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Published: June 12th 2019
This morning we complete our 600 drive to the Paul Scherrer Institut in Villigen. It’s a huge site spanning both sides of the river Aare. When we arrive, the fire brigade are in attendance. I ask daughter no 2 if they are likely to be required again. She is way too nervous to find this funny.
Security is high. We need passes for ourselves and the van plus dossimeters. The issue of dossimeters requires passing a test. Daughter no 2 is concerned that the old man and I will fail. In fact, she has to take a test. We must first follow a safety course before we are allowed to attempt the test.
It takes 2 hours to complete formalities and unload the equipment into the synchrotron. Then the old man and I retire to the on-site guesthouse to await further instructions.
I meet up with daughter no 2 and her colleagues for lunch. Good news – the 6 pumps have survived the journey. There was a dodgy moment on a roundabout in Greenwich, where one pump had lost a foot during loading and toppled over taking the other 5 down like a very expensive set of dominoes.
We have one more task to perform before we are surplus to requirements for 5 days; a mega food shop to get daughter no 2 and her team through the night shifts/weekend when the canteen is shut.
There has been a small explosion during our absence, but everything is now under control, assisted by the arrival of cookies. We leave them to their experimenting and repack (since the incident in Greenwich, our bags have been wedged around the pumps to increase stability) ready to depart in the morning.
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