Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Serpent of Dunscombe

After the previous fiasco of scuttling like a crab between the barbed wire and the hurtling metal deathboxes on the black ribbon I head back to Dunscombe with some friends to meet the serpent again.

There are structures in Britain dating back as far as 4000 B.C. Many of these have been altered over the following years as habitation of them waxed and waned and they would have been reconstructed at times as defensive positions.

If you stood here on these cliffs in 55B.C. you may have seen one of Caesars little boats creeping up the coast to have a look at the land that would be invaded by them in 43A.D. although there is no evidence that they came as far west as this.

History is of course written by the victors which is why so much of it is rubbish and the Celtic people passed on their information orally so none of it is here to tell, but we have a couple of nice portraits here of the old people and the fair ancient women. First from Ammmianus Marcellinus writing of the Gauls across the water to our south.

"Nearly all the Gauls are of lofty stature, fair and of ruddy complexion: terrible is the sterness of their eyes, very quarellsome, and of great pride and insolence. A whole troop of foreigners would not be able to withstand a single Gaul if he called his wife to his assistance who is usually very strong and with blue eyes; especially when, swelling her neck, gnashing her teeth, and brandishing her sallow arms of enormous size, she begins to strike blows mingled with kicks, as if they were so many missiles sent from the string of a catapult."

And here, Dio Cassius's portrait of Boudicca, queen of the Iceni, of the east of Britain in the first century A.D. paints a lovely picture:

"She was huge of frame, terrifying of aspect, and with a harsh voice. A great mass of bright red hair fell to her knees: she wore a great twisted torc, and a tunic of many colours, over which was a thick mantle, fastened by a brooch. Now she grasped a spear, to strike fear into all who watched her."

This one is for the traitors and the bankers in London, and of the hope that one one day we will throw this scum back into the sea.


Penny said...

for the traitors and the bankers?
I like it, they are one in the same, can I say, this is for those traitorous bankers!

hey john, how is it all going.

metal boxes and barbed wire?
I must go back and read that one, I think I am missing something here

john said...

Hello Penny. All going well here apart from the ongoing govt. and media panic about swine flu.

Metal boxes and barbed wire is just me not being able to get off the busy road for a proper walk in the last posting.

I had a fantastic walk yesterday, high up on a hill, the only sound I could hear was the wind blowing through the short grass, such quiet!

nobody said...

Hey John, very good. It's hard to go wrong with golden light isn't? Those first three or so glow.

Speaking of women who could beat me up - Boudicca! Very Grrrr!

queenofthenile said...

Lovely photos! I just have to scroll through and I am at peace. Maria

john said...

Thanks for your nice comments, they are is always appreciated. Apologies for being away for so long but the maid was keeping an eye on everything for me.

As I am always interested in local myths, legends and peculiar stories I will pop this curio up for you. Otterton is just over the other side of the hill about three miles away from here.

England: UFO sighted over Otterton

Exmouth Journal
Fri, 17 Jul 2009 17:48 UTC

Sceptics who have dismissed the idea of UFO activity ever lurking in our skies may have to reconsider their belief after a fresh sighting - this time in Otterton.

A man called Spencer, from Hampshire, was on holiday in Ladram Bay last week and noticed six bright orange lights moving at speed. He reported what he had seen on the Exmouth Journal website.

His report makes the third sighting in three months.

He said: "I spotted six very bright lights. They appeared over the course of five minutes and moved in a north-to-south direction at high speed over the channel and then faded.

"Five of the six followed exactly the same flight path. They were flying above the prevailing cloud cover and at some point they faded slightly."

Plane-spotter Milos Balvim, of Maer Road, reported a similar sighting earlier this month.

Mr Balvim said he saw an object with clusters of orange lights travelling towards the town at around 11.20pm on Thursday, July 2.

"It appeared to have moved from the Dawlish area and headed towards Exmouth, flying at one point as low as 150 metres above the ground."

The 61-year-old explained he had read reports of an object hovering in the skies over Sandy Bay beach in May, filmed from Devon Cliffs Holiday Park and posted on the internet site YouTube.

The sighting was rumoured to be an alien aircraft but was later dismissed as being a Chinese lantern.

Mr Balvim said: "It was definitely not a lantern. I am quite sceptical about those sorts of things because I am an ex-military officer.

"The shape was like a Rubik's cube and there was an array of light beaming out."

Steve Bassett is a member of an organisation called Paradigm Research Group which is trying to lobby the Government to make the issue of UFOs discussed in Parliament.

Mr Bassett is planning a visit to East Devon with a view of holding a meeting to discuss the recent spate of sightings.

nobody said...

Hullo John, I keep hearing about Chinese lanterns. What does this mean? Do they mean actual Chinese lanterns, like they have outside noodle shops? I never imagined them capable of flight. It seems like a daft suggestion.

But since we're on the topic, should you ever see some flying object and you're unsure if it's a Chinese lantern or not, try to see if you can read the following characters, 拉麵, on it anywhere. If you can, then it probably IS a Chinese lantern. It means 'noodles' by the way. If it says ラメン, then it's a Japanese lantern. The meaning is the same by the way.

john said...

Cheers Nobody. They're not noodle shop lanterns but flying lanterns or(as it says here) Khom Fay or Kom Loy.

They are miniature hot air balloons which come with their own fuel block, they are about 3 ft across and can fly for about 20 minutes and depending on the breeze, can travel quite a distance.

People set them off at celebrations here as an alternative to fireworks and they have become very popular over the last year.

Because they float silently they can also appear a bit spooky if you don't know what they are. They are suprisingly bright too.

In the meantime I am off to look for a flying noodle shop. Yum yum.

Penny said...

how prevelent is swine flu, really?
Here I don't actually think we have that many confirmed cases.
The way the media reports it drives me nuts, because they closed some campsites and sent kids home, because apparently there was 1 case suspected, but the media made it sould like all 200 kids had it.

I try to pay close attention to confirmed case numbers as opposed to the spin or hype, so do you think it is really a problem based on the media reports?

john said...

Cheers Penny

There is huge media hype here.

The media reports that 30 people have died here after catching swine flu but many of those have had underlying medical conditions so the actual numbers are very low.

A six year old girl who was initially reported as having died from swine flu actually died from septic shock after suffering tonsillitis, though they also reckon she had swine flu.

It has also been estimated that 55,000 people are catching swine flu here every week, but I don't actually know anyone who has had it and don't know where these numbers come from.

On average there are 12,000 deaths here each year from flu, mostly in the winter.

People are buying Tamiflu here although it doesn't seem to actually do anything that a placebo wouldn't. I have also heard that the Govt. supply of Tamiflu, which was purchased for a previous scare is coming up to its expiry date between July and September.

nobody said...

Same same here. We now have about thirty victims. Whilst I'm not sure about the latest ones, all the earlier casualties seemed to be at death's door already.

Actually it was weird. They'd announce it as a swine flu death, then tell us of all the other terminal illnesses the victim had, even declaring that they could well have died from them, but then saying that they definitely did test positive for swine flu, and this segue into the next related story with 'and as the swine flu toll mounts...'

To paraphrase ex-PM Paul Keating on the 89 recession - It's the pandemic we had to have.