So I am back, back at Berkeley Lab Guest House (BLGH) for round two. This kind of thing is always dangerous. You wrap the place in a golden memory forgetting the bad emphasising the great. I wrote a blog to help remember how good it all was, will I need to recant my post? I  had trepidations.

But then I remembered that the rooms were great the staff unbelievable (one of whom just walked into the room looking for a meeting and seeming a bit distress about it not being here) so the only thing really that they had to do to keep a 10 was to perhaps improve their systems. Remembering they had been open like a day or something when we arrived last time back in October 2009. They were still learning how the computer system worked, they were installing the coffee machines, things like that.

I should explain that I am writing this blog from the coffee room in BLGH whilst my new experimentalist colleague is outside smoking a fag. Which I’m sure is illegal!

I should also point out that sortly after writing the above line he came back in and I had to stop and go. In fact the first three paragraphs were written this morning now it is approaching 18:30 and the sun is setting over the bay. The ocean looks like a giant golden mirror all is silent it is just fantastic. I could not want for a more idyllic base of operations.

So it is the second day, well the first 24 hours, in the BLGH and so far I think I can safely say that they have cracked it, well at least they have not buggered it up. The biggest problem I could see, or our group experienced, when here last time was eating. We got around the problem by buying food and cooking it ourselves. We had to as there is nothing open at weekends or in an evening up here in the “lab”.  Clearly the people who built BLGH understood this was going to be an issue and built rooms with kitchenette facilities. We got one last time and of course we did the same this time. So again we can cook our own food and consume it with the on the tap coffee (still a milk issue, resolved by having own milk in room). But the BLGH people also realised not everyone will want to cook every night so now we also have the option of a well stocked food supply in the entrance and menus in the rooms for a load of different delivery companies. I witnessed a pizza being delivered lastnight and just now. So I know people are using it.

A year on and the place does not show its age, unlike the horrendous air France aeroplane which I flew here in (another blog brewing there). I recognise a lot of the staff from last time (they do not recognise me, probably a good thing) and they seem to have the place sorted. Hmm, sorry my train of thought keep slipping as I look out of the window at this brilliant neh stunning view. I’m surprised the place is not heaving. It is just me, I guess it is because the we are not in user beam mode, who knows?

I dare say that this post is no where near as focussed, precise or well written as my last. A year on and my brain has decayed my eye site worsen and different parts of my body have started to fail or cause me pain, but BLGH is spotless unchanged and as always the logical choice for ALS beamtime experimenters.

I should say some things have changed, now there is a little table in the coffee room for the coffee machine and that means the coffee machine is not sat on the counter blocking the cupboard. There are also nice little blue vases on two of the work/coffee area tables with yellow tulips in them. The WiFi worked out the box this time no issues with IPV6 but that could be that Linux started adopting the Windows attitude in handshaking.