070308.Limpley Stoke, “His Voice Was in the Darkness and Darkness Was in His Voice and There Was No End at All”

March 8, 2007 at 2:15 AM | Posted in Chisel Marks, Limpley Stoke, Wiltshire | 4 Comments

Copy of 070307.32.Wilts.LimpleyStoke.StokeHillStoneQuarryMine
Went to a mine quarry yesterday that is right off the Dundas Aqueduct. It’s one of three around Bath today but I’ll get into the technicalities tomorrow.
The mine was flooded (nearly up to the knees), however, and I didn’t have “Wellies.” The mine was kind enough to supply four pairs but there were five of us who only had sneakers (I had an extra pair of shoes in the knapsack so I was the one who went without, not a real problem.) Some mine experiences that I’ll share with you. 1) Flood water is cold. 2) The mine can be well heated. 3) With the centre of the mine heated to a nice toasty warm temperature, mine water is still very very cold. 4) Numbness sets quickly; Athlete’s Foot takes longer.

An unrelated item I learned some time ago: Can anyone back me up that when you get cold you want to tinkle? Good. It’s natural. Seriously natural. As soon as your body feels a shiver of cold, it immediately goes into emergency procedure fearing that you will freeze to death. What’s Code Red against freezing to death? Peeing. (See President Lyndon B. Johnson’s quote that “economics is like peeing on your leg, it seems hot to you but not to anyone else.”) Yes, so peeing is a lifesaver. Fearing that the liquids in your body will freeze and cause your death, the body immediately tries to release all fresh water and non-vital liquids to reduce the possibility of freezing non-circulating ‘still’ waters in your system.

So I’m standing here in the cold water when I take this picture and the owner tells us to turn off all of our torches and anything that omits light. We do, and it is dark. Not just dark, but the definition of not a trace of light dark. You couldn’t see your hand in front of your nose. )I tried it.) Everyone was still and silent and all we could hear was the drips from the forest marble ceiling to the canal pool of water along the base bed.

As soon as the lights were on, everyone started talking. About how incredible it was, how moving, how this or that. But I, I was the only one who experienced pure darkness with pure cold and dampness. It was I who definitely lucked out.



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  1. Wait, DID you urinate in the mine or did you not?

    Sounds like a fun trip. I’ll bet you can’t wait to go back. Be assertive next time AND GET YOURSELF SOME DANG WELLIES.

  2. “…all we could hear was the drips from the forest marble ceiling to the canal pool of water…” You sure it wasn’t the sound of everyone peeing? 😉

  3. Hang on, you’re making me feel like I gotta go pee!

    See Forest Gump? And the Kennedy scene?

    “I believe the boy said he has to go PIE!”

    It’s that Massachusetts accent ya know!

    And it’s probably a GOOD think you didn’t have your wellies…would have caught that stuff running down your leg…on second thought, it would have been WAAAAAAAAAAARM!

    Awesome post J! Can’t wait for the technicalities!


  4. […] which is permanently flooded due to a fault line that splits the dry clay cap.) (above:) My sneakers have yet to dry and “[high-pitched cough] … I think I’m getting the Black Lung, Pop. It’s […]

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