Tuesday, 6 December 2011

You just need the stones - oh and maybe a basic sense of direction

Being over halfway through my life and having spent the last twenty years visiting the nation by night, I've finally come round to the idea that when I'm doing gigs in places of interest I ought to actually hang about a bit and actually visit the places of interest. Hence a gig in Devizes on a Thursday night turned into a trip to Avebury on a Friday morning.

First of all - let me tell you about Devizes. The gig is in a pub called The Bell On The Green and is brilliant fun. They even booked me a B&B for £35 that was lovely. I had a really good night, a restful sleep and was allowed to lay in as late as I wanted and to help myself to breakfast. It was only a short drive to Avebury and I parked up in the official car park a shade before midday.

If you currently can't believe what you're reading - don't worry - there will be beer and carnage.

The village of Avebury dates back to the Bronze Age and its stone circle is the largest in the world, so large in fact that within it there is a pub and a chapel as well as, in typical English style, the A4361 Beckhampton to Swindon road. Here are a few photos with descriptions:

Some of the Avebury Stones. You get a better idea of the scale  of them in the next photo. 

An Avebury Stoner. This is one of the bigger rocks and is referred to (I think) as The Henge.

This is The Red Lion. It's a Greene King pub in the heart of the stone circle (And Wadworths country - feisty!).

I HAD to take a photo of this after its description in the brochure as "High Street".

The beautiful A4361 Swindon - Beckhampton road RUINED by one of Britain's most important archeological monuments. Tsk Tsk ancient druids! Did you have no idea that one day your largest stone circle in the world, inspired by ancient ley lines, pagan ritual and natural law would get in the way of a major trunk road?
The Avebury Mole Hills - dangerously close to a cricket pitch. Oh ancient druid moles! Did you have no idea that one day... you get the picture.
Anyway - I strongly recommend you visit this curious little part of England should you ever be anywhere near - it's fascinating, important and inspiring all at the same time. It's also a National trust site and other than the £2 parking fee is completely free.

And now - what happened after:

When I left Avebury I travelled to Cardiff to play their "Jongleurs" comedy club. Miraculously I got a parking space under the hotel I was booked in to (The Park Inn by Radisson) and went up to the venue early to sound check and eat before the show. The manager that night had a very relaxed attitude to the comedians drinking and effectively "Kept 'em coming" until after the show, by which time I had befriended a (largely female) birthday party from Bridgend. At one point one of my fellow comedians (Joseph Wilson) asked another (Will-E Robbo) if he had seen where I had gone. The reply was simple "Dude - I don't know where he's going but wherever it is he's carrying a full bottle of rosé wine and a large Jack Daniels". Post aforementioned large solo booze order things become a little hazy but come 5am I finally said my goodbyes to  our hotel night barman Tim, Joseph and a few of the birthday party who had come back with us from the club at Idon'tknowo'clock.

Saturday was unremarkable, other than a little drive out for a Macdonalds which ended up with me having to park in the shopping centre car park on the way back as my space had been snapped up in the hotel. I also got two separate phone calls from comedians warning me that the shows I was doing the next week in central Europe were not ones I would necessarily get paid for as the promoter was something of a charlatan. My bravado got the better of me and I said to them both "Oh I don't think I'll have any trouble".

The gig in the evening was ok and I left straight after I'd been on, hoping to get away early. I was out of the venue before ten, checked out by ten and then spent an hour walking around the shopping centre trying to find a way in. I kept walking past the same stag do who were all dressed as superheroes. The third time I did it one of them shouted (from the top of the human pyramid) "Mate - what are you doing?". I replied simply and in anguish "I don't know". Eventually I decided to play it old school and try the main doors to the shopping centre. They opened and I went in. Why it hadn't occurred to me to try the doors beforehand escapes me. Once within, I could only find lifts that went down (I needed to go up three floors). I eventually tried walking to the other end of the shopping centre where I found other lifts that went up. Then when I got in the car park I couldn't find my car. A quarter of an hour later I stumbled upon it as I walked away from where I thought it should have been to go and report it missing.

Oh and take a look here to see the harpies I'm up against once a week...


  1. Hah! You certainly have an interesting life! That of looking for cars and what the hell is it with shopping centres with lifts that only go up or down on either end??

    Stopping by from lovelinks (a fellow harpy).

  2. it's actually quite a spiritual place if you can ignore the road and the pub ;op

  3. Dude...I take umbrage at being referred to as a 'harpy.' But I'm not going to make a mountain out of that mole hill ;-) Hope you have fun following the Vegas rules when you go :)

  4. Is the roof of the Red Lion melting?! I'm intrigued!!


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