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Tony Grist

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What We Did Last Week: 6 [Aug. 3rd, 2009|03:56 pm]
Tony Grist
We had been planning to head off East on the Friday morning, but instead we had to go back to Hunters Inn, not very far, but in the opposite direction, to retrieve Ailz's pendant- which meant we got to see the family again- which was nice.

The pendant is a silver apple.  Ailz's brother gave it her- probably for her 21st. We think it probably came adrift when she was snuggling baby Matthew (see final picture of the previous post).

We were heading to Devizes. On the way we stopped off at Cleeve Abbey- also known as Vallis Floridia.  Cleeve has lost its church, but retained its great hall with original- and very splendid- roof intact. It also has fragmentary wall paintings and the best part of a fine tiled floor.  It's a quiet place in a quiet valley. 

 






We were pretty tired by this stage - and I can't remember what happened next. Did we go check into our Travel Lodge or did we go straight to Avebury. I think we went straight to Avebury.

Glastonbury may very well have been a green field site when a Saxon King decided to build an abbey there- apparently the Saxons preferred green field sites- but Avebury has been a holy place for six thousand years. What were they thinking of, the people who built it? Who knows? Something to do with the sun and the moon and the stars- and that's all we can be sure of.  It's a complicated piece of architecture or engineering (I'm not sure which is the more appropriate term) -  with its ditch and bank and circles and avenues of stones, so the beliefs it expresses (or hints at) were probably quite complicated too. I feel, when I prowl around it, as if I'm prowling around the inwards of a huge clock.

I didn't take any decent pictures on this occasion but I took some when we went back on Saturday- when the light was better. I'll post them in their proper sequence.

Our hotel was about a mile from the centre of Devizes- at the intersection of several roads, with a housing estate to the right and an industrial estate to the left. It was a noisy place to be on a Friday night- though not on a Saturday night, oddly enough. Ailz thinks the people who were squeaking and chattering and grunting until deep into the morning were working girls and their clients. Could be.

Oh, and I'm forgetting; our bedroom window had a great view of the Devizes White Horse, which was carved into the hillside in 1999  to commemorate the Millennium. It replaces an early 19th century Horse (called Snobs Horse because it was created by the shoemakers of the town, popularly known as snobs)  which faded back into the hill a century or more ago.  As Millennium projects go I reckon this is a good'un.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: seraphimsigrist
2009-08-03 04:03 pm (UTC)
good pictures indeed...
the double headed eagle
I associate to byzantium
(and it is still on the seal of
the ecumenical patriarchate)
but wikipedia shows its transmission
in the holy roman empire...I suppose
this to be from that?
the two heads represent the
sacred and secular.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-08-03 05:57 pm (UTC)
I associate it with the German Kaiser. I don't know what it's significance is here. It could be heraldic or else purely decorative.
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2009-08-03 04:11 pm (UTC)
I feel, when I prowl around it, as if I'm prowling around the inwards of a huge clock.

Nice.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-08-03 05:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2009-08-03 04:48 pm (UTC)
Love the horse! And the name "Burrow Mump" makes me giggle every time.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-08-03 05:59 pm (UTC)
Burrow Mump is a lovely, hobbity sort of a name.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2009-08-03 06:03 pm (UTC)
Exactly!!!
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2009-08-03 06:02 pm (UTC)
Avebury has a feel to it, doesn't it. Your clock description of that feeling is the best I've heard.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-08-03 06:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks.

You stand at the centre and you feel that "things" are revolving round you.
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[User Picture]From: wyrmwwd
2009-08-03 06:29 pm (UTC)
Avebury is truly one of my most favorite spots in the entire universe.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-08-03 07:34 pm (UTC)
Yes.
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