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Up on Solsbury Hill, I could see..

by on September 2, 2012

‘Wind was blowing, Time stood still’ sang Peter Gabriel.  I’ve always had that feeling in some places, but yesterday I felt a real connection with the phrase.

Those who have so little to do that they follow these meanderings know that I’m recently seperated, and as a result a single parent.  But yesterday, a bizzare chain of improbable coincidences ( or as my ex would put it, a load of typical stupidities) had left me having to drive for 250 miles – round trip – to pick up a load of books I’d bought on eBay cheaply.  Not so cheaply now I’d realised they were pick up only.  But still, as my daughter was spending the day with her mother I was alone, over a hundred miles from home, with no calls on my time, and no responsibilities.  Wow.

Exercising a responsible attitude, for a change, I decided that the lure of the second hand book shops was a little indulgent.  As I already had 28 unread books on the back seat of my car…so after a wander arounf Great malvern, I headed off to the iron age British encampment I knew was close by.  By thinking ahead, again an unusual approach for me, I had my walking books and trekking pole in the car.  Grabbing them, I headed off from the car park, out of the surrounding trees, and into the ancient fort and walked back into history.

No, I wasn’t alone.  I wasn’t with anyone, but there around as the trees fell away below and the vista of four counties opened up before me, I could almost sense a shift from the prosaic.  A wavering of the boundaries we unconciously sense around us, a sense of other.  The summit of the Beacon Hill was the heart of the old encampment, and also according to the information board in the car park the alleged site of a Norman fortification.  The rooks ridge soaring in the breeze didn’t care.  The hill had been there for ever.  The deep ditches and entrenchments of the fort defences, maybe 2000 years old, were of no more account that the rabbit scrapes and holes which were scattered across the grass like the giant footsteps of some ancient being.  The wind flowed up the hill, creating the rising air currents and the birds took advantage of the free lift, doubtless as their forebears had when the summit echoed to the cries of cattle and battle all those years ago.

 

Time flowed, but stood still as I sat on the summit.  Prosaically this time, with a bottle of Malvern Water and a flapjack.  And a note pad.

The site has become somewhere fixed in my thoughts now, and another (dry!) day I will be returning with my Moleskine.  I can feel there’s a book in there, waiting for me to go back and release it.  I’ll be back.

‘It flew past me on the wing, and I caught it and remembered it’.  (Marion Campbell, The Dark Twin.)

Will it be in my Banned Underground fantasy series?  I really do not know, I haven’t dreamt it yet.  Yet……

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2 Comments
  1. I envy you your lack of commitments! However, I can absolutely relate to the feelings you describe. I come from the South Downs… further towards the France end of Britain, much busier and in many places built over but there’s something about being on top of a down, the fact you can see for miles in both directions rather than just to the next hill. On the roof of the world, godlike, ancient, looking down… Yeh, it’s cool.

    Cheers

    MTM

  2. You see? I KNEW there was a poetic soul lurky beneath all that humour! 😛

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