shot down his advance at the VMF party, Dan continued to reiterate that his mate would bring some down for me sometime in early January. I played shuffleboard with them on their last night and the next morning, ran into Dan as he was on his way to transport to the airfield. I gave him a hug and bid him farewell and that was that…or so I thought!
About a week later, I was walking past the open doorway that separates the galley from the kitchen and I heard my name being discussed by two male voices. I poked my head out and said, “What about Jessa?”. Robert, one of the DAs, said, “Oh there she is!” and a tall young man in a Kiwi Air Force uniform said, “You’re Jessa? I have milk for you.” I pretty much jumped on him in the biggest hug you’ve ever seen. I told him to thank Dan a thousand times and then immediately found Sarah and told her to grab the box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch that we’d squirreled away in the kitchen, along with three bowls and three spoons. Then I paged Roger and when he called me back, I told him to get down to the kitchen ASAP because I HAD MILK!! This was something he had been whinging about for months. He brought down the bag of Lucky Charms I’d given him as a Christmas present (okay, it was only half a bag when I gave it to him…) and we locked ourselves in the galley office with the two, count ‘em TWO bottles of milk Dan had arranged for me, and we had ourselves a grand little picnic.
So here’s to the New Zealand Air Force!!