August 11, 2001

Greetings from the Pennines,

I've been remiss of late in getting an email out but so much has been going on that it was one of the furthest things from my mind.

The weather this past week was not very good with lots of rain, wind and cool temperatures interspersed with a few bright sunny patches.

I will mention in brief that Monday and Tuesday saw Kerith and I in the Peak District in Derbyshire to visit our friends Don, Jane and Sophie Edwards. We attended the huge antique fair in Newark upon Trent, visited a hedgehog hospital and drove back in a driving rain.

Thursday we picked up Paul Geffner at the Teeside airport, vowing to never again go into Darlington and try and find our way around, mere mortals are not meant to actually find their way through this town much less get where they want to on any sort of scheduled timing.

Yesterday, Friday, was spent primarily in the mine. Paul spent the entire day and I managed to get in about five hours underground too while Kerith wiled away her time cleaning up the "bonnie bits" from the bottom of the pockets.

We had jointly come to the decision that the Birthday Pocket's goodies where not going to be accessible to us without drilling and blasting the area so Byron spent a good part of the day building a cradle around the big plate to protect it from the blast; the rest of the time he spent babysitting us. Paul and I spent a great deal of time together in the Black Sheep pocket but I had to leave before he got into the pocket we exposed. I do know that Paul found two or three fairly nice stalactite specimens and that Byron produced a couple of jaw droppers out of the birthday pocket. Things in the mine are going as well as you could hope.

Back at Little Allercleugh we have had nothing but equipment problems. All the waterguns have died and the replacements we ordered are not in and the replacements we purchased are from China, which I have decided, is a great country not to get cheap equipment from - you are getting exactly what you are paying for, something that does the job cheaper but far less well and will not handle rugged use as required by us. The Krebs is a very good gun and has lasted most of the summer, I have yet to see anything we use on a daily basis make it all the way through a collecting season, but getting another and replacement springs is difficult in the this remote area of England.

Yesterday afternoon Kerith and I ran Veronica Cubitt over to the train station in Penrith to catch the train to Chester so you can be home to help celebrate her sister's 21st b'day and got back to Burnbrae in time to catch a weary and tired Paul coming in for a shower. We took off for a dinner engagement with Ian and Pam Forbes. Ian is the director of the Killhope Lead Mining Museum and we are big fans of he and his wife and the museum and had a great time and good meal at Stanhope's Old Hall B&B.

Today, Jonina and Ayla are off to do some sightseeing; Paul, myself and Kerith and Byron will probably spend much of the day collecting at the mine. In my case most likely the afternoon hours since there is so much to do up at LA. We have canceled a planned trip to Sedbergh in Cumbria to visit a nifty antiquarian book store since Paul has limited time and we need to get a lot of collecting done in the mine.

Anyhow, that is the outline of whats happening up here in that place way north of Lake Woebegone. Cal



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