Sunday, 31 May 2009
Stones a plenty
A Pensive mood in a mystical place of one so young, but this is another of Troy's favourite places to visit. As we drove towards Devizes I asked him where he would like to stop, Avebury or Stonehenge. Without any hesitancy Stonehenge sprang from his lips. So Lunch and a wander was on the agenda when we parked up in the overflow car park at Stonehenge.
First a quick jaunt for Willow who was bursting with energy and a need for the loo. She bounded across the field, dashing at me and the tall grasses before attending to her business.
I took this picture from the door of the van as I was making lunch. They are two of the many barrows which surround the countryside near the stones. Last time we came we walked across to them, but they are mounds which you can not enter. Of course not as they are burial mounds and we should not invade the privacy of the dead.
Once we were fully refreshed we set off to view the great circle as it is now. Of course we took our little dog, as it is a nice walk for her as well as us. However at the pay in kiosk I was told no dogs. `What do you mean, it's outside she can't hurt anything'. I replied aghast. `Health and Safety' Came the response. `Your having a laugh surely' Was all I could muster. `Those are the rules'. That did not satisfy me so I asked to speak to someone in authority, as surely a dog can not be a health and safety hazard in the outdoors. The gentleman hurried off and returned with a lady, who explained recently a dog had bitten a visitor whilst at another site, so they had been told no dogs anywhere. OK I have a reason for the health and safety jargon, why couldn't the man have said this instead of dismissing me. Perhaps all English Heritage workers should be informed of the reason and pacify their paying customers instead of dismissing them as if they are culprits and idiots. So our little dog was sanctioned to the van to await our return from our sojourn.
As English Hertiage members we were lucky not to have to queue too long, as we only need to show our card and we are free to go. As we walk through the underpass we can see the painting of the stones being hauled to their new home. `What if they were not hauled but sung into place' I put to Troy. He laughs `What singing stones' He enquires. Well it could be feasible if you work on the premise that everything resonates at a certain vibrational level. When someone sings high enough they can break a glass. So what if a choir sing together at different levels could this not help levitate things. Especially stones which have vibrations from the organisms they are composed of. This gives him food for thought as we start to come into view of the stones.
`But there are pictures of men hauling stones for the pyramids' He states. `I know but also remember that History is written by the winners, which does not always make it totally correct' I answer. I know he is pondering this conundrum I have posed, so I leave him with it. For nine years old he does well with logical questioning, but I don't want to persuade him, but let him make his own mind up.
As we stand in front of the circle of stones I tell him when I was his age I walked between the stones and touched them. He is aghast how could this be, they are fenced off and no one is allowed near, except on special occasions. `That's so unfair' He bleats. He would love nothing more than to be up close and personal with these gigantic monuments.
In years gone past we could do so much more, but the few spoiled it for the many as is often the case. Today we witnessed it with our little dog, she would no sooner lick you to death than attack anyone but has to be penalised because of an owners lack of responsibility. The stones were in danger of being broken, defaced and the circle disrupted beyond repair. So English Hertiage have saved them for all to see, but in doing so have denied many the opportunity to experience their full force.
It is an amazing piece of architecture created by our ancestors as what no one really knows. This is as close as you get to them, but they still are awe inspiring even to the young.
As we round the circle we come next to the busy A303, that is our way home once we hit the road again. As many people on the road as trundling around this site. There are so many visitors it's a wonder you are allowed to walk on the grass. Sorry the cynic in me takes over every now and again. I personally would have preferred to stop at Avebury, you can wander in and out of the stones which surround the village. The atmosphere there is one of peace and tranquility, rather than a herded walk in a fenced off area.
Then as quickly as we started we are at the end and on our way back to the underpass and into the gift shop. Troy has some money to spend, and finds a stone circle ring. Good choice. I purchase a new T-Shirt for him. This time it is Stonehenge at night. We are creatures of habit, as every time we visit I buy him a new T-Shirt. He was due a new one the other is a bit small now.
Our little dog is pleased we have returned, and we soon set off to complete our journey back to Canterbury.
A lass we have a small hiccup! Between the M20 and M2 we have to pull into a garage as the van is over heating. Poor Troy is beside himself, as there is smoke billowing past his window. If he could have escaped he would have, but not out of his door, no sirree that's to much like asking for trouble. When I pop the bonnet I am amazed to see the water reservoir for the radiator has no cap. It must have blown off, or something. I re-fill it twice, and leave it open to the air whilst I take a trip to the garage shop. I know I won't find a replacement cap, but there might be something I can use. I buy an emergency petrol cap, which is going to be too big, but it has a foam inner circle which I can use. So with some tin foil secured with the foam ring we are set to go again. By the way no one came and asked if I was alright or needed a hand!
We made it safely back, my Heath Robinson contraption worked a treat, staying securely in place, and we didn't over heat again. I thank the powers that be for guiding and protecting me as ever on my many adventures.