The Rollright Stones

The Rollright Stones is a complex of three Neolithic and Bronze Age megalithic monuments in the Cotswolds, the postcode address for it is OX7 5QB if you want to visit.

The complex consists of three main elements, The Kings Men stone circle, the King Stone, and the Whispering Knights.

The oldest, the Whispering Knights dolmen, is early Neolithic, circa 3,800-3,500 BC, the King’s Men stone circle is late Neolithic, circa 2,500 BC; and the King Stone is early to middle Bronze Age, circa 1,500 BC.

The Stones are made of natural boulders of Jurassic oolitic limestone which forms the bulk of the Cotswold hills. This stone has been used extensively in the region for building everything from churches and houses to stone walls. The boulders used to construct the Rollright Stones were probably collected from within 500m of the site.

In 2012, inspired by the legend of the Witch and the King, the environmental artist David Gosling created a wooden sculpture of a witch. This was made of the branches of Wellingtonia trees that were donated by The National Trust’s Compton Verney property, and held together with wire. The sculpture lasted for over a year but eventually succumbed to the forces of nature.

(text from the Rollright Stones website)

There is another temporary sculpture there now, also created by David and his son Adam – The Three Fairies 

Cloth, or gifts, tied to trees is an ancient tradition.  I believe it is a physical representation of a prayer or wish in which the help of Nature Spirits and Deities is asked for but I haven’t been able to find anything that explains this fully so if anyone knows more about it please let me know. The trees around the Rollrite stones are adorned with ribbons, flowers and other gifts. Some people see this as litter which I think is sad, as long as people consider the environment when choosing what to leave and don’t damage the trees I don’t see the problem and the wishes and prayers will mean a lot to someone and I believe should be left where they have been placed.

It’s a very peaceful pace to visit and a lovely place to go for a walk. The Stones are famously uncountable and it is said no one ever counts the same number twice.

 

 

Advertisements

Mad March Hares

Did you know that male and female Hares are known as Jacks and Jills?

Did you also know that ‘boxing matches’ between Hares – which you may be lucky enough to catch a peek of at this time of year– are not Jack against Jack?

Jills actually tend to be bigger and stronger than Jacks (go Jills!). The boxing you see is the Jills batting away the jacks until they select the fittest mate, not unlike a Saturday night in most city centres.

Hare-rs

This was taken at The Sculpture Park in Churt in 2010, using a Canon EOS 500 35mm and I developed the film myself using the College darkroom. I first visited in 2006 and although it’s changed a lot since then there are still some sculptures that have been there since the early days changing and moving with time and seasons. They’re all for sale and they sit in over 10 acres of arboretum and the mixture of woodland, water, wildlife, gardens and sculpture is a favourite place for me when I feel like a walk and a few hours with a camera. (My Gallery from The Sculpture Park)

IMG_2745

(Taken on my first iPhone – iPhone4 in 2011 and post-processed in Hipstamatic)

Hay On Wye

I love just heading away at the last-minute because it just seems like a good idea spontanious road trips and adventures.

We headed up to Henley-In-Arden on Saturday night to spend the night with my Matt’s Mum then all three of us set off early on Sunday to drive to Hay On Wye.

She suggested it a while ago and as the Literary Festival was in it’s last day today it seemed like a good opportunity to see a bit of the town and experience the festival. I know she used to visit with her husband, who sadly died, so I think it was a bit of a mixed day for her. Revisiting old haunts and reliving old memories, happy memories but tinged with sadness. It’s a lovely town and we only saw a little of it so it’s definitely going to be on the list for a revisit in the future.

Kindle = Bad

Marrakech

After what seems like an eternity we finally booked a holiday. We haven’t left the country (together) for years and it was well overdue. We thought about a City break, Brussels seemed like a good idea. Nice, clean, safe, English speaking, EU and a bit like home with stronger beer so we settled on Marrakech!

We only went for four days but loved every minute. It’s an assault on every sense, sight, smell, sound and bank balance – I could spend a week just shopping in the Souks. It’s hard to describe the chaos and the fascination that is Marrakech. There was a part of me that was a little nervous every time I stepped out of the hotel. My British reserve hated the onslaught of people selling everything and anything and pushing you to come into their shops, try their food, buy this, buy that but it didn’t take long to realise that a polite ‘No’ was all it took and it’s just business, no one takes rejection personally.

(All photographs are all rights reserved ©️Cathy Griffiths www.cathygphotography.co.uk please do not reproduce without permission, just drop me an email and let me know what you’d like to use them for, thanks)

The Main Square – Jemaa el-Fna

IMG_0183

There are lots of websites and blogs that give advice on the do’s and don’ts of visiting Marrakech and it’s useful to remember a few things if you’re going to visit.

  • If you don’t want to buy or to visit a shop then just say No – don’t engage in conversation, just a polite, raised hand to show you don’t want to, if possible avoid saying anything just smile and keep walking.
  • Get a guide. Unless you speak Arabic or very good French it’s worth getting a guide to show you around the Souks and any other parts of the City you particularly want to visit. It’s easier to avoid the areas that may be a problem, you’ll find out far more that you ever will from a guide book and if you want to shop they can aim you to the best stalls/shops. Most will have their ‘favourites’ and probably get a commission of sorts for bringing you there if you buy but the haggling is down to you and if you don’t want to buy just say no.
  • Haggle!
  • Don’t drink tap water.
  • If you want to take photographs of people ask first (unless you really can be sure not to be seen doing it) some people, especially women are very sensitive about being photographed, you may have to offer some payment to people like the Water Sellers and Fortune Tellers and expect to have to pay if you get anywhere near a Snake Charmer or the men with the Monkeys, and be warned no matter how sneaky you think you are with a camera they will see you, they have spotters in the crowd so if you aim a camera at a Snake or a Monkey be prepared to be holding it before you know it and to pay for the photograph before you can give it back.
  • Visit the Atlas Mountains while you’re there, they are beautiful and full of lovely riverside cafes if you want to lunch. We had a guide organised by our hotel to drive us up there and we thought he would also be the guide when we arrived but had to pay for a local guide when we got there. Be sure to make sure you understand what you get for the money you pay for the trip. It was still worth it and not very expensive (about £20 for the local guide once we got to the mountains.

IMG_0296

IMG_0285

IMG_0083

IMG_0108

IMG_0314

IMG_0228IMG_0290-tiltshiftIMG_0311-tiltshift