Friday, June 06, 2008

Hadrian's Wall Part II

Quick history lesson.
2000 years ago (that's right....2000 years), the Roman empire marched all the way here on foot. Eighty-nine miles across the narrowest part of Britain, a wall was built. Emperor Hadrian, 1800 miles away, so decreed:
"Keep the blue painted barbarians OUT OF MY EMPIRE and build a waist high wall and keep collecting the walnuts or whatever else I get out of this crappy province...."
Yep they built a wall......
Why? What could this Britanic crappy province possibly give Rome?
It stands still.
Up and down hills it runs, long huff and puff climbs.
Grey drizzle. and huff and puff.
Imagine being a Belgium recruit 130 AD, ("Where's the fucking sun?") lugging rocks and placing them on a wall.....and making the blue painted bastards creeping up to stick an arrowhead in your throat more afraid of him than he was of them.
Damn the draft up the toga is harsh..
Nice, join the empire and find yourself freezing against a stone wall staring out at a bunch of blue painted barbarians.
Dear me, life expectancy of 36 years, and I've decided to die in a cold wet land where there's no native wine and the women are painted blue and are crawling with lice.
The toga looked good in the brochures..........

Truth be known I walked nowhere near the 89 miles with my dad........... it was more near the idea of 3 hours at a time and thing the long climb was worth the view.

The above is a 2000 year old toilet.
Funny how that's a key thing to judge civilisation. It's amazing how those Romans had a vision to eliminate crap when the rest of humanity just dug a hole. Everything about the wall was awesome.

A 2000 year old piece of engineering.
A 70 something Dad.
Long walks and talks about nothing.
Jameson whisky.
Long talks.
Long walks in the rain.
Along a wall 2000 years old.
In the footsteps of Centurions and citizens of Rome.
But , it was just me and my dad.
Its funny that after 44 years, it takes a walk to reconnect with someone. The thing is my dad and I are so close in so many ways that it makes me wonder why we were arguing about nonsense over the past three or four or five years........
If you want details of the how and where, shoot me an email.
I'll give you the details of £35 a nigh bed and breakfast places as well as where to get a steak dinner for £10 in the dead center of the UK.
The above is the view that someone else had 2000 years ago.
He had it and I had it in the middle of nowhere.
Enough said.


Anonymous said...

That is not a wall, its more like a fence. Are you sure its not a fake (e.g. build later for tourists by Disney Corporation) or it had another use? Compare it to the chinese wall...

BTW, see the following articles about

1) discussion who has actually build The Roman Wall:

2) A review:

3) An advert:

ask bob for the monthly password....

Terry said...

Given that I did the walk with my Dad, who is a retired Classics professor, I'm pretty sure that what we saw was the real thing.
Parts of it are more substantial than others, (the stones have been pilfered for castles, other stone fences etc) some parts have been restored but the middle section is pretty much as it was 2000 years ago.

sarah_500 said...

Sticking to the rules as ever Terry!

On the height of the wall, is it purely symbolic gesture of keeping out those Scots or a reflection of the fact 2000yrs ago people were a hell of a lot shorter?