I've been here in Longyearbyen for a week and am already beginning to feel like a local - it doesn't take long to settle into such a small community and for faces to become familiar. Preparing for the Women's Euro-Arabian North Pole expedition later in the month, we have set up a temporary HQ on the last hunk of rock before the frozen expanse of the Arctic Ocean. There is a lot to do.....preparing equipment, sorting logistics for the arrival of the rest of the team, keeping sponsors and supporters in the loop and undertaking the initial tests for the science studies the expedition will take part in. You can follow our progress on the expedition website and social media strands at @northpole2018.
In between the feverish activity, it's been a real pleasure to spend time in this unique town - to see the light travel around the mountains that rise up on all sides - watching the lines of snowmobiles trail up the glacier every morning and return every evening - to hear the stories in the bars and coffee shops - and to catch up with the extraordinary friends that live here.