Friday, 1 February 2019

Friday

Friday the first of February - White rabbits!- slight covering of snow but now a lovely sunny day - sun pouring in through my sitting room window and Tess stretched out full length in it after having ten minutes out in the well-fenced garden whether she liked it or not.

So - no Brexit, no weather - let's have a change of topic today.

A few years ago, when the farmer and I still lived on the farm, I posted a photograph on this blog.   It was of a 4000 year old axe head which my father in law had picked up somewhere in one of the fields.   We had it looked at by a museum expert in York and he said the stone had come from the Langdale Pikes in the Lake District and had probably been discarded because it was no longer of any use - it had been used too much.

People travelled around all that time ago - not just from West to East in this country - but much further afield.   And as the centuries have passed so has man's desire to 'know what is out there' increased - and of course the ultimate has always been wars, sadly, when thousands of men have been transported away round the world for much more terrible reasons.

This morning in TheTimes which I read much more thoroughly than usual over my breakfast (I usually keep the thorough read for the evening when there is nothing to watch on the television) there are two stories which caught my attention and which I thought I would share with you.

One is of a Bronze Age locket - a bulla - found in the Shropshire Marches - and one of only two found in this country to date.   Who lost it?  Where had he/she come from - it would most likely be a 'local' but still a wonderful find.

But the other, and much more fascinating story I think is of a snowdrop.   Ann Treneman in her 'Notebook' today talks of a lady called Anna Pavord, who - when she moved to Devon- found a
distinct and 'different' snowdrop in her garden.   Intrigued, she sent it to a snowdrop expert (John Sales) and he told her that she was quite right - it was different.   He thought it was a wild snowdrop and maybe from the Caucasus.   How then did it get to her Devon garden?   He suggested that it might have come in the pocket of a soldier fighting in the Crimean war  (there was a local regiment who had indeed been there).

So folks, lets forget all about Westminster and its problems, the M1 and its snowy gridlocks - let's think instead of all these wonderful things that lie beneath our feet and which tell us so much about the movements and interests of our ancestors.

Have a nice day.

As I type here two hours later it is snowing again.  And in the meantime a good kelching (Lincolnshire word = no other will do) of healthy fym has been spread right up to my garden wall.   It is like being back on the farm again!



28 comments:

Heather said...

I am fascinated by history and archaeology and would love to find something special. As I don't dig any more it is highly unlikely. I enjoyed both your stories.
I woke up to a good sprinkling of snow - probably a couple of inches. I thought the pavements didn't look too bad so ventured forth. As I turned the corner into the High Street I met two council workmen spreading sand and salt, and one of them spread it ahead of me as I walked! I felt like the Queen. If it thaws and freezes tonight I shall not venture out tomorrow.
Keep warm and safe.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Recently whenever there's new buildings or roads planned they do exploratory archaeological digs - and they seem to find something of interest almost everywhere they look.

Elizabeth said...

Hooray for the humble snowdrop!
Still terribly cold here!
Sending warmest wishes!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Just been a heavy snow shower which, as I write, seems to be turning to rain.

thelma said...

Light powdering of snow, but the weather has come in here with hail as well just now. Ann Pavord is a well known writer, she wrote a book about tulips and their history, lovely to hear the story of the snowdrop.

Gwil W said...

What's all this about white rabbits? Is it like April 1st in February?

Gwil W said...

It's ok I've looked it up. I can remember if you a post office van you could pinch somebody on the arm and say Roal Mail Don't Pinch Back.
There are some strange customs and traditions, that's for sure.

Gwil W said...

'If you saw'

Rachel Phillips said...

I thought nobody was going to talk about weather. Snowdrops are nice in big swathes.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Didn't know that one Gwil but we always used to say 'a pinch and a punch for the first of the month'

The Weaver of Grass said...

Gwil, I always say White rabbits on the first of every month.

Derek Faulkner said...

Here on Sheppey today we've had non-stop and at times heavy sleety rain all day, very wet everywhere but better than all that snow crap.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Although there have been heavy snow showers all day Derek it is well above freezing, very still and not all that cold. I expect that might change when darkness falls.

Minigranny said...

I bet all that manure smells gorgeous! Nothing like a good whiff of that on a cold day. We had quite a lot of snow down in Somerset and it looked so pretty this morning. Hope that it clears by the morning though as I need to go out.

JanF said...

Have you seen the series called " The Detectionists"? I think you might enjoy it.

Mac n' Janet said...

I do remember the ax head. Love the Detectionists. You always write such interesting posts.

Librarian said...

Such mysteries set my imagination in motion like nothing else! And yes, people have been moving about for one reason or other ever since our ancestors climbed down from their trees and started roaming the savannahs of Africa.
Some were in search of a better life - many still are! -, some had to flee war zones or from catastrophes (and still do), others were trying to discover what was beyond their familiar places. It is something innate in humanity, it seems; no matter how settled we have become.

Susan said...

For many years we lived near a Buffalo Jump, not the big site of "Head Smashed In, but a local one that we cycled by when out on picnics. Also in the area were tepee rings-the stone circles remaining from centuries before. I always tried to clear my mind and connect with the people who had passed before and left this evidence of their lives. You probably have no idea what I am talking about so here is a link https://headsmashedin.ca/ I enjoy visiting Sutton Hoo for the very same sense of connection.

Joanne Noragon said...

I just finished "On Trails". How the world has been connected by trails since before we existed. So fascinating I sent it to my grandson, for his trail adventures.

Bonnie said...

Archaeology and all things ancient fascinate me. I loved hearing about the ancient axe head. It is also interesting to think about the many ways seeds can travel and then grow in a new area.

DL said...

We love to explore your ancient and old! Your story about the ancient axe reminds me of the BBC program "The Detectorists".

The Weaver of Grass said...

Have just peeped round the blind on the sitting room window - quite deep snow has fallen in the past hour. I no longer like it and feel isolated when it falls. People park their cars on the roadside opposite my bungalow so that they don't have to climb a hill to get out to go to work in the morning. If the snow is still there I shall not go out anyway so I don't mind. Keep warm. Thanks for your comments.

Dahlia88 said...

Anna Pavord also wrote a wonderful book on the history of the tulip. Well worth reading.

Granny Sue said...

What intriguing finds. They do make one stop and muse on whose feet once stood where we stand. We have found a few arrowheads on our property, one made with stone from central Ohio, the other Kanawha Flint from the Kanawha River Valley, 50 miles away at least. The Ohio stone from was the far northwest of the state, a few hundred miles distance.
Snow here too, but just little bits at a time, nothing to count. But very very cold. Staying inside sounds like the best idea for days like these. I haven't been out in a week or more.

Derek Faulkner said...

Here on Sheppey, North Kent, we had a total of 18 hours rain yesterday (Friday) and despite it being bitterly cold, no snow. Yet, as you will have seen on the news, all of the counties west of us, including West Kent, were snowed in. So life goes on as normal this morning, thank gawd.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Such interesting things all about us - loved the stories.

thousandflower said...

We have found several spear points on our farm as we till up the soil. One of our friends was digging potatoes and cut her hand on what we thought was a piece of broken glass. It was actually a knapped spear point that was still sharp enough to cut. It did take a bit of the pain out of her cut hand to know what it was.

Terra said...

Your post reminds me of a TV show I like a lot, The Detectorists. It has always sounded like a fun hobby to search for ancient treasure in England like they do.