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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Two Different Places on the South Downs Way

chanctonbury rings

This is a picture of Chanctonbury Rings – an iron age/roman age hillfort with 18th century and modern plantations of trees. This is a beautiful and magical place which would be a delight for an overnight in high summer; perhaps on a summer solstice night. And, maybe frosty cold night in midwinter could be more than beautiful here.  We passed this way a few days ago. This seems to be a happy place and a positive place where good times can be had; a place for celebration and love and dancing and flowers and intoxication and joy.

almost beachy head


And then, a few days later, we walked over Beachy Head. Here, there were crosses and flowers and Christian messages which those in absolute despair will doubtfully read. I was quickly repelled from the summit of this hill by the utter gutteral sadness of the place . My pictures of the top with it’s crosses and flowers have failed to be recorded.  It’s a place that is occupied and haunted by a formless black dog. This animal hounds it’s victims remorselessly from far and wide, possessing minds and causing nothing at all but pain to the people who are lead to believe that there is nothing, but nothing left for them except the relief of death  by leaning forwards, in final desperation,in to thin air. And to their families and friends who plant crosses and leave small messages of love, wishing they could, by just a word, have changed things or altered the outcome in some way.  And to the people who’s job is to to collect the damaged cadavers from the sea or the stony hard beach, far below; those who are damaged  slowly and slowly by the job they have to do. There is pure evil here. There is nothing good here just now. The only outcomes are death and lasting despair. There are ten or so yards of complete and powerful nastiness in a little circle around the top of the hill, hanging over a beetling crag of pure, soft, white. And everything just about to teeter off and shatter down into a shallow blue/green sea and move a little more inland.

The cwn annwm of Beachy Head would hate the dancing and the celebration of Chanctonbury.

More and better stuff on the South Downs Way with Dawn later……


blogpackinglight said...

SDW is a good trail, although I've yet to walk it all. Chanctonbury Ring has fond memories of numerous illegal wild camps when I was young. You used to be able to get water by climbing into a massive storage tank. The trees are a shadow of their former glory as many were blown down by the 1987 hurricane.

Alan R said...

Oh Dear! Thats put me right off my dinner!

Alan Sloman said...

Thoughtful stuff. Nicely done, Mike.

Dawn said...

It was hot, hot, hot. Chanctobury Ring has changed much since I last visited, more trees. Still special though.