Thursday, 23 April 2009
Er. Em. Where do I start? Time for a Celebration. Methinks.
Not sure where to start as so much has been going on!
I'm over the moon that I have been accepted to be on a course which means I am studying to be a voluntary guide at Vindolanda and The Roman Army Museum. There was fierce competition to get on the course which is being arranged and funded by Hadrian's Wall Heritage Ltd. and The Heritage Lottery Fund. There are 20 of us and we have been assigned different sites on Hadrian's Wall to cover. In total there will be six main sites: Arbeia (South Shields) and Segedunum (Wallsend) in the East; Vindolanda and The Roman Army Museum (Roman name: Magna and also known as Carvoran) in the Centre and Senhouse Museum (Maryport) plus Hardnott Fort (Ravenglass) in the West.
I'll tell you more about all of this as time goes by. We have day training courses to attend and the qualifying exams, to be a level 2 Guide with The Institute of Tourist Guiding, are at the end of June/beginning of July. I'm panicking a bit but I'm sure I'll get there in the end. (We were at Segedunum yesterday and I had to pretend to be a guide for 10 minutes...it was very enjoyable plus nerve wracking at the same time!) I am SO chuffed that I have got to be in the Central Cluster I absolutely adore what they are doing at Vindolanda. There are continuous archaeological digs there throughout the Summer. They are constantly finding something new. To be near the famous Vindolanda Tablets (look at their website and The British Museum website for further information) is just out of this world!!
Once I qualify as a guide I'll be guiding there this Summer, next Easter and Summer. Can't wait.
We have also been attending short courses again run by Hadrian's Wall Heritage Ltd. on the history, archaeology and geology of The Wall and these have been fascinating. I always wondered why the sandstone in the West was red and it is all down to the fact that that bit of Britain used to be on the same latitude as the Sahara desert millions of years ago. Lanercost Priory is a good example of the red sandstone seen across in Cumbria.
Our website for our B&B is up and running. It is still a work in progress but at least we have got it going. Hurrah! Bookings are good and steady. My husband has been described as "a legend" by a big group of Kiwis and Aussies who stayed with us over Easter weekend. They even bought us some wine before they left. It's super when we get feedback like that.
Perhaps foolishly, I have put my name down to run in The Great North Run on September 20th. My training has yet to officially start. Although I have been out for a couple of jogs and done some swimming. I could come to regret this! I'm running on behalf of RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution). It's a cause that's close to my heart as they exist solely on public donations and they do fabulous work saving lives at sea. I've set up a page at Just Giving if you fancy taking a look or making a donation.....
Oh yes...little Hadriana's school would like me to do a talk about The Vindolanda Tablets and Minimus soon.
The local town have twinned with a town in the Lazio area of Italy. I helped with some Italian visitors when they were over just before Easter. We walked the Wall between Housesteads and Steel Rigg. I walked past the famous "Robin Hood" tree at Sycamore Gap at long last....It was a good chance for me to practise my Italian but, to be honest, their English was absolutely fine. They were very friendly and I'm hoping that one day we'll get over there to see them again. The day they arrived was the same day as the earthquake in L'Aquila. As they are not far from there it was a worry that they might have been affected but as luck would have it...No! I still think of the survivors and hope the world hasn't forgotten them. We, personally, might have some tough times but I cannot imagine what things must be like when your world literally caves in. Unbelievable. It makes me count my blessings.
I am neglecting my fellow bloggers of late but promise to make it up to you all at some point. Thanks for leaving all your messages of support and encouragement. What a great bunch you all are!