Son of the Soil

ROBERT BATTEN

In the days of antiquity when we were full of vim and vigour Mrs John and I gave talks about the hobby to organisations like retired Unison workers, University of the Third Age, Women’s Institutes, schools and others. We subsequently wrote about the experience in a detecting magazine.

Bob Batten of Kings Norton in Birmingham was inspired to write after reading ‘John and Lynda’s great article’ on giving such a talk. Bob said that he identified with our wonderful experience of sharing the hobby with others.

He continued: “A change of career ten years ago as a gardener radically changed my life. I came to the sudden realisation that the past was to be found in the soil.”

On holiday in Majorca Bob found a seven hundred year old hammered coin of Peter IV just lying on the surface and, nearer to home, a Victorian toothpaste lid half hidden on the canal towpath. As a gardener, he was very aware and always looked out for objects when working the soil.

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All our Yesterdays

When I scribbled for the popular detecting magazine The Searcher, I enjoyed looking back at the editions of twenty years ago. Do you remember 2000, known as the year of the Millennium Bug? We were told that because of the way computers were made to handle data major disasters would follow.

The Millennium Bug

People were panicked by press coverage and media speculation, as well as government reports. Companies and organisations around the world had to check and upgrade their computer systems. Thus, the preparation for the year 2000 had a significant effect on the computer industry.

Huge sums were spent to prepare for the consequences of this bug – or rather feature – in the way some older systems handled dates. But midnight passed on the 1 January and the crisis failed to materialise – planes did not fall from the sky and power stations did not melt down. What an anti-climax that was!

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Wish You Were Here

I’ve landed on my feet – literally and metaphorically. You don’t need to go to the local Champneys Tring Spa establishment and fork out a lot of dosh for pampering – just follow my advice. You won’t be disappointed.

The Local Hospice

For the last week I have been enjoying a life of luxury, living like a decadent Roman Emperor surrounded by ‘Vestal Virgins’ who supplied my every need. They fed, washed, dressed, and did everything to make me comfortable and happy. I enjoyed all their ministrations. It was difficult at first but when you are treated with dignity, respect and compassion all inhibitions fade away – like when I was in the wet room, in my birthday suit, being hosed down by a kindly nurse. Oooo Matron.

The ‘Vestal Virgins’of course, are all those dedicated palliative care nurses at the local Hospice. Earlier I mentioned money, but there are no charges here. On that score the fee is whether you have a nasty disease or not. I reckon that I am definitely over qualified.

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The Dodgy Detecting Dealer Advises

How to Achieve Success in Detecting

STEP 1 Buy a cheap or knock off copy metal detector. Don’t worry about researching what to buy. We all know that if it’s cheap, then there’s not much lost if it’s a duffer. Remember – Chinese clones of popular machines aren’t always of inferior quality.

Whatever you do, don’t waste your time trying to decide what sort of sites you will be searching and match the detector to them. Just watch a few YouTube videos – usually produced by reviewers who get to keep the (free) machines whilst claiming that the detector is the best available. These people REALLY care about you! They wouldn’t put these machines up there if they didn’t have your best interests at heart.