Back before the pandemic kicked off last year, I wrote a cracking piece around the forthcoming new James Bond film, No Time To Die. I’ve dusted down that column twice now, first in anticipation of the film’s rearranged launch last November and then again for this coming April.

But now the film has been postponed for a third time, not launching at the cinema until next autumn. (Much) older readers may remember that it was a white dove and an olive branch that signalled to Noah the end of the great flood and his odyssey on the Ark. I think we’ll know when this pandemic has truly ended when we see Daniel Craig striking a pose on the red carpet, licensed to (no longer be) ill.

Instead movie premieres in early 2021 have very much been on-the-sofa affairs. Last weekend, I watched The Dig, a wonderful new film about the unearthing of Sutton Hoo, an Anglo-Saxon burial site in Suffolk, back in the late 1930s. As archaeologists go, Basil Brown, played by Ralph Fiennes, is not exactly Indiana Jones, but his patient, determined work leads to one of the great finds of the twentieth century. The film also stars Carey Mulligan and Lily James (I think it is now compulsory for any Suffolk film to feature her) and the whole movie is a delicately played period piece, the perfect way to escape from the here and now for a couple of hours.

Turns out there remains gold in these thar hills. Last week a metal detectorist in Northamptonshire found the centrepiece of Henry VIII’s lost crown buried underneath a tree. Cromwell had ordered the crown to be melted down and sold as coins, but someone had clearly had other ideas. The crown centrepiece, a miniature gold statuette figure, is thought to be worth £2 million.

A couple of years ago, I interviewed the singer songwriter Nick Harper about a project he was working on about his native Wiltshire: he described how the magic of the place for him came through the relationship between the people and the land. Celebrated sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury aside, wherever you are in this part of the country, you’re never far away from an embankment or an earthwork. That human imprint is always present in the landscape, even if its meaning is less so.

It’s easy to overlook the places we live in and the stories behind them.

But it’s important to step back and take stock once in a while. If you’re stuck in a moment, it’s always useful to look forward, beyond. But it helps to consider the past, too, and the larger sweep of history we are all part of.