Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Time travel

So, Crystal asked me which time period(s) I would travel to if I could, and here's my response. Luckily, I can pick as many as I want, which is a bit of a relief. Yes, there's a lot. Either I was born in the wrong century, or I've been born in several different centuries and drawing on something. ;)

First stop: the Neolithic... somewhere. Anywhere. Let's say Neolithic Orkney, so I could see Maes Howe chambered cairn and the Tomb of the Eagles in use, observe a highly innovative and communal society, and ask someone to tell me once and for all what stone circles and cup and ring marks are all about!

After that, I think a trip to Bronze Age Kilmartin would be nice, since it's one of my most favourite places, and there I'd get to soak up some prehistoric spirituality. And maybe I could steal me one of those pretty jet necklaces!

After the Bronze Age, I think I'll take a break from Scotland and travel to the Bay of Naples for some sun. I'm thinking Pompeii, so I can get to know some of the people behind the graffiti messages and see if Celadus the gladiator is really as hot as everyone says ;). 'Course, I want to get back from this trip alive, so this visit would have to be some time between AD 62 - 79 (no earthquakes/volcanic eruptions plzthanx)

Staying in Italy, I'd take the opportunity to introduce myself to either Emperor Vespasian or Titus, then it's back to Scotland in time for the Flavian invasion (c. AD 79 - 83) to meet two of my all-time favourite figures: Gnaeus Julius Agricola and Calgacus. If Tacitus was there, I'd get an autograph! ;) Probably egg on the Caledonians at the Battle of Mons Graupius (from a safe distance). Wouldn't mind seeing the Antonine Wall in something other than bumps-in-the-grass form (c. AD 143 - 163), so I'd go there, too - probably to Auchendavy to see my favourite centurion!

Then it would definitely be time for some of the Historic period, so I think some retail therapy in the centre of trade that was Dalriadic Dunadd would be order! Try to catch a royal inauguration ceremony while I was there, of course - I could get an intentional photo of someone up on that outcrop this time, lol! And I'd see if I could find some distant ancestors there, while I was at it.

After that, I'd turn my attention to the Picts. I'd probably try for the court of King Brude (possibly at Craig Phadraig in Inverness). It would be an opportunity to find out just exactly what Pictish life was like, and find out what the Pictish symbols all mean. Entertainment would be provided by watching the showdown between Broichan the druid-type and ol' Father Columcille. I'd have to snaffle some Pictish silver somewhere - I'm a silver junkie...

Then, being chased back to my time machine/TARDIS/time-turner/whatever I'm using to get about, by an angry silversmith, I'd escape to the Hebrides, probably Lewis, to see some Viking settlements. I love the Vikings (and it'd be another chance to visit some "relatives", lol), but I don't know as much about them as I wish I did, so I'd take a wander around a settlement and see what was going on.

After that, it'd be a visit to a medieval burgh - just to round things off - then I'd come home (making sure that angry Pictish silversmith had managed to follow me, of course!)

That's where I'd go, anyway. Your turn!


Jack Dixon said...

Okay, here I go...

First, to 1st century Caledonia. The fifties, I think, to meet my one true hero Calgacus as a boy and ask him what he's thinking he might do with himself when he grows up. Then, a fast-forward to the Flavian invasion, where I'd swear my allegiance to the warrior Calgach, go find Kirsten, put a bow in her hand and a sword on her hip, and drag her into battle - it would be so invigorating, Kirsten! I'd make sure you didn't get hurt this time around. I'd stick around for a couple of decades to find out once and for all where that final Ninth Legion really went and never came back (Pictish women must have been quite alluring...or perhaps deadly).

Next stop: 13th century Languedoc, to witness bizarre political and religious intrigue and to document the world of the Cathars for a future novel. With my fill of the south of France, I'd backpack to Bruce's Scotland to get myself into the middle of THAT fight, too - just for the fun of it. Actually, I have some pressing questions about Bannockburn that I'd want answered (that novel again), and I'd really like a chat with Robert about that little murder-in-the-church thing. It was a brilliant stroke of political genius.

Just a quick skip ahead to the 1440's. I'd have a pint or six with Sir William St Clair and chat about his Rosslyn Chapel, which I've visited and left with more questions than I brought.

Finally, provided I've survived the freedom-fighting gigs and the pisser with Sir William, I'd hit the 18th century, specifically to do an apprenticeship with Benjamin Franklin. I'd want to ride along with him on his trans-Atlantic mail ships and watch him discover and document the gulf stream currents, then use them to enhance the speed of his mail delivery, and to predict weather patterns along the coastal American colonies. I'd pick his brain about the whole Constitutional Convention thing, and then I'd get his thoughts on a handful of 21st century Constitutional questions. I'd document his thoughts, and bring them back with me in the event I could get a copy to that odd little man behind the curtain - see if I could bring a shred of enlightenment that might do some good. But there I'm going off the rails with our little fantasy - it was almost believable up to there.

There are a dozen more destinations clawing to get into this blog, but it's your turn now, Crystal!

Kirsten Campbell said...

B-but, I'm no good in battle! I'd only be liability. No! Nooooo....

Jack Dixon said...

Oh, you'd come out of it all right, Kirsten. I'd see to that. There's way too much yet for us to see and do...so many centuries, so little time! Oh...wait...it's a time machine. Duh!

Crystal said...

Okay, my turn! I think my first stop will be in Scotland in the town of Elerslie (known now as Elderslie) home of the great Sir William Wallace. Late 1200's. From what history has told us, he was the greatest hero and patriot in Scotland. Of coarse with as much info as I normally read on your blog, Kirsten, I think you probably know the history behind him. And like you, I think I as well was born in the wrong century! OR, in a past life I DID live in that time and i'm drawn by it somehow, make any sense?

Anyway, realizing that for a woman to live back then, how hard it was, I think I would have to bring some "suprises" with me! Can't be caught of gaurd! Like Jack, give me a sword and a bow and let me at 'em!!! If that's the case, throw me into 1297 when Wallace fought at Stirling Bridge. He wouldn't have needed to kill Treasurur Cressingham because being the warrior I am, I would have nailed his ass to the stone wall! Damn, I think i'm REALLY getting into this...

Anyway, skip to around to the early 1300's to meet Robert the Bruce and ask him why he couldn't make up his mind and just stick with Wallace. But then I guess if I did that He wouldn't have been crowned King of Scotland now would he...Fine, i'll leave that history alone...

Lets see, where to go from here, hmmmm. Okay, then I would jump to the late 1500's to visit Queen Elizabeth, didn't she rule over England and Ireland, and see if she was really as impatient as history lead on and just to see all her beautiful gowns. I may be a warrior but I like to look good too!! SOOO many places to put daggers;) I would also pay my respects to William Shakespeare. Maybe get him to write something about ME! But NO tragedies, I make my own!

Then off to the English county of Wiltshire, 2200BC, at this point i'm behind a small rock waiting to see who REALLY set up the rocks forming Stonehenge! Fairies, druids, Merlin??? And find out if the "Devil" himself threw the Heelstone!

Wrapping up with a bit of "magical" adventures, I would go back through Welsh legends to see exactly when, where, what and the why of King Arthur, Excalibur, the Lady of the Lake, Avalon and even try to find Merlin!

Anyway, thank you so much, Kirsten and Jack, for playing along and joining in the fun! It's a fantastic way to learn about history and too share your thoughts with others! Thanks guys!!