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Dig diary Wednesday 1st August: guess what - still backfilling!

Stone, more stone, yet more stone - we're running out of stone to backfill with, having put back everything we took out at the start of the dig, we're now trekking further down the storm beach to bring stone safely from a distance to cover the site for the winter. Everyone's tired but spirits are still high, another day should do hopefully it:

The trouble is I keep thinking of all the work we'll have to do to open up next year, but it has to be done, the sea is just too close for comfort.

At least the weather's been kind - I can't remember a summer like it to be honest, hot, dry, sunny. The only problem has been that we've been unable to do any flotation of our environmental samples - vital for ecofactual evidence as well as obtaining samples for radiocarbon dating - because water is is very short supply in Rousay, which relies on boreholes, and some people's boreholes have run dry already. Those who do have water understandably want to conserve it, so no water means no flotation. Yours truly has somewhat rashly volunteered to bring all the samples back to Swandro HQ - aka our shed in Birsay - and do the flotation there, as we have mains water which comes from a huge Loch at the bottom of the hill and is in no danger of running out. Hence today a very full and possibly slightly overloaded Landrover load of flotation tank and samples came back over on the boat, with parts 2 and 3 together with the dig trailers coming home on Saturday. Ho hum, at least I know what we'll be doing in our spare time for the foreseeable future!

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