5 June 2011 (Sunday) - Fossils

Anyone who knows me will know that I organise my calendar. I plan for events months in advance. There are several reasons for this – it’s very easy to find that I’ve agreed to go to several conflicting events; it’s very easy for me to forget about events, and that if I don’t have something planned, it’s very easy to waste precious time doing nothing.
Some months ago when making plans, bearing in mind that this would be the first weekend in June we naively thought that this would be a good day to go to the beach. We woke to find light drizzle, but if we gave up every time the weather was against us, we’d give up an awful lot.

We set off, only ten minutes later than planned, and narrowly avoiding the police speed trap at Cliff End, we arrived at our destination (Cliff End) five minutes before the Folkestone contingent arrived. We had a quick cuppa, and then wandered down to the cliffs, where we embarked on our fossil hunt.
Fossil hunting is rather akin to arky-ologee. It involves taking an inordinate amount of time to not find very much. But occasionally there’s something worth having. And there’s probably more to be found in fossil hunting that in arky-ologee.  I think it’s fair to say that in an hour’s fossiling we found far more than we ever would in a day’s arky-ologing. We found fossilised sponges, fishes teeth, fossilised wood, and even a crocodile’s scrote. And I got to clout things with a great big hammer too (!)

It took me a little while to realise that one shouldn’t bam just any old rock; fossils are (apparently) quite fussy about where they lurk. But I soon found the right sort of rock.
Having got the hang of what I was supposed to do, it would have been good to have continued, but the rain was getting heavier and heavier. And the tide was coming in fast. Very fast. So not wanting to get cut off we beat a hasty retreat back to the cars. On the way back we were accosted by a normal person who asked if we knew anything about fossils. We laughed, but he was serious, and he showed us his find. We scratched out heads over what he’d found, and eventually concluded that it was some sort of stone. Possibly a rock or even a boulder. The normal person didn’t seem impressed with our sage wisdom, and we left him to get cut off by the tide and we went back to the cars for our picnic. The original plan has us picnic-ing on the beach. In the end we picnic-ed in the cars to shelter from the rain.

As the rain increased from “deluge” to “monsoon” we sadly gave up with the beach, and drove into Rye for a crafty pint in the Queen’s Head. A pint of mild, and a game of chess. There was a chess board, and once we’d picked it all up from where “Daddies Little Angel TM had thrown it all over the floor, we had a game. I won, eventually, but it took some doing. And then home, where I slept in front of the telly for a while. I would have preferred to have spent longer fossiling. Next time….

1 comment:

  1. I would love to go fossil hunting next time I am over. I must admit though, that I am a fair weather fossiler.
    I don't know what to look for so it would expand my education.