|I've been meaning to start a blog on here for ages. But since I can't post any photos at the moment (something evil is in my computer, it's name is Seriph PhotoPlus, and it is slowly sucking the life force from me, but that's another story), so I thought I may as well start a blog - with the trip I planned for the FMJ (Future Mrs Jacksprat) last weekend.
We've had some ups and downs recently but have made up so for her birthday I wanted to do something really nice, and I wanted to expose her to some local megalithic sites!
I'd bought her a ring for her birthday and I decided to take her on a treasure hunt. The day before, I'd left six roses at six sites across Oxfordshire, each with a clue and a small ordnance survey map indicating where the next rose could be found. At the end of the path of roses, she'd find her ring. Simple.
This obviously involved participation from the FMJ, luckily though, the volatile creature was on good form.
The first clue was given to her:
Past Tadmarton, Tyne Hill Lies,
With views atop, you'll see for miles.
Take rest upon that top so high,
and rose'll be found to make you smile.
Tyne Hill, it must be noted, does not bear any megalithic sites, but from the view you can see Stratford, where FMJ's from. Beaten from the wind and rain, a sorry looking rose was found, accompanied by the next clue.
''Ten paces from Old Soldier lies,
A Rose to lead you toward your prize.''
The best part of the afternoon involved forcing FMJ directing me from Sibford, through Darkest north Oxon to Enstone, then to ask total strangers there where 'Old Soldier' resided, until someone knew! She was impressed when she eventually met 'Old Soldier', the huge Dolmen that is the Hoarstone! Not as impressed as I was that the rose and clue were untouched! Reading the next clue:
''If you venture into Taston,
You'll find, at the road's edge,
A curious nosey old stone there,
Peering shamelessly through the hedge!
Lord of thunder known is he,
and at his feet, a rose for thee''.
I robbed the poem from my earlier fieldnotes but she found the Thor Stone easily and was getting genuinely excited by now. She also loved the spring that can be found further into the village too. The next clue read:
''Standing tall forever and a day,
Master I am of all I survey,
Like the raptor that falls far from the sky,
A rose you will find behind my eye''.
This one stumped her because she didn't get that 'Raptor' mean't hawk in this instance and not dinosaur! (she's seen Jurassic Park, Damn Hollywood movies.) But eventually we found the Hawkstone at Dean. If you've visited, you will know there is a hole in the stone, resembling an eye. She found the rose, the wind roaring at us by now. To the next clue!
''Near the village of lyneham
Alone in a field
You must look through the briar
where lay sword & shield''.
I must profess poetic licence here; I have no idea if a sword and shield ever lay at Lyneham longbarrow, probably not. But I was running out of ideas. Even though I'd driven there the day before, it took three drive by's before I found the damn place!!! We got there and the rose stuck out, literally like a rose amongst the thorns! The last clue read:
''Around Saturn far off in space
Or around someone who's lost the chase
Sounds like birds chorus at dawn,
NOW Look to the Stone and please adorn''!
I had palmed the ring, in its box, atop the stone by Lyneham Long Barrow. I have to say that to see her face when she opened her present, was worth all the effort. She is the love of my life, and the beauty of the places we visited was matched only by her smile.
Soppy I know but what can you do?!! A thoroughly enjoyable day, not even the rain could dampen our spirits. Anyway, I've got brownie points til at least Christmas... Or until she finds something new to shout at me about! Ho hum.
Posted by jacksprat
6th September 2006ce
Edited 6th September 2006ce