Standing Alone

So often when we go exploring, as a family, I’ll be the one at the back. Left pointing a camera or reading an information board. That’s me. Sometimes one of the children will walk with me, but often my photos will show my family in the far distance. Just the back of them.

Sometimes, I’ll catch them on film misbehaving having fun. I don’t mind. Especially when we are visiting standing stones. I love seeing them chasing around among the stones. While I’m left to enjoy them. Something rather magical about having a stone all to yourself, even for a brief moment. For a stone hugger like me, it is bliss.

This weekend, we went to Avebury. It is one of my favourite places. I love walking around the stones. I don’t think I could ever grow bored of looking at them. The patterns and shapes. Often a dramatic sky behind. I feel hugely fortunate that, at various times, I’ve lived a stones throw from different standing stone sites: Avebury and Stonehenge included. The luxury of visiting whenever I could and seeing them through the seasons.

I now live a bit further away from Avebury, but still love visiting. This weekend we packed everyone in the car and headed back to Avebury. The first time I visited Avebury, I was the age of my eldest daughter. In those days Avebury Manor was privately owned. Beyond the “Private” signs, the manor always looked intriguing. Smart cars parked up in the drive, suggesting a glamorous lifestyle that I could only imagine. It would have been wonderful just to peek in.

The house was bought by the National Trust in 1991. Rented out, restored and opened in the years that followed. Then last year, the manor house was reopened again with a twist. This time people are encouraged to sit on the seats, pick up the kitchenalia and even add a few stitches to a modern sampler. Basically make yourself at home. If you remove shoes, you can even climb into the four poster beds.

As we left the manor, my 9 year old commented how nice it was to be able to touch things in the house. Too true. Unlike any of the other stately homes we’ve visited. Not only could I peek in through the windows of the Manor, after all these years, but I could actually have a fleeting taste of living there.

The Manor may be an amazing experience, but it will always be the stones that draw me back. Standing alone, for 5500 years.

Oh yes, I should just add that I did wear my new handknitted, odd sock walking socks to walk around the stones, and I can vouch that they were excellent to walk in. In fact my husband has suggested that we should have a drawer of odd handknitted socks. It would save time by eliminating the need to match them.

Now that’s a thought. Country Kids


 

26 thoughts on “Standing Alone

  • Saturday 18 February, 2017 at 5:25 pm
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    Ha! Your husband is on to something! 😀 I didn’t realize the stones were so close to buildings. That isn’t the case at Stonehenge, is it?

    • Saturday 18 February, 2017 at 10:23 pm
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      Stonehenge is in open ground, although there have been various settlements near it over the centuries, including an aerodrome during the war. There is a road close to the stones. Current plan being debated is to put the road underground, going through a tunnel, which will make the stones look even more on their own. Avebury has Avebury village built in the middle of the stone circle. Always thought it would be awesome to live there, although you’d need to get used to all the tourists! Probably controversial, but I like the idea that people live among the stones.

  • Saturday 18 February, 2017 at 5:27 pm
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    Now that’s a good idea, why do people insist on wearing matching socks when usually they don’t notice. We are all taught these patterns and seem to stick by them, it’s sometimes hard to go against what you have been taught as being the correct thing to do.
    I think I am a bit of a rebel in some ways, I try not to follow the crowd and do things my way, lol

    • Saturday 18 February, 2017 at 11:49 pm
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      Odd socks are the way forward. A quiet rebellion, I think. We all tend to go with the flow and not question it, unless we need to. There is a rebel in us all. 🙂

  • Saturday 18 February, 2017 at 6:29 pm
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    Odd socks should be a thing! Why do we need matching socks hey?! That National Trust place sounds like a lovely place to visit, and nice to be more hands on.

    • Sunday 19 February, 2017 at 12:13 am
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      I have seen sets sold as odd socks, so maybe it is a thing! Yes, it is a great visit. So nice to be encouraging the children to pick up items to investigate, instead of constantly reminding them not to.

  • Saturday 18 February, 2017 at 6:42 pm
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    What a lovely place to visit. We have a lot of standing stones around the area we live in here in Sweden, and I’m yet to investigate them properly. You have now given me an idea for my little trios week off this week 🙂 #countrykidsfun

    • Sunday 19 February, 2017 at 12:15 am
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      How intriguing. I will have to research the standing stones you have there.

  • Saturday 18 February, 2017 at 7:01 pm
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    We love it there too. My son’s highlight was being able to get in the bed and to grind coffee beans in the kitchen. It’s a great way to bring history alive for children isn’t it #CountryKids

    • Sunday 19 February, 2017 at 12:21 am
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      The beds were very popular with all the children going around at the same time as us. I found three in one bed, at one point. Not any of mine. The kitchen was fascinating. Some gadgets I knew, others more puzzling. The children loved exploring. Defintely a good place to visit.

  • Sunday 19 February, 2017 at 12:31 am
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    My kids have a draw of odd socks that they wear all the time. I have up long go trying to make pairs! I have only visited Avebury on a school trip at round age 7. I still remember it well, it was a scorching hot summer’s day and i remember being fascinated by the stones, the mounds and ditches and loving the space there. I don’t remember the manor house at all, it must have been there but it is the outdoor space I remember clearly. I would love to return one day and see it gain wit adult eyes.

    Thank you for sharing your visit with me on #CountryKids

    • Sunday 19 February, 2017 at 12:46 am
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      Odd socks. What a palaver. I have a box of odd socks with all the children’s socks and we go through it every now and again. Great matching game! Avebury is one of those places that I can’t imagine is easy to forget. Hope you make it back one day. I wonder if it will feel smaller. Yes, the Manor would have been there, but it is to the side, so not so noticeable, I guess, when there is all that open space and standing stones.

  • Sunday 19 February, 2017 at 10:03 am
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    Cool photos. I always wear odd socks 😯 haha. I have never been here but looks like an adventure. Great photos.

    Coming over from #CountryKids 🙂

    • Wednesday 22 February, 2017 at 12:11 pm
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      It’s worth a visit, if you are ever in the area. Not that far from Stonehenge.

  • Sunday 19 February, 2017 at 10:04 pm
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    What a beautiful place. I’ve never been to that part of the country. I’m always the one left behind, photographing the children from the back or asking them to run back to me! Love those socks 🙂

    • Wednesday 22 February, 2017 at 12:19 pm
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      I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  • Monday 20 February, 2017 at 1:30 pm
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    Love the socks! My mum knits socks and they tend to be odd to start with, it does make it easier! Avebury sounds amazing, I love the idea of a stately home where you can touch stuff. I will have to put it on our list! #countrykids

    • Wednesday 22 February, 2017 at 12:29 pm
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      Yes, definitely an interesting house to visit. 🙂

  • Tuesday 21 February, 2017 at 4:55 pm
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    I’m always at the back taking photos too!! Another fantastic National Trust- thanks for sharing. #countrykids

    • Wednesday 22 February, 2017 at 12:44 pm
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      I’m not the only one. 🙂

  • Wednesday 22 February, 2017 at 11:46 pm
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    Avebury looks like such an interesting place to visit. How lovely to be able to touch things in the manor house too – it must really help with bringing some of the history to life 🙂 #countrykids

    • Thursday 23 February, 2017 at 10:54 am
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      Makes a big difference if you can pick things up. The kitchen was wonderful. I could have spent ages in there, examining all the gadgets. Makes me wonder why some of them are not still in use. I really want a marmalade shredder now!

  • Thursday 23 February, 2017 at 12:44 pm
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    What a good observation from your 9yo. And you’re right, being able to interact with something makes it more real.
    What gorgeous photos and I’m often like you too, at the back trying to read something whilst the others have run off!
    You know, your husband could be right about the odd sock draw thing..it could take off!
    xx
    #CountryKids

    • Thursday 23 February, 2017 at 1:47 pm
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      It did make a pleasant change, not having to remind them to leave alone. Avebury is a beautiful place and I love walking around the stones. Whatever the weather. Yes, I think the odd sock drawer should happen!

  • Thursday 23 February, 2017 at 5:12 pm
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    Odd socks are definitely the way forward!! Have never been to Avebury but I must make the effort to go!
    #countrykids

    • Saturday 25 February, 2017 at 1:12 pm
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      Worth a visit.

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