While we were in the Carlisle area we had to go and admire Hadrian's Wall. It was built for 73 miles across the top bit of England to discourage attack from the north. There it is in the middle distance. I think the farmer whose field it borders may have tidied it up; but for something begun in about 122 AD, it's not in bad shape. The bit at the front is part of what remains of Birdoswald Fort.
Obviously the Wall used to be considerably bigger, but over the past 2000ish years people have helped themselves to lumps of it - from the top, understandably - so now the highest part we saw was about Mr-Life-size, which is 6 feet 1 and a half. At some points, however, it's evidently still 10 feet tall. Even that wouldn't have deterred a determined ancient Scot from scrambling over and marauding so it must have been a lot higher originally. (Speaking for myself and probably my wimpish ancestors, I would be easily discouraged from marauding, especially in the cold and mud. But it was a lovely day when we were there.)
Then we went to Vindolanda, a Roman fort and its associated village near the Wall. It was astonishingly extensive. Above is a bath house with space underneath the floor for hot air to keep the Roman extremities warm. The effect is somewhat lessened by all the rainwater lying in the once-hot part, but you have to imagine floors, walls, and naked Romans sitting about reading their books and reaching for their soap. One has to hope that they'd invented bookstands by then.
If you're ever nearby, it's well worth a visit. Steeped in ghostly presences as we were, it wasn't hard to imagine the place crowded with chaps in togas and their wives and children. (I don't think soldiers wore togas, actually, more those kilt things - chilly in the wind.) There's a really excellent museum too, with lots of artefacts. Maybe the most impressive display was a huge case case filled with shelves upon shelves of shoes. The leather was preserved by lying for centuries in mud without any air to allow it to rot. Somehow it's very easy to imagine those long-ago people when you see their shoes just sitting there as if waiting for their owners to come back.
The other really fascinating objects excavated are slivers of wood on which people wrote - all sorts of things, mainly in letters. These tablets, once read, were thrown away; and again the mud preserved them. There is, for example, an invitation from one woman to another to her birthday party - the earliest example of a woman's handwriting. And a chap writing to someone to ask him to send some underpants. So that's what they wore under their kilts.
Where will our blogs be in 2000 years? Preserved for the astonished future? I doubt it. Vanished into the air... .