The Solstice road trip:
At 4pm (amply supplied with a bottle of water, 2 packets of Kettle chips and 2 flapjacks) we set off in the trusty van to see New Model Army at the corn exchange in Devizes, Wiltshire.
We headed Southwest, skirted carefully around Birmingham (narrowly avoiding the first wave of the rush hour congestion) and flew southwards down drab motorways of tedium.
Eventually we left the motorways behind and peeled off onto the rural roads of Wiltshire. We happily twisted and turned along until West Kennet long barrow passed us on the right, Silbury hill loomed up on the left, and we arrived at Avebury.
Once we’d negotiated the, (over the top) police cordons and presence, we parked up and walked to the Red Lion pub; where we shared a pint with the straggling solstice celebrants and watched the world go by for a while. Then we took a brief wander around the stones in the beautiful warm evening sunshine.
Climbing back into the van we had a short drive down to Devizes for an unusual, but (as always) excellent, NMA gig.
Sweaty but happy, we left Devizes at 11:30pm; and after an hour of dark and twisty roads (on which we encountered a deer, a badger and an owl) we were walking the evocative and ancient chalk slopes of the White Horse of Uffington.
Under the hazy moonlight we had the whole site to ourselves; standing in total peace and stillness we looked over the vale and it seemed for an instant as if the world was holding its breath.
After we’d offered grateful and silent acknowledgments, words and thanks to the spirit of the vale, we clambered back into the faithful van and steered north for more A-roads and motorways.
We got home for 2:30am (Uffington to Loughborough? 1 hour 30 minutes? speed limits? I don’t know what you mean officer….) and finally crashed into bed at 3am ready for the alarm to go off at 4:30am to signal the start of a full day’s work on the livery yard…
300 miles and well worth it 🙂
Ps. A 300 miles round trip to see a band? Are we crazy? Maybe, but it’s not like we drove all the way down to Frome in Somerset and back in one night just to see New Model Army.
That was summer solstice 2009.