Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex

By Jove!

I woke early this morning to a great twilight view of Jupiter, or ‘Jove’ as the Romans liked to call it, over the eastern horizon. It was a welcome coincidence because I had been studying Antarctic exploration late last night and it featured on a couple of occasions.

The wonderfully named Apsley Cherry-Garrard wrote the following in his strongly titled account, ‘The Worst Journey in the World’,

“Generally we steered by Jupiter, and I never see him now without recalling his friendship in those days!”

On January 27 1912 Robert Falcon Scott, wrote,

“A long way to go, and, by Jove, this is tremendous labour.” Poor soul survived for another two months after that before finally succumbing on the 29th March. His frozen fingers managed this final entry in his journal, ‘For God’s sake look after our People.’

‘By Jove!’ That, in two words, does a good job of encapsulating the spirit of the age and those that chose to risk their lives in such a way. I will endeavour (another good exploration word) to use it regularly for a few days as a tribute. There is a short explanation of its origin as an exclamation here.