July 30, 2000

We woke up to a beautiful day, predictions by the "weather advice" people on BBC1 had told up to expect unsettled and occasional showers to heavy rain so we were pleasantly surprised. I awoke feeling a bit better and by the end of the day feeling like I will beat this bug.

Being Sunday all moved slowly so it was noon before the girls were physically able to move forward toward the door on their own locomotion. The church was letting out so we stopped and took a minute to see the insides and inspect a few of the gravestones then walked on down to the Golden Lion and met Byron and Jim for lunch -- it was so nice we sat out doors at one of the tables, some clouds in the sky which managed to hide the sun from time to time so that we were not absolutely fried out there. Jonina had been invited but a goodly long sleep I suspect was more important. After lunch, having room for only one in the Vauxhall, we took Jim with us to Barnard Castle to the Bowes Museum -- every time I see that silver swan move I am impressed, and with the furniture, the Derbyshire fluorite bowls, spar case etc. etc. Got back to St. Johns Chapel about 5:45 and dropped the girls off at The Drapery and drove up to LA to drop Jim off, Jonina was outside unwrapping specimens from boxes -- was very surprised to see Jim, she thought he had been asleep in the house taking a nap and had not realized she was up there by herself. Byron, it seems, had elected to spend the afternoon doing some pocket playing up at the Rogerley.

I picked up some dithionite and phosphoric acid and this morning find that cold dithionite does a pretty good job of cleaning - just takes about 15 hours hours. I will compare these specimens to others once they dry out and see if there is any major change -- or perhaps we should just clean the real goodies as slowly and carefully as possible, which, as Paul suggests, may be the safest way to go. If you all agree let me know and I will instruct Jonina to take the good ones and just pack them up with no cleaning except water gun and phosphoric to remove necessary mud.

That all from this place way north of Lake Woebegone.

Regards, Cal



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