Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thursday, 20th March

Today may be difficult, opening the curtains this morning revealed a bright and cold morning, but this type of weather can also bring a migraine as well, so as those amoebic like creatures swirled before my eyes once more, took a tablet, and took to my bed, feeling guilty of course......
LS is upset because I called my life humdrum yesterday;),so he teases me as to what I am going to do in my 'humdrum' life today! Well I cannot play with the new toy, so I shall write....
The other day I mentioned archaeology, something I studied many years back, did my 'A' level course in it, and then did a diploma course, my subject being 'Wiltshire Abbeys'. So archaeology filled  quite a bit of my life for years, notwithstanding that I married the archaeology lecturer, now suffice it to say  that it was not a happy marriage and ended in divorce a few years back.
The Cluniac Castle Acre Priory, a beautiful ruin to contemplate every day.

But come weekends and summer months a group of us dug sites as an amateur group, cold winter mornings would see us trogging across a ploughed field in search of pottery, etc or scrapping away at the soil on various undertakings such as a medieval kiln or Roman remains..  Summer months were spent on a proper paid dig at Castle Acre Priory for four years. Here my ex-husband ran the dig, and there would be about 40/50 volunteers to organise and see fed, so it was always a busy two months.  At the time we were excavating  a 'unique grain-processing plant comprising a granary, barn, a kilnhouse, a malthouse and a brewhouse' down by the 'canal', which was how most of the goods were transported.  Monks were after all the most self-sufficient of people, with their granges and gardens, and brewhouses they probably lived a good life, turning 'deserts' such as the Yorkshire moors (the great Cistercian abbeys) into productive land.

Here you can see the rounded kilns, at the other end was the great round building used for malting

In the beginning I used to draw on site, which called for a lot of concentration.  There was a young lad from university, and we worked together, he was always much cleverer at working out the 'points' from which we started our measurements, even to the point of laying the great linen  measuring tapes out in the morning to see if they had stretched over night.  As a group we had lots of fun, it is exhausting working out all day in the fresh air, but come night there would be a campfire and people playing 'ghosts' in the ruins of the abbey...

It is of course the first day of spring today or the Vernal Equinox, when day and night becomes equal in terms of time, so happy Equinox everyone.......but real spring starts when cow parsley line every lane and by ways with the exuberance that only nature can produce.

Ulting Church overlooking the Chelmer; taken in May 2011.


  1. Oh dear Thelma, our cow parsley leaves are but two inches above the ground and will be weeks before they are out. Bitterly cold today here in north Yorkshire.

  2. I know Pat there is probably snow on the way next week, but officially it is still spring ;) That photo was taken in May of the cow parsley, but our plants are much higher.. here

  3. yes they did say snow....but I'm hopping that it wont come this way. Love the pictures.

    1. Ulting church is very pretty Ana, down a muddy lane quite far from the village...