Monday, 25 May 2009

Dawn Chorus

Oh well, I'm still up. I mean, awake. I don't feel up up. I feel just alert and awake and ready to restart my life in all manner of good and sensible ways. Not bizarre and pathological dead-ends.

What's the time? Oh, fourish. Been reading lots of pottery stuff tonight. Feel the urge to throw building up again. It comes in waves.

Something I didn't bother mentioning from the last psych visit. I was prattling on about the way my occupation over the seven/eight years until I stopped probably gave me the modern equivalent of shell-shock. Dangerous to the vulnerable perhaps. He really liked that and gave me a big gold star and a lovely shiny tick in a box.

One thing is for sure. I won't be mending St Peter's nose again. I know what's good for me. Been there done that and it fucked me up good and proper. (He stuck a great big key in me, unlocked the bonds that I'd spent years polishing and perfecting, and now look at me.)

Other news.

Saturday, we took the family out for an outing, if I may be permitted to get away with a tautology at this time of night.

We went to the Forest of Dean, and visited King Arthur's Cave (a place I last saw 25 years ago while backpacking along the Wye) and Goodrich Castle.

King Arthur's Cave... well let me quote with a fat c&p:

The cave is situated at the foot of a low cliff at the north-western end of Lord's Wood on the hill of Great Doward at Whitchurch near the River Wye. It consists of a broad entrance platform, a double interconnected entrance and two main chambers. The platform entrance lies 300 feet above the Wye and faces the north west commanding a good view of the saddle-back of Great Doward Hill. All of the deposits that have filled this cave seem to be either Late Pleistocene or more recent.

[Mr] Cave, B V refers to a skeleton discovered in 1695. In that year a woman herding goats went into the cave and found a skeleton apparently with the remains of a spear. The skeleton was reported as being of gigantic proportions. The bones were collected and given to a surgeon in Bristol called Mr Pye. Extraordinarily though it seems he took them with him on a sea voyage to Jamaica, but the ship sank and the bones were lost.

The discovery has been linked by some with the early legend of Vortigern, a British prince who fought the advancing Anglo Saxon armies, whilst others say they are the bones of King Arthur. This appears to be the reason that the cave is so named. King Arthur's Cave was partly excavated by the Revd W S Symond in 1871 after some miners had removed some of the deposits the year before (Symonds 1871). He found considerable portions had been disturbed, there were two "cave earths" an upper and a lower separated by a thick stalagmite layer. Finds included, hyaena, lion, cave and brown bear, urus, red deer, giant Irish Elk, reindeer,, and a horse, a typical Late Pleistocene fauna. Many of the bones had been gnawed by hyaenas. Symonds also obtained some flint implements that were later assigned to the Upper Palaeolithic culture. In the upper layers were coarse pottery of Neolithic type and some flint implements. Garrod (1926) has assigned his finds from the upper cave earth to the Upper Palaeolithic; those from the lower cave earth might be Middle Palaeolithic. From http://www.showcaves.com/english/gb/caves/KingArthurOldham.html


Goodrich made me laugh. We parked in the carpark, as you do. I knew the booth for tickets was up at the gatehouse, so rather than walk all the way back along the long length of the carpark to get to the path, we just pushed the pushchair up through some woods and crossed a fence. Then the few hundred metres to the castle. No booth. Just a sign saying "Only ticket holders allowed" etc. Well. What would you do?

I hate coralling, fences, being shuffled with the herd - too much cattle-truck in it for my liking. And also, being an honourable and upstanding Englishman, I did not feel I had to walk back to buy a ticket before entry. Also, I'm just a stubborn and illegal git. So in we went.

The boys enjoyed it, but didn't climb the steep stair, the wee cowards! :-) I was expecting to be accosted, and was rehearsing my 'pon my honour speech. But we weren't. And no, I did not have the moral spine to go to the ticket office after the offence. We got in the car and buggered off. I've given my health, sanity and gallons upon gallons of sweat to the nation's heritage. I don't feel guilty.

Some photos:

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(I loved the trees - tried to get the way they looked to me).



(Eremite Troglodyte)



(First thing middle boy did was fall over on the path and gash his eye - his nickname of mountaingoat has been amended to woundedmountaingoat)



(Youngest boy did his best impression of the egghead-beast)



(Oldest boy doing his Rally at Nuremburg impersonation, or he might just have been pointing at an interesting bird.)



(Picnic in a gorgeous overgrown quarry.)

Enough. Waiting for Blogger to upload pictures is enough to induce the hope of torpor in the best of us. I will try lying in bed. But if that doesn't work, I'll try coffee (amazingly, at the right time it can knock me out - I think there is a part of the brain that when stimulated with caffiene sorts out the racing and gives a brief pause - well, works for me 50% of the time). Failing that, I think K has promised to take the boys to the park in the morning. And if I can't sleep then, then I'll sunbathe.

Goodnight all, this has been rather rambly. Apologies. Night and take care Dx

1 comment:

Ruby Tuesday said...

I always adore seeing your photographs.