Stonehenge – Friday 8th February
Yes, it’s still cold, but Spring is definitely in the air. The buds on the bare stems of the hedges in the Stonehenge car park are starting to sprout.
Up by the stones the jackdaws are flirting, following each other around the paths and grassy areas like pairs of awkward teenagers.
I hear the first skylark of the year and spot him flying above the sheep in the meadow out towards the byway.
There’s a single Apache helicopter busily flying up and down the landscape, but right now I can’t hear any artillery.
Mark is continuing to work on his trilithon drawing. I think he’s clocked up forty-seven hours so far. But it’s obvious to people looking over his shoulder that it’s a work of some skill. He’s had some interesting and some curious comments from fellow tourists while he’s been sitting here. Very often, people, and Mark tells me it’s usually middle aged or older British men, commend him importantly with, “Yes, that’s not bad at all.”
Someone recently asked him if he does commissions through the shop here. I’ve been trying to imagine how that might work. A fifty plus hour silverpoint study isn’t the kind of artwork normally associated with tourist sites. I feel this possibly isn’t a very sound business model.
Siobhan is here today. I spot her across the stone circle, long pale ribbons from the garland in her hair fluttering down the back of her black cloak.
I can hear an amplified voice, a PA system, “This is for the attention of all Evan Evans customers. Will all customers please return to the coach. Evan Evans is now leaving…”
How bizarre. I haven’t heard that before, a voice carrying all the way from the car park up to the monument field. I expect they need to load them up and move them out and on to the next tourist hot spot.
A military jet flies over. I hear the boom before I can see it and of course, as always, look in the wrong place, the place where the noise is before I spot the metal dart seemingly miles away.
Outside the chain link fence several young men, skinny jeans and bomber jackets, take photos through the wire.
A couple of young women come up onto the tarmac path, well wrapped up in bright leggings, boots and woolly scarves. They’re carrying paper bags of food and paper cups of coffee from the café here. As they arrange themselves on the bench they notice the sheep in the meadow. “Oh, Sheep!” Says one. “No Way!” says her companion.
Dark clouds are clustering in the sky. It looks like rain.