Friday 6 May 2011

Memories of Avebury

I see today that Derek and Dot have made a visit to Avebury stone circle.  It reminds me of a rather funny visit I had there in 2003.

I hadn't actually heard of Avebury but had always dreamt of visiting Stonehenge.  I was in Germany for a couple of weeks staying with my dear friend Claudia, before going to England and happened to mention that I wanted to see Stonehenge.  She said "you know you can't touch the stones?".  I didn't.  I was disappointed.  Not that I have any particular reason but I'd read about Stonehenge as a child and always imagined touching a stone that had been put there by humans so long ago.  I got on the internet and looked for bus trips and was delighted to find one that had after hours access at Stonehenge.  And... we could go inside the roped off area and touch the stones.  I booked straight away.

The only problem was that the tour was only one afternoon/evening a week - on Wednesdays.  I had a week in London, arriving on a Wednesday and leaving on a Wednesday.  It meant that I could only go on that tour on the day I arrived.  It was a daunting task as I was by myself and it was my first visit to England.  Getting through the airport, then the train to Paddington, a taxi to the hotel, check in, dump my luggage, rush down the road to the tube station, train to hotel where bus pick up was.  I arrived with just 15 minutes to spare.  Phew!

The guide was a friendly chap and chatted to the 20 or so passengers as we went.  We would stop at Avebury and West Kennet Long Barrow before going to Stonehenge and arriving there after the last visitors had left.  He told us about the history and possible reasons for the building of the stone circles.  He spoke of the magnetic fields and then began asking where each person was from.  Most of the passengers were American and I was the only person from the Southern Hemisphere.  He seemed to find that rather amusing and began telling us that I was to the be the subject of an experiment using divining rods.  We would all walk across a certain spot at Avebury, holding the divining rods.  Every person on the bus would find that the rods turned a certain way as they crossed that spot but I, being from the south would find they turned the opposite way.  Everybody giggled and snickered.  Me too.  How silly.

We arrived at Avebury amid much anticipation and all the other's in the group glancing my way.  The guide went first and walked along holding the rods.  Sure enough, they began to cross over each other.  The next person found they crossed at the same spot.  And so it continued about 20 times.  It was interesting but we all knew I'd have the same thing happen, wouldn't I?!  The guide had saved me til last. I took the rods from him and began to walk the same path as all those before me.  When I reached the spot the rods began to waver and sure enough they crossed over.  But they didn't stop there!  They kept turning until they were pointing back at me!  I stopped in my tracks.  "Again, again!" I heard.  I walked away and back around.  Sure enough it happened again.  For everyone else the rods just crossed neatly over each other... for me the turned all the way around and pointed back towards me.  Bizarre!  I must have done that little walk 10, 12, 15 times.  Others wanted to try in between, just to prove that it wasn't a trick.

Eventually we tired of the fun and went off exploring but back on the bus the chatter soon turned to the strange phenomenon.  So it appears if you live South your body absorbs the opposite magnetic energy to those that live in the North.  I wonder if you migrate how long it takes for it to change, if it ever does!

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