|Ganesh blessing my travel beads.|
Let's hope the Remover of Obstacles looks
favourably upon my trip.
Just got back from seeing Mum and Merrick in Banbury. Went back to The Old Auctioneer for a full Sunday roast. It really is a lovely place, and they gave her chocolates and a red rose! How sweet was that?
|Mum and Merrick|
It was a good day, but the clocks had changed (spring forward, fall back), and combined with a grand total of no sleep that night, I'm surprised I didn't nod off at the wheel. Judging by the amount of roadkill I passed, several others had. I counted twelve pheasants, two badgers, and a squirrel in half a mile!
It's a little known poaching rule in the UK that if you hit a pheasant you can't stop and take it home, but the next driver can. The idea being that if you hit a live bird, it's poaching, but if you pick up roadkill it's just... well, economic. If you hit one by accident, it's clearly not poaching, but if you stop to pick it up someone might claim you deliberately hit it and you'd have to prove you didn't.
I've already devoted far too much time to this topic.
It was a rather emotional outing. The last time I'll see Mum 'n' Merrick before jetting off, and it was also the last outing for Kitty, my beloved car. I have nowhere else to go before Laos, no more visits to make.
It was a gloriously sunny day, and England is so perfectly bucolic at this time of year: roads overgrown with leafing trees dappling the tarmac with light, rolling hills, sheep, horses, daffodils, and pheasants scratching at the rich earth (when not being run over by speeding convertibles).
I stopped off at Rollright on the way home. A place that means even more to me than Tinkinswood. Where I first fell in love, met my beautiful friend Paul, danced nekkid and wild round a bonfire at midnight to the sound of good heathen drumming. Lost my heart and my soul to the people I met there so many years ago.
|The Whispering Knights|
|Long Compton Panoramic from King Stone|
Read the Legend
(click to enlarge)
|(click to enlarge)|
Just a word to the wise. As you enter the main gate to the circle, you'll see a patch of grass to the left. There used to be a hut there. It burned down some years back (though how is a bit of a mystery, given it was built of stone...) and was removed. There is now a path leading into the woods behind where the hut used to stand. For some reason, people have always been fascinated by that space, even when the hut was standing. The reason it is so green, is because it's the site of the old latrines. Bears - and humans - really do, in the woods.
If you're feeling strange energies back there, it's probably the ghost of something unmentionable.
Anyway, got home and began the sad task of clearing out Kitty.
As readers of this blog will know - I love my car.
We have a special relationship. Paul uses the fact that so many people talk to their cars as a sign that animism is still alive and suppressed in the Western psyche. I fully admit it. I'm nuts about my car. I didn't think I could ever love again after my Puma lost a fight with a lorry and an estate on the M6, but Kittie was there to pick up the pieces and put them back together. We've been everywhere together: Poland and back, Scotland and Belgium many times, on ferries, along A roads, across the Severn Bridge...
An ex repeatedly offered me more than I'd paid to sell her to him.
I dumped him and kept Kitty.
I think, when you find a car you really love driving, it's sort of like the whole Jack Sparrow pirate ship thing. It's not just wheels, an exhaust and transmission. That's what a car needs. But what a car is - is freedom.
Freedom has accrued over the past couple of years. I was amazed at the amount of junk I found on the back seat alone: a body warmer, two trilbies (one burgundy, one pinstriped), a riding hat, a pair of electric-blue chaps (hmm, fashionable), a bin liner, two maps of the UK and a wheel pump.
The saddest part was taking down her charm. It sort of felt like disowning her. But I don't know how long I'm going to be gone, and if you don't treat the leather on the pendant, it starts to go mouldy. Don't think anyone would appreciate pulling down the blind to get coated in green powder.
I'm sorry Dawkins, I read and fully understood The God Delusion. I've worked conscientiously over the past years to replace superstition with Humanism, but at the end of the day, it's very hard to shake off where you come from. It's not just a set of beliefs, it's an entire community of people that go with those beliefs. I think if I fully let go, the world would be a little less colourful. Call that a failing, it is, but for now it's my failing and I'm happy to embrace it.
I put everything into a basket. Her oil and her windscreen cleaner, all of her overseas bits and bobs: breathalysers, GB plate, spare bulbs and warning triangle. It's not much when you look at it, but it's there in case anybody wants to take her for a spin.
I assume we'll be reunited on my return, but you can never predict the future. It would break my heart to sell her, but who knows, maybe I'll be giving that ex a call in a few months.
Oh, and don't worry about Fred. She's got pride of place on top of the piano.