Good evening, my fine fibrous friends. I hope that you’re so far ahead in your Christmas knitting/crochet, that you have plenty of time to read this post. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope that your Thursday has nevertheless been filled with joy and productivity (and yarn – lots and lots of luscious yarn).
Today at the Twisted Yarn, we’re going to engage in a wee smidgeon of time travel.
I hope you don’t mind if I knit whilst we talk? I’m a little behind with the projects that I want to show you (partly due to the shock of the fire at work), and also I’m knitting a Christmas gift which I can’t mention because the recipient reads here, and he doesn’t know that I’m knitting for him. (No, Stoic Spouse, stop looking so terrified: it’s not you!)
So whilst I knit
frantically, let’s travel back in time a couple of months, because I want to show you some interesting photographs. No wait, these pictures were taken in October, but really we’re travelling back well over two thousand years to the Iron Age in what is now Britain. One of the things that I love about Oxfordshire is how deeply and obviously its landscape has been marked by our ancient forebears. (I’ve talked before about the Ridgeway and Blewburton Hill. And skipping forwards many centuries, also ( 😉 ) about our family seat.)
One day a few weeks ago when the Tyrannical Twinnage were on their very first break from school and my newly-transplanted-to-Oxfordshire parents happened to be free, I nagged everyone into a trip back to the Iron Age. Not far from my parents’ new home is Segsbury Camp, a hill fort reckoned to be between 2200 and 2600 years old. Here it is on the map (marked ‘fort’ in the centre of this image):-
On the map above, the pink diamonds mark the Ridgeway, and we climbed the hill from Letcombe Bassett at five-year-olds’ pace. There were some decent views across autumnal Oxfordshire, such as this:-
And also this:-
And then at last we reached the fort. Can you imagine the men who would have guarded these ramparts and the wooden structures contained within its curtilage?
The sides remain steep. How many hours were taken to build these ramparts by hand?
I can’t help being impressed. (Even the twinnage were fairly interested.)
We walked the perimeter of the fort, and admired the fruits of autumn, such as sloes. (Why did I not get round to making sloe gin this year?)
And then, spurred on by the
not gentle sound of children whinging, we descended the hill again.
I always feel a little meditative after such experiences, as though I’ve almost been able to reach out and touch those ancient people. They’re not so very far away from us, you know.