Einstein quotes abound online. The only problem is he never said most of them. Recently, Ivanka Trump was mocked on Twitter for an Einstein misquote she made four years ago . “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.” A relative of Al’s family confirmed that he’d never said the quote and suggested she purchase The Ultimate Quotable Einstein book. Ivanka never responded to the correction.
When I started the hobby I made lots of mistakes from which I learned, and thus became a more efficient detectorist. For instance, I bet many of you have also turned over the soil many times looking for that elusive artefact or coin? The signal is definitely there, yet it appears to be everywhere. Omnipotent.
And then you realise that you have forgotten to remove your wedding ring or are still wearing your wristwatch. Doh! Won’t make that error again and yet we invariably do! However, I’ve stopped ‘detecting’ the eyelets or steel toe caps in my boots, so I have learned. If this is still happening to you, constantly plagued with the phantom beep, I can only suggest there must be something wrong with your technique and how you sweep the coil – or your fingers are still full of bling and you haven’t realised.
Don’t have that problem with the wedding band any more. After the incident mentioned I got into the habit of removing the ring and threading it onto the lace of my trainer for safety, before donning my wellies. With hindsight, not one of my better ideas! If there happens to be anyone reading this who is proficient with a metal detector and willing to hunt for a ring somewhere in East Sussex I’d be very grateful. The only problem is I’m not sure where it could be. The upside is that due to absence of any outward sign of heart-rending sorrow or any attempt to find it (Brighton and the Sussex Downs is a large area) Mrs. John still isn’t speaking to me. Every cloud has a silver lining, so maybe that was a good day’s detecting after all! Only joking, he hastily added.
WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH
I remember the time I found a super hammered coin, put it in a paper hanky for safety when carrying home, placed it carefully on the kitchen table and found out later that some tidy-minded person had thrown it in the trash can. Not only that, the rubbish had been collected that morning!
This hobby can also prove to be very expensive . . . like the time I damaged one of the the lens of my glasses. I retraced my steps but was unable to find it. That cost me a lot of money because, for some reason I still fail to understand, both lens had to be replaced.
Then there was the incident with my mobile phone. It’s one that pains me most to talk about. The phone was missing and I was convinced that it had fallen out of my pocket whilst detecting. My wife advised me to check the inside of the car. I even borrowed her mobile, dialled my number and listened for the plaintive cry of my missing phone. Silence. So, before leaving for work the next day, I insisted we went back to the field to use the same technique. It was 7am, it was cold and it was raining. She wasn’t amused. The only sound to be heard was the bleating of the sheep. You will be pleased to know that the missing phone was eventually found by her indoors. It was in the car all the time. I had done the original checking from the outside with all doors closed and expected to hear if there was a response. Still trying to live that down too!
I can assure you that I am not making any of this up. Please tell me that some of these incidents are familiar to you. How many of you have travelled miles to a field and discovered that you’d left the detectors at home? I have. Damned annoying, I can tell you that in my first year detecting I even left the field and travelled to the nearest supermarket to buy batteries. Well, it was either that or call it a day. Now I just get up earlier in the morning and double check that everything is there for a day’s detecting. Yes, you certainly learn by your mistakes.
There can’t be many of us who, when out searching, haven’t glimpsed a fellow detectorist pulling a nice find out of the ground. Sometimes the frantic war dance gives it away. The galling thing is that this is usually after you have been walking around for hours finding nothing and they have just ambled onto the field. If you’re like me there are many thoughts, emotions and words that run through your mind. Then they try to tell you it is all skill and it was only a little whisper of a signal when in fact the sound it really gave was loud enough to blow their ears off. Incidents like that do nothing for an already deflated ego.
HOBBY CAN BE DETRIMENTAL TO HEALTH
Beginners please be aware that metal detecting can be detrimental to health. When you have purchased your new detector and are fired up with enthusiasm, the first place you usually dig is your own back garden. Not the front garden ‘cos you don’t wish to appear a geek. I was so pleased at finding what turned out to be my first bit of dross that I called my wife to peer down the (rather large) hole in the lawn.
In my excitement I lifted the detector rather quickly and the coil collided smartly with her forehead and knocked her out. Even now, in the Holby City quieter moments, I am often reminded of those hours spent in the accident and emergency department of Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
TIME TO MAKE A HASTY RETREAT
This blogpost is in memory of my friend and mentor John Fargher, who died last week. I shall miss his support, advice and encouragement. Rest in Peace, John.