Monday, September 01, 2008

Stonehenge ho!

While visiting my good friend Anne-Lise I decided to drop by & see Stonehenge since she lived just minutes from it and she had never been to it either (it's just like I never visited Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty despite living 13 years in New York).

In fact we didn't really know how to get there. Following the map we headed west, just when we thought we were lost we noticed a pile of rocks to the side of the road. ''hey, is that Stonehenge?''. They are a lot smaller than I imagined. Also unexpected were the sheeps roaming around it. Who are these mysterious sheep? Are they the eternal guardians? Have any archeologist interviewed these sheep? Have we noticed any strange sheep formation during full moons? As a total coincidence (or, is it?) the cover story on National Geography screamed the headline ''Secrets of Stonehenge revealed''! I eagerly bought a copy only to be disappointed to learn that we have no more idea why these pile of rocks are here than why people support Bush.

Back to my original purpose for the trip which was to visit Anne-Lise & her husband Simon in the woods. When I say woods I meant WOODS. They live in an area called New Forest which is a large area created way back then by William the Conquerer for hunting. Anne-Lise & Simon had just moved into a new house which had no address, when writing them you're suppose to just write their names and New Forest. For you see very few people live out here. There are tons of deer, hare, tens of thousands of phesants (which Simon leads groups to shoot) and wild horses. Right, wild horses. On our way out of the forest to the pub we had to repeatedly dodge wild horses because they don't seem to follow traffic laws.

Simon, who is actually a Scotsman, is straight from central casting as a British gentleman farmer. Complete with tweed vest, leather cap, boots, pipe and a dog from a long blood line of champion retrievers (he showed me the family tree). Simon is a one-man machine of self sufficiency from building his own house to slaughtering his own pig to make bacon (showed me the paperwork he had to get approved from the wonderfully named Dept of Moving of Pigs). Simon promised to take me hunting hares the next morning but unfortunately we stayed up all night drinking whiskey and the hares lived to see another day.


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