It’s been a long time since I posted a blog entry, so there’s a lot to catch up on.

Well, during my last leave we got a huge amount of work done on the ranch. Even so, there were still some things that we had wanted to get done that had to be postponed. Anyway, the major things were getting my work benches and tools sorted out in the barn, then getting some lambing pens built inside the main area of the barn. That necessitated a big clear-out, moving a lot of stuff into the hay barn while construction was on-going, then moving it all back in again after-wards.

We also got the washer plumbed up in the well-pump house, with only one gusher, but the least said about that the better! “There’s a limit to what can go wrong with a bit of home plumbing”, as we keep saying. In line with fitting the washer we also plumbed in a small electric water heater, and while we were at it we got the old UK tumble drier going too.

We did some work dividing off a bit of the animal pen to give the dogs a bit more room to roam, as we also managed to cut down a bit on the number of livestock we had. No more angora goats, now we just have sheep and dairy goats. We have added some angora rabbits though.

On the last two days of my leave we put up two trailer loads of hay. On the second run, while I was loading the hay, I turned wrong and pulled something in my leg. Absolute agony. Luckily the farmer arrived just at that time and he and one of his farm hands finished loading the trailer for me. When I got back to the ranch I’m afraid I had to sit on a bale and watch Dazzle unload. Chauvinism at its best! The leg is better now, but still quite colourful with the bruising.

Then I was on my travels again, back to Europe. First to the UK where I had a day in the office to discuss some control system issues for the Perseus’ replacement. Then straight from the office in the evening for a flight over to Norway before joining the Perseus for my third ‘last trip’. This one does seem likely to be the last. We still have the on-going project to complete, but there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel. Lots of planning for the demobilisation, but until the project is officially complete we’re straining at the leash before starting all out disconnections.

I do keep joking that we can’t start the demob until the 13th of November, as the 12th is the last of my ‘contract days’ so I’ll be on to day-rate after then!

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