Sunday, May 04, 2008

Mudlarks, flint and rust.

Nick took me to The National History Show.

1. The Mudlarks, who spend their weekends digging around in the mud on the Thames foreshore looking for coins, buckles, musket balls, Medieval tiles, pieces of jug, tin toys, medals, tokens, bottles and anything else preserved in the oxygen-starved mud of London's mother river. One of them talked about giving his son a jar of ashes from the Fire of the London (1666) to take to school.

2. Seeing Phil Harding from Time Team talking about flint knapping. He had to show us a video, rather than actually demonstrating -- because of the demons Health and Safety. He talked about spending night after night practising the techniques, and about what a magical material flint is. You can see him at work here.

3. I tell Nick that the vintage Jeep smells like my grandfathers old Land Rover. It's petrol and oil and rust and webbing and leather.