Wednesday, February 6, 2013


 I have a history of ridiculous, easily-could-have-been-avoided accidents. I never get hurt very badly, and I wouldn’t necessarily call myself clumsy. Let’s use this term that I possibly made up, ‘karmically challenged’ to describe the kind of experiences that pepper my life.

There you have my incredibly un-subtle foreshadowing (not even foreshadowing, more like an outright foregone conclusion) that this story contains an unfortunate accident caused by me being stupid.

Stone Circles are beautiful and mysterious. One of my favorite things about my trip to the UK this last summer was our visits to stone age sites. My other favorite things were everything else.

Avebury was one of our first stops. The Avebury stone circle is famous because the stones are really, really huge and the circle itself is MASSIVE. The village of Avebury is contained within the perimeter created by the stones. Adorable sheepies graze in an English way about the frothy greens that sprout wildly about the stones. Like many Stone Age structures, there’s a large outer henge, which is like a deep, “dry” moat dug into the ground around the stones. 

It was a grey, drizzly day and I was dancing about like a loon, because I’m a free-spirited young thing, but also because it was cold and I thought that moving a lot would help. I got very, very wet, as one does whilst dancing through the rain, but when we all met up again after exploring Avebury a little, it was pretty obvious that I’d managed to get extra-soaked.

I’ll tell you how. I separated from the group—always recommended if you’re in a foreign country and want something unfortunate to happen. As I was weaving in and out of the stones and slowly making my way towards the largest ones I saw what I presumed to be a pathway through a more swallow part of the henge that led to the other side. I was curious to get a look at the full structure as best I could, so I decided to climb up yonder hill to see if I could get a glimpse of the entire village, and thus, the entire circle.

It turns out that even the ‘more shallow’ parts of the henge are actually pretty deep. I inched down the path about too feet before the mud gave and I slid on my poor bum right into the middle of the flooding henge (I had been planning to leap across the water collecting in the middle). I was fine. Just really wet and dirty and when I stood up I heard myself asking the following question out-loud, “Are there terrestrial leeches in England?”

No. No there aren’t, you soggy twit. (Actually, I’ve since found out that yes, there actually might be, but that’s sort of horrifying, so let’s just forget that discovery.)

I was looking at big black juicy slugs.

I’d seen them around before. I’d been living in Cardiff for sobbing out-loud. However, this was my first time seeing them so huge and also, so very many hundreds of them all over, slowly making their sluggy ways about the henge.

The path I’d slid down looked too muddy to support a return trip, so I had to march through the henge for a while looking for a more shallow/less rain-soaked way of escape. It didn’t take longer than ten minutes. Surely. And I made lots of invertebrate friends.

As I was leaving Avebury, it became pretty obvious that the paths I was seeing through the henge had been made by those frolicking sheepies. Humans were never meant to follow.

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