Category Archives: Stuart France and Sue Vincent

Weather!…

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Getting to the Hurlers proved easy enough…

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Clustered, as they were, around the extremities of Bodmin Moor…

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But the weather closed in…

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Almost as soon as we set foot to turf…

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Which made the prospect of a climb up to the Cheesewring, and Stowe’s Pound, a decidely unlikely event…

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We walked as far as we could before caution proved the better part of valour…

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And then, the sun came out…

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Somebody, somewhere, muttered something about stones and humour.

Playing Place…

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Well, it didn’t take us long to get there did it?

But let’s ponder a moment

what this structure could mean…

We could call the two flanking uprights,

Summer and Winter,

or Night and Day,

or Them and Us,

and it would not really matter which was which.

If we did that though, what would we call the holed stone?

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The Rock of Brentor…

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‘…A church, full bleak, and weather beaten, all alone, as it were forsaken…’

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“St Michael de Rupe?”

“St Michael the Rock.”

“I thought St Peter was supposed to be the ‘Rock’?”

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“The rock referred to here, is volcanic.”

“Nice.”

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“Though you would never know it now…”

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“…The church-tower can still serve as a beacon.”

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“Curioser and curioser…”

“Wait till we get inside, Alice.”

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Circle of Stone…

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If ever there was a monument that ought to be regarded as fake.

This is surely it.

So far as we know it is unique,

although there are many holed stones.

The others are usually uprights, stand alone, and have much smaller holes.

But if it is authentic, and we have never come across

any suggestion that it is not,

then it is an indication that the ancients

ritualised, and that they thought symbolically.

This should not come as a surprise.

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Hackpen Hill…

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Even our ‘elusive barrow’ was bigger than we expected.

We couldn’t help being reminded of the Fairy Mine.

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And we would have got a lot closer still

but for the seven-foot-tall stinging nettles.

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“We were pressed for time the last time we visited Hackpen Hill.”

“Ilkley wasn’t it by way of Marlborough to pick up the staves?”

“Staffs not staves.”

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“That’s the ‘fella’.”

“The fellow with half a face?”

“Sounds like the title of something.”

“It doubtless is.”

“Or should be.”

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“Strange, how patterns in the landscape,

figures of speech,

modes of mind,

attract some people…”

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“Yet not others.”

 

 

Fringe Benefits…

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Another one of those ‘green-worm-holes’ presented itself.

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And we were hardly likely to refuse.

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A decision with consequences which we both found quite pleasing.

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A couple of small stones caught our attention.

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But upon closer inspection they turned out to be rather large stones.

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But then, this was Avebury after all…

 

Infinite Regress…

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THE INFINITE HIGHWAY

If one always returns to where one came from,

then one’s destination is halfway between where

one came from and where one is going to.

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HALFWAY TO INFINITY

Every step along the infinite highway is simultaneously

an equal distance between an infinite future

and an infinite past, that is, it is halfway to and from infinity.

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EQUAL PARTS OF INFINITY

To find the halfway point of any distance,

one first splits the distance into equal parts then,

when the number of equal parts remaining is equal

to those that have passed one has one’s halfway point.

The equal parts of infinity, however, are all infinite.

Infinity is the only thing that can be split into… infinities.

This is known as counting the for evers of forever.

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FOREVER YOURS

Reflecting upon all this it appears…

‘The Ancient of Days’

Is a good poetic name for infinity.

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THE INFINITE HOTEL

A Traveller approaches the Infinite Hotel and asks The Ancient of Days for a room.

Now, there are an infinite number of rooms in the Infinite Hotel, however, the Traveller is informed by the Ancient of Days that all the rooms in the Infinite Hotel are taken.

Q: How does the Traveller get a room in the Infinite Hotel ?

A: The Ancient of Days asks the occupants of Room 1 to move into Room 2 and the occupants of Room 2 to move into Room 3…and so on… and on… Infinitely, thus making room for the Traveller.

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INFINITE EXPANSE

At any one time in the Infinite Hotel then, there will be any number of people on the corridors moving from one room to the next, and this number will be dependent on how many Travellers are seeking a room in the Infinite Hotel…

Consider this…

All the rooms in the Infinite Hotel have a name…

All the rooms in the Infinite Hotel have the same name…

The name of all the rooms in the Infinite Hotel is ‘After-Life’.

Consider this…

All the corridors in the Infinite Hotel have a name…

All the corridors in the Infinite Hotel have the same name…

The name of all the corridors in the Infinite Hotel is ‘Life’.

By extension…

The occupants of each room in the Infinite Hotel have names…

The occupants in the room before yours are called ‘Parents’

The occupants in the room after yours are called ‘Children.’

The act of moving from room to corridor is called ‘Birth’.

The act of moving from corridor to room is called ‘Death’.

‘Life Duration’ in the Infinite Hotel can be defined as,

the amount of time spent in the corridor

 before moving into the next room…

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IN FIN…

Once one

Never none

Forever one.

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Stanton Drew…

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Names matter.

For practical purposes they are like elephants and flowing water.

They follow the shortest, flatest path to wherever they are going, and en route the jagged edges first get smoothed and then get worn away.

In this particular case we are on the path to understanding…

‘Standing Stones of the Druids’

‘STANding sTONes of the DRUids’

STAN-TON-DRU

Stanton Drew…

There are a number of ‘Stantons’ in England with an attendant ancient site, and for a long time these places were associated with Druids although we now know that they were around a lot earlier than the period normally associated with those infamous ‘Old-Time-Sages’.

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This ‘fella’, could easily be a druid, although he could just as easily be a she, in which case one would be tempted to call her a witch.

It is the first stone that greets you at the site.

If you look closely at the first photograph you can see some of the other stones lurking in the background.

On our first visit to this site we were struck by how utterly ‘other’ the stones appeared in relation to their environment.

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Father Bear…

HM15 970Pentre Ifan

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Which translates, ‘Ivan’s Village’ but was also formerly known as, ‘Arthur’s Quoit’.

Another ‘quoit’, and only a few miles away from the last one.

This seems, if anything, a little unimaginative.

Or, alternatively, it could signal a connection between the two sites.

The more obvious visual parallels though are with our first site, Carreg Samson.

Seen from one angle Pentre Ifan now frames the distant peak of Carningli (Hill of Angels) and like St Samson’s stone the upper ridge of its Cap follows closely the contours of the terrain which has always dominated its horizon.

We have been moving deeper into the country on our three-fold quest and the sites have become increasingly populace.

We met no one at the first site but at the second, we were hurried on our way by a couple of visitors as though we were holding up play on a golf course.

Here, we pass an entourage on the way in and on our way out we are replaced by another one.

The conveyor belt effect…

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True to the form in which we have cast these sketches we are over heating by this point in the proceedings.

Still, we have just come from a long climb up a big hill on a very hot day and the surrounding recumbents prove more than a tad adequate as baking stones.

It is perhaps just as well.

By paying too much attention to the stones one can start to become  a trifle uncomfortable in quite a different sense.

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For one thing, it becomes abundantly apparent that the central stone is not a support stone at all.

Not a support stone?

Quite definitely not.

But if it is not a support stone then what is it doing there, what is it, and why does it have claws?

Stone claws, or perhaps talons, which are firmly rooted in, not to say sprouting from, the earth?

Well, that is true, but even so…

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Maybe, whatever it is, is pointing the way.

Pointing the way to what and where?

To Ivan’s Village.

Whatever that means?

Ivan is Ian… is Jan, and Janus, the god-form of portals, is two-faced and looks both ways. In and out, up and down, before and after, here and there.

Ivan’s Village is Janus’ place!

Well, it is one aspect of Janus’ face, or Jane’s, certainly.

All of which means, we are still no nearer to an answer…

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…Not necessarily…

The symbolic preoccupation of all these structures seems to be with Headlands, (end of the land and start of the sea) or Mountain peaks (end of the land and start of the sky). And by extension with islands which is land situated in the sea, and also with birds which are beings that fly in the sky.

In other words the builders of these structures are concerned with thresholds and what lies beyond those thresholds in the domains which they bound. The analogy always involves the natural environment which is then related to their, and hence to our, own experience.

So, it is not so much from here to eternity but rather from here to our apparently limited horizons and then on beyond them…

Which may very well be an eternity or if not, then at least, an endless round.

Simple.

Eloquent.

Profound.

And that is just the formal symbolism of the structures, without consideration of the precise geometries of their situation…

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Despite the conveyor belt effect we still get time enough to do what is needed.

And we conclude our ‘…Prayer’ with a little chanting.

Impromptu.

Because that’s the way…

we like it.

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You think that will have gone unnoticed?

Quite possibly not.

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