Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Er. Urm. Bloggus interruptus. Bare with me.


Talking of being bare. Take a look at this fascinating pre-Hadrianic Bath House at Vindolanda. Built for one thousand Batavians (or Dutch) soldiers...double the size of another bath house which can be found outside the stone fort (one of ten [five timber and five stone] which were built there over 300 plus years).

What is Vindolanda? I hear you ask....

It is an amazing Roman fort site one mile South of Hadrian's Wall about midway between Newcastle and Carlisle. Check it out at www.vindolanda.com. Its sister site is about ten miles down the Wall - literally on Hadrian's Wall called the Roman Army Museum.

The reason for the blog hiatus is that I am being trained up as a volunteer guide at both sites. In less than a month's time I sit my written exam at Tullie House in Carlisle about all things relating to Hadrian and his superlative Roman Wall built between AD122 and say about AD128/AD130. They didn't stop doing things to it (modifications and forts and such like) until Hadrian's death in AD138. His successor, Antoninus Pius, decided to abandon it and push further North into Scotland so he built his own turf wall up there. The Scots or Caledonians bashed them too much so the Romans fell back again to Hadrian's Wall and stayed there until just into the fourth century.

There are just SO many things I want to tell you about but I am restraining myself until I have got these flippin' exams over and done with. I am being tested as a bona fide guide on the Vindolanda site in July. Let's hope the heavens don't open, coach loads of children and strimmers do not operate on that day. Fingers crossed and many offerings offered to the God of Guides....could it be Mercury? I'm sure there must be a better one but can't think of him/her/it right now.

So I will set up a household shrine, a lararium, and make a daily offering to the lares, otherwise known as household / guardian spirits. Here's one I made earlier:



Just kidding I will reveal all -where this altar is.. in due course - Valete (goodbye) just for now! (Then again if anyone can tell me where it is....? Special Hadriana points and award will be winging your way...)

25 comments:

Maggie May said...

That is really interesting! You are really into Hadrian in a big way. Will be great to be a guide and I wish you well with the exams.
Looking forward to you revealing more secrets!

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

you must be in a whirl you are so busy, and you have a family and run a guest house, bloody esk hen!

rosiero said...

I wish you bona fortuna (or should that be the accusative bonam fortunam) for the exams. You really are a busy bee what with the guest house too.

Nota Bene said...

ah good luck with all that...

Suburbia said...

Good luck with your exams :-)

Dumdad said...

Bon chance. Look forward to hearing all about the exam and your new job.

Catharine Withenay said...

If your enthusiasm is anything to go by, you will sail through the exams. I'm sure you'll make an excellent guide - good luck!

The Dotterel said...

I shall be burning incense on the altar of Miverva for you, Hadriana.

The Dotterel said...

oops, and of course I meant Minerva. Obviously been neglecting my votive duties.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Good luck with your exams Hadriana - I will keep my fingers crossed that all goes well. A x

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Howdy folks! Thank you for all your lovely comments. My stomach is in a big knot because of all the nerves. Promise to put all to rights (sort of) when normality returns soon. ;)

Lakeland Jo said...

I will visit and you can try out your fabulous guiding skills on me!

Expat mum said...

We had a fab day there last summer. I will send pictures to you. The kids loved it - and the surrounding countryside is almost overwhelming.
If my mother lived nearer I would tell her to do this, but she's having an absolute ball volunteering at Beamish Open Air Museum.

Saco-Harry said...

Best of luck on this! How jealous, to be able to wander amongst the ruins day-in/day-out. Best part is the punters who look around and say, "OK, so what part of this is Roman?" Oi!

Saco-Harry said...

BTW is that altar at Great Chesters? (Wall geek here, sorry!)

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hello....everyone again...apart from my regular readers (whom I'm not taking for granted in any way) an especial welcome to Saco-Harry who knows Vindolanda very well. I won't blow his cover!

Thank you, The Dotterel, for the suggestion of Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom and War. Maybe the war-like part is the Viking in me! Her symbol was the owl and funnily enough we have just visited Alnwick Castle where our children had to seek out the fluffy white owl in each of the state rooms.

Lakeland Jo, be more than happy to give you a tour...just tell me when!

...And Saco-Harry: You win the award and the special Hadriana points hands down!!! The altar is at Great Chesters. When we looked one day there were coins and a ring. When we went back the next day the ring was gone. Maybe the god/goddess had accepted that offering....Well done on the identification (from one Wall Geek to another!) :)

Saco-Harry said...

Hooray! Excited for my Hadriana points! I love that walkers leave coins there. Seems perfect. Not actually visited Great Chesters yet (read about the altar in one of the guidebooks -- Guy de la Bedoyere's I think). Big miss on my part, must make sure the next time I'm there!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi Harry, glad you like the points. Will sort something out for you when life calms down.

I'll write a post about Great Chesters with more photos. I found out about it when I had to give a presentation on it for my course. It certainly is a lost treasure!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It's a very interesting place, I've been a few times and love to see something different every time.

CJ xx

French Fancy said...

the best of luck with your guide exams, C. I know you'll do fantastically because your enthusiasm shines out of your blog page - imagine how impressive you are in the flesh!

Ladybird World Mother said...

Wow, you are a busy girl! Sorry I havent been to visit for a while. Hope you are well and happy... can see just how busy you are! GOOD LUCK for the exams... X

Catharine Withenay said...

Hi! I left you an award on my blog - do call by and collect it, if you don't have it already!
Cheers!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

BTW folks...my exams are OVER!!!! Thank you for all your best wishes...I think they worked. Will reveal all very soon and be back in the blogging world very, very shortly. :) Hxx

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Tibi gratias ago...Catharine. Very gratified and chuffed!

Sandi McBride said...

I can't believe how long it's been since I've been in...slap me silly darlin'! Keeping busy is always a blessing...I suppose lol! So glad to learn a bit more about Hadrian's Wall and the various forts...you are quite a teacher...
hugs
Sandi