Sunday, June 24, 2007

Keen followers of this column, and anyone who's ever met me, will know I'm a devout follower of Ra the sun god - one of the reasons I'm not at Glastonbury (image nicked from Radio1 site) - so for me this week has been a Midsummer Night's bad dream. Plan to celebrate the solstice camping on Fyfield Down washed out; the elemental lure of primitive stones palls in soggy sandals drenched & lost, and I got as prickly as the rampant thistles on this near-inaccessible, near-unknown piece of heritage. It's only a few miles from Avebury, always thronged with solstice visitors, but here we saw only five other people all day. Check out Fyfield sarsen stones on the web and there's just 331 references; for Avebury stones there's 490,000. And yet this isolate boulder-ridden heath is as amazing and impressive in its own way - 25,000 stones of all sizes, scumbled with lichen, hunkered down in the long grass at the bottom of the valley since the ice age. Some were dragged from here to make the Avebury stone circle, hauled by man-power, probably at this time of year when thousands would have converged in this area to worship. Now the area is as hostile to spiritual feeling as you can imagine; it's race-horse country, barbed wire and minimal signing to keep intruders out. We were glad to get away.
Indoor events more successful: enjoyable informal meeting of Frome Creative Network at Christies on Wednesday, get-together with Hazel to plan our next Live & Lippy performance set, and The Painted Veil at our local cinema - a movie every writer should see for its wonderfully succinct narrative edit points, showing how much more effective inference is than explanation: a "lovely, slow-burning, grown-up love story, set in a landscape so beautiful that it makes you want to weep" - that's nicked too, and so is the picture.
and my anthology has finally reached proof stage - I love the cover Robert Palmer has created for this patchwork collection of stories and poems:
'Are we nearly there yet?' will have a launch party after Frome festival - watch this space.

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