Catch up

I am a week behind with blogging…but Twitter keeps up! This is turning out to be a ferociously busy season…not sure why more so than past seasons…But evenings of e-mails leave little time for the update of the day gone. But…I am determined to CatchUp!

Week 1, Days 2 & 3……Day 2, my diary says ‘Highdown School – 85 students’; talk to BBC re: filming on 20th July (Digging for Britain…Alice Roberts fans watch out!); sort out Open Day signage with University Press office……and, 6.30pm a visit from 1st Mortimer Brownies!  I listened to Helena and Michelle weave a magical tale to spellbound little ones. ‘What did you learn about Roman Britain?’ And a forest of small hands goes up….gratifiying…..’they liked dogs!’

Thursday, Day 3…and the heavens opened. leaving Reading I aquaplaned through puddles to pick up Dr. Hella Eckardt for our on-site ‘Treaure Talks’. I hate days like this…how do I entertain 140 people in a field, with no access to site? As it turned out, we managed…we stayed off site until morning tea break, and, with no fresh rain, we were able to trowel in limited areas. But the rain had made the site a delight to work on…..floors and beam slots appeared, as if by magic….

It was a day of talks….the ‘Treasure’ of past seasons as brought to life by Hella, a visit by John Hudson from the local BBC – we are due to be featured live on the Anne Diamond show on Thursday 23rd July, 10 am to 1pm…listen out for us!….a slightly abortive attempt by Mike Fulford to deliver a background lecture to Silchester’s archaeology from St. Mary’s Church (the technology failed….a ‘replace your bulb’  light came on…how useful…it was already too late!)…so the audience gathered round a laptop screen, pulsating gently in the church’s dim interior. At the same time, flowers were being placed for a forthcoming wedding – quite surreal!

We ended the day with Mike’s ‘catch all’ site tour…to 150 people…it works… shouldn’t – but it does! We all troop around the archaeology and ‘ooh’ and ‘aaah’ at the latest thoughts…the military phase emerging AD 43 -48, the contemporary workshops in Natalies’ area….and….and a possible east-west aligned beam slot in Chris’ area…..could this be our first real indication of a barracks block? No pressure then Chris’ team!

It is a general overview delivered effectively and authoritively. We have everything to play for…..but, first, tomorrow is a day off….and tonight’s party is planned to be lowkey and relaxing….watch this space!

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