Friday, 19 March 2010

There are Celts. Somewhere.

It is so completely typical of the Grit family that I travel miles with Shark, Squirrel and Tiger to meet one of England's finest countrysides - an area of outstanding natural beauty, no less - where we may step into time-stopped ancient lands, breathe deep the air of the Celts and, now each of us is lord, feel this land of England beneath our feet - only to arrive and tilt sideways into a ditch, unable to see my hand in front of my fizzog.

We are at Butser Iron Age Farm, Hampshire, and the rolling hill fog clears...


...but not by much.

Behold, the breathtaking view!


English drizzle, there is plenty. And more mist. And rain. And more drizzle. It may be genuine Celtic drizzle.

Then there is this.


Not snow. Don't get carried away. That is chalk bashing, by mallet. It's just one of the things we English folk like to do in rainsoaked greysodden fields. Accept it, and life is easier.

Soon, because now we are socially aspirational Celts, shortly to become Romano British, we will re-engineer a Roman archway. Mostly by making Squirrel hold up fifteen bricks on one side...


...until we conclude that this is a stupid way to build a Roman arch. The Romans would never do it like this. They would never have had Squirrels strong enough.

Make Shark hold it up instead.


But then! The mists roll themselves away, folding up over the hillside, and there, in the hard set rain, unfurls before us a true iron age settlement...


...complete with the bloke who built the rooves, and who tells us a thing or two about living in the iron age, and how these poncey days we are weedy sissies who think a carpet is a minimum living standard when it is merely proof of our poncey living sissyness.


Soon, he scorns, we will be taking ourselves off to the Roman villa built next door, and then prove to all the world we are the soft bellied comfort seeking jessies he suspected all along.


But of this site, Absolutely brilliant, says Shark. Iron age and Romano British, side by side. A slice of time. In rain, mist, fog, drizzle, cold, and cloud.

Absolutely brilliant. I agree. And that too from a wet, ditch-bashed, chalk-splattered Grit. You can take that as a recommendation, and visit there, soon.

If you can find it.

8 comments:

darth sardonic said...

again, you have cracked me up. so needed right now. thank you. and i love the bloke what called us all poncey jessies. that capped it right there! this poncey sissy is gonna go punch hisself in the face and kick off this funk like a pair of damp socks. thanks again!

Firebird said...

Is the cute little cockrel still there? When we visited last year he was all alone having lost his hens to a fox.

http://www.swsurrey-home-ed.co.uk/wordpress/2009/11/12/butser-ancient-farm/

Rachel M. said...

Okay but what do you do with the chalk once you've bashed it?

sharon said...

Yes I too want to know why the chalk has to be bashed.

And personally, I'm quite happy to be a poncey jessie ;-)

Michelle said...

The bashed chalk is for clunching :-).

Kestrel said...

and clunching is?

Thank you for the wry, laugh inducing introduction to Butser. If we ever make it back to the UK I'm definitely dragging my angels there.

Grit said...

hi darth! you are welcome. this blog don't refer to grit for nothing. every bit of grit could yield a pearl. or just be washed away in the sewer. and you never can predict which one.

firebird, we saw not much of any farm type creatures. animals are foolish and stand in the rain. we are weedy and hid from the rain.

hi rachel and sharon, we are told that it is to help mend the roundhouse plaster! (we are not told that it is something the kids can do for five minutes to stop them running riot around the site.)

michelle, you win.

hi kestrel! it is 100% recommended. But please please go when the sun shines!

MadameSmokinGun said...

You great poncey jessie!