Sunday, June 21, 2015

'Eagle flew out of the Night'

A Happy Solstice day to everyone, I suspect the people will not see the sun rise at Stonehenge, as the weather is dull and damp at the moment, but the occasion must have been exciting with wildly dressed druids and maybe even shamans.  The primitive urge to go back to our ancestor 'religion' which of course we know nothing of is as strong today as ever.  In Scandinavia they decorate their houses with branches and wild flowers and have great fires outside to celebrate their longest day.

I shall listen to Peter Gabriel and Solsbury Hill, which is such a happy tune, and I think of the eagle 'that has come to take him home' he mentions flying aloft over Bath.  People have asked me in the past whether there are eagles there, the answer is sadly no - just imagine them say I. 

Today I learnt that the National animal emblem of Scotland is the Unicorn, it was mentioned in the 12th century, fancy that, the magical white unicorn prancing across those verdant plains and rocky mountains of Scotland.

But to return to Solsbury Hill, a steep long walk up the lane out of the village of Northend, you can drive your car to the top, but there are really only two parking places, so it is best to walk and take in the verge flowers.  The hill is classified as an Iron Age hillfort but was not occupied for that long, you can wander around it easily.  There are two great stones sticking horizontally out of one of the ramparts, and it is said that the farmers could measure their plough runs by them.  On one corner of the inner space, is a maze, created many years ago, when the A36 (or was it the A46) was enlarged and protestors camped in the trees to stop it, of course it went through in the end.

Moss and I once walked up on Good Friday, though I course did not realise the day, lots of people were trudging up the lane and ahead a gold cross was carried, penny dropped, and I talked to one or two of them.  Friendly, pleasant people, there am I a true secularist, questioning this odd ritualistic act of going to the top of a 'pagan' hillfort to remember the hanging of a man, who apparently died for 'our sins' and I won't go there in case I offend.  But in truth these people did it every year, it was a celebration just like Solstice day, there was food and children running round at the top and everyone enjoying themselves.

I am writing early, basically because the last three nights we get up anytime between 3 and 4 in the morning, I've been around a long time today, and though my work is finished LS is still packing stuff in the studio.

And a last thought, the protestors of the road above, were echoed by protesters for the new Newbury Road in 2010, and as a recorder of such things, this moving video of the 'Wild Horses of Newbury' perhaps reflects something of the battles that have been fought, and of course the anti-austerity protest march in London and elsewhere that took place yesterday, a good sign that people still fight for what they believe in.


  1. I do agree about Protest marches Thelma. I used to go on the Anti Nuclear Ones in the far distant past - such feelings of solidarity. As long as they are peaceful then it does let everyone, including the government, know how so many folk feel.
    You will soon be up here and searching for local ancient sites - you will no doubt find plenty,

  2. LS was a member of CND in his early days, and marched, and even got put in prison for a short time so he says. I am never quite sure whether governments take notice of marches though, there have been many lately and very well attended. Yesterdays seems to have gone peacefully enough.