Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Not going anywhere.

I had an angry day - we'd been planning to have a day trip to Bruges, a medieval town in Belgium, at the end of the month. I hadn't been able to book it because I needed to sort out a new back brace first.

Today, I woke up early and was thinking about things and then I realised - the trip is the day after my next chemotherapy and I can't do it. Apart from feeling terrible it's not the safest time - taking temperatures all the time and still loaded up with the pre meds which stop me going into shock.

So we can't go - I just can't explain what's gone wrong to a doctor in French or Dutch.

The whole plan was that we'd go without health insurance for the day and just chance it - I'd be able to get back to the coach if things went wrong and get myself to hospital when I got back here.

Not now.

It's a bitter thing because in 2014, when I couldn't go abroad
because I was looking after my mum we had planned to do this that autumn along with some of the Christmas markets.

Then I broke my back and that never happened.

After my Mum died I imagined all kinds of holidays would be possible - then Theresa May and The Home office seized Robyn's passport and we couldn't go.

This year the Chemotherapy didn't work out and all my plans collapsed one after the other.

So, even though I didn't particularly want to go back to Bruges, it would have been abroad and it would have been nice for Robyn to see somewhere new.

So instead we went to Woking to have a look at the art gallery.

Except, the only road into town is still shut for water works, some 6 months after they started. I couldn't believe it, I had to drive miles around country to get there and when we arrived I couldn't park.

At which point I lost it completely with Woking and came back home.

But on the way back (the long way because the main road was shut) we stopped at St. Ann's Hill and had a walk.

You wouldn't know that the hill is now surrounded by motorways (M3 and M25) - this is one view;


It was wet and slippy - it's been raining a lot recently but the hill has a bit of magic to it.
The fungi were enjoying themselves;

And I was picking up the few chestnuts the squirrels had left behind.

There was a distant view of the amusement park - these people were just going over the top as I took the picture;

Not for me!

St. Ann's Hill is very ancient - there are the remains of an old hill fort on the top and archaeological finds have been dated there from 10,000 BC to Roman times. There are also the foundations of St. Anne's Chapel which received a royal charter in 1334.

There's not actually a lot to see apart from some impressive trees but this is The Nun's Well which I hadn't come across before;

It's probably a spring rather than a well but either would have been worshiped in Pagan times and this would have carried over into our era.

The well is said to cure eyesight problems but I wouldn't want this water anywhere near my eyes!

It's hard to date the structure - it looks like local bricks but there's a mixture of stones and also the cinders from the brick kiln there too;

It's hard to say but there are two periods when work was done - the hill was gifted to the local authority as a park in 1928 and the brick work could date from then.

Otherwise, the hill and the land around it was owned by Elizabeth Armistead, the mistress and later wife of Charles James Fox. The couple landscaped the hill while they lived there and as Fox died in 1806 this could also be the rough age of the structure.

Fox, the radical opponent of George the Third and tyranny, supporter of the American and French revolutions and one of the fighters against slavery, deserves an entire entry on this Blog, in his own right and one day I ought to do it.

The hill also attracted another rebellious spirit - in the 1960's Keith Moon of The Who was it's most famous resident.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
Home: helpmesortoutstpeters.blogspot.com
Contact me: neilwithpromisestokeep@gmail.com

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