Ye Olde Linoleum Shoppe

Tuesday 16 October 2012


Hello Hedgehogs! More CPD perhaps? And a biscuit too?

1. The term 'Iron Age' was coined by Hesiod specifically for use on his 601 B.C. poem 'Sewerage.'

The tonnage
Of drainage
In the cleavage
Of Carthage
Has been a hemorrhage
Of mucilage
Since the Ironage

The poem never made it to the publishers because Hesiod became a victim of pilferage by one of Asia Minor's infamous poetry muggers. It was then sold on to a criminal ring specializing in madrigals and eventually fell into the hands of Homer who instantly recognised it's exquisite georgic stylings and burnt it for the insurance (which he had arranged with a brokerage.)

2. The Bronze Age?
Sorry . . . the Bronze Age?
r u kidding me!
It's just SOOOOOO last year. I wouldn't be caught dead in the Bronze Age.
But IRON! IRON is to to DIE for! Iron is like last years black. Super-dressy. It's all sold out in Harvey Nicks. I was there last night trying to buy a few ingots and they were like 'No way darling, all gone.' And I was like, 'But how am I going to forge a decent gladius hispana darling? I mean what am I going to dooooo?' And they were like, 'Not my problem darling, speak to the hand.'
I can't tell you how furious I was . . . 'HELLLOOO!' I said,' I want to see the manager darling!' I said - and I said I'd like wait for him in the cocktail bar.
By the time he arrived I was completely pissed. Gave him a big kiss, told him he was a darling.
Then I went home with the waiter.

3. The tomato was first introduced into Iron Age Europe by King Lurg Mac Babahdbahb. In the modern era we use the simple plural 'Tomatoes' but when they first appeared on the toasted sandwiches of Celtic warlords it came in multiple plural forms (id est) twomatoes, threematoes, fourmatoes (&c. &c.) The multiple plural has largely disappeared from Indo-European language but not without leaving some confusing residual terminology behind - October (obviously enough) should be Tentober and by the same token, (but now in reverse) tentacles should be obstacles (which explains why certain marine cephalopods are all over the shop.)

4. So the other night I'm having a quiet one in and me old china Niall Colfer phones up. And the conversation goes like this:
Niall- I've just discovered something. . . Something remarkable. It happened while I was in the saddle last night. . .
The Author- I never had you down as an equestrian sort old boy. . .
Niall- No not THAT sort of saddle, anyway - there I was, grinding away as hard I could manage. . .
The Author- Sir I am scandalised! Futhermore, I fear this conversation has taken a turn into unspeakable dominions.
Niall- Ehh, yeah. So I'm grinding away, my knees are killing me, and next thing I'm spilling my precious seed everywhere.
The Author- Egad! Stay your tongue! May the good Lord smite your befreckled countenance with brimstone!
Niall- Then it hits me! I realise if I used a smaller rubber I wouldn't be losing my seed down between the floorboards. See, I had been using this enormous rubber that was totally unsuitable.
The Author- Gadzooks I'll see you before the assizes! Your days of loutish muck-mouthing are at an end sir!
Niall- Yes it's all down to the size of rubbing stone you see . . .
The Author - Rubbing stone? Oh I see!! It's that sort of rubber . . . so the seed is obviously einkorn wheat and you were doing a bit of experimental grinding on a saddle quern.
Niall- Precisely so. Why, what did you think I was talking about?
The Author- Contraception.
Niall- Dreadful film. Possibly Christopher Nolan's worst.

5. How do Jacobs get the figs into the fig rolls?

6. Only Smarties have the answer.

7. If you don't have enough vitamin C in your diet you won't be able to absorb iron properly. That fact seems to have strayed from a health food blog but I would like to extend the warm hand of friendship and make it feel welcome. I'm not judgmental. Not  a bit. I'll fill my blog with any old shite.

8. The Iron Age saw the invention of iron nails which Irish natives, in fear of invading Celtic charioteers, drove through planks of kiln dried wood and sprinkled liberally across Ireland as a sort of a poor-man's chevaux de frise. Traces of this defensive feature can still be found on building sites throughout Ireland's green bower, especially those now owned by the Irish State which now function, (in an inventive secondary role,) as a playground for toddlers.

9. I always find this end of the year a real strain, thank God there's only three colander months left . . . (ba-dum-tish.)

10. Usually, during our little CPD sessions, I add a link to a musical video and waffle on about how the recession is almost over. Well tough shit everyone, it's not going to end, therefore, to play us out of today's blog may I PRESENT:

That's right, Muppets begging for scraps - and as a jobbing field archaeologist I know how they feel.

Why do we have to do this?
I guess we'll never know.
It's like a kind of torture
To have to watch this show.


  1. Excellent, thought provoking and incisive scholarship, as Neil Oliver has told us, just as in the Stone Age people thought exclusively about stone, the Iron Age brings about a transformation of our perceptions of ferrous metals.
    It is so important we stick to the facts; the centre of our Earth is mostly is Iron and thus we know that the Celts were peace loving, deeply spiritual guardians of the sacred earth, who devoted their lives to worship of the landscape, and the preservation all things bright and beautiful.
    They were eco-warriors - Just like us.

  2. I must have missed that episode . . !

  3. Hale McHale - you are back (there was an imposter on last week i wouldnt give fourmatoes for)and she fairly choked on her cocoa over Hesiod.

    1. Hurrah for cocoa! Especially the expensive smelly stuff, 'cocoa chanel' I believe it's called. No wonder she choked.

  4. To be fair he did say ".. If your understanding of the world rooted in stone ... ", which is much more meaningless than I implied, [for comedy effect], as nobody would seriously question his ability to understand how dead people understood the world.

  5. good asssssssssssssssssssssssss



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I am a descended from a long line of conga dancers. I occasionally wear shoes. I gave up going to the toilet twenty years ago - it's a filthy habit. I have a pet bunny called Mucky - he's a filthy rabbit.