Friday, July 12, 2013

We'll dig dig dig dig dig...

Sometimes life imitates art.

It was a warmish Saturday, before the heatwave really got going. Mrs D had realised her life’s ambition and ordered a polytunnel, fruit and veg for the growing of.

Yours truly had taken a look at the proposed site, waved a spirit level in its general direction, and decided that it wasn’t flat enough.

So yours truly, in a moment of madness, offered to do a bit of digging to even it out.

Now the thing about digging is that it lets your mind wander, even as your lily-white hands get shredded and blistered.

Not that it’s a mindless job – it’s just that it seems to let you split the functions of your brain, with the staid and boring left side getting on with the spadework, while the flamboyant, inventive right side gets up to all sorts of mischief.

Regular readers of this column will no doubt be aware of Mrs D’s recorded catalogue of Time Team.

Phil Harding off of Time Team. Not Indiana Jones,
 by any stretch of the imagination.
And with a bit of creative thinking, in the middle of all that digging you suddenly become an intrepid archaeologist. Rather like that bloke with the hat, but not quite as hairy.

Or  like Indiana Jones, but rather more handsome.

Every sod you lift promises to uncover some new treasure – a jewel from the Bronze Age, perhaps, or a pot from the Iron Age. Or even, if you’re incredibly lucky, a couple of stones from the Stone Age.

At the very least, you’ll expose the charred earth and mangled skeletal remains that prove incontrovertibly that Bath was once a hotbed of human sacrifice, and that the original Temple of Doom was located smack bang in the middle of your better half’s vegetable patch.

At the very best, you’ll discover the Dixon Hoard, a trove of Roman coins of such size and antiquity that your name is certain to go down in the history books – at least until that nice Mister Gove changes them all round again.

Meanwhile, though, Mrs D is voicing doubts about the necessity of all this digging. Leave it to the men to sort out, she says. And when they arrive a week or two later, they do.

No, whatever the Romans did for us, they didn’t do it on Mrs D’s prize-winning plot. But we should still get some nice tomatoes.

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