And the rain continues. It’s now July and it would appear it will not be much better than June which was awful. We’ve lived here since 1998, and I cannot remember a wetter summer following on from such a wet spring. It was sprinkling when I left the house for work but I refused to put on my raincoat.
I had a productive enough day in the basement punctuated by a chap with a strange instrument. He was testing disruptive sound levels. Apparently people have complained about the noise made by workers doing renovations so this guy is wandering around the office areas and testing the sound levels. As usual, Nick at Work is involved in information collection.
For half hour periods during the day, every five minutes we would have to be still and quiet for two minutes so he could measure the sound levels as someone somewhere else in the building used various building tools. As the noise level was recorded, Nick would have to note down how the noise affected him on a 1-5 scale with ‘1’ being can’t hear it and ‘5’ being can’t hear anything else.
It was a bit disruptive given we couldn’t actually do anything while the sound level was being measured. When I told Mirinda she claimed that my typing would have been loud enough to set the machine off and have Nick write ’10’ all over the form as he pulled his ears off.
It was rather irritating when Nick and I were discussing the need for proper Historical Place nomenclature (something we disagree on almost every time the topic comes up) and we had to stop mid sentence.
Subsequently and ironically, it was quiet in the office today and I managed to get through quite a few of the revisions that Nick had sent me to look at. In fact I only managed to start three new Object records.
Possibly the most interesting Object was a propeller patented in 1800 and tested on a Government transport ship (Doncaster) in 1802. This became the first propeller driven ship in Britain. The screw was the invention of Edward Shorter, a man of whom I know very little…so far. I’ll be working on him next week as well.
Along with the model of the propeller, there was also a certificate vouching for the successful test as witnessed by an Admiral, two Captains and the Master of the Doncaster. All very exciting…well, I thought it was. (Mirinda was not so enthused. When she asked me what was the most exciting thing I researched today and I started to say a screw propeller, she claimed I didn’t understand the question.)
Weather-wise, the day was awful. The rain bashed away at the skylight which meant I didn’t bother leaving the museum at lunchtime, satisfying myself by wandering around a new WWI exhibition about the wounded. It’s all very poignant and impressive when you see how they managed pre-plastic prosthetics.
It was doubly poignant when you consider that today marked 100 years since the beginning of the Battle of the Somme when over 19,000 British soldiers were killed in one day. What an incredibly senseless waste of life. There was a minute’s silence in the Energy Hall which, I’m told, was observed beautifully.
Going home, the weather opened a window of improved conditions and I walked to the Tube in sunshine. It rained while I was on the train but the window once more cracked open for my walk home…which just proves that I didn’t need a raincoat.
Mirinda and Bob regaled me with their adventures in Winchester today when they grew bored with my propeller research results…