Authors who obviously don't have an exact timeline worked out will insist on mentioning dates. Why they don't use a vague 'some days' or 'a few years' is beyond me.
If I could just stop my brain doing the maths every time it spots on of those numbers, my live would be much more easy.
After living for years with a dog, it's completely weird to have the flat for my own. (Nothing happened to the dog, I just parked him at my parents' for a week, so I could clean properly and take my time for the trip to the Erzgebirge.) Doors can stay open. I can walk from one end of the room to the other without a shadow. I don't have to put everything edible out of reach when I leave the flat.
Put me in a pair of overalls and rubber boots, give me a light and let me walk through the mud some 100 metres under the ground, and I'm happy. Climbing roughly hewn steps in a shaft maybe 1.4 m high while water is dripping down on me and I can't see much more than the back of the person in front of me is my idea of a good time.