Two completely unconnected things that have been on my mind this week are Roman London and electric cars. I decided - a little late in the day! - that I haven't taken enough advantage of all the many things that have been available online since March, so I signed up for a virtual tour of Roman London and a talk about Roman domestic items found in London. Although run by different organisations, I thought the two events would fit well together. The tour on Sunday evening was with Footprints of London, an organisation which in normal times runs guided walking tours, but has now started offering online "tours" for a small charge. Then today I "attended" a talk run by the Layers of London mapping project in which an expert from the Museum of London Archaeology talked about the the connections between domestic items and location.
I really don't know a great deal about Roman Britain (or Roman London), so I learned quite a bit from both talks - more from the guided tour, I think, which gave me good ideas of places I would like to visit. For example, part of the old Roman wall can be found in London Wall underground car park in Bay 52! One Roman site I have visited is the Mithraeum, which was mentioned in both talks. The remains of the 3rd centuryMithraeum were discovered in the 1950s but were moved to a different site to allow building work to take place. That building was demolished in the early 21st century and the Mithraeum was moved back to its original site and incorporated into the basement of Bloomberg's newly built European HQ. The Mithraeum and an exhibition of items found on the site is free to visit, but (even in non-Covid times) has to be booked in advance. The pictures on this post are from my visit two years ago.
The other theme of this week has been electric cars. We have decided the time has come to replace our main car, which now has pretty high mileage and is getting more expensive to maintain. It also runs on diesel, which when we bought it was supposed to be more environmentally friendly than petrol, but is now considered to be the worst fuel to use. Just before everything locked down we had started looking into electric cars, and had more or less decided - with a bit of trepidation - that we would switch to fully electric. As Covid risks now seem relatively low, we booked test drive for two different cars this week. Yesterday we tried out a Nissan Leaf, and today a Kia e-Niro. After trying them both, we decided the e-Niro was the best in terms of looks, feel, range, warranty, and overall quality, but the Leaf was better to drive, cheaper, has more safety tech, and is more comfortable for M who has scoliosis and needs a car that feels right for his back. After lots of discussion, we have settled on the Leaf in a special edition model which has a larger battery than the model we were initially thinking of, and includes various extras that will make it easier and more comfortable to drive. We are hoping we may be able to order one tomorrow.
I am now back to working-at-home on my archives job, and M will be going back to 111 at the weekend - another step back towards a new normal. TG is mainly being very teenage and getting up in time for lunch and binging on Glee. H decided we needed to plant flowers, so we went on a trip to a local garden centre on Tuesday and bought some bedding plants to put in pots round the patio. We had coffee and cake in the cafe while we were there, which again, was a nice bit of normal. Yesterday while M and I were out test-driving the two girls got them all planted and we have sorted out a system which should mean someone remembers to water them. I have black thumbs and the sum total of our gardening knowledge is very, very small, so I am not hopeful that they will survive, but at least we are trying!