Making Archaeology Come To Life…….’The Lost Words’………Timing…..

by Bernie Bell - 08:03 on 09 October 2022

Making Archaeology Come To Life……

This piece of writing is very interesting in a lot of different ways…….have a look.….maybe have a go yourself?  Bearing in mind that flying bits of rock can be hazardous!


Some associated bits & pieces……







‘The Lost Words’….

Five years ago ‘The Lost Words’ by Jackie Morris & Robert MacFarlane was published.

Looking back….

First there was….. https://theorkneynews.scot/2017/10/03/book-review-the-lost-words-by-jackie-morris-and-robert-macfarlane/

Then there was…… https://theorkneynews.scot/2017/12/03/the-lost-words-appeal/

And then….. https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/02/09/success-for-the-lost-words-appeal/

Then the words turned into songs……


By Bernie Bell

[ Musicians, including Orkney’s own Kris Drever, became involved in spreading the words……….. Listen out for ‘Spellsongs ]

Jackie M & Mr. Mac
Were having a discussion.
They were appalled
At the loss of words
And decided to take action.

They planted the seed of an idea,
You could call it an acorn.
It grew and grew
And grew and grew,
And more ideas were born.

The root went down,
The stem went up,
And put out many branches
Books for schools, for old folks – all
Then, further happenstances.

Musicians heard the calling spells,
They answered with their vision.
The words, the images
Became sounds,
All one, without division.

The spell-songs ring
The voices sing
Instruments join the chorus.
The vision expands
Throughout the land
Restoring the words for us.

And it’s continued to grow…as great oaks do…..


I’m thinking…Christmas presents?



We watched a recorded episode of ‘Quantum Leap’, which was set at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis…. https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/cuban-missile-crisis and I thought it was timely.

At that time, fortunately, America had a man in charge who was a thinking, reasonable  person – JFK.   

Khrushchev?  Harder to know what was going on with Khrushchev  - but he reached an agreement with JFK  - and doesn’t come across as a complete nutter, as the present Russian incumbent does. 

The programme presented some aspects of the situation that hadn’t occurred to me before.  One of the main characters in the story sells nuclear fall-out shelters for a living.  He remembers the Dustbowl happening….. https://www.history.com/topics/great-depression/dust-bowl#:~:text=The%20Dust%20Bowl%20was%20the,failed%20across%20the%20entire%20region  when his parent’s ‘world ended’ as they lost everything. 

There’s a German lady wanting to buy a shelter – who escaped from Nazi Germany - it could be said that her world ended and she had to build a new one.  

And so these people were faced with what they saw as a possible end to the world – their world.  They were understandably fear-full, and passed that fear on to their children.

The real enemy is fear and, as Frank Herbert says in ‘Dune’ -  fear kills the mind.  It stops us thinking.

Would you shoot your neighbour to defend your shelter?

It occurred to me that many of  the children who were being fed fear and living in fear at that time went on to become part of the Hippie culture in America – ‘What the hell – let’s have a good time while we can’.

The Russians do love their children too…..


Unfortunately the Russian people don’t have much say in what’s happening – it’s in the hands of mad old Putin. 

The world got through the Cuban Missile Crisis.  That’s about all that I can say.  It’s a different world now.  There is more fire-power available.

We’ve messed the place up lot since 1962.

At the end of the story Sam suggests that the man who built fall-out shelters - and has therefore pretty much lost his livelihood - could  change to building swimming pools  ‘Building for fun instead of fear’.  A sound basic approach.


Here’s one I made earlier….. https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/11/13/a-question-of-honour/



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