With Jonathon, Alex, Tav and Brockers.

Jonathon at the sharp end, Alex clearing the
filled bags and rocks, Tav, returned from injury and it’s his birthday, jumped
the queue and was on the slope, Brockers on the haul and shuttle, leaving me on
surface duties.

On the surface, there were flies, lots of
flies, and the clegs seem particularly vociferous this year. I did try applying
plenty of ‘Skin-so-Soft’, but that doesn’t stop them surrounding you and
buzzing, always buzzing. Tried to keep moving around, find a bit of breeze and
avoid standing too close to the entrance until necessary. The clegs appear to
accumulate around the entrance, probably waiting until you are committed to
hauling-out of the cave, then they pounce.

Still I survived, and today’s tally was a
total of 62 loads, comprised 44 bags and 18 skip-loads of rocks. Not all the
spoil came from the end, Brockers busied himself ‘tidying’, the low passage
leading to the West Side receiving special attention.

When the team emerged from the cave, there
was lots of positivity regarding the prospects ahead.