Monday, February 2, 2015

Travel Funding for 2015

When I go each spring to excavate at the Roman fort site of Vindolanda there are some constants.  I walk a lot.  I work fairly hard.  And my eyes are constantly scanning for artifacts.

Of course you can just show up and get right to it, but I feel a certain obligation to have my legs, my back and my eyes tuned up and ready to go.  And naturally it is an excellent idea to keep in shape generally when your 60th birthday is a lot closer than your 50th.

So we walk.  Almost every day if the weather is not unspeakable.  Days when it is we go to the Y and circle the indoor track like latter day charioteers on a "Circus Minimus".

One disadvantage to the indoor version is that you don't find much money.

Me culpa, when I am out for a walk I scan the ground for anything anomalous.  Coins for sure.  I have also over the years accumulated a partial set of socket wrenches and the occasional lost earring. The money comes home and gets tossed into the "Treasure Trove" tin.  Here is the haul from 2014, a year constrained somewhat by ill health, excessive work and a nasty winter that hung on longer than it needed to.

Not bad I suppose.  We live increasingly in an age of plastic and electronic money.  Lost pennies will someday become rare as they fall out of use or when repeated efforts to eliminate them from our currency entirely succeed.  A few close ups:

A very distressed penny.  I wonder how many ancient "holed coins" were in fact not jewelry but just very beat up small change.

Pennies really vary in condition.  Softer metal and more prone to corrosion.  Maybe they also stay on the ground longer, many people will not bend over to pick them up.

A couple of quarters.  The top one was so odd looking that I thought we had come across a stray Mexican peso or some such.  Nope, just a worn down quarter in which the superficial shiny stuff had vanished leaving the dull base metal underneath.  You saw this pretty often with Roman silver coins but of course they usually had some attempt at genuine silver on them, if only a thin deceptive wash of it.

As to financing the upcoming travels, I guess every little bit helps.  I appear to be able to purchase a nice pint of ale and a bag of crisps at the Twice Brewed Inn.  Or, with the exchange rate for the euro being the best in over a decade, maybe a bottle of modest vino in Rome?

No comments: