Stonehenge – Tuesday 5th March
It’s positively balmy today. The sky is weirdly cloudless and although there’s a breeze, the sun’s warmth shines straight at us.
I’ve come up to Stonehenge without my full-length waterproof coat, Mark is without either hat or gloves, and one of the EH staff is in shirtsleeves!
As we reach the top of the entrance slope a man in a beanie hat is bellowing down his phone, “I’m at Stonehenge” in a strange rasping voice. His mate finds this gut splittingly funny, and although we don’t really know the point of the joke, it makes us smile.
Yes, the silverpoint trilithon continues…
On the tarmac path there’s a motorbike. A very small boy is astride a small shiny bike which he propels by scooting his feet along the ground. He scoots himself into one of my photos of Mark sitting drawing. Everyone here seems to be having a nice day, but this little lad might be having the best.
You can tell that most visitors here have driven themselves because they’re taking their time. Ambling pleasantly around the walkway, sitting on the wooden benches to listen fully to the audio guide. Right now, there are no coach parties in.
A group of young Japanese men are having great fun trying to get the photo where one is holding up the stones. The subject bends his legs and raises his arms and ends up completely contorted to great hilarity amongst his mates.
A couple are pushing a buggy round while the mother carries a pink clad baby on her chest. I’m going to guess it’s a girl…She holds the baby and beams while Dad takes the photograph – a portrait of the mother and child in front of the stones – Stonehenge Madonna.
The jackdaws are strutting their stuff. One of them is conspicuously puffed up as they search through the grass for bits to eat. There’s some positive posturing occurring.
The skylark is busy, singing loud, flying high.
I do hope that Spring is here properly. Personally I’m bored of the cold and the wet.
There’s a lull in the traffic and it suddenly feels incredibly peaceful here. For most of its existence, Stonehenge would have been free from the constant roar of traffic and, very occasionally, we’re given a glimpse of what that might have been like.
Its relationship to the surrounding landscape is obviously paramount. The more time you spend here, the more potent that fact becomes, but it would have been a landscape without engines, or artillery fire, or whirly things in the sky.
A helicopter flies across the Cursus and suddenly there’s a run of heavy haulage trucks along the A303.
I watch a man in a loose shirt, a camera dangling from his neck, walk over to Mark and bend down to talk to him. I don’t know what Mark says, but I watch the man walk backwards and away from him. I’ll find out later…
The mini motorcyclist returns to the tarmac path. He swerves just before he gets to the seated artist and crashes, ditching the bike on its side. He runs to his mother and buries his head in her knee. A moment later he’s running and giggling loudly as she chases him.
“Oh look. Sheep.” Says a Japanese girl as she walks by me. Her and her friend bounce along to the electric fence and take some pictures of themselves with the Stonehenge flock.
Later, I ask Mark what transpired between him and the man who backed away. The man wanted to tell Mark that the stones have been scanned…Mark thanked him…