Stride by Stride…

*

“‘Never look back…’ runs the adage. But it is sometimes good to revisit. I mean, we missed some pretty heavy clues  which may have saved us some time, last time we were in Dorset. St James with his pilgrim’s hat and staff, for one…”

“One thing I have worked out.”

“Oh, yes?”

“The name of the giant who wears the Seven League Boots.”

“But there are several in the Folk Record aren’t there?”

“Indeed, but I’m talking about the, one and only, truly original, giant.”

“Is that a clue?”

It’s a riddle, and you already have all the clues.”

“I have?”

“Yup, but you evidently need reminding, so…

a league is three miles,

seven threes are twenty one,

and twenty-one miles is

about as far as a man can comfortably walk in one day.”

“These are supposed to be clues to a name?”

“Don’t worry, you’ve still got plenty of time?”

“How long have I got?”

“Until we are next at Cadbury.” …

 

20 thoughts on “Stride by Stride…

  1. Ooooh, I so LOVE solving (or trying to solve mysteries). I guess that is why I studied things like archaeology, criminology and forensics. Anyway, I am like a kid with a hunger for adventure, and I hope this does not spoil anything for anyone. Since I am not there to join all of you, I am even more excited to solve this mystery.

    So I went first to Cadbury in my Google search. I admit it isn’t as cool as trekking across the land and see to find it, but it is ok for me. So I have found that it was a late bronze and early iron hillfort in Somerset County. Hillforts were forts build on hills, the the reason this one was built is uncertain, but perhaps from attacks from other parts of Europe. It has been associated with King Arthur’s court at Camelot.

    Now could King Arthur be that giant? What about the boots, and what about the word, “giant?” We have not read that King Arthur was a giant, though his achievements were certainly huge!

    OK, so I dug further into the word, “giant,” for I have read of giants in history, and most often they do not seem to be heroes, but rather creatures who would just as soon devour normal-size human beings. And strangely enough, the forms of Gods and Giants are sort of intermixed and comes from the religious and mythical beliefs of the Norse and Germanic peoples. And the Old Norse people called them a word that meant devourer, which I find interesting, but as I look back on the stories of giants with which I am familiar, it does seem as though all the giants wanted to devour people who were smaller than they were.

    So now I am really puzzled. What can King Author possibly have in common with giants? And what about those boots? Now when I think of the boots, I think of either military in some form, or I think of pirates and men who went to sea. Of course there are the cowboys, but that is out from the start as it is from another place, another time. And I think of Puss in Boots, an old childhood favorite. Oh my goodness, this is getting more interesting as we go along. I wonder if others of you have your own ideas, or perhaps you already know the place, so you have the answers. Well, if I can’t get there in person, I am going to have as much fun as those of you who are going. Lucky you!

    As I read further, the word Giant is an Anglicization of the name of these beings that was likely born from the Old French word ” geant” and they were at least in those times enemies of the Gods. Well, this has been such a fun adventure, and I have not really arrived anywhere yet, but one cannot say I have not tried! I think I am making progress though because I just used to be overwhelmed when I wasn’t familiar with the stories or sites that were being written about. Now I have found my own good way to enjoy them, and that cannot be a bad thing. And I am sure as time goes forward, the lights will come on for a lot of things that I have read here. Meanwhile, good night one and all.

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      1. Ooh, what was I thinking? I missed the biggest clues! Oh durn. Well, now I think I have solved the mystery. The “boot” is the hill surrounding the hillfort, and the hillfort and its land and structures are the giant. I remember reading in what I looked up that the land in the hillfort was 7.23 (I believe) hecteres, or approx. 18 acres. This makes the most sense to me at the present moment, but I am waiting to see what it turns out to be. Well, what I learned from this is that sometimes we have our minds preset to one form of image, and it may not be the right image at all even though it might seem to fit all those things. Not saying it is not possibly an actual giant being or God of some form, and also I don’t know the total history of the place, though I did look it up. I never found anything about giants in boots, but I did learn a whole lot about giants and their relationships to Gods, and how some giants were like Gods. The notion of giants being devourers of humans continues to fascinate me in that I am trying to understand perhaps why that would be. I think about Jack and the Beanstalk, and how that giant made it definitely clear that he devoured humans.

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  2. Hmmm, not that either? Oh my gosh, I am back to step 1 again. Well, my nickname by my old clients IS “the bulldog,” so I guess I am going to have to live up to it!!! (chuckles) This puzzle is way too much fun! So upward and onward.

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  3. OK, we wouldn’t be talking about the chalk giant just outside Cerne Abbas village in central Dorset, would we? Now I am thinking as I read the writing again, that we have to go to Cadbury to find the answer. Ok, back to the drawing board.

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      1. I think this journey has something to do with a pilgrimage. And I think the chalk giant is involved and perhaps he is represented by St. James. I found that St. James is associated with the Way of St. James, which is a pilgrimage used by Christians over centuries. But it was in Spain. I am going back to the chalk giant, for I am reading about his original appearance and his appearance now, and he likely had a skin of a lion over his left arm, while his right arm held the club. I guess over the centuries, various peoples have attempted to remove the very clear phallic aspect of the giant. The giant is approx. 180 feet high (55 meters) and and 167 ft. high (51 meters). The lion may be the lion pictured on your post, and it may have been known as the Nemean lion, a vicious Greek mythological monster that was ultimately killed by Heracles. Now he could not be killed by mere mortals for his golden fur was impervious to any kind of attacks.

        I could have perhaps gone to Stuart’s blog and gotten any answers, but for me, that is not what this is all about. It is perhaps in my archaeological/anthropological training or perhaps in my forensics or criminal justice training, but I love to try to figure things out for myself. I may go through a lot of wrong steps and mistakes, but that is how I learn best.

        When I had breast cancer surgery in 2016 (the same time within months after that I graduated from my criminal justice), the doctors wanted me to take five days a week of radiation and five years of anti-hormonal meds. I could have just gone with what they said; after all, they had years of study and were licensed doctors, and who was I? Just a normal woman who knew absolutely nothing about cancer. But I am not a normal woman; I don’t take anything at face value, but read up on everything as much as I am able to uncover. I have been like this all my life, and don’t intend to change. Anyway, as I began doing my research, the radiation likely would have caused me an early death as the left breast is directly over the heart, and we all know that radiation is not good for the heart. And I read everything else I could get my hands on, including information about clear margins. And then I read about each and every medicine they had given me a list for the those from which that medicine would be selected. As I took the time to read the side effects of each one of them, I began to cross them off my list one by one until they were all gone. I have never regretted that decision. It is 2018 and I am still here and clear. At 76, my time here on earth is precious, and I want to live it fully one day at a time. When my time is done, it is done, and who knows? I might come back in another form, another life? Do I really know? No, I know I am here one day at a time, one moment at a time, and I intend to make the fullest use of each moment. A moment ago is gone forever and when tomorrow comes, it will be today and right now is all I know.

        So I think I will continue to play in my own way, but I do thank all of you who are trying to help me. This is so much fun for me and isn’t that a lot of what life is all about? Every time I look up another thing, I am feeling more and more as if I got to go there in person, and it is filling my hunger to solve “history’s mysteries.” And if I get it all wrong, is that a big problem? I don’t think so. I think I just LOVE learning new things, and will continue to do it as long as this old mind can still think and these old eyes can still see and this voice can still speak. This is called “living life to the fullest.” I am not physically wealthy, and that means absolutely nothing to me for I am wealthy beyond means in life experience and in being in love with my significant other, my pets, my plants, my world, and my moment in time. Thank you one and all for allowing me to play, and thank you, all of my good teachers, including each and every one of you who posts on here.

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  4. Well, now I found Seven League Boots by Zoe Keating, who plays a mean cello, and it is beautiful. Where is that giant? Sounds sort of like someone treking the 21 miles to Cadbury from Dorset? It has to be one of these things . . .

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  5. You know, I was just thinking about all the people who, since learning that I chose my own path through the Big C, that I really needed to follow the legitimate knowledgeable doctors’ advice. I can hardly believe that anyone could say something like that. How does that validate me as an intelligent human being with just as much ability to look things up and make my own decisions about my own body or even my mind? This is not to put anyone down, for I never intend anything cruel or unthinking to any of you. Yes, our teachers are wise, I am sure, beyond what I might attain in this life, but we are all on a path to learn and hopefully, none of us will ever stop learning. We all have a separate path and method for how we enjoy learning best.

    I am so happy today, for I spent yesterday learning a whole new field of study and still have more study to go on that – how to be a volunteer court-assigned mentor for foster children. After listening all day, I realized that there were two paths I could follow: one was to be a full-fledged mentor who looks after every need of one foster child for an 18-month commitment. The position involves some ongoing studies (12 hours worth) each year, and about 10 – 15 hours a month, and a part of that is reporting your finds. This is to help foster children to have a better chance. I live in the U.S. and I know some of you lucky folks live in England or other countries, or different parts of the U.s. from me (CA). The nonprofit organization is called C.A.S.A. org. and it is located throughout the U.S. So the other path is to become an Educational Advocate, and that is what I am going to become. That advocate is responsible only for all things related to the youth’s education and goals for the future. Some of these foster children are juvenile delinquents, and they are who I had hoped to work with when I graduated. The commitment time is between 12 – 18 months, and when you are through with that student commitment, you can continue to work with others, and also you can always choose to work as a full mentor-advocate. C.A.S.A. means Court-Appointed Special Advocates for children, and generally ages are 6 – 21 here in the U.S. After that, the children are out of the system. I hope it is ok to share about this here, but I am so happy for being able to still be of use to the overall community, and especially children in some manner. Thank you very kindly. I have a lot more study to go. 30+hours in classroom, and more outside on my computer. And we each have a supervisor too, just the same way it works here.

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    1. The Romans came to Cadbury before the Normans or the Saxons, and they would have inherited the Giant that they renamed from the Greeks “Hercules.” So the idea that the Giant just outside Cerne Abbas originally had a large penis does not seem so unlikely for his earliest beginnings. People in the centuries that followed at one point apparently removed that symbol, but it was apparently returned. It may have been even larger originally. There are other parts of this tale of the Giant called at the time by the Greeks Heracles which are just so cool to read, but then I am going to allow everyone else to figure out that chalk giant represented. I feel pretty happy because for me, and again, I may still be wrong, but at least that portion of this great mystery is resolved and just fascinating. There is a lot more to the story of this specific giant that is really worth reading. I found it under Nemean lion on Google.com. And I suspect there is more to this mystery, and I look forward to either reading it or discovering it soon.

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  6. You know, whatever comes of this is fine because I had my own little journey of the mind, and if I ever get lucky enough to get there and see that area in person, it will be so meaningful because I got to learn all about it in the best ways I could figure. It is funny how each thing, each story, has more stories and things behind it if we just look. I could not have had a more enjoyable trip, and I guess the only thing missing was a good mug of cider at the end of the day and perhaps some of that interesting English cooking!

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      1. I look forward to that some fine day perhaps. Sounds wonderful, along with a real trip to the area. I am afraid that if I went there though, I would not come back here if I could afford to live there. How wonderful to be surrounded with so much archaeological wealth that has been brought out with so much history and spirituality that likely most of us can relate to. We have archaeological remains, but there is not the overall spirituality and deep meaning that goes so far back. Thank you very kindly.

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          1. True, but some connect with our spirits more than others. I am not sure I would feel comfortable visiting Sumeria today, but I would feel comfortable in parts of England and other places in Europe, but again not all of them. I am definitely not a big city person. I tend to like those out-of-the-way areas that are full of some form of plant life, and possibly animal life that is not too dangerous to human beings. Places with hills and rocks and lots of trees, secret brooks and many ancient structures and perhaps old graveyards. Not a whole lot of traffic, if any, and some good old locals who enjoy telling tales of the land. Perhaps a good glass of cider or wine at the end of a day, and something warm and light for the tummy. A good, warm and quiet place to sleep that has a little old-fashioned window that looks out over the countryside. And lots of stars to look at before I sleep . . .

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