Down to earth


The vegetable plot is coming along. Soon I will be the next Tom Good.

I do some more digging. I plunge the fork deep into the ground and lean back to turn a substantial clod of rich Norfolk soil. It is very hard to move. I lean harder. The ground is very dry. Nothing moves. I lean with all my weight and pull with all my strength. There is slight movement in the soil. I withdraw my fork. It has three neatly aligned tines and one very bent one.

I push the bent implement into the earth at a slightly different place. There is a ‘clonk’.

I am excited. This could be an important archaeological moment. Perhaps no one has dug here before. East Anglia is full of undiscovered hoards of Roman or Saxon gold.

Using my still unbent spade I dig a hole. At the bottom of the hole, some nine inches below the surface, I find some Roman concrete. Or it may be Saxon. I delicately break up the concrete using a lump hammer. This must be how Howard Carter felt.

A piece of concrete flies up and just misses my eye. I may be cursed.

With trembling fingers I lift out the lumps of broken concrete. There is mud underneath. I can see a round disc pressed into the mud. It may be a large medal.

Ancient relics can be very fragile, especially solid gold ones. Carefully I lift the disc. It is metal. I scrape away the mud and hold it up to the light. There is some lettering. I rub it with my thumb.

“Cherry Blossom Boot Polish”.

4 Responses to “Down to earth”

  1. 1 Andy F

    You never know what is to be found under a Norfolk garden. I recently located what I think is a filled in well a couple of feet down under the back garden.

  2. 2 John

    Best leave well alone Alex, you could have a medieval plague pit down there – remember the film Poltergeist!!!

  3. Might not be a well, might be an old septic tank…

  4. 4 Michael Dagless

    You might even find a body… or a skeleton, at least with rags of clothing still hanging from it’s frame and wearing beautifully presented shoes!

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