went out walking through the woods the other day…

It’s been a beautiful autumnal day. Slightly chilly a bit damp with glorious sunshine.

So obviously conversation turned to what was the last great Stones album. After the flippant was there ever a great Stones album. We settled on Goats Head Soup. Not so much for its greatness as for its consistency of style and swagger.

It’s a pleasant album and maybe the last one that was not too involved in maintaining the myth.

Gettin’ stoned…

Rooting around on other peoples blogs can cause problematic behavior.

http://vinylconnection.com.au/2014/02/21/went-to-see-a-standing-stone/

Is just such a post, first of all it got me thinking about my visit to the Rollright Stones. Which involved satellite navigation, not working,  getting lost and then asking a wizened old local the way. Travelling in ever decreasing circles prior to this, through a housing development past school kids and mothers pushing their children in strollers. Until we ended up in a layby parking behind a salesman sleeping in his Taurus.

At the time there were four of us jammed into my Dads Nissan Micra and none of us were small men. 20130807-072557.jpgIt was my sons return to the homeland with his brother, we picked up my friend Paul and thought a tour of stone circles and other fun sites would be a good thing to do. Avebury, Silbury Hill, Stonehenge, one of the many white horses and Glastonbury ensued. The Rollright stones were really an after thought and to this day I have no idea what dragged it into my or Paul’s mind other than the Half Man Half Biscuit lyric from Twenty Four Hour Garage People:

‘I fancy I’ll open a stationer’s,
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While you were out at the Rollright Stones
I came and set fire to your shed.’

Paul is a big fan and this could be the source of the journey.20130807-072605.jpg The highlight of the journey was the strange pagan creation that waited for us across the street with the Kings Stone. In my confusion I may have forgotten to take a picture of the stone. But here is the strange collection of sticks and wood creating the sculpture.

This all ends up with me buying another record as always, I am not the biggest traffic fan although late at night they really do hit the mark. stonedI have never heard Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory but suddenly browsing the racks at a record store there it was in all it’s die cut glory and that blog post was in my mind so why not I thought.

Why did they die cut these albums? It makes little sense to me and creates a problem if you have to replace the inner sleeve.

Anyway it is a fine album to my mind Roll Right Stones and (Sometimes I Feel So) Uninspired are the highlights for me, the former because of that journey with my boys that Bruce’s blog post had reawakened. The latter because after 10 days working straight it fully encapsulated how I felt today, although it was a beautiful sunny day with a blood moon that I could not capture with a camera.

I am going to end this with my favorite sight from that journey with the boys. That is the view of Silbury Hill from the burial mound across the road. There is something to my mind magical of the view across wheat fields to a large man made hill. Even though you can see the road it feels like you are in another time.

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Back To The Stones

Well a very busy five days or so. Started with the crazy tour of Liverpool, Beatles, slavery and socialism. A city that has given so much to the world. It’s a very different city than the one I left twenty years ago as it was in the throes of depression caused by dear old Maggie and her crippling economic policies. The disparity between north and south is still obvious as I type this on my phone in Oxfordshire.

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My kids are having a great time getting back to their roots. As always on this trip there is the voyage to llandudno and the ascent of the great Orme on the tram, there are only three of this type still functioning, the others are in San Francisco and Lisbon way more exotic than llandudno. My parents are also enjoying their grandchildren.

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Then on to the road trip first stop Nottingham

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Not as exciting as you might think although the Merry Men showed up

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Then back across country as we realized Nottingham and the East Midlands was a mistake. Glastonbury was its usual corporate hippydom and strange spirituality, one of my retirement plans is to move to Glastonbury and form a spiritual movement. The Tor is beautiful though

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Stonehenge was as usual impressive

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However the real star of the show is woodhenge, not only is it on the GPS which Stonehenge is not you can wonder amongst the concrete pillars.

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Avebury and Silbury hill are astounding the magnitude if what man created here is still awe inspiring, there is also less mysticism and more archeology which is helpful,

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Silbury hill is just so large it is mind boggling, yes I know it’s a big pile of dirt but such a big pile .

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And then there is Avebury, a massive Neolithic site, the entire town is surrounded by stones

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And then on to the Uffington white horse, famed even before it was used in the XTC album cover in the days of vinyl, a nice hike along the bridle way to see the horse, it’s hard to imagine how this thing has been here so long, it is so delicate and fragile when you get up close and required what must amount to constant attention to maintain, it’s also really hard to get a picture.

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It is a beautiful stylized rendition o a horse and has been there for centuries, they were adding chalk as we were there amazing that it is just placed there not pounded in or fixed in any way, just broken up to the right size.
About this time we figured that Brighton was not happening, things are so close together but so time consuming to get too.
Off to the Roll Right Stones, this was an adventure to find and only by the good grace of a wrong turn did we find them.

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There they are with
Mystical beam of light descending from on high, also with strange pagan figure found at the sight.