It was the evening between the two days of student presentations. I wasn't quite with it! I drove to Tanygrisiau without problems, but when I changed I noticed I had forgot my gloves. Oh dear. Gloves are good to have! And I also was wearing two different knee pads but that's only a style issue.
I met Miles at the manager's office which was starting to look very official. He lent me a pair of gloves. He has 8 shoe sizes bigger than me so it wasn't ideal, but better than nothing. He then joined the not-quite-with-it club by almost forgetting his bag. But we got to the dig! And took the drill up to the far end. Where Miles thought a drill bit would be waiting for us. It wasn't! But we had a chisel.
The first thing I checked was whether the wall had further collapsed. It hadn't! That's good.
Neither of us really felt like going back to look for a drill bit so we just decided to work with the chisel. Miles wanted to attack a rock that made access a bit tight, and there was a rock higher up that I wanted to get rid of. I had stacked it somewhere along the way, as I was clogging things up lower down; but now with Miles in there too, the risk of one of us accidentally kicking it down was getting a bit big. It had to go! But best not in one piece. And we could reduce the rock we had blown up the last time a bit more with chisel and crowbar.
We did a fair amount of chucking stuff down. And we started to remove some stuff from above the rocks we had been trying to get rid of. The ceiling there stepped up vertically; there was plenty of space for loose stuff there. And as we hadn't quite got rid of the two aforementioned rocks, they actually sheltered us from falling rubble. A positive coincidence! And with a lot of that stuff brought down we could now see how far the ceiling stepped up. About a meter!
I couldn't document this as I had left my camera in the generator chamber. Not too far from the drill bit, we would find out. Oh well. We had a hot beverage too but then I suggested we go out. The weather forecast for later that night was atrocious, which was an argument that worked with Miles as he was in his rather open-to-the-elements Landrover, and I also wanted to still be sharp the next day. I had more presentations to attend!
When we came out there was hail on the ground. And there was more on the road. But nothing too bad yet, and I got home without incident, only just after 11. The Thursdaynighters, who were out a lot later, told tales of how bad the conditions would get later. We had escaped! And it finally starts to feel like we are getting close to making a breakthrough from that bottleneck we have been chipping away at for months...