Suppose you were to write a novel like Wren Bay, all about the experience of coming upon a house and conquering it, in the domestic sense. What would the outline look like to you? How would you tackle things? Chronologically? Room by room? Chore by chore?
For myself, maybe it would be like…
1. Rooms and furniture
2. Cupboards and drawers
3. Attics and outbuildings
4. Unexpected repairs
5. Unexpected upgrades
6. Heavy cleaning
7. Light cleaning
8. Eating and washing up
9. Dust and laundry
10. A daily routine
11. Holiday cheer
12. Sorting through the nonsense
Could you write a whole novel about getting a household under control? I think I could. I don’t know how interesting it would be to anyone else, though. Wait, isn’t this what my blog Snapdragons is about?
Sparks and I are watching Time Team again. He favors Roman excavations, but I just love any large-scale excavation on an island, and especially Iron Age ones.
I love the cists, especially the one with intact skeletons… and ESPECIALLY that one that had a 1400-year-old plait of hair still with the body. They were right, it’s somehow much more intimate than the bones.
I love the roundhouse foundations, and the wheelhouse foundations. I love to read about just how advanced the Iron Age peoples were, without the Romans. I get my nose out of joint when the Britons are compared unfavorably to the Roman invaders. Grrrrrr.
These people plowed fields and planted crops.
They raised sheep and goats and cattle.
They processed wool, spun it into fine yarn, and woven exceptionally beautiful cloth from it (beautiful woolen textiles are one of the most beautiful things in the world, to me).
They made beautiful bronze and enamel objects, covered in gorgeous knotwork and zooforms (knotwork is one of the most beautiful kinds of ornamentation, to me).
They built huge earthworks, to turn hills and crags into impenetrable forts.
They also built huge stoneworks. They built dry stone walls for the house foundations and also as walls for animal pens and forts. They built brochs and duns (look ’em up on Wikipedia) (beautiful dry stoneworks are one of the most beautiful things in the world, to me).
They didn’t build barrows, but they lived with them.
They created some of the giant chalk drawings.
They had a writing system.
They had coinage.
They had trade with the continent.
They had ships that could cross the channels.
They occasionally became Bog Bodies.