An ordinary life....

By Damnonii


Mono Monday Challenge - Origins

Thanks to Jenny  for hosting.

I found out about Blip from a friend and work colleague and originally planned to start blipping from our holiday in France in July 2010, but didn’t as the holiday house didn’t have wifi and I didn’t want to start my journal off with two weeks of back blipping.

After that set back I didn’t actually start blipping until April 2011, by which time Santa had brought me my first DSLR (a big surprise, wasn’t expecting a camera at all!) and I’ve been here ever since.  Never missed a day in almost 8 years (can’t believe it’s been that long!) although I occasionally back blip due to circumstances meaning I’ve been unable to upload my blip on the day.

My blip journal name (An Ordinary Life…) comes from a lyric in the Jamie Cullum song Photograph –  where he sings about looking at old photographs and being struck by the fact that  “when I look back on my ordinary, ordinary life I see so much magic though I missed it at the time” which is a sentiment I completely identify with.  I also thought it was a good blip journal name as it hopefully wouldn’t raise the expectations of any blipper about to read daily musings.  I mean if I had called it My Amazing Life you’d all have been in for a major disappointment upon following me! 

Choosing my Blip name Damnonii (pronounced Dam-nonii) was easy.  

I grew up in a small ex-mining village in west central Scotland where my gran and my mum had been raised before me.  All my older male relatives on my mum’s side were or had been coal miners.  The village is situated on the route of The Antonine Wall, which was constructed around 142 AD by the Romans to mark the north-west frontier of their Empire.  

The Wall was a mighty symbol of their power and authority. It ran across the central belt of Scotland from the Firth of Clyde to the Firth of Forth and like Hadran’s Wall, is now a World Heritage Site.  I grew up not only a stone’s throw from course of the Antonine Wall, but a stone’s throw from one of the 20 Roman Forts that were built along the wall.  I spent my childhood playing among the excavated ruins of the Roman Fort, completely fascinated by the history surrounding me and definitely feeling the presence of those Roman souls that remain there.  We didn’t call the area The Scary Woods for nothing (birds don’t sing there!)

So where does Damnonii fit into this?  Well the Damnonii were a late Iron Age tribe living in southwestern Scotland at the time of the Roman conquest.  The were one of the nine tribes of ancient Scotland and covered what would become the region of Strathclyde.  They were  the native tribe living in the area of my childhood village when the Romans were there too. 

There is not much known about the Damnonii but what little there is, seems to indicate they lived peacefully with and were friendly towards the Romans.
There were also Damnonii tribes known from Devon, Britanny and Ireland where they were known as 'the men who used to deepen the earth'.  Damnonii literally means 'men under care of the goddess of the deep' and this would suggest that the Damnonii were originally miners.
So, given that The Damnonii lived and mixed with the Romans exactly where I lived and played over 1800 years later, and given my mining family background and that he Damnonii were also originally miners, I felt I could stake a claim on that name.
My Blip shot was taken from the Kelvin Valley looking up towards the Roman Fort, the excavated ruins of which lie within the woods to the right of the treeless mound in the middle off the shot. 
The treeless mound is itself the sight of an ancient Iron Age Fort that pre-dates the Roman fort, and existed there in the last few hundred years BC.  I have spent many a happy childhood hour in those woods and on that grassy hill fort and if I get cremated, I would like some of my ashes to be scattered up there.

So there you are Jenny.  Bet you’re sorry you asked now!  :-)))

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