Friday, July 16, 2010
Well Friday was interesting. We awoke to the sound of what I thought was thunder. In actuality it was the Durham County Council's demolition street team setting up lights (on either side of our driveway) to control traffic, turning on a giant compressor to dig up black top and redo the intersection up to Langdon Beck and the square. Did not appear to need it but that juncture must have popped up on the "to do" list on some county computer and we all suffered through the thundering equipment at 6:30 a.m. The morning was also very blustery with some very sharp showers and quite cool.
Byron and I had coffee, he had a doctor's appointment at 10:00 a.m. in St. John's and I needed to get hold of Speedy and arrange a switch on compressors. They agreed to come out and do it, if possible, in the morning. A few more phone calls and some time spent on bookkeeping and Will and I took off for the mine to have it open in case Speedy was just that. I then drove back to get Kerith and see how Byron's appointment went. The doctor said his blood pressure is too low.... and he takes two medications for high blood pressure. So one is being eliminated but he has a Tuesday appointment to see if this cures or helps his being lightheaded and he was told no ladders or to go underground till next seen. Kerith and I drove back up to the mine, she needed to do a shop and one of the rocks in the quarry had put a sidewall cut in one of the front tires and she drove around to Watson's and had them replace the tire.
Dave and Joe along with Steve and Peter arrived a bit before I got back. Peter and Joe made the final assault on the East Crosscut muck out, Dave set up to drill the face in anticipation of a compressor switch and I found a place for Steve to do a bang around in the old second East Crosscut where after he managed to get a very nice hand sized quartz plate with small gem twins scattered across the surface. Speedy showed up around noon and took away for old compressor and gave us one half the size with the same rating.... made in France of all places. But it worked like a champ and Dave with Will's help finished up the muck pile from the East Crosscut we had been working on and drilled the face with Will's help. Will spent quite a bit of time soaking up Dave's knowledge of why the drill holes are placed the way they are, what the timing of the delays are for with the detonators and how to load a hole etc. We had two mine historian photographer's show up and I spent a hour or so with them as they photographed a working mine which pleased them to no end. They found that some of the most mundane of sights fascinating.
Late in the day we managed a blast after some delay, the wiring had a short in it and rather than hunt it down I told Dave to go ahead and replace all the lead wire so we could all get home on Friday night. Joe, who has passed his driving exams, was going to spend more time on the interned searching out a better deal for car insurance. The company that had given him a quote on line did a classic bait and switch when he phoned them and said there must have been an input error on the quote since instead of 2200GBP it was going to actually be 3300GBP. An impossible sum of money for a 17 year old, so Joe is trying to sort that out so he can drive Shanade's green Volkswagen now that she has a new car.
The afternoon brightened up and we had patch clouds and sunshine and no rain after 4:00 p.m. Kerith had a simple meal of tortellini, garlic bread and salad and afterwards Kerith and Byron repaired to the living room couchs to watch and knit or read. I took Steve and Will on a drive around the dale, first up to the Mine House to see the stone arch work, the gardens, water wheel, waterfall and one of the old entrances to Greenlaws, then a drive over to Alston and a walk around and back to Burnbrae a bit after 10:00 p.m. while it was still light.
Today we take Steve back to Newcastle to fly home then a bit of touring but need to be back before seven as we've a dinner date at the Rowe's... mmmmmm.
Thatís all the news there is.
Cal and crew