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After yesterday morning’s stint of work we returned to the local town and spent a pleasant afternoon in the back of the bar we had discovered on Monday, playing some card games, drinking coffee and sampling more wares from their menu.  Returning home to our abode we settled in for the evening with some more gaming (Tom Lehmann’s superb Race For The Galaxy) and prepared for our empires to face off against each other.

A truly amazing game.

It turns out that, no matter how powerful your empire, the darkness of space or even Earth can be too much.  Mid-match the power went off, taking the remaining heating, light, internet and everything else with it.  We struggled to the car, headed to the nearest town for matches (note to self: on next foreign trip buy these first), noting that most of the surrounding area was swathed in complete darkness.  I like to think that our air-conditioning marathon had taken its toll on the local sub-station, but it turned out that the power had been restored by the time we returned.  After the fourth game and much merriment, some of it Metaxa-inspired, I have to say, it was a late bedtime.

The wind was crashing objects around all night, and there was even the lightest of snow showers this morning, but there was also – praise be! – a heating engineer, which means that the radiators are now working and the air conditioners have been switched off.  My skin feels as dry as the local wine, so I am grateful for the local techie’s efforts for all sorts of reasons.  As it is our last day here, and as we have both done decent stints of work on each day, we have decided that today is a weekend.  I think I can get the remainder of 1215 orchestrated in relatively short order, and I do hope that I will not be begrudged a day off.  I am still on track to be five weeks ahead of deadline.

So tomorrow we head home.  It has been a worthwhile break, technical woes notwithstanding, and lovely to remember what it is to spend an uninterrupted week in the company of my other half.  I always think that good quality time away should leave one prepared but a little reluctant to go back to normal life, and I think I shall make just a little more effort to make sure that we disappear maybe a little more often.

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