Friday, 16 September 2016

A glorious Moonlight.

So, the day before I had to go back to hospital we were determined to have a day out. We knew it was going to be sunny.

The problem was, in the morning I wasn't so well, so in the end we only left at lunchtime.

This is where we ate our sandwiches - it was idyllic;

But we hadn't just come to sit in the countryside - we came to take a look at 'The Wilmington Long Man';

The 'Long man' is the subject of a lot of argument - scientific analysis dates the movement of the soil as late 16th to early 17th century.

But as this extract written by the people who now care for the figure shows, there are still plenty of theories going around;

Until the 19th century the Long Man was only visible in certain light conditions and after a light fall of snow, but in 1874 it was marked out in yellow bricks. It is claimed that during this restoration the feet were incorrectly positioned but, despite popular local legend, there is no evidence, historical or archaeological, to suggest that prudish Victorians robbed the Giant of his manhood!

In 1925, the site of the Long Man was given to the Sussex Archaeological Trust (now the Sussex Archaeological Society) by the Duke of Devonshire. During World War II, the figure was painted green to prevent enemy aviators using it as a landmark. In 1969, further restoration took place and the bricks were replaced with pre-cast concrete blocks that are now regularly painted to keep the Long Man visible from many miles away. The terracettes, horizontal ripples in the turf, change constantly as the soil is rolled downhill by weathering and animal activity.

The lack of firm historical evidence still leaves many theories abounding about his history. Many Sussex people are convinced that he is prehistoric, other believe that he is the work of an artistic monk from the nearby Priory between the 11th and 15th centuries. Roman coins bearing a similar figure suggest that he belonged to the 4th century AD and there may be plausible parallels with a helmeted figure found on Anglo-Saxon ornaments.

Fertility symbol? Ancient Warrior? Early 18th century folly? We may never know. Until such time as new evidence is unearthed, we shall have to content ourselves with the words of the Rev A A Evans who said, “The Giant keeps his secret and from his hillside flings out a perpetual challenge.”

For me this is still a really powerful image and one that is likely to be older than the tests indicate.

We headed on down to the coast - to Pevensey Bay for an old fashioned seaside afternoon;

We looked for seashells and just revelled in a late, last bit of the summer that never was;

The old sea defences have been worn away by the sea.......

......into the most incredible patterns;

There was something of the desert about the convoluted shapes.

It's just the nicest place - not too busy.

I wonder who wrote this - but thanks for the 81000 hits!

We lay on the shingle together basking in the sun and watching fishing boats and becalmed yachts bobbing on the sea.

Until the lazy sun set and the bright moon rose - 

We lay together watching the moon rise up in the sky until.......

.....we walked to the little high street to get some fish and chips which we took back to the beach to eat under the glorious, beautiful moonlight.

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