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Is That A Gunville In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Excited To See Me?

Updated: May 29, 2020

It was none other than the famous pink oboeist Oscar Wilde who wittily opined that “To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect.” Here in the offices of, we are, by this definition at least, modern intellects to a man, woman and binary; for the unexpected is precisely what we anticipate and experience every single day of the year. It is so to speak out bread and cholesterol-reducing low fat spread.

So, were we surprised to find that a recent feature, retrieving from the mists of time a somewhat jejune memoir by University of Afpuddle graduate and later Head of the Dorset Archaeological Service Tarrant Gunville, solicited such a flurry of correspondence? Not for a moment. An unexpected [ergo expected] number of readers well-remembered his allegedly "long-forgotten memoir" In a Dry Season - several with a degree affection and one or two with actual pleasure [though one correspondent recalls being given it for Christmas at the age of 12 and never knowingly speaking to his parents ever again].

The Book which it is claimed by some set many a youth on the path to a lifelong interest in archaeology.

More interestingly a Dr Di Tekorist, now Adjunct Visiting Professor in Field Archeology at Alma Mater College, Cambridge draws our attention to another of Tarrant Gunville's publications and one which set her firmly on the path of her professional career.

" I believe it was the occasion of my 8th or 9th Birthday when my father who was a huge Ziggy Osmington fan and a regular subscriber to Dorset Rock and Roll Weekly bought me a copy of "Still DIgging" in the belief it was some kind of "groovy introduction to skiffle, cool jazz and early rock and roll". [I suspect he had had a reefer or two and was not "all there" when he bought it.]. But it turned out to be a very introductory layman's guide to archaeology and it got me hooked. Am I alone in owing a life-long obsession with digging things up to a wiry-haired man I never met? [For clarity I refer to Tarrant Gunville not to my father to whom the description might equally apply."]

We firmly expect that Dr Tektorist is indeed unique in this respect and so also expect a flood of unexpected correspondence proving us wrong. How intellectually modern is that?

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