24 November 2010 (Wednesday) - A Roman Villa

Up with the lark, remarkably chipper bearing in mind the amount of stout that I saw off last night. I watched another episode of Star Trek: Enterprise and then spent five minutes scraping the ice off my car. The bloke from next door happened to walk past whilst I was de-icing, and he made great show of lighting a cigarette so that he wouldn’t see me. Mind you, I made a point of scraping the other side of the car as he walked by. It’s been seven years since the solicitor’s letters, and relations are still far from cordial.

There was an interesting article on the radio today about the place of sport in schools. Again I find myself in the embarrassing position of agreeing with the government. They want to do away with money specifically earmarked for school sports, and let individual schools decide where to spend the cash. I’d go further. I’d do away with sport in schools (in its current format) altogether. Instead let “sport” be something that kids formally study. They can do this over the course of one year. The schools could invite experts and/or local sports teams, and the kids might have a go at badminton, lacrosse, basketball, hockey, karate, archery, all sorts of sports. All the children would get to learn about the sport and all would get a go. Rather than the traditional way of only encouraging the half-dozen who excel at sport. And then all the kids would have an idea about a whole range of sports, and may be more inclined to pursue something they otherwise might not have.
I have some small experience of this – for my third year at secondary school there was no P.E. teacher available for our forty minute P.E. lesson. So the biology teacher stepped in. In his past he had played for the England volleyball team. He taught us volleyball; he taught it as he would teach an academic subject, and everyone got something from it. Which is totally at odds with most school sporting activities where the small talented minority shine and the majority can get knotted as far as the school is concerned.

Home for a bit of tea and then the doorbell rang. Chip was there saying something about “Bonus knockers” (!), and then we were off to the arky-ologee club. We started with mild consternation in that the club has been infiltrated by metal-detectorists. Last month a couple of blokes turned up and said that they were into arky-ologee and they owned metal detectors.
Apparently (in arky-ological circles) metal-detectorists are akin to Satan. They would seem to infiltrate arky-ologee clubs to suss out where to go detectoring and then get rich on their profits. Now I think that his conspiracy is somewhat over-exaggerated. Firstly because I can’t see anyone getting rich on the dull bits of broken pot that our bunch finds. And secondly if any malignant metal-detectorists were to attempt to infiltrate the club, I doubt they’d be dumb enough to admit to being a malignant metal-detectorist in the first place.
Tonight’s talk was surprisingly interesting. It was about the Roman villa on the east cliff at Folkestone. Did you know there was a Roman villa there? No? Neither did I. I’ve actually walked over the top of it a few times over the last few years. I shall have to go back with my dowsing rods and see if I can find it.
And following my suggestion of how successful the constellation game is at the astro club, something similar was tried tonight as a fundraiser. Rather than selling constellations, they sold names of towns of historical interest. I asked for a rude sounding one. The chap selling the thing was bemused by that. He had no idea what a rude town sounded like. I went for “Ribchester” because (as I explained) it’s got rib and chest in it, and that’s where you find tits. The logic was unassailable because I won the tenner.
Same time next month….

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