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Sunday, 23 June 2013

Cool Shiny Stuff, and ye old Archeology course, and Chingford Plains stuff

For the past week I've been watching my fellow Allegories of the Tarot authors coo over their pendants on Facebook, and made little whimpering noises in the back of my throat. Then I got home from work on Thursday, and a sweet little package containing this was on the carpet:

So I promptly went on Facebook, and made my own cooing noises, because it's gorgeous!

This past week was a bit crazy. I'm doing a part-time archeology course through Coursera, which offers free courses run by different university lecturers. I'm having a blast, although there is a weekly quiz and a weekly assignment, which when you're as anal as I am about doing stuff right can be a tad time consuming. One of the Blue Moon books I have planned for the future features a dig, and I'd always wanted to learn about archeology, so the two things just combined really well.

This weeks course saw me heading to Chingford Plain to snap some photo's. It's easy to get to for me, since it's about seven minutes away from the train station (if you have short legs, like I do. I guess taller folks will make the trek faster). I spent a happy hour or so tramping around. I got shots of the Hunting lodge, the plain itself, and on the last couple of shots, heading back to the road, I tripped over these:

They look like some sort of flagstone, set into the ground. The edges are pretty well defined, and although I'm aware of the geological fracturing process that can make rocks appear to be shaped by humans into geometric shapes, I'd expect to find more than just these. I did a bit of tap dancing over the area (I'd just landed on my butt in the grass, I wasn't going to get stranger looks at that point) and there's a definite difference in sound in that location to other parts of the plain. I know this was a popular day-tripping spot up until the first world war, but I can't find a record of any building on this part of the plain. It's pretty close to the main road, so I expected to find something, but nope.

Then I took a wander back along the road and found these:

At first glance, it looked like some sort of worm party. A careful look showed that whatever this is wasn't moving, or doing much of anything except give the plant concerned the appearance of chicken-pox. The forest around the plain has a pretty unique ecological system, and I'm not a gardner, so I've no clue as to whether there is a fungus or something that is common, but the single leaf I found with one red whatever, a couple of feet away from the leaves swarming with red, suggests that it spreads. 

So I don't know if I'll ever solve the mystery of the Chingford Plain rocks/stones I tripped over, and I have no clue what is growing on the leaves - but the whole evening has given me a pretty funky story idea that I'm going to leave to brew for a bit. 

In the meantime, have a few more pics: Queen Elizabeth's Hunting Lodge, and a couple of views of the Plain itself.