|Winter solstice/Yule time Quiz : Trainspotter or Druid?
These are generally male-specific tendencies - females rarely finding the need spend their Saturdays on station platforms noting down train-types - although the appeal of the dressing-up box is frequently irresistible.
Here are a few test indicators -
This last year, have you
Dashed around the countryside taking hundreds of photos of megaliths?
Ticked off some of your List of Stones To Be Seen Before I Die?
Got distracted by a) heaps of rocks in fields b) humps in the landscape when you should be looking at the road ahead?
Started growing a beard?
Sewn bedsheets into a wearable tent?
Looked for woad in your local DIY store?
Do you always carry
Azimuth-tables and notebook?
A compass and measuring-tape?
A crystal on handspun wool thread?
A dowsing rod for ley-lines?
Have others caught you
Staring at the ground in search of flint arrow-heads?
Staring into the distance calculating sight-lines?
Have you caught yourself
Imagining finding a massive menhir, complete with cupulas and carvings - to the accolade of archaeologists?
Dreaming of leading the solstice-chant at your local henge, complete with adoring accolytes - to the admiration of your mates?
Answers on a postcard, please.
Back a few years, I saw the warning-light of Doubt in my Mary's eye. Where was this dolmen-thing leading to? Around this time she had just discovered The Oil Drum.com and was beginning to grasp the seriousness of the global situation. Our evening conversations - a thirty-year-long dialogue over the customary bottle of wine - soon developed into a curious mix of Peak Oil warnings and population/water/resources statistics on her side - and Peak Wood, Neolithic population explosion and Bronze age soil erosion on my side.
It's possible that she saved me from turning into either of the caricatures listed above, by urging upon me the need for peer-reviewed information, analysis and discussion, and the importance of relevance. Both trainspotter and druid are essentially taking 'time out' in a playworld created to allow the poor bloke to feel he has some little control over events, or some special status denied him in the mundane world. Both are imaginative constructs, arenas where the protagonists and adversaries are chosen by the lead actor - be they numbers and lists, or gods and incantations.
Latterly her panic and gloom have settled into resigned pragmatism: our leaders will continue to fail us, so we'd better double the kitchen-garden, halve our consumption and strengthen village links. She reads less 'doomer-web' stuff and comes out dolmen-hunting more. She has, however, spotted a new danger emerging: her husband may be turning into that third possible stereotype, the Prehistory Bore. But her accuracy with shoe on shin under the dining-table is as unerring as ever - I won't be allowed to become a caricature of myself.
Richard @ dolmen.wordpress.com
Posted by roc
27th December 2009ce
Edited 28th December 2009ce