Done with digging

Sadly, the Whitehall Villa summer dig is over for another year. I’m never happier than when grovelling around in the mud of a Northamptonshire hillside with an archaeological trowel. There are those (including Husband) who view this hobby as oddly obsessive and dreadfully dirty. Absolutely right. But the delight of archaeology is that you never know what will turn up – and for a writer, anything that provides physical activity and companionship in the fresh air without requiring either fitness or any sort of sporting ability is a real bonus.

Grubbing around in the past is also very humbling. So many human lives reduced to a few scraps of anonymous pot, some building rubble and the odd stain in the soil. What will be left of any of us in 2000 years’ time?

On a less sombre note, it also provides a chance to wear the sort of hat you wouldn’t be seen dead in anywhere else.

Back to the 21st Century next week, with this year’s Bodies in the Bookshop event at Heffers in Cambridge on Tuesday (always fun – see the Diary page for details) and hopefully a trip to Towcester Library on Wednesday to hear Adrian Magson, who’s celebrating the publication of the 5th book in his Riley and Palmer crime series.

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