Sunday, June 19, 2011

I've been quiet for a few days.

I left you all when I arrived in Cambridge. Here at the University Library I had some research to undertake on behalf of the Local History Society. But that was a disappointment to say the least. There was a huge stack of letters written by the person whom I was seeking, but they wouldn't let me see them.

I needed an "introduction" from someone at the University who knows my research, so it seems, and it is by this method that the incestuousness of Mainstream Academia rumbles along. No-one from Cambridge University has had the time or inclination to review them (they have only been there for 100 years) but the Academic powers-that-be will be dammed if they are going to let an "outsider" get his hands on them and steal the thunder of the University. Far better that the papers remain unresearched and unreviewed. No wonder Mainstream Academia has such a poor reputation.

I had to wait there for a while too. You might remember the digger that I saw at Bacup. Well, we agreed to buy it and the money was transferred over. But it takes five days to move, and that meant I had a couple of days to kill. So here I was with a superfast internet connection, surrounded by books and beautiful girls and with a nice quiet close to sleep in just next to the Library, I had no plans to go anywhere. I spent the time reading the two volumes of The War in the Air - the history of the Royal Flying Corps in World War I.

Thursday lunchtime the call came through, and so off to Kettering Screwfix went I, and then to Daventry for my new trailer. From there it was to Droitwich for Terry's ladder and then up to Accrington for the digger. I arrived at 20:10 and by 20:30 I was on the road again.

But it wasn't easy. The trailer is a car transporter so it only has two aluminium channels for the car wheels and the track is far too wide for the digger. We inprovised with a scaffolding plank but the weight was far too offset to the outside, and this meant that left-hand bends were interesting to say the least, with the left-hand trailer wheels lifting. It was a slow drive.

I made it to the Tunnel with just 10 minutes to spare, and they noticed the trailer and so that set me back £78 - not to mention the fuel that Caliburn was consuming. It was thirsty work. From Calais it was the péage as far as Troyes and that was an arm and a leg too, and the last leg was over the Monts de la Bourgogne via Auxerre - the part of the route that I wasn't looking forward to, with an out-of-balance trailer with a high centre of gravity.

It was about 20:45 when I reached Liz and Terry's, a working day of 32 hours and 30 minutes for anyone who might be interested. It goes without saying that Saturday morning didn't exist and it was 13:00 when I finally woke up.

Here it's something of a disaster. I can't find anything as plants and weeds have overgrown everything, and a tree has fallen down and flattened half my crops, and that's not good news at all. But I spent all afternoon emptying Caliburn and then reloading him with everthing that I need for this exhibition that I'm doing tomorrow.

And in other news, Caroline's cat Bigsy has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Bigsy was 17 and yet had been in excellent health up until quite recently. But she had rapidly deteriorated this last few weeks and when I saw her she was really poorly and it was only a matter of time. But at least she went in her own time and her own place, amongst friends.

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