Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Steve Cole and Chuck Loeb at the Pizza Express; A Sunday kinda groove..




This was where we were heading - the Pizza Express on Dean Street, which has a Jazz venue downstairs in the basement.

I ought to love that; it's a basement in Soho and they play live Jazz - what's not to like for goodness sake?

Except that it's not really my scene - expensive, safe, risk free. It's a venue for expense account sharks and advertising executives.

Grrrrrrh!

We were there to see Steve Cole who was over from the States playing with Chuck Loeb.

Cole is Robyn's all time favourite sax player and whatever excuse I came up with, this was something I couldn't get out of!




Worst of all, this was dragging me (screaming and grumbling) into the world of 'Smooth Jazz', which is somewhere on the hazy border between Jazz and (Gulp!) 'Easy Listening'.

This is not my kind of music at all.

So, after some time spent grumbling over the outrageous prices in Pizza Express I settled back to listen and then I realised that the best thing I could do would be to get Robyn G. May write a guest review for me.

After all, Robyn spent time working on a (gulp!) 'Smooth Jazz' radio station in Philly.

Here's Robyn's take on the show;


It’s Friday, and you know what that means, free Smooth Jazz concert on the waterfront. This week’s artist is Steve Cole, never heard of him.

Well, the station promoted the concert all day and I realized he played a few songs I liked. After work I rushed to meet some friends and we went to the waterfront (Penn’s Landing – Philadelphia), Steve Cole had just been announced and the audience was singing “Happy Birthday” to him. We managed to get a good spot despite arriving late (a perk of being a station intern).

The music was jamming! Steve Cole is a very entertaining musician, not just talented but funny as well. He played a few playful tunes, then he told a story about going down south with some college friends and took us to church playing a very soulful tune with Gospel influences. Steve’s music put me in a daze for about 15 minutes. I was hooked! From that day forward I was a fan.

I was seriously ill the following year so I missed him, but I watched the performance on TV.

I saw him on Penn’s Landing one other time, a few years later. I rushed down there after work and what happened? It stormed so the show was cut short. But as he ran off stage and away from the electrical equipment the crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to him again.

Two years ago I got an email that he’d be performing in New York, Long Island to be exact. Now Long Island is five hours away from Philly, but I bought a ticket anyway. This time I took my mom along and we headed out on a road trip to Long Island. The concert was at a vineyard, I was in heaven! Steve Cole accompanied by guitarist Matt Marshak playing at a winery (if you know me you know I love wine). It was a lovely atmosphere, a bit of a crowd but both musicians were full of energy and we had great seats. And at the end I got his autograph!

So a few months ago I get an email that he would be coming to London.

I’m there!

Now, while I adore his music I know it’s not Neil’s cup of tea. I like to keep it mellow, and while a lot of Steve’s music is grooving, jamming, make you want to dance up tempo, there are some very smooth, sexy, get you in the mood songs as well.

And well Neil, he’s a rocker! He doesn’t like to be soothed. But he loves me so we went.


He played alongside Chuck Loeb and Oli Silk, names I know and songs I recognize but I was there for Steve. The stage was small, and I wondered how the heck he would manage. He’s quite an energetic musician, he bounces around, dances and grooves along to the music. You can tell he really loves what he does. My only complaint is that there wasn’t enough of him. He played songs from his last two albums (True and Pulse) and he played some covers with Chuck Loeb. I missed the older songs especially my favorites “When I Think of You” and “Where the Night Begins” (the latter I doubt he ever plays live, but it lives up to the title).

After an encore of Cannonball Adderley’s “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy”, the pair left the stage to sign autographs. Unfortunately, I had to explain that I already had an autographed copy of the most recent CD so I got this instead;
 

Wow! I have to admit, this ranks up there with meeting my favorite actor (Alan Rickman), meeting my favorite baseball player (Andres Galarraga) and seeing my younger cousin play an NBA game. Great show, awesome experience. I was hoping I had converted Neil the rocker, but…….
 
 
 Well, I certainly went in there with plenty of prejudices and some of them turned out to be right!

It's an expensive venue and the audience were what you would expect at a place like that - prosperous middle aged people who didn't want to be threatened.

And before I went I'd have guessed that 'Smooth Jazz' would be the kind of music that wouldn't threaten a senior executive or a line manager on his day off.

Steve Cole was pretty good;
 
 
I see why Robyn rates him so highly - he's just class and for me? Well I could see the sheer quality of hearing a real live American saxophonist - there is a difference.

And for something called Smooth Jazz, it got quite hot up there at times;
 
 
 Chuck Loeb is a very fine guitarist;
 
 
And while Oli Silk was great on keyboards, Andrew Small (drums) Julian Crompton (bass) were fine, this really was the Steve and Chuck show.

I don't think I'll ever get carried away by 'Smooth Jazz' - I've got too many rough edges for that.

But there was some crossover - Steve Cole played his composition 'Curtis' which he introduced as 'a Sunday kinda groove'......which it was.

And Chuck Loeb talked about a recent meal with Cleethorpes very own Rod Temperten (Heatwave and writer for Michael Jackson) which got him playing 'Rock with me', and that certainly got through to me.

So yes, when they grooved I got it.

When they were smooth I wandered a bit.

And nothing is ever going to compare with watching Lang Galloway from the front row sitting with all the premier league footballers.

But I was glad I went.

Now I need something with just a bit more bite, a bit more danger!

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

Home:  helpmesortoutstpeters.blogspot.com

Contact me:  neilwithpromisestokeep@gmail.com

 

Monday, 29 June 2015

My Soho.

Sunday - we went up to town again! We were going up to catch some music but because I couldn't face the tube and as it was a Sunday I drove up.

It worked out well, I found somewhere to park in Fitzrovia;


 
 And we were there far too early, so I forced Robyn to let me take her for a walk round Soho and Chinatown, some of my old haunts.
 
Who can resist Ronnies?
 
 


Well, these days I can. Ronnie Scott is long gone as is his business partner who sold up a few years ago. It was never cheap but it had integrity and great sounds.


Now it's a little too expensive and a little too showbiz for me.

They redecorated for goodness sake!

May be I'll pop in again if I can ever get tickets to something good.

We walked by Soho square and up and down the three streets of Soho. It's a very respectable place now - gone is that definite hint of menace the old place had.

I tried to work out where 'The Marquee' had been on Wardour Street. That was where I saw 'The Jam' and a host of Punk bands and where, if it was a good night, the sweat condensed on the ceiling and dripped back down on the audience.

It was always a good night with 'The Jam'.

Gone too are the Soho characters - not that they were all that nice, most of them.

Here's 'The Coach and Horses', lovingly called 'Norman's' by the new owners.

Nobody ever loved 'Norman' who was the landlord for many years and was titled 'The Rudest Landlord in London' by the satirical magazine 'Private Eye', which is written just a little further along Greek Street.

The pub was for many years the spiritual home of Jeffrey Bernard who was a journalist rather prone to drinking too much and who adopted as the name of his column the apology that had so often taken the place of his usual articles; 'Jeffrey Bernard is unwell'.



That was never my scene although next door is though. That's my kind of place, what you could call 'history on a plate';



'Maison Bertaux' is a family owned French Patisserie and tea rooms and rather proudly states that it was established in 1871.

Soho was always the home of refugees and revolutionaries - Karl Marx lived here after he escaped from persecution in his native Germany.

As the French were defeated in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, the workers of Paris refused to surrender, even after the French Army and government had ran away.

They defended Paris against the Germans in a long siege, during which time they set up a primitive socialist system in the city.

This alarmed the German government as much as the French and they co-operated to put down the rising.

Over 30,000 Communards were brutally murdered or transported to penal colonies for the cheek of wanting democracy.

Over 70,000 came to Britain as refugees, many settling in Soho. They are responsible for its slightly riskeé, slightly bohemian atmosphere.

The Coach and Horses which was built in 1850, was never known as 'Norman's' but always as 'The French', because like many Soho businesses it had had a French landlord for many years.

'Maison Berteaux' is now the last remaining link to the escaping Communards.

We were there the day after 'Pride', the Gay festival and carnival, which had a special meaning this year after the U.S. Supreme court upheld the right to have 'same sex' marriages anywhere in America.

It's a huge victory and a really big deal because other countries will follow on as well.

There must have been some big, big celebrations the night before.

The flags were still out;


And rainbow banners and balloons everywhere.



These days Pride is huge and it has respectable sponsors.




Everyone wants to be associated with it - banks, shops, even brands.

It wasn't always like that - in the 1970's Pride wasn't a carnival - it was a protest march and it took real courage to come out and take part.

Sometimes the march would be attacked, it always faced hostility from the authorities and the police.

I attended three times from 1978 to 1980 - appeals had gone out for people to join the march and face off attackers and I was happy to do that.

Now I am really proud that I did, not because Gay people ever really needed any physical protection, they were always able to look after themselves but in the 1970's they needed a bit of moral support.

As I said, they were making a very courageous stand back then and I share their pride in what they achieved; they changed the world just a little.

It hasn't been an easy road, this is 'The Admiral Duncan' pub.






In the 1980's, as a prominent Gay pub, it was part of a long struggle with conservative Westminster council who declared that the rainbow flag was 'advertising' and required planning permission before it could be flown.

Legal battles and demonstrations followed and with the backing of Ken Livingstone's radical Labour Greater London Council, the Tories of Westminster council eventually had to give in.

So strange to see Tory politicians like Boris Johnson falling over themselves to court the pink vote these days.

'The Admiral Duncan' is even more important to Soho - in 1999 a crazed right wing nutter (it's official - he's in Broadmoor hospital with the criminally insane now) launched a bombing campaign in London, targeting Black, Asian and Gay targets.

The Admiral Duncan was blown up killing three people and injuring 70.

They've won the right to fly their flag many times over.

Following that atrocity, the Metropolitan Police who had persecuted the gay community for many years, set up a mobile incident room outside the pub to take witness statements and staffed only by gay and lesbian officers.

Change comes!

And so today you see little signs like this one outside the Firestation;


 
 
 
Which just goes to show how you can change the world....if you want to.
 
Music review tomorrow!
 
 
Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
 
 
 



Sunday, 28 June 2015

St. Mary's Fair, Harmondsworth.

I had an irritating morning and then we went to Harmondsworth - it's a little village in the shadow of Heathrow Airport. Actually, it's the airport's preferred site for a third runway; straight through the village and over the 15th century barn.

Now, the airport has backtracked and just wants to double the length of it's existing runway which kind of saves Harmondsworth.

But not really because next week there will be the announcement of the 'final' decision of which airport gets to grow and which loses out.

Except that I'm sure that if Heathrow loses out there will be a new plan and a new enquiry in about 3 years time and Harmondsworth (and us) will be in the firing line again.

We went to the village fair.

At the entrance was a huge banner of barbed wire and giant planes gobbling up everything;



Here are some of the supporting organisations;




And yes, I do go to things like this out of solidarity with the next door villages - we are all under the same threat.

Then again, it was also a nice sunny day and there was cake;


And Jazz on a Summers Day;



'Pimp my Jazz' were playing in the summer sun and this is Lonette Charles who had been away in America for a year;


 
I think it showed - she was singing really well.
 
Here's Gavin Sparks who writes the music;
 


It's music at the 'easy listening' end of Jazz which is not normally my thing but hey!; the sun was shining, the music was playing - there was cake to be eaten.

What's not to like?

'Pimp my Jazz' play great music well and that's always good.

And there was dancing in the summer sunshine;

 
Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
 
 
 
 


Saturday, 27 June 2015

Summer's lease.


June nearly over - how did that happen?

My favourite month of the year, sigh.

And now the nights are beginning to draw in.

"Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,And summer's lease hath all too short a date"

These are Robyn's favourite roses from the garden:



And these are the ornamental poppies;



We had about 12 buds but then strong winds one night broke most of them off.

I wish, rather wistfully, that we'd been free to do all the things we wanted to this June.

But we did a few things!

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

Home: helpmesortoutstpeters.blogspot.com
Contact me:  neilwithpromisestokeep@gmail.com

Friday, 26 June 2015

Barry's Lunch Club.

Wow, that was a really tough day - a lot worse than spending the night in a field at Stonehenge celebrating the Solstice.

We took the Underground in to London.

I only took walking sticks and then ended up in a massive crowd. I'd forgotten how many stairs there are and no lifts.

Considering how many wars this country has been in and how many injured and disabled people we have always had - it's obvious that no one ever gave a %#@* when they built it.

It was agony and I never really got over it.

That's the grumbling over.



I got tickets from the BBC for a Radio 4 comedy recording; Barry's Lunch Club.

Well it was something to do, didn't cost anything and we got inside the RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts) studios.

Alex Lowe is a comedian who's been making fun of suburbia for a while on the radio as 'Barry from Watford' and he's just got his own show. He always made me laugh.

The photos aren't much good because I couldn't take any when they were recording (I'd have got thrown out) and Robyn had to do it surreptitiously (she took the rest on her phone).

Anyway......we never got a shot of the star himself!

Here's Philip Pope on Piano;





And here's Stephanie Cole who is properly famous;


I don't like being told I have to laugh, which is what the producer told us....it brings out the sullen worst in me, so I'm probably not the best person to be in a studio audience.

But I did laugh - Barry is funny and as his comedy is largely ad lib - the bits I particularly enjoyed weren't scripted.

And I enjoyed seeing 'behind the curtain'. I've listened to radio shows all my life and whenever I hear another one I'll think of last night at RADA.

And it's always a pleasure to watch people who are really good at their jobs.

Oh, did it hurt on the way back home, you have no idea.

But I've made it back to town on the Tube and I haven't done that since March 17th.

Perhaps I won't take another trip today....I might wait a day or so!

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

Home: helpmesortoutstpeters.blogspot.com
Contact me: neilwithpromisestokeep@gmail.com

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Last stand at The Runnymede Eco-Village.




Sometimes it seems as though everything I write about is ending - over the Magna Carta celebrations the developers got their eviction notice against the Runnymede Eco-village people at Guildford County Court.

The prospects of fighting this are very slim but at the moment the eviction has stalled because the camp took their case to the High Court on appeal. There's a delay while the judge waits for a transcript of the lower hearing.

These pictures are from last year when I was invited to visit and then did a piece. I had plans - I was going to stay over and combine giving them my support as well has having one last camping 'trip'.

It wasn't to be - my Mum was getting more ill and then I broke my back.



I'm probably idealising it all, I visited in May after all. It was beautiful.

A muddy, cold December?

The people there have been living there for the last three years. there are families and children with nowhere else to go.

There are quite vulnerable people too, everyone was welcome.


Of course, the land should never have been sold - it was ours.

Technically it belonged to Brunel University but once that meant it belonged to all of us.

Since universities were given some kind of spurious independence they have been hunting for assets to sell off; in this case an old hall of residence.

You might think that tomorrow's students would have welcomed cheap and beautiful accommodation?

That was not to be.

The residence and the sports grounds have been torn up and expensive homes built on a plot of land that overlooks historic Runnymede and Ankerwycke and should have been preserved for future generations.

The Eco-village is on the wooded slopes - unusable for development. It's just that the wealthy new owners don't want the eco-warriors living next door.

I'm very angry about it all and angry that with a broken back there's nothing I can do.

I can't even visit because the site is too steep and uneven.

So, my good wishes and solidarity to all of you.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

Home:  helpmesortoutstpeters.blogspot.com

Contact me:  neilwithpromisestokeep@gmail.com

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Museum of Nothing in Particular; Department of Archaeology.

You will probably be as unimpressed with this as Robyn was.

I've been feeling a little sad recently - it's June and I used to try and get a few days off at this time of year.

I was a late convert to camping and I'd expected to have some exciting trips to faraway places in my retirement. I'm not up to that anymore.

Ah well.

Anyway, I thought I'd fire up my kettle one last time.

What do you need to brew up a cup of coffee?


Some sticks, some newspaper and a mug of Coffee, of course.

I have a 'Rocket kettle', a fabulous invention which you can use to make Tea or Coffee in the wildest place as long as you have some dry twigs or cardboard or paper.

I set it up in the front garden, one last time.



You fill the kettle with water, then make a pile of twigs in the central chimney......and set fire to them.

That's going well.


 
 
 
It builds up a furious fire (if you're lucky) because of the chimney effect.



If you look carefully, you can see my Coffee steaming.

As I said, Robyn was unimpressed. I'm guessing the passers by were puzzled too but I needed to get that out of my system, one last time.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

Home:  helpmesortoutstpeters.blogspot.com
Contact me:  neilwithpromisestokeep@gmail.com

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Midsummer's Day's night.


 
 
 
I always marked Midsummer's night - the longest night of the year.
 
 
Down the road from us, the local witches meet every solstice at the Ankerwycke yew tree.
 
 
A year ago Robyn and I spent the evening watching the sun go down, eating chocolate cake and having a drink at Box Hill. And then as it grew dark, 50 miles away we watched the fireworks celebrating the 80th anniversary of Glyndebourne.
 
It was a perfect night and it was the first time we both realised we were in love.
 
This year?
 
After a night at Stonehenge waiting for the Sunrise and a tour of the major Stone Age sites we were exhausted and not a little amazed that we were able to do it.
 
We spent the evening at home drinking a bottle of Cava and as you can see with strawberries because I'm not so keen on dry wine.
 
We've had the most terrible year anyone could have; cancer, bereavement, university problems,  landlord problems, visa problems, a broken back.
 
It's been such a struggle.
 
We also had the most wonderful year - two people found each other and, as you'll have read in this Blog, we did such amazing things together.
 
As Robyn keep telling me when I get low; "There are more adventures to have."
 
It's not over yet!
 
Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
 
 

Monday, 22 June 2015

Avebury and Silbury Hill.


6-30 am on a glorious Midsummer's Day morning. Took my medication and we fell asleep in the middle of a field full of cars and a series of buses, trucks and ambulances from another age; all converted into homes which would have looked at home in the 'Mad Max' movies.

We woke up at 7-30 with the queue of cars gone and we hit the road - for a tour of Stone Age Britain.

Everyone has heard of Stonehenge, which looks like something from a Fred Flintstone movie set.

But just take a look at the landscape all around; just a mile or so away is the remarkable 'Woodhenge' which we walked round last September because we were too late to get into the main attraction.


It was really late when we got there - each cement post is where the remains of a wooden post were found. It's dozens of rings of posts carved out of great trees which would have been brought many miles from the wild forests to the great plain.

Wherever you look on Salisbury Plain, if you look closely enough, you can see burial mounds; in fields, hidden by trees, on hilltops.

It's a 'field of dreams'.

We drove on to Avebury but first stopped just outside to take a look at Silbury Hill;

It doesn't look a lot on my picture but it's big - half a million tons of chalk and that's four thousand years after it was built. There are people climbing it on the picture.

All by hand without wheels or metal tools.

I'd guess they used whicker baskets to haul it up there.

The concensus is that it was developed in different stages, gradually becoming more and more impressive, until this final version.

Then we headed for Avebury and we weren't alone.

There had been Solstice celebrations - and a much more heavy handed and oppressive Police presence too. We saw one arrest while we were there.

I think Avebury is even more impressive than Stonehenge in many ways.

Unfortunately, some of the stones have gone - in the 17th century some were broken up for building. Indeed, there is a road going straight through it, a church, a Tudor Manor Farm and a fair number of houses and shops all in the middle of it.

But it is still amazing;




Sometimes, just for a moment, you can imagine a presence amongst the stones;



No, I'm getting carried away again.

But some of the main stones are really immense;





There were lambs.....aaaw!





For scale, there's a lamb sheltering by the side of this stone;




Some of Stonehenge's stones came from Wales, a very long way away but most (like these) are stones deposited by Ice sheets on the Plain of Marlborough. This is some miles from Avebury although about 30 to 50 odd miles from Stonehenge.

Very hard work.

The Avebury people definitely got second choice but I really like the angular stones and the odd shapes; like modern art.

Here's another view of the scale of the monument;



There's a ditch and mound surrounding the village which is much more impressive than this picture shows and that is after three or four thousand years of erosion. Back then the mound would have completely enclosed the monument; you wouldn't have seen or heard anything while inside.

There is an avenue of standing stones leading into the monument along the present day road, a ring of stones lining the ditch, two rings of smaller stones in the centre and another avenue of giant stones in a line through the middle.

This is one of the smaller rings;



And here's how the village interacts with the stones;




And they are very huggable too;


 
 
 
There's a lot more to see - nearby is the Longbarrow at West Kennet, which I have been to before. It's a long burial chamber.
 
I haven't been to 'The Sanctuary' or to 'Wood Hill' which are both parts of the complex but I'd gone back to using sticks walking around and by the end I was losing it, big time.
 
We drove off and took time out to meander through the villages and market towns of Wiltshire, including Devises with its big pond. Locals say that the Devises folk were so silly that once, when the Moon was full, they thought it's reflection was silver and tried to collect it with their rakes; 'The Moonrakers'.
 
The last time I visited Stonehenge in the 1980's, it was free and you could walk around and touch the stones quite freely yourself. Now it's only at Solstice time that you can do this.
 
When I went to Avebury, I parked by the village church and just walked round.
 
Now there's no parking for 'tourists' and it's £7 in the designated car parks. Stonehenge is £25.
 
I'm really pleased that there is so much interest now; it was at the end of the 1890's that the wife of a rich landowner persuaded her husband to buy Stonehenge and give it to the nation. There's every chance it would have been broken up by the farmer if they hadn't done that.
 
So, without the interest there might be no monuments.
 
But the restrictions, the café's, the shops?
 
Something has been lost.
 
I'd check it all out while you can.
 
Robyn's making plans to be there next Solstice, I'm not sure I'll be well enough next December for the Winter Solstice.
 
Then again...........
 
Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
 
 
 
 
 
 


Sunday, 21 June 2015

Summer Solstice at Stonehenge 2015.


Oh, that was very special.

It wasn't much of a surprise to most people - I must be getting predictable.

We went to see in the Solstice (the longest day) at Stonehenge - to watch the sun rise through the stones.

Every journey starts with a single step (so they say). Ours started with a burger.


I'd always wanted to go for the Solstice but never had the time. Robyn was desperate to see Stonehenge but we got there too late last September.

She also wanted to walk among the stones and that you can't do any more unless you pay a lot more.

So, we arrived at about midnight which was special enough.

On the way a young Moon lit up the sky, chased by a bright star which I like to think was Venus.

I had with me a disabled walker from my late Mum. I couldn't use the disabled car park because I don't have a badge - so I also couldn't use the bus and I had to push it a very long way from the car to the stones.

I was pretty exhausted by the time I got there but the walker has a seat and that was a life saver for me during the night.

They shouldn't have let me in with it but one look at my spinal brace seemed to shut them up.

When we got in the place was buzzing;



No it was really buzzing. There were about 30,000 people there.

We struggled through the centre of the stone circle and set up camp just opposite the three arched pillars, on the outside of the ring.

There was music, drumming, singing.

There were lights and jugglers.

There were people juggling lights;




There were quite a few drunk people, swaying alarmingly through the crowd.

There was incense.

There was some kind of special 'herbal tobacco'.

There were 'Manic pixie women', there were new age travellers.

There were Druids;





Robyn and I blew bubbles in the breeze and then I embarrassed her rather a lot by wearing LED lights on my hat which I have to say were very popular.

I had my photo taken several times and quite a few people came up to say hallo or to congratulate me.

I'm not sure that Robyn has forgiven me yet.

Strangely, by about 2-00am the sky in the east was becoming streaked with light and the stars started to hide.

It also got cold and we were glad of the old blankets we took with us.

I was struck by how much it felt that we were sitting on the edge of the planet, spinning at 44,000 kilometres an hour towards the sun, as I watched the sky light up;


We started to move forward and the crowd got more and more excited as 4:52 am got nearer.

Sunrise!;





The sky was fabulous - red and violet all at the same time;



And then the Sun rose - it really did come up through the stones although where we were clouds came over just at the wrong moment;



Just amazing;


 
 
I found it incredibly moving and that was in spite of the meleé of drunken revellers, spaced out hippies, aggressive new age travellers and the whole of Europe's privileged gap year kids ticking another box on their 'bucket list'.
 
Actually for one night, lonely Stonehenge was the centre of the whole world - the only place to be.
 
It was electric. 
 
 
 



When the Sun was fully up we struggled back through the centre of the stones again - not easy with an oversized disabled walker, I can tell you.


The achievement of building this monument is immense; it's only when you are right under the stones that you can see how big they are.

All this was done without metal tools or wheels.

The lichen is 3 thousand years old.

And I imagine watching the sun rise on Midsummer's morning was just as thrilling all those years ago as it was for us today.



And it still means a lot to so many people - here a small bunch of flowers left in a whole in one of the stones;




By the time we'd had enough I was well on the way to being shattered; it was a very long way back and uphill.

Oh dear that hurt.

We slept in the car till the traffic had quietened down but then we were off on the second part of our Midsummer's day.

That's for tomorrow!

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

Home:  helpmesortoutstpeters.blogspot.com
Contact me: neilwithpromisestokeep@gmail.com