I developed a pronounced desire to de-clutter whilst I was away on holiday, to such an extent that one of my first actions on returning home was to order a large skip. Perhaps it is a response to living in a small ship's cabin surrounded by only those objects I could fit into a suitcase, perhaps I have lost patience with a house that is almost bursting at the seams with the detritus of modern living. Whatever the reason, I am anxious to start a new phase in my life: a leaner, cleaner, meaner phase. Where better to start than with the small passage that runs down the side of the house where the roof plunges down towards ground level like Icarus with melted wings. This back passage can only be navigated by adopting a strange, Quasimodo-like gait, and therefore has become a dumping ground for all those things one no longer uses or needs but can't bring oneself to throw away. However, there is a tide in the affairs of man which taken at the flood leads on to a de-cluttered house. That tide is now.
Before going away on holiday I set my digital TV recorder to record an episode of the archaeological programme Time Team (for those who don't know it, each episode features a group of enthusiastic experts digging up an old Roman villa or Anglo-Saxon long-house, or such like). Unfortunately I must have pressed the wrong button for I have now discovered the hard disk contains 47 hour long episodes (they are constantly repeating various series on a variety of digital channels). Not liking waste, I am determined to sit through all 47 hours of excavations rather than just press the delete button, and this has engendered an enthusiasm for all things archaeological. The discipline of carefully removing layer after layer and painstakingly recording finds, however seemingly insignificant, has become part of my very nature, and it is a discipline I intent to make full use of over the coming weeks.
We are therefore proud to announce that the summer season here at News From Nowhere will feature a new twice-weekly series which has been provisionally titled "Excavations Up My Back Passage". The first episode will appear tomorrow : I bet you can hardly wait.