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Pagan places


I hope this topic is allowed! Ah well, only one way to find out …

It’s only in the last fifteen years or so that I admitted, even to myself, that I was a pagan – I was trying to resist it (early and continuous brainwashing) and that was causing me some problems.

I’ve always been drawn to stone circles and other ancient monuments, and could spend all day at them, and did do that several times …

Avebury Complex
The only way I could get wide pictures was by taking one, turning slightly to the side while trying not to change how I held the camera, and taking another – and hoping I’d be able to match them up when they were developed. Some didn’t work out at all well – amazing the colour differences on two photos of almost the same scene taken seconds apart! – but some weren’t too bad. You can see the join with no trouble …

The pillars mark the locations of stones now gone; I tried to get a stone and the church in, liked the symbolism:

West Kennet Long Barrow – Guardian stones outside the tomb:

Silbury Hill:
Those tiny black smudges near the top are people – which is why I didn’t attempt the climb myself!

Glastonbury Tor
Went there in 1998 and 2010. When I went up the Tor in ’10, the top of the Tor was hidden by very low cloud; I walked in a perfect circle of silver. A bit eerie, but magical all the same. I met someone coming down as I went up, and others going up as I went down, but while I was at the top I had it, and the whole world, to myself.

Another “joined” photo:

View from the top ’98 and ‘10:

Near the top ’98 and ’10:

Head in the clouds (literally):

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Wonderful photos, well done you. Love the Tor, it looks like a monk is standing with a child in the doorway.
Have you been to The Chalice Well Gardens in Glastonbury..a truly beautiful garden...where the priestess's used to hang out!!

4 Feb, 2012


They're wonderful places. I've been up Silbury hill, and into West Kennet Longbarrow, but it was many years ago. I must admit there is something magical about them.
There's a stone circle on one of the hills near here, and they've just discovered another one while constructing the foundations of a wind farm.

4 Feb, 2012


Nice photos, a bit high in the sky for me though.

4 Feb, 2012


Interesting blog and some good photos

4 Feb, 2012


Thanks Lulu and Hywel and *s* Tommy, you can't see how high you are in the clouds! there are two ways up, from the town and from the fields around - one is longer but more gentle climb, the second is about 1 in 1.

I never think of taking "art" photos or even "composing" shots; they're just snaps for me; and the '98 ones were pre-digital camera.

I thoguht there was someone standing in the doorway at first, but when I got really close, it's a wooden sign, asking people to keep off that bit of slope as it had just been re-seeded.

I was at Chalice Well a few times during my long weekend there in '10 - they had an Ostara Celebration which was - "nice", is an inadequate word but I'm not sure what I did feel during it! I have a vid of it on YouTube; mostly stills, with a bit of film from my first digital camera, which didn't shoot sound (hint, I'm franl155 on there too! easier for me to remember IDs if I only use one most of the time)

The White Spring was a disappointment: it used to be a cafe, but now it's got built-up tanks of free-flowing and fast-flowing water: for someone who's visually and mobility impaired, it was not a good place: uneven floors, soaking wet and slippery, very low light level, and the noise of the water echoing in the low "cave" was deafening.

I had to go Glastonbury via Bristol and get the bus from there. Seven miles outside Bristol is another stone circle - which I couldn't get to. Couldn't even stop off at Wells on the way there or back cos the buses only ran once and hour and the timetables gave the wrong times, a local told me; had to be there at least twenty minutes before the time, just to make sure. Maybe next time I'll do one night in Wells, Glastonbury the next day, and Bristol the day after.

I'd really like to spend the night in West Kennet Long Barrow, or at least part of a night: just have a small lamp, and chill (but not physically!). Friend of mine said that some people she knew did that, and -um - some things started to happen, and they got out in a hurry. Don't know how much of that is true, but the atmosphere there isn't helped by kids standing on the roof and yelling at each other.

There was a programme, years ago, which I still have on grainy recording of: "Sounds of the Stone Age". They reckoned that hte Long Barrow and other chamber tombs, and Stonehenge and other circles, were built partly with accoustics in mind; somehow the stones in the roofs of the tombs were deliberately set to echo the sound of the human voice, especially the baritone range. And when they did some experiments, they got some very weird results; one could actually *see* the sound waves moving down the corridor. And drumbeats were also very powerful, Lulu, so maybe you could try it sometime!

4 Feb, 2012


thanks, Sheilar

I really must try to remember to take better pics, that are at least a bit more in focus! at least now with the digital, I don't have to use several rolls of film, wait a couple of weeks to get them back and *then* discard half of them - and scan the rest in, one at a time ...

4 Feb, 2012


Very interesting Fran, I find these places fascinating and have visited a few in my time, have to admit I am a bit skittish and don`t like them if its dark or misty, think its down to my love of reading up on them before I visit, my imagination then runs away with me...

4 Feb, 2012


nice pics Fran. i love to see the tor on my way to pilton each year i'll get up there one day..:-)

4 Feb, 2012


Lovely pictures Fran :)
We have Standing Stones and a bronze age burial cairn our village - it is one of Scotland's most important sites yet is very neglected, which is a shame :(

5 Feb, 2012


thanks Lincslass. I read up on some of them, but I admit to being a bit of a sceptical pagan - went to Glastonbury years ago with a bunch of people and one of them suddenly said that she had the shivers because we'd just walked over a leyline. I nearly said, Was it a double yellow leyline? but just managed not to.

What gets me is not the places, but my own imagiantion: that's why I've never seen Exorcise, Alien, Omen or anything like that - it's not watching the film so much, it's walking home in the dark or suddenly waking up in the middle of the night!

There was one incident I remember: we were doing a night exercise for the Scouts - we were laying out a course for them to follow. Just before this, I'd been reading about Black Dogs (a particularly British phenomenon/superstition/myth) and how they're death-signs but sometimes they'll let you pass. And me and antoher woman were laying this trail in a forest, at night, no lights, not even hand torches, and the breeze was rustling the undergrwoth and I was getting so jumpy! and so was she - we realised that we were both whistling to keep our spritis up we agreed to give in and go back to join the others.

Daft, of course, but ... it wasn't so daft at the time.

I keep meaning to ask permission before going into these places - a silent reauest to "whatver" might still be there but I always forget when it comes to it. If there *is* anything still there, sure it understands that I mean it no harm. lol of course that doesn't mean that I might not do harm by accident! but at least it won't be on purpose.

go for it, Sandra! of course, some times of year are more crowded than others. I went for Ostara and couldn't believe how few people there were: it's not one of the "big" festivals. I couldn't find a bed anywhere in Glastonbury even the week before Beltane

oh, wow, Scottish. can you do some pics, please? nods, it's a shame that so much of our early heritage isn't valued other than as handy places to get blocks of stone to re-use.

Next to Wales, I think I'd like to live in Orkney - they say that if you put a spade anywhere in the soil up there, you get archaeology. (I saw an Orkney farm for sale on eBay ages ago: had three ancient monuments on its land. oh, did I wish for the right numbers then ...)

5 Feb, 2012


When I was temporarily homeless (just one summer) I slept in the tower on Glastonbury Tor one night. You actually feel as though you are floating in the air without the tor being there. In the morning I woke to see legs all around me. Looking up I was greeted by the faces of a group of oriental tourists regarding me with bemusment.

5 Feb, 2012


LoL Severnside!
I spent most of the night in the longbarrow. Drumming away!
We have a Round Barrow here where we live.......

5 Feb, 2012


The Avebury stones looked like people to me as a child, glad to say that they still do.

5 Feb, 2012


Daddy stone, Mummy stone, Baby stone and lots of cousin stones!

5 Feb, 2012


Acoustics must have been something drumming in W.Kennet Lulu. I like the anonymous barrows in fields, their quiet presence next to modern roads is more effecting to me than the celebrated sites.

5 Feb, 2012


So many barrows have been ploughed out of existence over the millennia that it's a wonde we have any left at all. and so many monuments have been robbed for their stones for local buildings, ditto.

The last time I went to Avebury the King Stone had been fenced off; apparently it was unstable and there was a risk of it falling. Don't know if it still is, or if they've managed to stabilise it.

Oh, to live somwhere where there's a barrow or circle just down the road ... lol of course the problem with the ancient people is that they always built out of town!

5 Feb, 2012


You'll have to come visit Fran!
The King Stone is all free now.
Trouble with having a round barrow here at the stud, we weren't even allowed to plant a line of trees a field away! I have just noticed there is a huge Longbarrow in a field in our nearest village a mile away in Leighterton. It's amazing, I must go and photograph it...

5 Feb, 2012


nods, at last our heritage is being protected - in some cases, over-protected at times! but at least something will be able to hand on to future generations.

My main prob, Lulu, is transport, or lack of. I found out that Stonehenge opens an hour before it's open to the general public, so that people can actually get in amongst the stones, touch them, sense them ... but I can't get any closer than Salisbury, seven miles away, under my own steam. I did email some taxi firms in Salsibury, one wanted £42 to take me there, wait an hour and bring me back - but once I'm there, I want to spend a lot of time there. Others want £18-20 for the one-way journey.

I treid bribing friends with cars: as I'm disabled, I'd get in for half price, and anyone who went as my "carer" would get in free. No takers, sigh. This is one reason I want to get a mobility scooter, then I can get to the out-of-town locations myself - provided it has the range, or there's somewhere I can plug in the charger while I'm looking around!

But I need to know that I'd be safe with one - for myself and other people; not found anywhere one can take driving lessons with one of them (it's a bit like a cycle - yoiu can never have used one, but yoiu can buy one and mix-it with other people with absolutely no training.)

No doubt I could get to Stonehenge, or Avebury, or anwyere else - if I wanted to enough, I'd find a way.

5 Feb, 2012


I don't have a digital camera Franl and the camera on my phone wouldn't get any good shots. Here is a link to the site Undiscovered Scotland. You get a couple of pics and a bit of a story. As you will see from the pictures - this area is neglected. Although I will say, we, I mean the Newbridge Residents Association, are trying to get various organisations to do something and spend some money but so far have drawn a blank!

5 Feb, 2012


thanks, Scottish! going there now

had a quck flick, and wow! saved it to my faves, will take time to go through it thoroughly, thanks again

6 Feb, 2012


Your welcome :)

6 Feb, 2012


buggerit!! I found the DVD of "Stone Age Sounds", put it into the PC, copie hte relevant file, converted it to something Movie Maker would accept, went into Movie Maker, cut it down bcause there wre two programmes in that file, joined all the clips into one, then split it into five fairly even sections (twice! I got confused with where I'd put the splits, so I had to delete 'em all and staart again), put captions on them all, saved them - and now Movie Maker tells me it can't make them into movie files "are you sure the original files are still there and that there's room on the hard drive?"

Yes, they're still there, I'm looking at them; and there's still 11gb spare on the drive - but still no go, and get same response when I try to save them to another hard drive.

that was the last step that would enable me to upload them to YouTube. Shee, to go through all that and then be balked at the last fence! ain't technology wonderful???

6 Feb, 2012


Oh dear Fran, I hope you can try again, would love to see it.

7 Feb, 2012


Apprently I moved the "source file" - found every possible file that could be the source and put it back, but still no go. will try again, this time leaving everything where it is till the entire project's finished!

That'll learn me to fiddlw while Rome is burning!

7 Feb, 2012


Starting right from scratch this time: got a folder to put the clips in so I'll be able to find 'em again, and -hope! - won't be so many mistakes so I'll know which are the ones I want.

Watch this space ... but don't hold your breath!

7 Feb, 2012


dammit, still gettng the same error messaage.

It gives me three options: "verify that the source file is available", "make sure the saving location is still available" and "make sure there's enough free disc space".

I created a subfolder in "my videos" and put the source file in it before I even started, so it's in the same place that it was when I began

The "saving location" is that same folder, so it's available!

I've 12gb spare on this drive, and the clip's 50mb, so there must be room for it!

I tried saving the clips to a different folder on a different drive, where there's more spare space - got same message.

It adds blithely, "then try again" - yeah, like this isn't my 4th go???

I don't know what it thinks the problem is - I've not used Movie Maker for a while, but I didn't have any probs with it the last time I tried splitting a movie and saving the clips.

I'll post a pic of the error message, if anyone has any ideas ....

just tried it on low-quality settings, still no go

7 Feb, 2012


Can't help you I'm afraid good at this kind of stuff :(

7 Feb, 2012


sorry to whinge: just a big letdown. it worked last time I did a YouTube vid, or set of them. Maybe I've got too much open in the background. I found a website (via Yahoo Answers) listing free video editing sites, but which to go for?? it said that MM only got 1 star out of 5 from a magazine! can beleive it, lol bet that's why they had to give it away, no one'd buy it!

anyway, enough of me moaning. If i could upload it as a single unit - but it's got half the next vid in the file as well, be a bit big to go up all in one, even if could find somewhere to upload it to, rather than having it on my pc to be uplodaded from; would rather just do it once and then it's done.

Hmm, anyone heard of Dropbox?

7 Feb, 2012


no more whingeing, promise!

14 Feb, 2012


BBC news report re Stone Age Sounds

just notcied this is a "pets" blog!!!! how the heck did I do that?

17 Feb, 2012

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