Out cycling this morning, I passed a field being ripped up. Walking a few metres behind the earthmover (It’s Scoop, mama!) was a man with a metal detector and a spade.
“Dude! WTF!!” I shouted, but he was too busy to look up.
I can’t imagine what he hoped to find. Since the land has been reclaimed from the sea, it’s only been used for cow pasture.
Bah! Two metres of compacted dung.
Beep! Beep! Beep! My god, he’s found something! …
In Rome, developers were reluctant to dig in many places for fear of hitting a buried ruin. Once that happened, the ground would be seized and cordoned off by the Ministry of Monuments.
” ‘old yer ‘orses, Marco. You’ve only gone and uncovered the almost pristine remnants of a paleochristian oratory, ain’tcha, you dipstick!”
I’ve freely translated from Romanesco, the local dialect. Although it may not be long before Roman builders do talk like this. The spread of Estuary English seems relentless – it’s already reached Friesland where my Dutch mother-in-law talks like one of the Slaters (she’s a devoted Eastenders viewer).
And she has a sense of humour …