In a week’s time I’m off to Vindolanda again. This will be my fourth year of digging there as part of their volunteer programme. And this is their final year of a five-year project called ‘Frontiers in Transition’.
It is two weeks of hard work, but the atmosphere and the enthusiasm of everyone there is what makes me keep going back. Other people have pictures of children or pets as screen wallpaper on their computer/tablet/phone. I have a photo I took of the Vindolanda site and surrounding countryside. Just can’t wait to see the real thing again!
I learned a lot of things on my first visit, not all of which made it into the story. The detailed planning was one aspect that really impressed me. Each year the archaeologists on site have a plan specifying which areas can be uncovered. I thought that as the Vindolanda Trust owns the land they would be able to dig anywhere, but they have to apply each year to the SMC (Scheduled Monuments Consent) to outline which areas they want to explore and the related research objectives. This was evident on my second year when we were told to stop when we reached a certain point in one of the trenches. When we asked why we couldn’t keep digging there, we were told it wasn’t in that year’s plan to extend beyond that section.
Aside from the digging, maybe I will have the energy to write while I’m away. I’ve started work on a Christmas story and have another novel at the 40,000-word stage.
And on June 1st, Affinity Rainbow Publications will be releasing my new novel, Running From Love. Look out for some excerpts on Facebook in the next few weeks.
This week I was thrilled to see a new review of The Circle Dance, published by Lynn Lawler. She has taken the time to analyse each of the six main characters, which I found fascinating (and informative).
Buying options for ebooks:
The Starling Hill Trilogy: