(STOP PRESS!: New altars found at Vindolanda a week and a half ago. These constitute a major, very exciting find...for more information - look at www.vindolanda.com for their press releases and www.wedigvindolanda.com under Archaeology Finds/Excavations 2009 where Andrew Birley, The Director of Excavations, has commented on them.)
Yippee! I've finished my course (well nearly...apart from doing a First Aid course) but yes...all the studying frantically is now at an end. Last week the written exam and the practical guiding exam took place.
I wasn't dreading the written one but I was definitely not looking forward to the practical one. In the event I must have thrived on the stress because I quite enjoyed it. Not sure how that came about?!?! I thought my mind would go blank...........
Consequently I'm in a bit of a mess. Not having a raison d'etre (apologies to all French folk...can't suss out the accents on Google)...I've slumped into a heap in the corner. I still can't adjust back to life in the real world...I SO enjoyed learning about the Romans, Romans, Romans...but will still continue to learn...
Until I get my head back into gear I'll tell you what I've been doing the past few months:
1. Learning all about The Roman Army Museum and Vindolanda.
2. Went up to a farm called Castle Nook, where they have a buried Roman fort in their back garden called Whitley Castle. It's near Alston and Stewart Ainsworth of The Time Team Programme did a tour for us. I only wish they would dig it up!
3. Had various course dates at Segedunum ("Strong Fort") at Wallsend. Followed other volunteers around learning about their sites there and at Arbeia, South Shields, Roman Fort.
4. Prepared a presentation on "Great Chesters" fort which is nearby Haltwhistle. I've nicknamed this fort..."The Miss Haversham" of forts because it is neglected, forlorn and beautiful. I'll be writing some more about this soon.
5. Attended a day dedicated to the archaeology of Hadrian's Wall which was held in Hexham. A whole day hearing about what archaeologists are doing right across the Wall: it was absolutely fascinating.
6. And much, much more.
On the B&B side we have been busy which has been great (and we still continue to be). It's also still a battle with the bank - for various reasons (which I won't discuss here). I know I've been open in the past but I'm going to have to draw a veil over it. (I suspect that if I'm too open we might be sued!)
I can say that living life in separate houses is not too much fun. I miss my husband and the children miss their father. We snatch moments together and have some hours out but it is certainly not the same as being one big, riotous family together. (I also miss our main computer. Why?)
I've got this old laptop up and running but it feels like something out of the ark. It takes ages to do anything. When I bought it in 2000...it had a fault even then...I'll be typing away and then the cursor can end up in any word on the page so I'll then be typing into a paragraph I wrote three minutes ago. Erase. Start again. Swear. Swear. Swear. A computer with attention deficit disorder!!££$$@@@!!! Bleep! Bleep! A bit actorytoo late to send the damn thing back to the f.! (See what I mean?)
I wanted to blog late into the night, every night but as I have the children all day (not that I mind because I love them to bits)...I'm usually too tired to blog and then I flop into my bed. Little boy starts off in the cot and then climbs into my bed. Princess girl keeps me awake some times ( "Have bad dreams mummy"). Anyway stop moaning woman...and welcome back to life away from the Romans...
I shall get my act together one of these days. I have loads of catching up to do. I might take days, possibly months,................ah well. Thank you for your patience.
Whilst I was away I chanced upon this wonderful, superlative poem (through Radio 2's Wogan of all things). Maybe many of you discovered this a long time ago. For me - this is the first time that I have read this, written this and savoured this...:
Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
The Aedh wishes for the cloths of Heaven by W. B. Yeats