Here I am having stood in a field since early morning, having to swat the flies off me it is now early afternoon and the rain has started albeit a light drizzle. I have another two hours of this before I can head home. Yes I am ‘living the dream’ if it doesn’t sound like it to you dear reader then let me explain.
For more years than I can remember I have been interested in Neolithic archaeology, and in particular the amazing sites in Orkney. I like, many visitors loved to learn about the new finds each season as we listened to the excellent guides as we spent our two week holidays on the island, but I always felt detached from what was going on never did I really think that I would become involved in this ‘scene’.
The reason for me standing in this field is that I am helping out at the first of the two open days this year at the Ness of Brodgar. My job this year is with another volunteer, Alan, is to guide the cars in the car park / field in an attempt to keep some sort of order to it all. We had over two hundred cars during the day and at times it was pretty hectic with Alan sending the cars up to me who ‘caught’ them and guided them to their space. I know this may not seem particularly glamorous but nor is kneeling in hole in the ground covered in mud, such is the world of archaeology!
It is not the car parking that is part of my dream, it is the being involved with a great group of people all working for the same purpose, exchanging stories and having a laugh.
During the eight weeks of the Ness of Brodgar Dig I help out on various days with the Orkney Archaeology society shop that is on-site, meeting and greeting visitors as well as trying to get then to sponsor a square to raise money for the dig. I am also on the committee of the Orkney Archaeology Society which can be quite rewarding. Recently I redesigned their website moving it to Word Press and making much easier and quicker to add content www.orkneyarchaeologysociety.org.uk if you want to take a look. I have been spending a large part of the last couple of months working with the archaeologists Jim Bright and site director Nick Card on 3D printing models of the Ness. These have come on nicely but still very much a work in progress and when my new printer arrives ( more later on this ! ) other options should open up for this project.
To be this involved with these people is a real treat, to be helping out the Orcadian scene, to be able to stand in my garden and see the Ring of Brodgar, these are all part of ‘living the dream’ to me.