Get Fell In!
When the call comes that you'll be leaving for Norway in the next 24 hours, it's as well to have been prepared. Janecki z Krakowa and I were rostered to join the Living Stone at the Nexans dock in Halden. My bags were packed, travel documents in order; all I needed to remember was to include my slippers after completing that morning's ablutions. Slippers are quite as important as a wash bag. On board ship, beyond the crew room, shoes and work boots cannot be worn. If you forget alternative soft-soled footwear, it's plastic bags over your boots for you - socks are verbotten.
Terminal 2 at Heathrow was deserted - this at 10.00am....
... though some hours later after having processed to the departure lounge, there were a few signs of life. Several retail outlets were boarded up, presumably for ever, and much to our disappointment, the Star Alliance Executive Lounge was closed. Bang went our excellent brunch and lemonades, but a healthier tuna salad and bottled water from Pret was probably the wiser course - so to speak.
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) are a civilised lot, though at present they can be a bit tetchy if you don't quite adhere to the safety reg's. Happily, they continue to hand out jolly good chocolates and beverages to the haute monde in the first few rows (the consumption of which I would venture, rather drives a coach and four through the mask hypothesis).
We got to our assigned quarantine hotel after a journey of some 13 hours, 2 PCR tests and a couple of tickings-off from Public Security bods for minor non-compliances. A stroll in the Norwegian woods the next morning allowed us to set the world to rights without (so far) the intervention of the Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste (Norway's MI5) though arriving back in my hotel room, a phone call from the immigration services reminding me of various criminal offences I might unwittingly commit during my stay, prompted me to speculate on the presence of hidden microphones in the undergrowth.
As requested by Renaud, a picture of the left side of the Hillman's gearbox conversion...
... and one of the top. I suspect that Mr Larken may have had less width than I to play with, hence his more compact solution. Despite my conversion's clunky appearance, I'll say it again, it's the smoothest gearchange I've ever had on a car.
Before we left for Heathrow, I had just enough time to put together a late-requested manifold for a pig feed unit which gave me the opportunity to try out my new 'true colour' welding helmet. I noticed in the mirror a slight glow to my complexion after using my old helmet, so elected to splash out on some decent protection. Money well spent; I can now see what I'm doing and no longer look perpetually guilty.
One of the less appealing aspects of hotel quarantine is the one-meal-fits-all solution to the menu. Supper was deeply uninspiring.
And for lunch, I can't quite make out what fell in the pot here.