May 30, 2000

Greetings from the Great Wet North. Actually, yesterday was fairly dry, but perhaps that's only because we spent much of it in Kendal. Today is dawning bright and clear, with only a few pink clouds floating over the Weardale moors this may change, however.

Went down to Mark Watson's to pick up the company vehicle, order off road diesel, and open accounts yesterday, but discovered that Mark had not yet completed the registration renewal, and as it was a bank holiday, it would have to wait until today. Not a big deal as we didn't need two cars yesterday. First item on Jonina's schedule today will be dealing with that, and getting the compressor battery charged. First item on the rest of our schedules will be some grunt work - cleaning off the winter's small rock slide on the mine landing. If this weather holds, it should be a nice day in the quarry.

Drove over to Kendal to see Lindsay, Patricia, and Mick. Going over we took the Alston-Penrith route and made a quick stop at a neolithic stone circle known as "Long Meg". Unlike many, this one is still largely intact, and was a beautiful place for a stroll. The weather was clear and breezy, and I came to the realization that 8 years in Africa has thinned Jim's blood - what I thought of as nearly t-shirt weather had him running back to the car for his heavy coat. We met a couple from San Diego who were on a three month tour through western Europe visiting prehistoric sites. They had just come from the Dordogne where they had visited the few cave painting sited still open to the public, and were working their way north through England and Scotland, and then to Ireland. What a luxury it must be to have that kind of time, and the imagination to use it on that sort of vacation.

Met Lindsay and Patricia at their house at 1400. There was a Renaissance Faire-type medieval market in Kendal that day, in celebration of the founding of the local market many hundreds of years ago. Lindsay and Patricia had spent the morning there, but unfortunately we didn't have the time to see it. Lindsay's health is excellent, and he claims to have completely conquered his anorexia. Patricia muttered something about the impossibility of keeping him on a diet. Went to Mick's yard where the bunker is, and loaded the hydraulic source on a trailer for transport to the mine. Mick is similarly in good health and spirits, and seems to have more projects than he can handle. I understand that, along with most other mining, coal is on the way out, thus there is glut of mining equipment on the market right now. Mick is busy buying and selling, and appears to be in hog heaven. All the permits for transport and blasting came through quickly, and it appears that Jonina's, as well as Byron's is for both this year. There appears to be plenty of powder left from last season, so as soon as we get the compressor running and the landing cleaned off, we should be ready to rock & roll.

Had a good look through Lindsay and Patricia's collection, which is all up for sale. Some fantastic pieces at painfully high prices. I put a couple of things on hold, and must decide if there is a way to actually pay for then. If not, well, that's life in the food chain. Patricia says that that's their retirement fund, and who can argue with that. Lindsay is planning on coming to Tucson next February, and I offered him some space in the UKMV booth. I figure it may be a small way to repay his generosity to us.

Drove back to Weardale through Teesdale, and over the road that comes into St. John's Chapel at the Drapery. Very beautiful drive over the moors, dodging sheep and rabbits all the way. Met with Dave Beadle at the Golden Lion in the evening. Seems like a very nice fellow. He'll be starting next monday, and will be stopping by the mine today to have a look at the operation.

Should be rolling soon.

Jesse, Byron, Jim, and the recently awakened Jonina

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