Paul - who brings friendly nonsense (blur_kiwi) wrote,
Paul - who brings friendly nonsense

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Stones and trees

A long time ago I promised Monika that the next time she came to the UK I would take her to Stonehenge. On the Friday of her stay I kept my long-standing promise - like all good friends should! As it turned out, it was one of the better weather days that we had had. We got there fairly early, but not early enough to miss the crowds. The car park and the overflow car park were almost full. I was appalled to see that they now charge for parking there, as well as an exhorbitant amount to get in. Happily, with National Trust membership, we didn't have to pay for either.

Much as I love what Stonehenge represents, symbolises and looks like, I think that having put a fence around it and a cash till at the entrance English Heritage are now ripping off everyone who visits. Yet still they come in their thousands every day. Stonehenge is iconic, recognised the world over and marvelled at by almost everyone, and I love the fact that this is what my people were doing when the Egyptians were still building small stepped pyramids, but I still think that the people who visit are being sold short by what they have to pay to get in. I don't think I want to go back there, unless I have a friend staying who specifically wants to.

Normally there are a few jackdaws flapping around, but this time there was a huge flock of starlings; more birds than I had ever seen there before.

As is always the case when my friends visit, I gave Monika a couple of options of where we would go for the rest of the day. There are quite a lot of places to go to in the area around Stonehenge. Monika decided against Avebury, having been there before, and settled on Stourhead instead. When we arrived we parked up and had our picnic and then went in to the house and gardens. Architecturally, I really like stately homes and big country houses but I'm not at all interested in what is inside them, so while Monika was inside the house I had a wander around outside. Then we met up and did the long trail through the delightful gardens.

I don't know what plant this is, but I thought it was delightful.

The garden is brilliantly designed and whenever you come to a gap in the trees there is an incredible and perfectly composed view waiting for you.

As I've said before, I think my new camera does really good reflections.

My favourite photo from the day. I just love the shapes, the colours, the depth of field. Pure luck, pure delight.

Monika accidentally steps into shot at the Temple of Apollo.

Talking of accidents, I love the accidental star in this photo. I hadn't noticed it until a colleague pointed it out to me.

The gardens at Stourhead are beautiful and I really want to go back there in October when the autumn colours should be incredible.

Tags: friends, uk pics

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