A word in your ear

‘In recommending a book to a friend,’ said Henry Miller, ‘the less said the better. The moment you praise a book too highly you awaken resistance in your listener.’

I have to admit that I’ve shamelessly stolen that quote from the latest Crime Writers’ Association magazine – I hope they’ll forgive me. I haven’t time to go hunting down quotations for myself, since Downie Towers is currently in a state of upheaval for reasons that seemed good at the time. Similarly, I haven’t time to sit around reading. What a delight, then, to have books that read themselves to you as you rush about doing less interesting things.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been accompanied by an invisible Simon Slater, reading ‘Wolf Hall’.

Great book.

Great reader.

Enough said.

Glamour and grime

Just in case anyone’s missed it, here’s the link to the appeal for funds to buy the fabulous Roman cavalry helmet recently unearthed in Cumbria. Tullie House Museum is a great location and would be absolutely the right place to display such a wonderful find. Fingers crossed.

(The Mail Online has some better close-up photos, plus an entertaining mock-up of the finder, who’s wisely chosen to stay silent.)

Meanwhile, at the less spectacular end of archaeology, a group of volunteers assembled last week to lift the waterlogged oak beams discovered this summer at Whitehall Roman Villa. There are some good photos of this rewarding (if squelchy) event on the Whitehall Villa mini-blog.

LATER – and anyone wanting the full story can watch it on video here