After many years of updating this diary, it is inevitable that, from time to time, themes recur. Fortunately the majority of my readership (aMToNW) is so drug addled or mentally deficient as to not to notice.
I expect that the media has some system of ensuring that once in a while every place gets a mention in the news. As nothing of note has happened in Staffordshire since the Great Drugs Bust of 1970, there are acres of newsprint currently dedicated to the startling news that someone in Staffordshire has dug up some old stuff in a field.
This has so excited the populace of said manor, that they are queuing round the clock to see it. The old stuff, that is, not the field. Nor Staffordshire. That would be silly.
I just don’t get it. I have no desire whatsoever to see some old stuff that someone has unearthed. Even were they to have disinterred it in Shropshire or Cumbria I would have no concern. I don’t care how old the stuff is. I don’t care if it is the lost Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, Alexander the Great’s jockstrap or a polo mint half sucked by Ferdinand Magellan, I would not cross the road to see it.
Furthermore, I think that the populace of Staffordshire deserve better. They have been deprived of entertainment since the Talke Pits Development Company relocated, but surely someone can devise a more stimulating diversion than gawking at old stuff that some bloke dug up in a field.
Dullness seems to be a characteristic of the region. The dug up items might date from the reign of Wulfhere of Mercia. I do not expect many of you will have heard of Wulfhere. That is because he was basically boring, and his idea of fun was to doodle on bits of shiny metal and then bury said metal in a field. He had a more notorious brother called Peada, but on the whole it was the sort of period of English history which has resulted in generations of bored schoolchildren nodding off or indulging in unseemly activities at the back of the class while Mr Blenkinsopp tried to convey some of the enthusiasm for the subject which he so singularly failed to feel. I doubt whether many people can tell you much about Mercia. You have not missed much. In their favour, the Mercians incurred the displeasure of that tiresome god-botherer the Venomous Bede, who wanted to pop round on a Saturday afternoon and interrupt Sports Report to read to them (in Latin) from the book of Lamentations. They told him they were not interested. This was not because of any devoutness on their part, or enthusiasm for paganism, it’s just that they preferred to sit around and whittle or doodle on metal rather than go to church on their day off.
To give you some idea, the collection of items includes “sword pommels”. No, I have no idea what they are, either – and points will be deducted from anyone smartarsed enough to try to inform us.
To give you a further idea, the “expert” consulted by the BBC news reporters is called “Roger Bland”.
To give you the best idea, the items are being exhibited in Birmingham.
The whole sorry episode is so incomprehensibly boring that I expect Dave is on his way over there now to have a good look.