whats it all about then?

It’s often wet in what was Westmorland … wet, windy, woolly, sometimes wild, yet on occasion wonderful, and for one somewhat scatterbrained family, home. Can a now ‘RuralDad’, long from the city, wringed out, bleating, poor as a church mouse – dreaming of adventure and a challenge – with boisterous youngsters in tow, regain the energy, passions, romance and carefree approach of youth?

The ‘grand idea’ or challenge – to bake for the family, to get out and about and walk the Fells, and in the countryside around us far more, have fun exploring Britain with ‘Sweetpea’, ‘Sweetpotato’ and ‘SHE’, to keep mentally busy and active, to use my SLR camera, and to try writing for sheer pleasure. Having long been intrigued by the landscape around us, and the influences on its ‘making’, shaping and history, learning in depth about a new subject area – Britain’s landscape, its past and social history – appeals. How to summarise what we see, find out about, and enjoy ‘North by Southwest’ in our ‘British journey’? Ahh – and why not – a combined personal website & blog would do the job, surely a ‘web-a-blog’?, comprising:

  • An ongoing resource, guide, pointer to, summary (and in due course synthesis) of literature on landscape history, landscape archaeology, settlement development and vernacular architecture.
  • An occasional ecclectic, personal blog, describing ‘life along the higgledy piggledy lane’.
  • A miscellany of remarkable (as well as very normal) places, along with images of them, from around Britain – the focus being on the landscape and natural history of Cumbria, the Dales, North Lancashire, Dorset & the islands of Scotland.
  • A reflective resource on orchards and apples, and ‘how to develop an orchard from scratch’.

Will anyone read this web-a-blog as it develops over time? Should you come across ‘North by Southwest: A British Journey’, and like it, please do on occasion revisit, follow the webablog, leave feedback, or suggest ideas to include or add anew.

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Possible Vindolanda writing tablets relating to late Roman Christmastide

Finding words for the annual Christmas letter, brings thoughts of possible family news.  Perhaps the first Vindolanda wooden writing tablets, relating to late Roman Christmastide, may be unearthed from anaerobic middens alongside Hadrian’s Wall ?

(re-deciphered Tablets 291, 344):

“Clausia Santavera, to his Lepidina, greetings. On the 25th December, Sister, for the day of celebration of Christmastide, I give you a warm invitation to make sure that you come to us, or call, as you make the day more enjoyable for me today by your fine words of news. If you give presents, I wish for … (?). I shall expect your joyful letter too by return, sister. Such words bring great cheer. The de[e?]r, yon babes, [s?]elves do well. Farewell, sister, dearest soul, as hope I to prosper, and Hail to all this Christmastide”.

“… all the more .. such letters.. the strain – pour them down the drain (?). As befits an honest man, I implore your majesty not to allow me, an innocent man, to have to receive such drivel (?) I was unable to complain to the prefect because he was detained by ill-health, too having received Christmastide writings so very long. I have complained in vain to the beneficiarius and the rest of the centurions. Accordingly (?) I implore your mercifulness not to allow me, an innocent man, as to whose good faith you may inquire, to receive such news of family this month as if I had committed some crime. Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it infamy(?) A curse on writers such..”

If so, little changes?     With best wishes for Christmas.  Rural Dad

  1. A Grand idea for a grand tour Leave a reply