Hey everyone! I’m home from the UK, trying to get caught up with all things internet-ish. It always amazes me how things pile up after a few days away – I guess it’s easy to take internet access for granted. Anyway, the trip was great, for the most part (the flight home was h.e.l.l.) We had lots of fun sightseeing with our friends, and Hamlet kicked so much ass that we’re toying with the idea of going back to see it again when it runs in London this winter.
I think I’ve become tuned in to certain things through my involvement in the skeptical movement. I noticed a lot of woo on this trip. It seemed like almost everywhere we went, there was some sort of haunting being advertised. And I think the lady working at the counter of the woo shop in Avebury put some sort of hex on me. Fun and pictures after the fold.Avebury is massive and awesome. I guess I can sort of understand why people tend to associate it with all sorts of woo-ey-ness. I personally think that it’s staggeringly cool to think about from a strictly human perspective; how these people that we modern folk tend to think of as savages came together and created this enormous earthwork.
There was a neat little old cottage near the site called the Henge shoppe that looked really interesting from the outside, but its contents could have been found in any chintzy new age shop anywhere in the world. Their main thing seemed to be crop circles, which they apparently have a monopoly on, photographically. They sold lots of pictures of them in various sizes. I was talking to my friend Kelly about them, basically as art. I said something to the effect that even though they aren’t supernatural, I still think they’re beautiful. Actually, I think it makes them more beautiful that people actually get together and create them. The woman behind the counter, overhearing, shot me a dirty look and started talking about how active “they” (clearly referring to aliens or somesuch) had been lately. We did see a crop circle on our way onwards from Avebury, but didn’t stop to take a picture because there was a whole crew there already blocking it up(probably the people from the shoppe taking pictures to sell).
Tim3P0 told me that while I was in a different part of the store, he had witnessed a rather disturbing interaction between this woman and a customer. Apparently, the patron was interested in some magical bracelet that they had, and wanted to know about the specific properties of it. The woman refused to tell him unless he purchased said bracelet, so he bought two. What is wrong with people?!I guess this particular stone, with its handy little nook (which makes a great chair) was used by the ancients as an altar, and supposedly contains a door to the underworld (upon which my lovely husband is knocking). According to our friend Charles (who told me, a bit nervously, that I may not want to sit there) they would place a sacrifice into the nook, which would then be taken by the gods, and in return they would open the door to the underworld and much fun would ensue. I’m happy to report that neither myself or my husband has yet been taken by the gods.
This is supposedly the most haunted place in all of Britain. I’m not exactly sure what that’s supposed to mean, but the kitchen was closed the day we were there, on account of a mysterious plumbing problem. Maybe the ghosts all decided to take a huge ectoplasmic dump and backed up the septic system.
We did see lots of cool stuff as well. Highlights included the one time home of the father of modern photography, as well as the really nifty Museum of the History of Science in Oxford. I’d include more pictures, but I’ve gotta run, and I really do want to get this posted before I leave for Atlanta, so I’ll send you to my Flickr stream if you care to see more.
Hope to see some of you next weekend!