Friday, October 3, 2014

Flotsam

Clearing the mind and sliding in
to that created space,


This morning I am confined to the computer, as the agent is coming to photograph the house, and everything must remain tidy... My mind is bubbling over with thoughts, LS often asks 'what are you thinking,'  too much is my answer.

Yesterday's post about the Banksy drawing  at Clacton, slowly slides off the page, news revealed yesterday that Clacton needs a new MP, defection of conservative to UKIP and all that, but it seems that only two miles down the road from Clacton, there is a small town called Jaywick 'The poorest town in the UK'.  Clacton is but 50 miles from London, so what has happened.  Well the answer soon becomes clearer, it is the retired and old that have moved to this town by the seaside, and Jaywick also by the sea has a history of its land being sold off into plots in the 1950s. This produced a rash of cheap wooden holiday homes for Londoners, unfortunately there was no ancillary services put in by the council for such things as electricity, roads etc.  Plotlands as they are called, are similar to the dachas of Russia, originally temporary not permanent homes.

Towns falling into decay, are only to be expected through the centuries, deserted medieval villages come to mind,  the people wiped out by the recurrent 'black plague'. The book I am reading at the moment (Britain After Rome - Robin Fleming) also explores the period of the so called 'Dark Ages' when the Roman way of life ceased to exist after the withdrawal of the troops in 410, and there was no form of overall government.  Villas, government offices and the baths fell into ruins, as presumably anarchy must have prevailed for a period of time.  Some of the Iron Age forts were again inhabited, as small local Romano-British leaders took control.  There was colonisation by the Angles and Saxons, arriving in small groups they settled down into the countryside seeming to shy away from the towns.  There is an 8th century  Old English poem, said to be written about the City of Bath which captures the mood so evocatively.......

The city buildings fell apart, the works
Of giants crumble. Tumbled are the towers
Ruined the roofs, and broken the barred gate,
Frost in the plaster, all the ceilings gape,
Torn and collapsed and eaten up by age.
And grit holds in its grip, the hard embrace
Of earth, the dead-departed master-builders,
Until a hundred generations now
Of people have passed by. Often this wall
Stained red and grey with lichen has stood by
Surviving storms while kingdoms rose and fell.
And now the high curved wall itself has fallen.  
 

What fascinated me on reading the book, was the 'ancestor' jewellery, and Roman bits and bobs that were found in the Saxon graves of the women, like my magpie acquisitiveness with words so these women would have searched among the old Romano-British homes, rescuing pieces of pottery and broken glass.

The next thing to grab my attention was Digging Deeper rather striking use of Bonham images to underline the problem of how antiquities are getting sold.  Sometimes one feels that this is rather like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, such things have been sold since time immemorial, but the Sekhemka saga still rumbles on, and there is a questioning in the air!

Notes to myself... Iron Age Roman helmet reused for cremation burial



3 comments:

  1. Many years ago we ended up in Jaywick - I think we were exploring after going to St Osyth. Definitely a Dead End for the road and humanity it would seem.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Might be a case of how are the mighty fallen - so many old cities fall into a state of disrepair.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Totally depressing, apparently Grimsby has the same air of finality.

    ReplyDelete