On Monday at around 3pm it was decided that the test that I might have had to do down at Oxford before I went to Sicily, should be carried out the next day. Mmmm... not ideal, but do-able so I guess I jump on a plane then.
Unfortunately this would mean taking the equipment through security and one of the bits is a sealed metal box, which is full of other metal bits inside. This metal box is also ultraclean and sealed inside plastic bags and so I wouldn't want to open it which Security would surely want me to. So, Peter volunteers to drive down - much easier for everyone.
So we work late that night to get everything ready and then we set off at 6am the next morning (!!! and this is with me already tuckered out from travelling back from Sicily). Everything was going great - we'd passed the two main sources of delays by 7h30 and were due to arrive at bout 10am. Then, THEN, a lorry overturns in roadworks! The resulting tailback apparently reached 18 miles at one point. We were stuck in that traffic jam for four and a half hours. And it was roasting hot but we didn't want to switch the AC in for fear of overheating the car.
We eventually get to RAL at about 3pm and get into the lab just before 4 and start our tests. About an hour later we have successfully finished. Of course, by now Peter didn't want to drive all the way back up, so we booked into a local hotel. This was hardly ideal since we had no change of clothes, no toothbrushes/paste and I had no contact lens solutions.
Still, we decided to take advantage and had a good meal in the hotel and midway thru' the heavens erupted into a spectacular thunderstorm, prob the best i'd ever seen in the UK - about 15 minutes of constant lightning. And we lost power - it was pretty cool. It then calmed down and we went off into town to find some bars and ended up in this strange place with awful karaoke.
Next morning we travel back up to Durham, narrowly missing another traffic jam as the accident happened just in front of us and there wasn't time for the cars to have started queueing. Then as we approach Durham and I'm looking forward to some sleep, I realise it's the end-of-season friendly and awards night for my football team!
So I go along, play 70 mins (even manage to score twice in a 7-2 win) and ref the other 20. Then go to the pub, don't win any awards, have a few pints and stagger home to my bed.
Checking my email today, Doug asks if I want to go hillwalking in the Highlands at the weekend, and although tempting, I think I just want to stay at home for a few days and recharge my batteries.