Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Time Team Cobalt – The Roman Road

Winter has its upside.  We heat the house with wood during the coldest months and we are able to enjoy the lower family room that is otherwise too cool in the non-heating season. During the dead of winter, we watch TV downstairs – movies and documentaries – whatever we can find for free online. We don’t have cable.

That also means the cats get to watch birds and chipmunks or squiggly pieces of string. Great entertainment for us, too, to see four pairs of feline eyeballs glued to the screen, heads snapping from left to right and back again, in unison.

As winter slooooooooowly morphed into spring, we found ourselves missing TV time. I think the boys did, too. We’d be downstairs for some reason or other and there was a cat, sitting in front of the darkened screen, waiting for the show to start.

So, by way of justifying the extravagance, I told myself that buying a smart screen for upstairs would provide year-round entertainment for the entire household. I expected some resistance from the man of the house, but he happily took on the research aspect of the purchase.

That’s the backstory as to how we have become HUGE fans of Time Team.

I watched an episode or two when the BBC ran the series in the mid-90s. I enjoyed it then mostly because of the host, Tony Robinson, the actor who played Baldrick on Blackadder.

For the life of me, I cannot remember what brought the series to mind when we sat down for the first time in front of the new upstairs “telly.” But no matter how we stumbled upon the YouTube channel, we’ve been watching at least one episode a night ever since. The series ran for twenty years and the BBC produced something like 219 episodes. No shortage of content.

What’s the appeal? A chance to learn something new – and to enjoy a laugh or three. The members of Time Team are quirky and likeable and enjoy teasing each other in a good-natured way. I suppose archaeology is just like rock collecting since you have to dig to unearth the treasures hidden beneath. Plus, we are learning about British history and how people lived from prehistoric time to present. Fascinating stuff.

We are nerds, what can I say?

Reiner likes the Roman period best, and that’s a good thing, since the series seems to focus mostly on that era. On the other hand, hubby gets bored with the Saxon period – stuff then was made of wood or other organic matter that didn’t survive the years buried underground. Not much to be found in these digs other than “ghost posts,” rings of darkened soil where once stood a support beam for a Saxon roundhouse, or fence posts, for example.

So, that explains why, when we were midway through last night’s dinner-time viewing, I turned to him and said, “This is boring, right? Want to go for a walk?”

Finally! Last night was warm and pleasant, and the snow has melted enough for us to make the inaugural trek along one of my favourite hikes in our neighbourhood. I must have been channeling the Time Team when I named this path three years ago. It is the original cart-way up to the Nipissing Mine. I call it “The Roman Road.”

Remnants of snow along the bank of the “Roman Road,” the original road to the old Lowgrade Mill site on the Nipissing Mine, site 7 on the Heritage Silver Trail.

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27 replies

  1. Oh, Maggie–the image of your poor little guys sitting in front of a darkened screen waiting for the show to start….so darn cute. Whew! That is some kind of ‘road’ you have. “Hey, Reiner–want to strap on your boots and go for a hike?”

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOL – it was either take a nap, or take a hike. Both are equally restorative, but each requires particular footwear. We opted for the hike because this was the first after dinner walk of the season. Bug free, too!


  2. Hey Maggie! Thanks for letting me know about Time Team. You had me at Baldrick…hehehe! Going to check it out, probably tonight.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m charmed to know that your cats like to watch TV. That’s funny. I’ve never heard of Time Team but will go take a gander at it. Like I need more things to watch on the screen… but then again a good show is a delight. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For a while there, before we got the upstairs TV, the cats would crowd around Reiner’s desktop monitor – occupying the space between the keyboard and the monitor. He played the cat videos for them, and they all watched together.

      Hope you enjoy the series!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Funny image of your cats watching the tube downstairs… and then staring at the blank screen waiting for the show. Never heard of Time Team (or Baldrick), but I adore British shows so I’ll check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad to see the snow is melting (I feel like a wimp complaining about the rain). Walking is a great pastime, but I can understand that the cats need their screen time. That sounds like and interesting series. (also nerd).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh you bet, three cheers for melting snow! You have my sympathy/empathy regarding the never-ending rain and dull and grey.

      What I find particularly interesting about the series is that it ran for TWENTY years! The UK obviously has a devoted following of amateur archaeologists. Something we don’t see here in relatively newborn North America.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think I saw every one of those 219 episodes: I, too, was a naddict. 🙂
    Though the least religious person in the world, I loved the old cathedrals and churches: they’re so tied in to early and mediaeval history …
    Your Roman Road looks a fair bit bleak, gotta say. But I’m into all that heritage preservation !

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is addictive, yes? We not only have our favourite eras, we have are favourite diggers. Nick and Phil are mine.

      I can only agree that a pile of rocks is not everyone’s cuppa – but experiencing it with the backstory of Cobalt’s mining heritage makes all the difference to me. 🙂


  7. I swear that Theo sometimes watches TV with us, but I’ve never caught him looking at the blank screen. I have however caught him staring at the fireplace as if waiting for the flames to magically burst forward 😏

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “there was a cat, sitting in front of the darkened screen, waiting for the show to start.” That’s so cat. He was probably mumbling about the delay, too.
    Archeology and historical architecture are really fascinating – will look for the Time Team. Thanks!


  9. I was thrown thinking you were in the winter season in May…and then realized that might be true in parts of Canada. (Michigan-centric thinker here.) I googled a route and if I drove 32 hours straight (including a boat trip across Lake Michigan) I could be at your house in two days. (I might need to stop and rest.) Don’t worry, this is all just to amuse myself frightening people with the prospect of our showing up, unannounced and uninvited. I may have some unresolved pioneer instincts to curb. I hope the weather there is doing better than we are. It is mostly gray, rainy days, of unending blah. Again, issues to be resolved. All I need is a little sunshine and some time in my garden, I think. At least you still have your Roman Road regardless of the seasons.

    I’ve never heard of Time Team. I’ll have to give it a look. There is definitely a need to cocoon with some good quasi documentary entertainment. Life needs more Baldric.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your unresolved pioneer instincts. And you would be welcome to stay – we have a bunkie (warmed with a space heater) and a lower level spare room complete with spare mice. The cats are falling down on the job.

      Yeah, winter does linger in these northern parts. Double blah.

      Hope you find some sun and warm and all the Baldrick you can manage!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. 219 episodes – wow…. It’s chilly out here but no snow, thankfully.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Well that’s just nice all along. It’s great when we make new rituals and connect to fond memories. I’m glad for you. (And kitties 😉 Hehe)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. LOL, this is boring, right? Funny! You described the cats watching so well. I actually was trying to capture that movement in a poem the other day and gave up!

    Liked by 1 person

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