Most Definitely Turkey Day…

Only appropriate that on this day before Thanksgiving the update belongs to the biggest turkey I know….John Howland.  Thanks Bubba (I will have a “breast” for you tomorrow).  Oh, and  he wanted me to remind everyone that his “illustrious” ancestor, John Howland, was one of the original Pilgrims and a folk hero!  Jeezus, how scary is that?


The gentle exercise involved in walking and swinging a metal detector not only burns up calories but also exercises the cardio-vascular system, strengthens the heart and lungs, and increases fitness giving a sense of overall well-being. Add to this the prospect of stumbling across the ‘Big One;’ that potentially life-changing reward for reporting a trove of ancient gold or silver coins, Viking, or Saxon treasures, than hunting with a metal detector has a lot going for it.

For retired hunters who are able to spread their treasure sorties of say, an hour or so, over three or four days a week, the health benefits increase dramatically. It’s recommended by scientists and other health professionals that adults take at least two-and-a-half- hours of moderate physical activity a week, or put another way, five thirty-minute sessions as recommended by the Harvard Medical School’s Dr I-Min Lee is the minimum ideal spread and will do very-nicely-thank you.

Beachcombers for example, will typically cover several miles in a session and one of my favoured places is a remote stretch of coast requiring fair old hike to reach it but one where some very collectible items are known to roll in with the tide. Exercise coupled with lungful’s of clean, fresh, sea air, is doubly exhilarating – and there’s more. According to the UK’ s National Health Service walking estimates, just thirty minutes of walking will help a 60kg (9.5 stone) person lose 99 calories. Exercise peps up the system and increases libido. My detecting pal told me the other morning when I picked him up that he hadn’t had ‘it’ since 1959. “Jeez”, I said. “Yeah,” says he, “And it’s only half-past eight now.”

Nevertheless, there are some other thoughts to consider before sallying forth and not least of these is breakfast, and a proper breakfast will set you up for the day ahead. My own preference is for a couple of poached eggs on toast, or a potato waffle, fresh coffee, toast and marmalade. After which you’ll need to consider what food to take with you.

Treasure food needs to be a cocktail of good nutritional value, portability, and light in weight. In summer it’s imperative to carry ample water. However, one litre of water weighs 1-kg (approx. 2.2lbs) which reduces through the day as it is consumed. So what about the type and amount of food to take on your treasure sorties?

He swears it's tea?

He swears it’s tea?

I always carry a handful of boiled fruit sweets along with a bar of chocolate so as to maintain blood sugar levels, but only in winter when temperatures are colder preventing the chocolate from melting, otherwise in summer, it’s a fruit bar or mint cake. Lunch is invariably an apple/banana, 2-ozs of Cheddar cheese, and a portion of flapjack. If the hunting area is close to where I park my car, I’ll return for a sandwich and Thermos of tea/Bovril.

It’s worth remembering that even on the coldest days in winter, cold food is as nutritious as hot food, though nowhere near as morale boosting. To this end, especially if I’m doing a remote coastal spot, I carry an ultra-lightweight butane gas stove; small aluminium backpackers’ kettle. Believe me, a mug of tea/coffee/Bovril on a bitter winter day is life’s greatest pleasure…well almost.  I limit my all-up weight in the backpack to seven pounds including water.

Now fishing, that's a totally different story!

Now fishing, that’s a totally different story!

Probably the worst thing you can do in winter is to carry a hipflask loaded with whisky or brandy, which at first gulp delivers a warming sensation but within minutes, lowers the body’s temperature. Neither is it much of an advantage if you get pulled over on the way home by the Highway Patrol or Traffic Police and breathe whisky fumes over the cops. No problem if you’re the passenger, but otherwise you’re in doo-doo.


Holiday Instant Savings



“Professor David Gill has just asked a very direct question that challenges the whole basis of the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s database: “How far can we trust the information supplied with the reported objects? Are these largely reported or “said to be” findspots?“

Prof. Gill (aka the ‘Ginger Whinger’) makes the bullets Warsaw Wally and Heritage Harry fire, and judging from the question posed, shows that Gill is attempting (and failing miserably) to sabotage the ground-breaking work of the widely and well-regarded, factual PAS, that currently – and unlike the AEC – is the firm basis for a host of on-going academic research projects.

The answer to his question is obvious…Researchers can and do trust the information of the Portable Antiquities Scheme as opposed to the wholly invented fictional data masquerading as ‘scientific’ in the now widely discredited Artefact Erosion Counter that he supports.



Indeed, Gill, Barford, and Swift, are in no position – holding the moral low-ground as they do – to question the veracity of anyone or anything so long as they keep administering the Kiss-of-Life to ludicrous AEC. In the meantime, the mighty PAS rolls on.

However, on the website, Gill lists his antecedents thus:-

Professor of Archaeological Heritage and Director of the Heritage Futures Research Unit at University Campus Suffolk. He is a former Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome, and was a Sir James Knott Fellow at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He was previously a member of the Department of Antiquities at the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, and Reader in Mediterranean Archaeology at Swansea University (where he also chaired the university’s e-learning sub-committee). He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He is the holder of the 2012 Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) Outstanding Public Service Award, and the 2012 SAFE Beacon Award.

Curiously, Gill makes no mention of his association (wisely perhaps) with the Artefact Erosion Counter. Understandable of course: A hand-in-bra relationship with the AEC is perhaps not the best thing to have on one’s CV?


Remember…..(And it’s Not Just Politicians, Either)

“A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation”….Adlai E. Stevenson

I’ll see y’all in the bar!




Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving. It’s the only holiday that doesn’t demand you buy gifts or attend religious services. It’s simply a day for family, friends, feasting and great  conversation. It doesn’t get any better than that.   Do me a favor…eat one more helping and pour one more glass for me!




Filed under Metal Detecting

8 responses to “Most Definitely Turkey Day…

  1. Al Bakanas

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your famiy Dick!

  2. Doug Frantz

    Hi, Happy Thanksgiving, all. If John H.’s ancestor came over on the Mayflower, how did John end up back in the UK? Gotta be a good story there.

    • I am afraid to ask Doug. He would just come up with some BS explanation that would run on and on and on. Let’s be thankful he’s there and not here. We already have enough troubles as it is….

  3. Bob K

    Happy Thanksgiving to you Dick and your family. Be the first and the last to leave the dinner table, but before that put a reserve sign on the couch.

  4. As they like to say around here “aah heard dat!”

  5. Big Tony From Bayonne

    Hello John thanks for the great tips on treasure hunting. One thing I would like to add is finding great targets helps me push on. Sort of an energy boost.

    I have also been thinking about the AEC – maybe it was developed after an empty flask or two? Could be the reason it doesn’t make a great deal of sense.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all, no matter where you are or who you are with…just enjoy the day!

    • Hi Tony:
      Have you noticed how when out hunting in the cold and an unexpected find turns up, how the cold disappears?
      I think the AEC nonsense has more to do with empty heads! Have a great Thanksgiving and my best to the family.

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