I've been re-reading the diaries of both Scott and Amundsen day by day, one hundred years after the original diary entries. Well, you've got to do somethng to pass the time between meals when you're retired. It interests me because my late father met one of the survivors of the expedition some time around 1950, and I heard the stories so many times in my childhood. In recent weeks the diary written by Scott has shown ever increasing despair and realisation that their chances of getting back alive were fading. One hundred years ago today Captain Oates made the ultimate sacrifice. He had woken, having hoped to die in his sleep the previous night, and knowing that he was doomed and so were all the rest with him holding them up made the decision to walk to his death. The others tried to stop him but he had made his mind up and went. In the end it made no difference and the others died on 29th March - the same day my mother was born. I shall raise a glass this evening in his honour and suspect that I will not be the only one.