Tag Archives: Mercia

Free Day III …

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… Our-Father, Lady, Countess-Grae passed light and demure across the softly shifting shades of a turquoise beach.

Formless as beauty likened to the morning mist, her presence cleansed and refreshed the air as she danced; flitting capriciously between the stark but numerous clumps of white seaweed which lay sprawled like bleached and dying spiders: upturned and struggling in the yet cool but rapidly warming, morn-time sun.

They straddled the beach like shredded robes with their puckered strands wafting playful death throes in the sea breeze and as robes which had been wrenched, torn and wildly flung to lie forgotten upon the rising mounds of the blue dunes they appeared to have been discarded and scattered amid the sea’s insatiable passion for the sand.

And in her innocence, in her uncertain, whimsical passing Our-Father, Lady, Countess-Grae’s ruby feet caressed that same dry and now sullied sand: with all its succulence spent and with its surface baked-dry in the aftermath of the sea’s relief.

Yet cajoled and enticed by the arch of her feet and the spring in her step as she ran, the sand was compressed and spilled forth a deeper moistness; the dark clammy grains of which clumped and clung in a rich blue pulp and which squashed and squelched between the niches of her toes; cold, and invigorating as the new day which dawned all around.

A girl again, her laughter bubbled between short gasps, gurgled, giddy and pure as she moved; her reckless spirit sprightly and unabashed, flowing swifter and swifter, until, exhausted from running but still in playful mood she succumbed, collapsing onto the blue-green terrain beside a large vermilion boulder which squatted upon the lip of a small rock pool: its shade only vaguely unsettling her as she fell, splaying out her pale, slender limbs in limp, abject surrender to her surroundings.

As she gradually began to recover and her breath grew more even, her fingers scratched and gently scraped at the purple moss that spread like speculative boredom in dark, sporadic patches across the rock’s hunched and brooding form.

But she remained unmindful of the delicate intricacies and patterns which she so idly created for she was lost in the emerald-green sky and there she bathed her resting soul in the lushness of its translucence…

Earl Grae slumbered sardonically in his shell.

“…Still on your mind then?”

“Is what still on my mind?”

“Samuel.”

“I don’t understand.”

“The ‘he’ look, behind you.”

The etchings which she had scratched in the moss spelled Samuel.
“I still don’t understand.”
“The ‘He’, that is his name.

That is what he is ‘called’. That is what he is ‘known as’ or ‘goes by’.

That is his title; ‘hearkened unto’, or ‘requested by, the Lords’.

“Oh!” She read the name pronouncing each letter “… Who decided?”

“You did.”

“I did?”

“Just then…”

“Oh!”

“…When you were bathing…”

“Sa-M-U-El… mmm, I like that.”

“I like it too. A commendable choice…”

“Why, thank you, it was nothing… but, does Sam-U-El struggle, does Samu- El hurt?”

“Yes, of course he does but he loves it to death.”

“Oh death, Samuel has touched death then?”

“Grasped dear, grasped.”

“Sorry, grasped. How do you know?”

“I read it somewhere…

Here, tell me what you think.”…

The Aetheling Thing

Thor’s Cave…

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Had there been any doubt about where we were going next…

Which there wasn’t.

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For once, our destination proved quite easy to get to.

A car park was suggested by the guidebook and in the car park were easy to follow directions.

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Not too far away to be too uncomfortable.

But just far enough away to deter commercialisation.

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These are all metaphors.

And the metaphors continued at the mouth of the cave.

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Whose approach to the interior provided an effective deterrent against the casual tourist.

But not to us because we are not.

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The thing about caves…

You never want them to end…

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But they always do.

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Which is why we deal in metaphysics.

The way beyond the end of the earth is Geometry.

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Which does not so much measure the earth.

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As inform it…

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Not a stone…

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It is a familiar conundrum.

Whenever we come across sites like this, and we seem to come across more than a few, there is an inevitable question.

How much of it is natural?

Without question much of it is, but the more one finds that is not natural then the more one tends to question that which was initially assumed to be so.

On our most recent jaunt we came across the suspicious looking stone above.

To my mind that was very obviously a positioned stone.

It is an interestingly enough shaped stone in itself but more than this, it seems almost inconceivable that it could have fallen like that or have been left by retreating ‘Ice Giants’.

But then there arises the inevitable following question.

So why was it positioned in this way?

And to this question, unfortunately,  there is not always a readily forthcoming answer.

But this time we were lucky.

Question: ‘When is a stone, not a stone?’

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Answer: ‘When it is a nose (and an eye).’

Overkill Hill…

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Never look back!

It is good advice, unfortunately, in story-telling this advice, when given, is never adhered to.

Orpheus…Lot…Dr Faustus…

They are all concerned with Soul.

The Soul that turns to look back is caught in time.

It may be an ‘intention thing’, like trying to serve two masters, do not walk one way and look the other.

There are any number of mythological monsters depicted in this way to prove it.

Tiamet…Nergal…The Dread Beast of Mercia.

The hero ‘slays’ them all, by moving forward.

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But going back to take another look, that is different.

That is part of going forward.

And it is also inevitable.

This time we inadvertently found ourselves following our own advice from one of our books.

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We started at Hordron’s, that hoary old receptacle of time, went on to Strines, the ‘Peacock Pub’, and finished up at the Old Horns Inn.

And this time when we got to Bradfield, ‘Castle Hill’ was illuminated.

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No need to wonder where we will be heading next then.

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But first, we had another encounter with one of our mounds to experience.

We needed more photographs.

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And photographs…

Were duly forthcoming.

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Once we had braved the curiously over friendly sheep…

Lair of the Black Shade…

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…A flutter of recognition flicked across his gaze.

“What is it?” Asked Wen, her icy tone slicing through the summer haze like a frosty stare.

“There’s an old lay, I can’t quite remember how it goes…”

“Try!”

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“I don’t know, something about a green valley between two hills…”

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“And a sentinel of stone which has to be appeased…”

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“Before entry into the living rock is granted…”

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“The last bit goes on about the embrace of a One-Eyed God, or something…”

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“By Odin, I know that place!” shrieked Wen, leaping to her feet.

Moments later the Beast was again roaring along the lane.

Anyone would think she was glad to be back on the road…

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