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PreviousNextUpdates made to The Millenium Project in September 2021

September, 2021

Well, as far as this site goes September 2021 didn't really exist. The work on the census became a 7-days-a-week thing. Because of a shortage of staff I had to cover the area that had been allocated for two field officers. One of these areas included a lot of farms and a lot of driving. Here's a picture of my car bogged up to the axles in a farmer's front yard. I was eventually winched out but I was glad that it was a day when I'd packed a lunch and a Thermos to make tea because I had to sit there for several hours until a tow truck could get to me. (Murphy's Law dictated that the farm was unoccupied that day so there was nobody there to pull me out with a tractor.)

Not all farmers welcomed visitors, even visitors carrying official and legally enforceable authorisation to enter properties.

On another day I was caught up in a wild and unforecast weather pattern. Not only did I get caught up in a rather heavy snowstorm (with 70-90 kilometre/hour winds to blow me over) while trying to put census forms in letterboxes or tie them to farm gates, but nobody had told me about the extremely heavy rainfall the night before. Five flooded roads told me about this as I spent most of the day doing detours. I made it back home just before all the roads around my town (including the streets within the town) were closed for a couple of days because of heavy snow.

It didn't really matter that I couldn't get my car out of the steep lane behind my place the next day, because the road at the end of the lane was closed.

A few days later I was back in the area, but the boggy piece of road in the photo above was still impassable. I had to go to a farm on the other side of it. The photos below show the farm gate from one side of the bog and river and from the road outside (both taken with the same 55mm lens on the camera). The map shows the 30 kilometre drive (mostly on dirt roads) between the two shots. Good times.

Have I mentioned the COVID19 plague that made it impossible to talk to farmers when doing the followup on people who hadn't submitted census returns (participation in the census was mandatory, with quite heavy fines possible for refusers), but also restricted where I could go and when I could go there?

But it's all over for the next five years and my bank account is looking healthy, so I don't have anything to complain about.


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