All posts by Stuart France

About Stuart France

Writer and Director of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School.

The Hill in a Dark Grove, reprieve…

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We had known for some time, courtesy of Rupert Soskin, that the resident stone of the inner chamber at Bryn Celli Ddu is part of a petrified tree trunk.

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And once we had our eye in it became apparent that other ‘chunks’ of petrified wood had been used in the construction of this chambered tomb.

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At least two, and almost certainly more, of the ‘entrance’ or indeed ‘exit’ stones and the lintel of the passage itself readily conformed to the strange specification.

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This was very exciting, for while we may have been able to extrapolate a workable symbolism behind the use of such material for the stone of the inner chamber, this symbolism was, perhaps, not so readily applicable to the surrounds of the passage-way…

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And was also, possibly, an indication of a more utilitarian function for these stones.

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The mind… began… to boggle.

Verily, Verily…

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The thing is…

It is impossible to ‘do’ such sites in one visit.

In fact, it is not possible to ‘do’ such sites at all.

If anything, they ‘do’ you, if you allow them.

As we were about to learn…

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rs-203*

The stone I was interested to get a closer look at is a, one would hope,  carefully positioned, replica.

The original, carved stone, is now in a local museum for safe-keeping.

The orientation of the tomb is, according to the authorities, towards the midsummer sunrise, so time-wise, at least, we were half a year away.

But I think it is clear that something is going on here with sun and stone, especially as it becomes obvious that a second outlier in an adjacent field also lines up with the stone and ‘passage-way’…

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All things which would have been missed had we not returned when we did, but the best was yet to come…

Never Look Back…

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The first thing to remark, apart from the increased Avian Activity Quotient…

Was, the difference an hour makes.

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Was it simply the movement of the sun?

The progress of the day…

Or had the site responded to our earlier visit?

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Given our theories on the sensitivity of these sites…

It could well be either, or both.

One thing was certain…

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We were seeing more…

And were about to see a lot more.

The Road Home…

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Wen and I are back on the road which leads past Bryn Celli Ddu…

We had to double-back to the hotel because someone called down ‘Cloud City’ before we left.

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“Don’t you mean, someone forget their wash-bag?”

“Anyway, it was good to finally get to the Hill in a Dark Grove.”

“Pretty literal with their names aren’t they?”

“There is one thing that puzzles me, though…”

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rs-184*

“…There were no trees.”

“Nor is a mound a hill, exactly.”

And I didn’t get any shots of the stone at the back of the mound.”

“We’ll miss the museum completely if we go back.”

“We won’t be long and we’ll still make it to Beaumaris in time.”

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Harbinger…

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It has been surmised that the future enters our past in order that the present may form…

Sometimes it certainly feels a little like that.

For one thing it has been twenty-seven months since our last sighting of a Heron which, if memory serves, occurred immediately prior to our sojourn in Bryn Celli Ddu…

Whatever the books on symbolism or divination say, in my experience, the Heron is a harbinger of change…

What sort of change and when that change is to take place is often quite another matter…

But change…

…Is coming.

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Swans…

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‘Birds-of-the-Beyond’, Mountain-Ana called them.

She bought us a book.

The picture of the Lir-Clan huddled on a rock in the middle of a raging sea, slipping into Swan-Vests still remains, clear as each new day that dawns.

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“They’re here!” she said, her eyes aflame.

“What are?”

“The-Birds-from-Back-of-Beyond.”

I smiled at her memory, “They’re where?”

“Our-Back-Field!”

“Not possible,” I said grabbing my coat.

But I was wrong.

It had rained heavily overnight and two swans now swam on an impossible lake in the middle of Our-Back-Field.

We watched them all morning and wept when they flew away.

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Art Club Ghost…

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It was only a matter of time

before we decided to explore the Pitch-Black.

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It took the form of a dare:

to walk the corridor end to end without breaking into a run.

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Easy enough for those with no fear of the dark,

albeit this was darkness so thick

you could not see a hand in front of a face.

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We did not even get a light for the stair-well.

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Down we went…

Three fools who laugh at fear.

Each determined not to break into a run,

or at least, not before the other two did…

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The creak of a door.

During the day we would not have given it a second thought.

But now, that over used staple of too many bad horror flicks

seemed in league with the darkness.

The door closed on our tomb.

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We turn and make tentative steps into the black.

Normal darkness the eyes grow accustomed to.

Not here.

Here the darkness bounces against the back of the skull,

stirring no shadows.

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The creak of a door.

Not our door.

The one at the far end of the corridor.

From somewhere, a light shone.

There, suspended from the door,

was ‘Bones’,

the Art-Room skeleton.

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We lost the dare.

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Art Club…

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What’s with the Art Club?

Seven ’til Ten.

I’ll take you, if you like?

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And so… we did.

But he did not get it.

None of it.

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Certainly not, what was so good,

’bout going back to skool

when you are not supposed to be there.

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Villains of time and season

lifting never seen before shots.

Moving naturally.

‘stead of in designated lines.

Free.

Which it was.

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The corridors were now phantom walk-ways

which perchance would never be used again.

In winter they were all Pitch-Black

until the switches were flicked…

By us!

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Even the people

there looked different

informally un-uniformed

they finally seemed real

instead of pretend.

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We got to use Art-Room materials

to draw or paint

whatever we liked!

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And there was music…

An old record player.

Curiously, there were never any arguments

over what should or should not be played.

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It was good too,

sometimes

just to watch others

…quietly.

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Thanks to Tony Carroll, Carol Miller and Ken Dorrington.

Stepping Stones?…

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Three days of fog and endless trek…

Suddenly the mists cleared to reveal a shrouded figure struggling with his boat.

“Sprung a leak, dammit,” he said scratching within the folds of his hood.

The sound of bone on bone.

“…Course, you normally have to pay,” he said, eyeing me and snorting, “but as you’ll be crossing under your own steam…”

I looked down at two large pennies in my hand.

“…you can keep ’em.”

A low snort again rang out…

The thin, black draped arm, was theatrically withdrawn to reveal the stones.

On the far-bank the sun was rising.

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