Sunday, 20 September 2009

The Devil's Arrows

Since 1957 I have been travelling up and down the A1 which mostly follows the route of the Great Northern Road and links London with York and then Edinburgh. The Romans built the road and long straight stretches of it can still be seen, though it has recently been converted into a motorway along much of its length. When I say 'recently', I really mean that as Boroughbridge, where the Devil's Arrows can be found, was only bypassed in 1963 and now that road is superceded by a stretch of motorway.

So, I passed within yards of the Standing Stones without even knowing they were there!

They are three large stones of millstone grit which were erected somewhere around 2200 BC and so have stood as long as some of the Pyramids and belong to the same era as Stonehenge.

The largest is 22 feet 6 inches tall with about another 6 feet below ground and is over 4 feet on each side. The second is shorter and the third even shorter, though around 8. feet to a side.

As with all the standing stones and stone circles, no one really knows why people would go to the trouble of moving the stones over 6 miles from Knaresborough. The legend is that they were thrown by the Devil and aimed at Aldborough but he missed. More info here.

It's a shame that you can't see them all at once as the tallest one is on one side of a lane and the other two in a field behind high hedges. I forgot to take a reference shot to give a better view of the sizes so I've included one of Alan and Mac beside the tallest stone.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

The best laid plans . . . One of us goes to the US

This is the first of a series of 'catch up' posts.

We had booked a holiday in the US, staying a few days in Chicago and then moving on to Santa Maria to holiday with Dave and Victoria and their families.

We took Mac (our rather elderly dog) to the kennels where he has been staying for years but he became distressed. The kennel owners know him well and he has always been happy there so we called the vet who thought he was probably confused (senility was mentioned) and prescribed a tranquilliser - Diazepam - and we delivered the tablets to the kennels with the instructions to call the vet if he was not OK in three days. If he hadn't settled by then, they would sedate him.

Then we went home.

I checked Diazepam on the internet and discovered our poor old Mac was on Valium!

So I decided I couldn't leave him in distress. He's fifteen and a half and I really felt he deserved rather more care than that promised. You may imagine the discussion which ensued! In the end I took Alan to the airport at 4 am and picked Mac up at 9 am. It took a week for him to wag his tail again and he is still, several weeks on, less well than he was before.

These are three photos of family. Alan took many more and, if you go to the contact page above,  I'll get him to send you the link to them - Warning. There are LOTS.

I was pretty devastated at not seeing the 'children' and grandchildren but don't regret the decision and know that Dave and Victoria understand. We took Mac on as a rescue dog from the RSPCA and he has repaid that with many years of devotion and love. I do believe that we have a duty to repay that at the end of his life and am sure I did the right thing.
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