Today should’ve been spent in Shrewsbury excavating traces of industrial and domestic medieval activity – instead I had to tend to the most important tool any archaeologist owns: my car. Having nursed my ailing old Citroen through months of university it finally gave up the ghost, within mere hours of my being offered the Shrewsbury job. So a day of test drives it was, including nearly putting a Xsara Picasso into Offa’s Dyke. Trying an emergency stop the ABS failed and a good old fashioned 1980s skid ensued; tires screamed and the back end of the car began coming round. For a distinctly sticky moment it seemed the Picasso and I were going to plough into the adjacent dyke, causing irreparable damage to one of the nation’s major heritage assets – not to mention an elderly French car and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
No luck today; back to the search tomorrow, possibly with a slightly less gung-ho approach to emergency brake tests. And then on Monday – back to medieval Shrewsbury.