1. Stonehenge – Saturday 9th March

      Stones and Jackdaws

      It’s Saturday morning so of course the roads are busy. Vehicles queue along the lines of traffic cones marking the road works around Stonehenge but there are no men working, just clusters of sleeping machines.

      It’s misty but I know behind the fug is a bright sun. Will it clear?

      Stonehenge has not long been open but already there are empty coaches in the car park.

      Up by the stones visitors from China, Canada and the UK are running photo sessions.

      Mark sits on the tarmac path in front of the mighty trilithon. Will today be the day he completes it?

      I take a photo of him and watch a couple of women similarly holding their smart phones up. In their digital screens I can see the shot they’re taking. It looks like mine – an artist sitting drawing with an ancient stone circle in front of him.

      Drawing Stonehenge Saturday 9th March

      On the nearest wooden bench I watch a man and woman sitting at either end. They reach out to each other and with arms stretched they hold hands.

      On the grass walkway a Chinese man is sitting on the muddy ground taking photos of a woman jumping. Other members of the party take photos of him taking photos of her. It’s been raining again. The ground has been spiked but it’s definitely damp. This young man will leave here with a wet bottom. But hopefully some good pictures too.

      The skylarks are in full voice today. Their song mingles with the sound of rubber on tarmac as traffic flows along the A303. Every now and then a jackdaw cries out. They’re busy claiming territory inside the stone circle. I expect they’ll be nesting soon.

      “OK Guys. Maybe I should take it. My body aches. I can’t be jumping,” says a woman in a group of friends. They organise themselves ready for the photos but the woman doesn’t take them, she holds the bags while two guys in the party take pictures of six young women trying to jump in unison.

      They gather round to view the images on the cameras and laugh at and critique themselves in the photos. Job done.

      The jackdaws take off from the stones in a group and soar around the monument field. One drops suddenly and is chased by another. A bit of a barney follows; a brief air attack, wings fluttering and a lot of shouting. Then it’s over.

      Mark Anstee’s Silverpoint Trilithon 9/3/13

      The mist is definitely lifting but is being replaced with grey cloud. Across the stone circle a camera flashes in a vain attempt to lighten the scene.

      “I want to get in the pushchair”, says a little girl as she struggles with her smaller brother for a seat in the single buggy. Her brother wins and I watch her little dejected face as she stomps round the grass walkway ignoring the kind cajoling of her Dad.

      After a couple of hours Mark thinks he might have finished his silverpoint drawing of the great trilithon. However, he says he’ll bring it back next session, just in case.