Well, I’m seriusly stressed out and knackered. I could so do with a week off.

Last Thursday night was quite interesting – we’re trialling out a new method of scoring damage to our ropes to determine when they should be retired. Rope inspections are never exciting, but it was interesting as you got a chance to sit and chat and occasionally discuss the technical side of rope manufacture and rope deterioration.

Yeah, Ok, so that bit wasn’t interesting.

So we head down the pub and since Arthur’s been so fantastically well behaved, I brought him along to the pub. Apart from a few minutes of confusion as he sat between Caroline and myself, he settled nicely….until our pagers went off…with a stand down.

Confusion reigned for a few minutes until it was discovered that the initial message never got through Voda’s paging system. A discussion ensued and some more detail came out – it transpired that there was a gentleman missing in Chepstow. After the obligatory comments about the hope that this person was slightly less well-armed than the last one, we were told that it was likely that we’d be called in the morning to attend a search. So we relax and decide to finish our pints, with a few of us trying to arrange things with various employers.

Pete came down from base folder in one hand, mobile in the other, busy talking to the police. As the conversation wore on, we caught from snippets that it was getting more and more likely that we were off that evening. When it became definite, a few of us headed up to base to start getting changed an get some vehicles ready. The pagers went off and the show was on.

At this point I have to mention that what was going to come next has been censored by Management. I’m not allowed to talk of what happened, amusing though it was. *grin*

The search was fruitless, with some organisational difficulties – 11 parties on the hill. Dinner was cold sandwiches at around 0400, followed by a drive home. It was a long night.

This week has been long though q-word on the mountain rescue front. Lynfa an I did some night nav last night, and I’m hoping we can do some more on the weekend before her re-assesment. I’m bracing myself ready for Arthur’s departure – he’s leaving on Feb 10th, and it’s going to break my heart to see him go. I’d had a particularly tough day last week and I got home drained and very miserable. Where he’s usually annoyingly energetic, he seemed to sense my mood and just went about things quietly. When I sat down in front of the TV after feeding him, he quietly got up out of his bed, padded over, looked at me, and just gently laid his head in my lap, as if to comfort me.

Things is, I’m not really ready for a dog right now. I spend too much time out of the house – if I had someone at home to spend the evenings with (that is, someone to share my life, not just my house), then it’d be different. So I’m still not sure if I’m going to take another dog in April.

Anyway, enough now, I need a cuppa.

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