I visited the stone circle at Callanish this morning. Wonderful spot.
Not a peaceful spot today, though: the photo doesn’t show you the 40mph winds whipping across the island!
This put me in mind of the splendid 1976 TV drama Children of the Stones, filmed in Avebury, Wiltshire, which also has some dramatic standing stones, encircling half the village. One of the themes of the plot is the rumour that the stones sometimes turn into people and come back to life. I love the Avebury stones, but these ones looked more as if they might do that, given a little encouragement.
I didn’t watch Children of the Stones in 1976, which is probably just as well, since it has been described as “the scariest programme ever made for children”. It’s fun to watch as an adult, though, and is a great example of how you can tell a compelling story with a very low budget and some spooky music! Also, for people of my vintage, it has the added interest of featuring Gareth Thomas, better known as Blake, from Blake’s Seven.
I have a feeling this fine vessel could tell a few tales of adventure!
I’m on the Isle of Lewis, where, in order to take a good photo, you can almost wind down the window and click in a random direction.
You do, currently, have only six-and-a-half hours between sunrise and sunset in which to do it, though!
A couple of weeks ago, I went to a work-related conference in Bern, Switzerland, and was fortunate enough to have a couple of days’ walking in the mountains at Saas Fee beforehand. (Thank you, Peter!)
I had skiied there before, but never visited at this time of year. It really is a very pretty spot.
Better views than the average working week, I think.
Malham, in Yorkshire, is a splendid place, which I’d never visited until we stayed there last night. It’s a pretty and charming little village, with a bubbling stream running through it, and one or two very nice pubs.
But, take a short walk through the green, rolling countryside in one direction, and you come to Malham Cove, a very impressive limestone cliff.
A path with some good stairs takes you to the top of the cliff, where the limestone has eroded into other unexpected features.
An occasional delicate flower nestles in the indentations, protected from the sometimes dramatic weather.
If, on the other hand, you head out of the village in the opposite direction, a path through some fields eventually enters a little wooded valley, which takes you first to Janet’s Foss:
And then, a little higher up, to Gordale Scar.
And between all these dramatic sites…?
Sheep grazing in bucolic peace beside gently winding streams.
I was in town unusually early on Sunday morning. This is Rose’s college, St Catharine’s, just before dawn.
The river, just a few streets away, was unusually still.
Silver Street, because of the location of the coach-parking areas, is one of the first things that many tourists see. They don’t often see it looking like this, though!
At King’s College, only one chimney showed any signs of life.
Gradually, as things warmed, a brief mist appeared over the water.
But it soon cleared, as the sun rose a little higher, and started to reach the tops of the trees.
The garden at St Botolph’s was also looking beautiful:
The streets were quiet…
And I crept quietly away as the day was beginning.
© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser