It’s Ho Ho Howland…

santabubbaMany will I’m sure be relieved to know that this is my final write-up for 2016 (emergencies excepted) and I suspect many of my US readers will already be thoroughly pissed-off with ‘that bloody Limey’ (me) again pleading for the unification of US hobbyists to get organised at national level. I make no apology. There has to be people out there with the balls and fire of Roger Barbrick. There has to be people out who won’t take shit off anyone. Surely?

J.H., Bournemouth, UK


For those you who like me, love extracting the urine out of the archaeo-blogosphere’s dim-witted slack-jaws, here’s a heart-warming tale:

One afternoon an archaeologist was riding in his limousine when he saw two poor detectorists eating grass at the roadside. Disturbed at the sight, he ordered his chauffeur to stop, and got out to investigate.

He asked the first, “Why are you eating grass?”

“We don’t have any money for food,” the poor detectorist replied. “We have to eat grass.”

“Well, then, you must come with me to my house and I’ll feed you,” the archaeologist said.

“But sir, I have a wife and two children with me. They are over there, under that tree.”

“Bring them along too,” the archaeologist replied.

Turning to the other poor detectorist he stated, “You may come with us, also.”

The second detectorist, in a pitiful voice, replied, “But sir, I also have a wife and SIX children with me!”

“Bring them all as well,” the archaeologist answered.

They all entered the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine.

Once underway, one of the poor detectorists turned to the archaeologist and said, “Sir, you are too kind. A wonderful, warm, human being. Thank you for taking all of us with you.”

The archaeologist replied, “Glad to do it. You’ll really love my place. The grass is almost a foot high.”

Oh, come on, grow up! You didn’t really think there was such a thing as a heart-warming archaeo-blogger story, did you?


Forewarned …

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it.” Abraham Lincoln.


In 1986 the metal detecting hobby had become firmly established in the UK following a hard fought battle against archaeological lobbyists; many of whom had impeccable Socialist credentials of an extreme nature. Some – often widely described as ‘scumbags’ – even espoused communist sympathies.

Simultaneously on mainland Europe another freedom fight was well under way: –

“Thirty years ago Poland’s Communist government was forced to release 225 political prisoners. Following the amnesty on September 30 1986, Lech Wałęsa created the first public, legal Solidarity entity since the declaration of martial law. Soon afterwards, the new Council was admitted to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions 

“By 1988, Poland’s economy worsened. International sanctions, combined with the inefficient government’s unwillingness to introduce reforms, intensified the old problems. There were no funds to modernize factories and the promised “market socialism” materialized as a shortage economy characterized by long queues and empty shelves. Reforms introduced by Jaruzelski and Mieczysław Rakowski came too little and too late, especially as changes in the Soviet Union had bolstered the public’s expectation that change must come, and the Soviets ceased their efforts to prop up Poland’s failing regime.

In February 1988, the government hiked food prices by 40%.” (Source in part: Wikipedia).

I’m not alone in wondering why anyone – apart from the most dyed-in-the-wool apparatchik apple polishers – would want to live under the heel of the Soviet’s repressive political regime; one that enslaved millions in the Communist Bloc during the Cold War?

But in all fairness I have to say that the Stasi, KGB, Vopos, SB, StB and all the other dedicated communist enforcers, never shot anyone climbing over the Berlin Wall to get into East Berlin. Plenty died trying to get out of the ‘Workers’ Paradise’ though.


An apparatchik is a full time employee in any position of bureaucratic or political responsibility who served either in Communist Party structures or in the government.…

The importance of being an apparatchik (or worker bee)

“However, there were also some educated apparatchiks. They were university professors whose job was lecturing factory and collective farm workers on the advantages of Socialism. Most of them preferred to tell people about interesting things that the workers missed in their life. One of these apparatchiks said: “I’m pleased with my job because I’m giving people something they don’t have. And I see smiles on their faces. “Though the Soviet era is over, many apparatchiks have survived. They quietly transferred themselves to well-paid jobs and posts and prosper to this day. Nevertheless, their memory lives on, and apparatchik is still used to describe a person, who causes unnecessary trouble with a bureaucratic approach to work.”

When I first read this piece, for some reason I thought of UNESCO.



There’s a nasty disease doing the rounds and it’s rearing its ugly head predominantly in Southern England. In common lingo, it’s a real bastard. Period. It goes by the name Lyme Disease.

Those at principally risk of infection are walkers, ramblers, dog-walkers, and others who enjoy the Great Outdoors; a list that unfortunately includes detectorists. The southern counties, principally Hampshire and the New Forest are hotspots for this at present incurable disease.

So what is Lyme Disease, or Lyme Borreliosis?

It’s a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks. I quote from the National Health Service (NHS) website: –

Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures found in woodland and heath areas. They feed on the blood of birds and mammals, including humans. Ticks that carry the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease are found throughout the UK and in other parts of Europe and North America.

It’s estimated there are 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of Lyme disease in England and Wales each year. About 15% of cases occur while people are abroad.

Lyme disease can often be treated effectively if it’s detected early on. But if it’s not treated or treatment is delayed, there’s a risk you could develop severe and long-lasting symptoms.

Early symptoms

Many people with early-stage Lyme disease develop a distinctive circular rash at the site of the tick bite, usually around three to 30 days after being bitten. This is known as erythema migrans.


The rash is often described as looking like a bull’s-eye on a dart board. The affected area of skin will be red and the edges may feel slightly raised. The size of the rash can vary significantly and it may expand over several days or weeks. Typically, it’s around 15cm (6 inches) across, but it can be much larger or smaller than this. Some people may develop several rashes in different parts of their body.

However, around one in three people with Lyme disease won’t develop this rash.

Some people with Lyme disease also experience flu-like symptoms in the early stages, such as tiredness (fatigue), muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, a high temperature (fever), chills and neck stiffness.

Preventing Lyme disease

There is currently no vaccine available to prevent Lyme disease. The best way to prevent the condition is to be aware of the risks when you visit areas where ticks are found and to take sensible precautions.

You can reduce the risk of infection by:

  • keeping to footpaths and avoiding long grass when out walking
  • wearing appropriate clothing in tick-infested areas (a long-sleeved shirt and trousers tucked into your socks)
  • wearing light-coloured fabrics that may help you spot a tick on your clothes
  • using insect repellent on exposed skin
  • inspecting your skin for ticks, particularly at the end of the day, including your head, neck and skin folds (armpits, groin, and waistband) – remove any ticks you find promptly
  • checking your children’s head and neck areas, including their scalp
  • making sure ticks are not brought home on your clothes
  • checking that pets do not bring ticks into your home in their fur

When to see your GP

You should see your GP (doctor) if you develop any of the symptoms described above after being bitten by a tick, or if you think you may have been bitten. Make sure you let your GP know if you’ve spent time in woodland or heath areas where ticks are known to live.

For more information on this horrible affliction please visit: –


James Bond walks into a bar and takes a seat next to a very attractive woman.  He gives her a quick glance, then casually looks at his watch for a moment.

The woman notices this and asks, “Is your date running late?”

“No,” he replies. “Q’s just given me this state-of-the-art watch and I was just testing it.”

The intrigued woman says, “A state-of-the-art watch?   What’s so special about it?”

Bond explains, “It uses alpha waves to talk to me telepathically.”

The lady says, “What’s it telling you now?”

“Well, it says you’re not wearing any panties…”

The woman giggles and replies, “Well, it must be broken because I am wearing panties!”

Bond tugs, taps his watch and says, “Damn thing’s an hour fast.”


There are certain people in the archaeo-blogosphere who are a living proof that total brain failure does not always lead to physical death.


Q: Why won’t sharks attack archaeologists? A: Professional courtesy.


Q. What’s the difference between the Treasure Trove Awards Committee and terrorists?  A. You can negotiate with terrorists.


A treasure hunter goes to his lawyer and tells him,

“An archaeologist owes me $500 and he won’t pay up. What should I do?”

“Do you have any proof he owes you the money?” asks the lawyer.

“Nope,” replies the T’Her.

“OK, then write him a letter asking him for the $5,000 he owes you,” says the lawyer.

“But it’s only $500,” replies the T’Her.

“Precisely. That’s what he will reply and then you’ll have your proof!”


Bubba’s Bournemouth Beachcomber’s Cake

(great for Christmas)



  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • 1 or 2 Quarts of Rum (My favourite is OVD Demerara Rum)
  • 1 Cup Dried Fruit
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Soda
  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup Baking Powder
  • 3 Juiced Lemons
  • 1 Cup of Nuts

Before starting, sample rum to check quality. Now proceed…..

Select large mixing bowl, measuring cup, etc..

Check rum again. It must be just right to be sure rum is of proper quality, pour one level cup of rum into a glass and check sample.


With electric mixer, beat 1 cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add 1 seaspoon of thusar and beat again.

Meanwhile, make sure rum is still alrighty.  Try another cup. Open second quart if necessary

Next add leggs, 2 cups of fried druit and beat til high. If druit gets stuck in beaters, pry loose with drewscriber.

Sample rum again, checking for tonscisticity.

Next, sift 3 cups pepper or salt (really doesn’t matter).

Sample rum.

Sift 1/2-pint lemon juice. Fold in chopped butter and strained nuts. Add 1 bablespoon of brown sugar-or whatever color you can find. Wix mell. Grease oven. Turn cake pan to 350 gredees. Pour mess into boven and ake.

Check run again and bo to ged.



My best wishes to my readers for a happy and peaceful Christmas.

I’ll see y’all in the bar!





Filed under Metal Detecting, UK

3 responses to “It’s Ho Ho Howland…

  1. DougF

    Thanks, John, enjoyed the post – I read the list of ingredients and thought, where’s the flour?, then I read a little farther. I had Lyme about five years ago, luckily my doctor (a GP) was familiar with it and knew enough to run a blood test when I came in with a swollen, painful knee. Took my knee about two months to get back to 100%.

  2. Merry Christmas, John! Still ingesting all that you wrote while nursing a hot toddy in front of the fridge with the freezer door open…close as we get to winter here in Central Florida!

  3. And a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family, James.
    Surely a cold toddy in Florida? Whatever, enjoy. I’m just about to pour a Scotch. Cheers!

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