The Murky Stuff

Today was a day that’s squeezed – squeezed between, just gone, a too hectic-with-work Wednesday and Thursday and a raining-all-day Friday; and, coming up, a return to temperatures around zero, coupled with some vicious winds.

So, in the spirit of ‘making the most of it’, today just had involve another thirty-or-so miles, this time in the Nuffield direction. It wasn’t warm; it wasn’t quite raining but it was damp with a bit of drizzle in the air, and the visibility was dismal – I turned on what I think of as my LED ‘running lights’, just to make sure I wasn’t going to be wholly invisible to anyone if the murk should suddenly thicken up.

S Oxfordshire hills in the mist

Yes, you have to ride up through that murk

There weren’t many people around and even in these over-crowded counties it was possible to feel reasonably alone at times.

Stonehenge is in the news at the moment – fresh theories about who built it, when, and why. It is, of course, all speculation. Riding the quieter, murkier stretches of today’s route, I was wondering what those very early people would have made of mist and fog.

I think we like to imagine them as being primitive and finding anything at all odd somehow scary. I suspect it’s more likely that they would have been far more in touch with naturally occurring events and understood it for what it is – not scientifically but in terms of what happens when mist falls and the impact it has on life. I suspect we like to think of them as primitive because it makes us feel better about ourselves.

New Stonehenge theories


  1. Interesting theories on Stonehenge – Built for the sake of the building of it … would that make it a community art project? I had not heard that take and I like to think I keep up with the latest prehistoric inquiries.

    As for thinking of those that came way before us as primitive… I recently read Homer’s Odyssey. This was the first time through as an adult (discounting translation exercises in school.) I was taken by how contemporary many of the ideas, thoughts and concepts were in a story written some 800 years BC. I think we are all a lot closer to the primitives than we can imagine.
    It just so happens that the folks in Homer’s day were about as far removed from the builders of Stonehenge as we are from Homer’s contemporaries.

    I’m thinking times change… people? not so much 😉

  2. Hi there! Always good to hear from you, and I like your line of thought. Homer: spot on.

    People always go on and on about learning from history etc etc etc, but I increasingly think the point you’re making is the only real lesson to be learned: human nature doesn’t change (much). If humanity could collectively focus its efforts on managing/containing its less noble instincts, we might make far more progress than we do, far more rapidly!

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