Saturday, 18 July 2009

Old stuff

As you can see Stonehenge is actually only twelve inches high, so Spinal Tap were not as far off the mark as has previously been supposed.

Special "screen out the forty thousand other people there" camera was used in the taking of this photograph.

You are given an audio tour thing to listen to as you walk around (which is good because then you stay for more than the five seconds necessary to take in a heap of old rocks standing in a field) and they kept speculating on what Stonehenge was for. Obviously, it was for the same thing 'then' as it is for now, which is staring at and wondering what it's for, and paying six pounds for the privilege.

Did You Know: Grand Designs has a whole magazine? I read the July issue from cover to cover and am hoping to see the August one before we leave Britain. It's great. At the conference whenever I got a chance I asked English people about housing and heritage stuff. One thing I liked was what a nice woman from Edinburgh told me about making repairs to listed buildings. There is a rule of thumb you must observe that repairs should blend in from four feet away, but from two feet away it should be clear what is old and what is new.

Although the definition of 'old' and 'new' here is something I'm yet to fathom or feel I understand.

I took this picture at the Roman Baths, at Bath. Bath Abbey on the left there was founded in the 7th century, put up in the 12th century and tizzed in the 16th; there's a nice piece of Georgian building on the right, I was standing on a rather kitschy nineteenth century mezzanine around the excavated Roman pool below, which was constructed in the first century. The hot, sulphur-smelling water from the springs fell as rain ten thousand years ago. And it tastes like it too.

I doubt I will grasp how to think about age before we go on to places where it's just the same only considerably more so.


Jeremy said...

I would've paid if they'd let you walk under the stones.

F.G. Marshall-Stacks said...

Arty Fufkin does look sceptical about the whole stone henge thing. ditto.
Is there a shopping mall opposite?

A good thing the baths had no Heritage Listing in the 16thC they would not have been tizzed up, but demolished.
I wonder if Our Jane ever went there.
Wishing you a most excellent journey too.

Anonymous said...

My mother had Stonehenge to herself, on the day when ww2 was declared. Quite something to remember, as being a young thing, she walked there in high heels.

Lucy Sussex

Zoe said...

You would not believe the joy that comes from ignoring bloglines for a few days only to find 7 SASB posts there when you finally open it.


I think I am nearly as pleased as if I were upgraded.


librarygirl said...

I think the actual evidence of a thousand years or whatever of white civilization in Britain is what absolutely astounds - compared to our measly 200 or so years of white settlement here.

Another great post. Only reason I'm NOT seething with jealousy is that I'll be there myself in January. Keep on posting!

TimT said...

Arty Fufkin could have lifted up Stonehenge on his shoulders, it's so epically titchy. Maybe he could do that and bring it back here.

It would be Australia's Elgin Marbles.

Ampersand Duck said...

wot Zoe said, dammit.