The gloves are on . . . or are they?

Weil’s disease (Leptospirosis) is usually caught through contact with soil or water contaminated with animals’ urine . . .

Steve Redgrave’s gold medal partner killed by rats’ disease: Rower dead in days from water-borne illness . . .’

That was the headline I read in a 2010 newspaper about Steve Redgrave’s rowing partner, Andy Holmes, dying of Weil’s disease. Another story warned of deadly bugs lurking inside our dishwashers, and a killer strain of E.coli in vegetables. It got me thinking about the unseen hazards associated with detecting! The World Health Organisation described the strain of lethal bacteria that killed 18 people in Europe as ‘very rare’. Britain reported seven cases. And now we have all the potential dangers of COVID-19.

Weil’s disease is usually caught through contact with soil or water contaminated with animals’ urine

Are you one of those who habitually use your mouth as a coin cleaner or eat your sandwich without washing your hands first? Are you a cavalier detectorist who boasts that you have never met anyone who has subsequently died, think it’s all a scare story and have never met a farmer who wears gloves when muck-spreading? Then my advice is to beware and maybe think twice. Picture shows Andy Holmes and Steve Redgrave showing their medals from the 1988 Olympics.

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‘Gynaecological’ Silver Penny

The featured image shown below is of a King Edward I (reigned 1279-1307) hammered penny.

Until Edward’s reign, the hand-hammered silver penny was the only coin circulating in Britain. Because each was struck by hand, no two coins are ever alike.

A number of my posts in the original blog were lost. That is a pity because they were rather unique and detectorists still ask for them. This short post about the penny is one I have managed to resurrect and added more information.

Living in the close-knit society of a County Durham pit village in the 1940’s was quite a revelation for a small and inquisitive boy. Lots of everyday happenings like birth and death I tended to take for granted; traditions were just accepted and never really questioned.

There were women in the village, always elderly, who were regarded as ‘wise women’. They were trusted and called when there was a birth or death. With the latter, they would attend to the body, washing, preparing and ‘laying it out’.

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My Bucket List

You may read this blog and decide that my bucket list is pants – and you’d be right! What you see in the picture below is a brief and pithy summing up that is a more accurate account. BTW mine is a Pinot Grigio. Could you serve in a tumbler – I have trouble in handling a wine glass. Nah. On second thoughts, just use the bucket!

Just before the lockdown I made a Bucket List but, because of my involuntary incarceration, have only managed to complete a couple of items.  I can hear some of you right now saying, “what the heck is that?” Quite simply . .

A Bucket List is a list of things to do before you die . . . or, ‘kick the bucket’. It was made popular from the film called ‘The Bucket List‘ where two terminally ill guys (Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson) meet in a hospital and then set out on an adventure to try and do everything on their lists.

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Flu and Pierced Gold Coins

To modern eyes, the idea that a king or queen could, by virtue of their status, heal disease might seem extraordinary. This was exactly the premise behind the ‘royal touch’, a practice used for many centuries in Europe.

The Swine Flu pandemic in 2010 that never quite came up to expectations, was what reminded me of those pierced gold coins some of us (not me) come across in our detecting meanderings. After my last post on Crudely Holed Coins this blog discusses holed coins of a different nature.

By all means read and perhaps learn from this, but please refrain from pointing it out to Donald Chump, the self-described ‘Chosen One’. Don’t want to give him ideas! And now I make a pledge that from this day forward I will never write, repeat or otherwise dignify that orange moronic ‘leader of the free world,’ Trumplethinskin. That’s enough of that, John. Stick to the point!

The coins with holes are  known as ‘Touchpieces’, from the belief that persons of royal blood were thought to have the ‘God-given’ power of healing. So, what’s the connection with Swine Flu?

Angel of Charles I, the last minted for circulation © Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge