Monday, 12 March 2012

Small Change

Up on Twyford Down yesterday the sun was intense, and we discovered that the stony field has been ploughed and seeded in the last week or so.  This had brought out the detectorists, as the area is next to a Roman road, and apparently has a number of "hotspots" for Roman era finds.

I asked this man if he'd had any luck, and he said he'd "only" found a few bronze Roman coins.  I think I'd be fairly happy with that, though that's easily said when you haven't spent the afternoon systematically swinging a mine-detector back and forth over a ploughed field.  It must make your arm ache, and the headphones must create a weird sense of isolation.

You do have to wonder at the cavalier attitude to small change in ancient times.  Most fields in Southern and Eastern Britain seem to be liberally sprinkled with low denomination coins.  Perhaps pocket and purse technology had not yet been brought to perfection.  I'm confident I lost no money walking over the field myself -- I checked -- so it can definitely be done.

This notice gave us pause for thought.  Amongst other useful tips on sharing a field with cattle, it says:

If you feel threatened by the cattle:
Do not panic and run away, they are probably being inquisitive and will run to keep up with you.
Raise your voice -- but do not shout -- and raise your arms to make yourself look bigger -- but do not wave them about.  Make eye contact with the cattle to keep them at a distance.  Do not use a stick to scare or hit them.
Walk briskly away, keeping an eye on the cattle and on your footing.

Make eye contact with the cattle?  What is this, a job interview?


Kent Wiley said...

Sounds like instructions from "the cattle whisperer".

Like the series of photos

Mike C. said...


Indeed, although rogue cattle can be itimidating, I'm not sure that Walks With Cows has the same appeal as Dances With Wolves.