This coming weekend Son-of-Furtheron is off to pastures new - although there is precious little pasture where he is heading! He is off to Svalbard which is in the High Arctic - in fact it is the most northerly town of over 1,000 people in the world. He has a great opportunity as part of his last year on his master course to go there to study the Northern Lights (or Radar Diagnostics of Space Plasmas and the Interaction of Solar Winds with the Earth's Ionosphere if you want to be technical about it!). It will be 24 hour darkness when he gets there and for the first month! It has recently been -20°C with a windchill taking it below -30°C. So not a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination. By the time he comes home sometime in May or June it'll be a balmy -2°C and 24 hour daylight! Frankly I think 24 hour daylight will prove more difficult to get your head and bodyclock around than the 24 hour night personally!
We're all off to Heathrow to wave him off on the first leg of the trip there - he'll fly to Oslo then take a domestic flight from there to the island itself. I'm expecting much tears and wailing from Mrs F, his girlfriend who is staying with us and Daughter-of-Furtheron. I'll do my best to grit my teeth and not show emotion... :-)
Once he has completed these studies he'll be quickly back to Wales to graduate and then... well we'll see, I think a PhD is his likely next course - he doesn't want to "sell his soul to a corporation". Another big step in the Furtheron family annals and another milestone in life.