24 October 2016

On with the digs

I hadn't been in "my" dig for ten days! That may not sound like much but it felt it to me. I was happy to be able to pop in on a Sunday. I did not want to spend my entire Sunday on it, but the good thing was that Phil would be coming, and he didn't either. We teamed up! We met David, Richard and Don at the parking lot and walked up. David had brought his repaired breaker.

I was the first one down, and went to the Go Below dig. I was keen to get cracking! The state of the dig was: behind a squeeze was a small space that could be made bigger by digging away at the floor. It went onwards quite a distance, but I was a bit hesitant to go in. The squeeze was squeezy, and I didn't think I'd be able to turn around behind it. That meant: coming back out feet first! And that's awkward. One's knees already bend in the wrong direction to get in, let alone for getting out. And of course you could go in upside down and backwards, but that is a bit of a faff. And once you're in there you really want to be upside up.

I emptied out a bit more stuff, using a tub David had made for me, and decided to go for it. A bit disconcerting if you're all alone in the middle of a collapse! With soem wiggling I got in. I couldn't turn around. I could rake a lot of loose stuff that I wanted to get rid of towards me, though! But when I then tried to retreat I realised I had blocked some necessary elbow-space and couldn't get out. I had to rake some rocks back. Then, with a lot of squirming and shimmying, I got back out. I could fill some more tubs with what I had pulled towards me!

David's tub in the only corner you can just park it out of the way

I tried this a few more times and then decided I should go and have a cup of tea, and see if the drill was available. Chiselling the edges of the squeeze off would make things a lot easier! But the other folks were just moving the generator so they could use it to power the breaker on their side. It worked! And I paid close attention to how Don started the machine because I never had myself. Should be a skill I have! And it turns out to have a manual choke; another reason to be glad I had one in my first car. Useful practice! And when I left again David asked me to stop the thing; I had seen many people do that. You just short-circuit it! I hadn't seen that coming; it seemed a bit last century, but well, if that is what it takes. But it was harder than it sounded; the wire with which you do that was dirty and the metal I was trying to short-circuit it was rusty. No current was eager to go through that!

I went back to my dig, armed with a shepherd's hook and a rake; now that I was working a bit further in I may have anough room to manoeuvre items like that. And it worked well! Not every rock was willing to be moved but more progress was made. But then I saw it was coming up to the time Phil (and thus me too) had to leave, so I called it a day. I took some pictures to document the progress and went back to the other dig.

I found Phil deep inside the dig. I went in too; I hadn't seen the progress in a while. So much progress had been made! And Phil was eagerly discussing adding scaffolding to the new bits to support them. It's always hard to get Phil out; I think his wife knows well that if he says he'll be home at six, she shouldn't expect him before six thirty. But we went! It meant that Phil hadn't seen the other dig, and the others might very well not have a look either. Oh well!

When we got home I found out I had the imprint of one edge of the dig in threefold in bruises on my right leg. And bruises on my elbows. I need elbow pads! But Miles mentioned on the forum he'd go in the next Thursday with his breaker. So next time I go in there, maybe progress will be a lot easier! I hope so! It's still very exciting...

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