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
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.