Woke to driving rain this morning, rain that was still sweeping over the car park by the time we’d downed our porridge with whisky prunes and the rest. However, today I was indulging my interest (alive since I was 14) in Ancient Rome and Roman Britain, to which end I’d pre-booked a slot at the newly refurbished Trimontium Museum in Melrose. Finding parking for the chariot was a trial, but we were fourth time lucky in a side street.
If I sum up the afternoon as briefly as possible, I can say that we found ourselves coopted into a history walk up to the site of the huge Roman camp/fort/settlement at the foot of the Eildon Hills - the Roman Trimontium (“of three mountains”). We learned about more than the Roman period; we chatted to a bunch of interesting people, we walked far further than we’d meant.
We ended up back at the museum, completing our tour. And as I looked at the terrifyingly blank silver face-guard of a Roman cavalryman, I thought of the sheer terror of meeting such a thing in battle for your own land. When I was 14, I was full of the glamour of Rome and Roman power; now I can think only of the shock of invasion by an alien power.
How we change.
Photo montage of helmet, face shield mask, horse face shield, model horse, body mail and sandals.