Last week I visited Glastonbury for the first time in my life, a town famous for its history, folklore, legend and of course hippies. No visit is complete without a walk up the Tor, tor being an old word for hill.
At the top of the Tor is a stone tower of the former St Michaels Church, which itself was a replacement for another church which stood here in the middle ages. As you can see, there is not much left of even the tower now.
It was a beautifully bright day, although bitterly cold with a strong buffeting wind, and you could see a long way. Apparently you can see three counties from up here.
There is said to be a leyline passing over Glastonbury Tor, running all the way from St Michaels Mount in Cornwall and going on up to Stonehenge, not only this but the contours of nearby hills and countryside are also supposed to represent signs of the zodiac. If that wasn't enough there is the legend of King Arthur and of Joseph of Arimathea connected to the place.
Not that you see much evidence referring to the legends as you walk through the town; Here instead are plenty of bookshops and cafe's with names referencing faeries, virgins and the green man. One cafe asked hippies to use the side entrance! Scattered about are also plenty of people offering healing skills and fortune telling, while long beards, wild clothes and wooden staffs are commonplace. A strange, ethereal place indeed.
Changing tack completely, there was a news story out today proving once and for all why Prince Charles should not in any way become King. I have spoken before about my dislike of the Royal Family, nothing to do with their probable personalities since they are probably somewhat nice people in general, but more because of what they stand for. This news story did nothing more for me than confirm my instincts.
It seems that the Duchy of Cornwall (the Prince's main source of income) has rights to mine for minerals which stretches back over hundreds of years. However, some sort of law required all such rights to be formally claimed via the land registry in order for such rights to be kept, and this is just what the Duchy have done. Fine in principle, except for the fact that this land under which the Prince has rights has houses built on it and people living in them.
Despite the fact that the Duchy has claimed that it does not have any intention of using these rights, they will still appear upon the deeds of the properties and in all likelihood will reduce their value. When the present owners bought their houses, no register search brought up the possibility of such rights.
Now, you may argue that the since the Prince has these rights then it be fair that he registers them, but if the Duchy has no intention of using them, why bother? It doesn't benefit him or anybody else, conversely it hurts the owners of these properties. In this way Prince Charles has shown that he has absolutely no empathy for the subjects that he will one day rule and in all likelihood sees it as normal to Lord himself over us all.
Once more I change tack completely, this time to something a little nicer, the subject of Test Match Special. Recently I mentioned having bought a book by Jonathan Agnew, called 'Thanks Johnners', and I have just finished reading it. What a delight it was to read! Wonderful anecdotes about the various characters who have appeared on TMS, along with Aggers former playing days and early broadcasting days, pranks and practical jokes and all. Along with that unforgetable 'leg over' incident. I have to say 'Thanks Aggers' for bringing a cricket themed smile to my face so soon after Englands travesties in the middle east.