Tag Archives: digging

Why I get such pleasure from going detecting…

I came across a lovely quote in the week, about why people go fishing. Now, I don’t do fishing – I think I was about 14 last time I caught a fish – but this is pretty well why I go detecting;
Fishing provides that connection with the whole living world. It gives you the opportunity of being totally immersed, turning back into yourself in a good way. A form of meditation, some form of communion with levels of yourself that are deeper than the ordinary self.
Ted Hughes

I had the most amazing experience on the field tonight. I parked the car, started detecting, and ground to a halt to watch the two adult buzzards and last year’s youngster, riding the wind swooping up the valley side. The female has particularly lovely markings, similar to these:

Photograph courtesy of Aviceda { creative Commons Attribution}

Photograph courtesy of Aviceda { creative Commons Attribution}

It started chucking it down; they went off to sulk in a bush, I retreated to the car. The rain was coming from one side, so the windscreen and one side window were completely rain-obscured. The other side was dry, though.

I noticed some fast movement on that side, and watched enthralled as a stoat and a baby rabbit danced a most elegant pavanne, with fluid grace. Well, that was only going to end one way; the stoat made the killing move almost in touching distance of the car, and stopped to catch its breath for a while, completely unaware of me.

stoat-wallpapers-4Stoat. Photo by Marsch

Soon it trotted off, without eating the rabbit, and I was annoyed at its wastefulness; but it reappeared with two clones – presumably its kits – further down the slope. They sat and waited, apart from a brief bout of twining round each other, whilst the original went back and dragged the rabbit – easily as big as it was – down to them, and out of sight under a bush.

The rain stopped as abruptly as it had started. The buzzards launched themselves again, and flew off. It was too late to do much detecting, but it didn’t matter; I had been immersed in nature’s beauty for long enough, and was completely at peace.

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Night hawks and history lectures…

Yesterday, I phoned my favourite farmer up and agreed we’d talk about where to detect next in the New Year.

Today, he phoned me – whilst I was on a conference call, so he got my answer phone. Not one message, but three; of increasing urgency. The gist was, could I please get on a certain field, as soon as possible, and get detecting; never mind the gamekeeper, never mind the shoot, just get on there!

A night hawk has been working the field – a detectorist who is absolutely not authorised, who is just stripping off what treasure he can find to sell on the open market, ripping out the “goodies” out of context and selling it for whatever he can on the black market. It’s the lack of artefacts in context that hurts my farmer and I most, I have been building up such a superb picture of the history of the farm. The rat has been working with his detector set only for gold and silver, digging and leaving holes alongside the hedge – I hope he got lots of aluminium cans! My farmer rides along that headland, as do his children; a horse putting a foot into a hole masked by grass could kill someone.

I hate that kind of behaviour. I will indeed be on that field as much as possible, to keep the bastard at bay.

At night, I have another fabulous discovery – a course on writing historical fiction! Whilst I can’t write any, or soon-to-be-ex-hubby can put a claim on the income from it, I can profitably learn about the craft. It opened today, and I am loving the first reading assignments! One was about my heroine, Hilary Mantel; I have been in awe of her historical writing since I realised that I refused to accept that I knew what was going to happen!

So my days, and evenings, are going to be full of happy stuff for a while 🙂 And with a bit of luck, soon-to-be-ex-hubby has found a flat, and I can sleep at night.

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I hope you enjoy my books as much as I loved writing them! Here’s my Amazon page.

If you’d like to know more about my writing, you can sign up for my newsletter.

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Filed under Detecting, History