Monday, 21 November 2016

Monday Moments on and off the wall!

Monday Greetings to you! 

My Monday, so far, has been mostly sedentary but a good one. That's because I've been able to get on with some of my writing. There's always new decisions to be made in any work in progress and today was one of those days - again. I've a great habit of re-reading my work and telling myself that something doesn't quite make sense and needs a little more tweaking. So, some tweaking has been done and I'm moving on and getting in more action. Well, it is an adventure!

Courtesy of Futurelearn  - Hadrian's Wall Course - Newcastle University. 
As well as new writing, I've now started week 3 of my FutureLearn Hadrian's Wall course and I'm loving it. There's always something new to learn, even when I've previously read a lot about Roman Britain. I really like the structure of the course, organised by Newcastle University and FREE to the public. The constant repetition about how interpretation is the key in archaeology, since being 100% sure of everything is very unlikely with finds, is salutary.

One thing I don't seem too good at learning is organisation of my stored files for the course. Even though it's only been two weeks since it started, I'd already haphazardly saved some information in one folder entitled FutureLearn Hadrian's Wall. When I went to clarify something, I realised that  it was a dog's breakfast so a bit of file management was in order. One hour later, I'm hopefully ready to store things properly into folders for: general info; PDF transcripts; videos; word documents...

McManus Gallery, Dundee, Scotland

Other recent updates are that I had a lovely day last Friday (18th Nov) at the McManus Gallery in Dundee, Scotland. I spent my short slot of two hours in the small Celts Exhibition - a special short-term feature - which was conveniently adjacent to the Roman section. I found some really interesting information, and talked to a lovely young man - a very helpful member of the museum staff who was on duty in the 'Celts' room. Some of the ideas are already appearing in my new writing.

Having gone down by coach  meant 4 different coaches for the return trip, but I read a lot of the way and looked at the lovely scenery, as well, since the day was really fine weather-wise.

I imagined Agricola's armies trudging up the Tayside countryside, into Angus and on into the Mearns of Aberdeenshire way back in AD 84. The flatlands between the east coast of Scotland and the Grampian Mountain passes  (Gask Ridge forts and fortlet areas) would have looked different from now, but I'm sure there would have been some strip fields where the scrub and intermittent woodland would have been cleared and drained...and maybe some marsh and bog draining had gone on as well.

On such a clear day like Friday was, it was so easy to imagine just how far a Roman soldier would have been able to see from a typical watchtower. It was also easy to imagine being a local tribesman on top of one of those ridges watching the snaking column of Agricola's legions tramping along one of the tracks that was already there going northwards. I can also imagine that ancient byway track being widened and flattened further by the thousands of military feet that padded along it.

Can you imagine that with me? 

Nancy Jardine- near Stracathro (Roman Fort)

L - Iron Lynch pin R- Harness fastening 

Ancient Roman coins found in Tayside

Bog iron! That's the hot topic for today. I know it sounds sad but it could very well be a great key to a problem I've been wrestling with for a wee while. Meanwhile I'm adding some lovely images of my trip to the McManus Gallery.

Mirror - on loan from The British Museum.

SlĂ inthe!

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