About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Thursday 13 May 2021

Seizing the day at Avebury

It's 16 months since Son the Younger and I went for a walk around the wider landscape of Avebury, full of plans for where we might explore during the remainder of the new and exciting year that was 2020. It's no exaggeration to say that, given the nature of the intervening time, it feels more like 16 years. 

I'm not as convinced as the government that we're headed towards the sunlit uplands of no further lockdowns with no turning back, and so I was anxious to meet up with the part of my tribe based on the south coast while we could. We'd long mooted the idea of finding somewhere between Bristol and their location, and eventually settled on Avebury, which is much nearer to us than them, admittedly, but somewhere we could sit and picnic and wander and wonder. 

Plus, there was a new member of the tribe for the far-flung human contingent to meet. And vice-versa. Which seemed to go well. 

A quick recap - vast, sacred palimpsest of a landscape, with one large stone circle enclosing two smaller ones, enclosed by a ditch and an external bank, dating from the late Neolithic period, into which the village of Avebury encroached many centuries ago. 

The Church of St James, which is well worth visiting, dates from Anglo-Saxon times.

I'd hoped to walk along the paths on top of the banks for a good view of the landscape, but they were roped off due to erosion, so that will have to wait for another day, hopefully. Instead we explored the stones at eye level.

Cwtch also got to meet her first sheep, and was interested - and kept firmly on the end of a lead.

Obviously we had to visit the deservedly famous beeches near the eastern entrance on the outer ramparts of the henge, which always look like trees straight out of a storybook, and were vital in their new leaves. 

I like that their admirers tie ribbons around their specatcular roots as well as their branches.

And from this vantage point, we still got a bit of a bird's eye view - at least, a very low-flying one.

A low-flying dragonfly

Wildlife pond and the Church of St James

Away to me, Cwtch!

Just try it, young 'un!


  1. Seeing you, your family with its new and established members, and these excellent photographs of the glorious springtime uplifted my spirit immensely. Thank you.

    Avebury delighted me even beyond Stonehenge on my I've brief visit in the early 80s, although both were awe inspiring. Something about the village growing up amidst those mysterious and powerful stones recharged me. I had tea there and that is the only time in my life I ever had Devonshire cream.

    I hope you and your family are well. Your long walks in Nature or close to Nature will no doubt keep you sharp and healthy until you are late in life. Sending love.

  2. Thanks, Donna ... I love Avebury and Stonehenge, though both have quite different atmospheres. (No surprise none of us had any mobile reception in Avebury village!)

    I remember climbing on the stones at Stonehenge when I was small - it's a shame visitors aren't allowed to make that connection with them anymore. But at Avebury you can still get up close and personal and that's really special.