Sunday August 4th. Day 1
I arrived in Sway without any great incident. It took us three hours on the nose from London. I rode roughshod with the kit in the van.
However tightly packed it was, it still needed one of us to be in the back to make sure some of the more sensitive equipment didn’t slip, and if it did, that we could stop right away.
Kyp was lucky and pulled the long straw, and so he went down by train.
Luckily there was only a little seepage, and that was from the drum of dichloroethyl ether, but it is only minorly corrosive, and so it was a quick and basic clean up.
The cops stopped us only once, just outside Winchester.
As I searched my bag for the transport permits I soon realised that they were not interested in what we were carrying, but more in the roadworthiness of the van. Admittedly it was an old GPO van, on its last legs, driven by our trusted driver Jim, (who due to an extraordinary sounding night out the night before was also on his last legs), but it and he was cheap and cheerful, and all that we could afford.
Anyway the police kicked seven bells out of the tyres, casting aspersions on the exhaust and demanding to be shown that every light and indicator worked independently from each other.
Due to an extraordinary stroke of luck, they all did, and we were released to continue on our journey of no more than 50 mph due to an as yet officially unquestioned faulty thermostat.
When Kyp arrived we were sitting in the pub garden waiting for him to turn up to help in the delicate operation of unloading the equipment.
It was five p.m. and still a murderous 32 degrees in the shade, and none of us had the energy to unpack the gear, so we merely carried it to the studio, stacked it up and relocated to the pub to toast our minor, but first victory, that of all of us arriving in one piece.
I’m going to bed now, but I suspect I will not sleep.
It’s not the seepage of the dichloroethyl ether, which should be contained until the morning that was worrying me, nor the opportunity lying ahead, the opportunity of finally making the force field that was keeping me awake. The reason I would not sleep was one of displacement. It’s a long way from London to Sway, and in a way the silence of the countryside is disconcerting and almost eerie.
Monday, August 5th. Day 2
I managed to wake without sleeping a wink. I got up, bathed and dragged my computer upstairs and then plumbed it in. It all still worked. I was relieved. I offered up a prayer to the slave labourers who had built it. I went downstairs to the kitchen and breakfasted. It was at this point that I realised it was still only 6:30.
So sleep deprivation is one of the many things the New Forest has to throw at me. No matter, there is much work to do and early mornings will help the day be productive.
We got to the studio at about 10 o’clock. The staff were busy taking down an exhibition and understandably had no time for pleasantries; they were helpful in advice but were unable to proffer any support.
We spent the morning unpacking our equipment. Most of it made the journey. Apart from a couple of pieces, mainly the RCX and a couple of solenoids on the decompression unit which were bashed about a bit, most of it looked fine. We were still too disorientated to test anything, and it was hot as hell, and so we merely kept ourselves busy by ticking off our inventory to make sure that we had brought everything with us that we needed. There was a slight panic when we could not find an essential bit of kit, the magnatron, but it was, as always, in the last box we opened, stored away in the bathroom, where we had quite rightly, but absent mindedly, put it the night before away from any of the electrical equipment that it would almost definitely ruin.
Luckily I had remembered to recharge the battery on the refrigeration unit, and so the magnatron appeared to be holding up well.
The biggest job was moving the back up generator to shed 5 (our studio is made up of five separate spaces), and it pretty much takes up all the space, but shed 4 was slightly bigger and the magnatron fitted in comfortably.
The heat was unbearable, so we blacked out the windows and called it a day. I guess it still hasn’t sunk in yet that we are here, and finally get to test all our theories. It’s taken so long to get anyone to believe in them, that I’m not sure if I believe in them myself anymore, but I have been through the maths a thousand times and it all seems to add up. In theory, that is.
Tomorrow we have more work to do in the studio. I guess I should start calling it the laboratory, as that is what it will become, but I’ve never understood the division between the art and science thing. I blame the renaissance for that one.
Still, another day waits, and so to bed.
Tuesday, 6th August. Day 3
Another day of setting up the lab. There is a lot of kit to fit in a small space, and we have to be very particular of the zones. The zones are the different areas where we will carry out different levels of experiments. Each level is based on possible danger. As a sweeping generalisation we have come up with these three colours coded zones. Yellow for low risk, red for medium, and blue for high. As this is still unchartered territory for us, we most probably made some mistakes in our risk assessments, but it’s better to start with something than nothing. The storing of the magnatron is proving to be difficult, as even when not plugged in it is still very powerful and so keeps on causing fluctuations in our monitors. However most of the gear seems to be working, though we are still waiting on some of the most important parts to arrive from Cambridge. We haven’t heard from some of our more important suppliers, which is a worry, but I guess it is still early days.
Still, we have created enough space to work in, and set up the first stage of our apparatus. All we need now is the rest of the gear to arrive.
I still can’t feel that excited about the project until we start the experiments, but these obviously cannot be rushed, as we need the results to be verifiable, and so the set up is all-important.
Apparently the hottest day of the year so far, with very high humidity, which we still do not know whether is a good or bad thing. We know we need the humidity, but we also need to control it to carry out the tests properly, so it is still all a bit trial and error.
Due to the heat we clocked off early again today, and so another frustrating day, but until the rest of the kit arrives our hands are tied.
Wednesday 7th August Day 4
Still no appearance of much needed essential kit. Spent the day on the phone to Cambridge and setting up this website.
Thursday 8th August Day 5
I need to return to London tomorrow, and so it feels like a week has passed and that we have achieved very little.
I Feel I don’t have much to write about until it all begins, but hopefully next week we can start for real. We really do not know if the experiment will work, and even if we do manage to create the force field I have my doubts that it will be invisible, but we have it on good advice that it will. However we need the rest of the kit, and it is frustrating waiting for some idiot to send it to us.
Next week is when it all begins, I’m damn well sure of it.