Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Thursday, 20 December 2012
A star is born
In a warm Jurassic sea, a tall plant with pentagonally-shaped stem finally gave up the ghost and collapsed on the bed of an ocean which no longer exists. Part of it landed on the shell of a marine bi-valve which had most probably given up the ghost a while before.
Very soon, silt washed over the shell and plant stem, covering it forever - or almost forever.
About 180,000,000 years later, H.I. and me were wandering around the cloisters of Lacock Abbey, where a lot of the sequences for the Harry Potter films were made, and we decided to go for lunch in a nearby pub. Sitting outside in the sunny garden my eyes ran over the gravel which was spread around the tables, and I noticed a small fossil shell lying amongst the rest of the stones, so I picked it up. When I turned it over, I found the star.
I love running my eyes over the ground, looking for tell-tale shapes and patterns - I have been doing it all my life - but this has to be one of the most unexpected and pleasing finds ever. You will always find fossil shells and sponges in dredged gravel, but the chances of finding something like this are extremely rare. I love running my eyes over the sky as well, looking at other stars.
I think I have already shown you this little fossil, but it's Christmas again, and it has been brought out with the rest of the decorations. I never get tired of it, anyway.