Stonehenge – Thursday 11th April
Pulling into the car park we see our first ice-cream eater of the season. It isn’t exactly warm, but it’s nowhere near as cold as it has been. Ice-cream promises sunshine, and seduced by this, Mark and I decide not to wear our full-length waterproof coats. Is this wise?
More ice-creams by the café, and people from China, South America, North America and the UK all chatting on the way in and through the tunnel and up to the monument.
Mark hasn’t worked on his silverpoint for a few days so there’s a bit of jiggling about while he identifies the exact spot he needs to be sitting at to continue the drawing.
A woman approaches one of the English Heritage custodians, “Can I ask you, how on earth did they get those stones across the top?” She goes on to say that she and her husband are visiting from the United States and that she’s known about for Stonehenge for decades, looked at pictures over the years, but it’s quite something to be here. She’s rewarded with an expert explanation of what could have been the scenario for erecting the mighty trilithons and is obviously delighted.
The jackdaws are busy, paired up and claiming territory, but today it’s the skylarks who are singing loudest; another indication of spring?
It is however, windy – as per – and although the sun is disco-ing in and out of the clouds there’s a familiar bitterness on the breeze. Maybe we should have worn our long coats.
A woman in a fur collared coat stands behind Mark and watches him drawing in the screen of her ipad. I’m quite convinced she’s not filming him, she’s just watching him on a screen. I believe the meaning of ‘television’ is ‘distant seeing’, but this activity rather negates that. If she just drops her device a few inches, she could watch the show live.
The sheep are doing their thing in the meadow and today are joined by a couple of men on their knees, painting the gate to the field a deep green.
I sit on a bench and look around at the road, full of traffic, the tarmac path, full of people. Someone has dropped a black glove next to the bench. I’m thinking they might be looking for it so best just to leave it be. A Japanese lady comes by, touches me on the arm and points to the glove. I smile and say thank you. An Indian family walk past, mum, dad and three kids. Every one of them has their hands in their pockets.
A Chinese lady comes past, “Excuse me”, she says, “Is this your glove?” And she points to the sad suede glove on the ground next to the bench. “It’s not, actually.” I say, and watch her face fall. “Oh!’” she says. ‘But, Thank you!” I say, worried now that I’ve spoiled her good deed and deprived her of the pleasure of a happy resolution.
One of the EH staff walks past and says, “Just to warn you, there’s some serious water heading towards us.” And he points behind me and towards the west. I turn to see the sky now blackened and sheets of rain streaking the horizon.
Time to retire…