Saturday, 1 January 2011

2010 - Wiltshire and London

This has been a year of two halves for me (for the really pedantic a year of a 7/12th and a 5/12th). August saw the end of my trips south to see Kes in Wiltshire. I've met a lot of excellent people in my couple of years down there and you don't get to escape me that easily. As soon as I can get my transport situation sorted out, I'll be down a visiting.

I'll be trying to get my trips timed to coincide with  Gorsedds at Avebury.

A few words from Terry the Archdruid.

No matter how people might try, at Avebury the stones are the stars. There are many people regard it as a more important stone circle than Stonehenge.

The circle is surrounded by a substantial ditch - seen here with some convenient people in it to give a sense of scale. (remember this was built before the time of the mechanical digger and even before you could pop down to B&Q for a nice shiney steel spade and a pick axe)

For the last year or so, the affordable way to get to Wiltshire is to catch the overnight bus from Glasgow to London and go across from there. Sounds like a travel nightmare for most but, to be quite honest, I thoroughly enjoyed having a lump of day at either end of my journey to nosey round London.

I frequently got sore feet and often lost. I bought a map after a while which helped, but it was on a day where I forgot my map that I accidentally stumbled on loads of barges in Little Venice. Thank goodness one of the barges had been converted into a cafe where I got directions back to civilisation (and a cup of tea of course).

By complete accident I caught the rehearsal if the Trooping of the Colour

On several trip I was on the lookout for these painted elephants which were dotted around London to raise awareness for Indian Elephants (I suspect you probably won Billy - but only because you found them all together in Chelsea)

The years travels features a great many cups of tea and quite a few buns.

And here's me holding up a bandaged tree on the embankment - if you look closely you can probably see steam rising off my feet - it was near the end of a very long day and I was heading back to the bus station.


JennyD said...

What a marvelous post, Sandy! I always feel like I've been on a great trip when I come to your page and I love it.
It's interesting: you have the reenactment of the Druids and here where I live, we have the reenactment of the Civil War. I like yours much better :D
Thanks as always for a great read ~~

Sandy's witterings said...

Thanks Jenny.

I think the local druids down at Avebury might contest your word "reenactment". It's always excellent to see though.

Laoch of Chicago said...

I want one of those buns. Great photos, sharp and interesting.

How great would it be to a an archdruid?

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Whoa, you ain't just a wolfin' about that ditch. I'd think the people back then would have better things to do like hunting and gathering instead of digging ditches. As for the bandaged tree, is it for the tree's benefit or some art project by the locals?

Shundo said...

I miss the buns, that's for sure. And I'm with Sinbad, I think the tree is a Christo knock-off.

Sandy's witterings said...

I'm sure there'll be an opening for an archdruid in Chicago. Terry says it take 21 years to becom a druid (though OBOD will do you a druidry course online in less time than that (for a price)) and then I suppose you're not going to be archdruid straight away - I'd get started right away Laoch.

Sinbad's pal - the trees were outside an art exhibition on the Embankment - they were probably glad to be unwrapped at the end of it all.
It seems that hunting and gathering probuced a little spare time!

Shundo - (bun's a very wide range for me) those buns were actually a scone and probably the finest (and certainly the largest) custard doughnut I've ever tasted.

Becky said...

If I ever get back to the UK, the Avebury Stones are something I would like to see. I've read they are the ones to see, not Stonehenge. I, too, am amazed at the ditch. Do you suppose it was all dug, not just mostly natural?

Sandy's witterings said...

Becky, The ditch is built up a bit on both sides which perhaps makes it look a bit deeper. I definately recommend Avebury for a wee look if you're passing - it's got a pub in the middle of the circle which was very considerate of the ancient Britons

Laoch of Chicago said...

I will start my search for the local Stonehenge today. Marion Zimmer Bradley once wrote: “A Druid in training must be a bard before he is a priest, for music is one of the keys to the laws of the universe.”

Zia Wolf-Sun said...

Think I'd make a great arch druid!! Hope they recognise the equality laws :) You do have a way of capturing the magic of these occasions here in your blog!