A Christmas Song


Sadly there’s no snow in Covent Garden (or anywhere else in the country). It’s warm and rainy here but to get us into the Christmas, Pagan or holiday spirit, depending upon how you live, here’s Anna and the Apocalypse, not a band but last year’s small-scale smash and one of the few Scottish zombie musicals in recent memory. Here’s the christmassiest of its songs, although Both the film and the album are a delight.

20 comments on “A Christmas Song”

  1. Jan says:

    Just sunk up to past me ankles in.saturated ground -well it is a watermeadow- round the back of Bridport. Its not been like this for a day or two

    Was going to mark solstice sunset by visiting a really interesting standing stone up off the A35 up near Winterbourne Abbas. This stone has the reputation of keeping the ground around it warm. The blokes who used to work extracting bitumen from all the lands nearby used to go and eat their grub there especially in wintertime.
    Medieval pilgrims who couldn’t afford lodgings anywhere on their way.up to “Edwardstowe” / “Edwardstown” used to sleep close to this stone overnight. Have decided it’s not much of an idea to be paddling knee deep in water though……even if it’s warm.
    Whatever you are celebrating in next few days have a good one.

  2. admin says:

    Love you Jan, you are barking. I’ll be interested to know how the stone warms the ground. Perhaps it’s radioactive?

  3. Cornelia Appleyard says:

    Our art teacher ( Miss Wooster – she made Bertie seem like Einstein) said that sitting on cold stones gave you rabies.
    I wish I’d known about the warm stone – perhaps I could have persuaded her that it was a cure.

  4. Jan says:

    I’ll put me hands up to having gone well past Upton Park and being well on me way to East Ham (next stop Barking) …….

    I’ll send you a picture of this stone I’ve been there a couple of times + it IS warm honestly. Been there when there’s snow on the ground and snow never settles on it and its always clear of snow for a couple of foot around it. It’s a quartz maybe or amalgam/mix of two stones. Massive thing. There’s a stone in the grounds of Princess Anne’s home Gatcombe Park is it? That stone called the Tingle Stone lots of people have felt a charge when touching it. You can get to visit that stone its on a public right of way. Everyone needs a hobby

  5. Helen Martin says:

    Is it possible there is a hot spring down under that stone? The indoor fount of knowledge can come up with nothing else. The tingle stone he suggests could be a mixture of stones which become a natural battery with the addition of water but he reminds me that his degree is geography not geology. What is with the stones of the British Isles anyway?

  6. Brooke says:

    Jan, listen to admin. and The Mystery of the Addleton Curse.

  7. Martin Tolley says:

    Well hot rock is not actually as mad as it sounds. Some rocks do produce exothermic reactions (heating up) if the size of the rock particles and external temperature are correct. Shale is particularly prone to this effect. And Kimmeridge shale is not only well known for this phenomenon, but the conditions for the heating up effect have been measured using it. As the ambient temperature decreases the rock reaction increases and it warms up, hence maybe no snow around about your rock Jan. In the past this type of heating reaction led to spontaneous combustions and explosions in mines of various types. It’s one of the potential issues that could make fracking for gas in shale a dangerous prospect. There’s a good but technical article about the phenonmenon in volume 176 of the journal “Combustion and Flame” (it really does exist!) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010218016302954

  8. Jan says:

    Maybe Helen. There’s a holy well which used to be on the land of a church local to me that although termed a holy well is in fact a spring. When a mate of mine visited this site which is now on private farmland the farmer/landowner told him that this spring always ran a little bit warmer than the temperature of the surrounding land. His animals favoured drinking from here, the spring, rather than from the provided water butts. It never freezes and it isn’t the speed or force at which the waters run – its not powerful. I’ve visited this holy well in deep winter and its barely discernable this alleged warmth. The farmers convinced though.

    Bath is the only real hot water spring in UK as far as I know but I wonder how many springs have this quality of a minimal raised temperature or a high mineral content perhaps that may in itself result in a very slight temperature fluctuation. There are also petrifying wells Mother Shipton’s in Yorkshire is a petrifying well if I remember rightly. There’s a well /spring inland from the Chesil with a v. high salt content. What makes this subject even more entertaining is that many Holy Wells (I make a bit of a study of holy wells around East Devon, Somerset and Dorset) are in fact basically Christianised previously sacred sites. These wells, their curative properties + the purity of their waters have been known about and have been important for a long long time.

  9. Richard says:

    Jan, is the warm stone at Nine Stones? We don’t live that far away, and it would be interesting to try and find it the next time we head that way.

  10. Jan says:

    Not quite Richard the Nine Stones is on your nearside (left ) as you head out of Winterbourne Abbas off toward Bridport. If you carry on along the A35 passing the turning for Maiden Newton which is on.your right before long you come to the dual carriageway section. Keep heading along and you can see the hill with the Long Barrow come up on the nearside just about opposite there there’s a turning not toward West Compton but the entrance to some countryside forest park there’s two very distinct tumuli next to each other. You can park there just near the bus stop sign for the X51 toward Dorchester. If you park there and just head on foot toward the park entrance you can see a footpath /bridleway running just to the EAST parallel to the road leading into the park. Follow that bridleway down the slope( there’s whole lot of young trees, forest planted in last 25 years which blocks the view from the A35) and you see straight away in the centre of the field the large Lozenge shaped standing stone. You can’t miss it.
    There’s a five bar gate nearby you can gain entrance to the field there. Not sure if it’s private land or not I’m not the only person visiting to this stone there’s the odd dogwalker sheltering nearby if it’s v cold. Never had a problem there myself. Be respectful of the guys land but there’s not been a crop in there this past twelve months or more. The whole area is full of prehistory. When you visit this stone if you up glance toward the N.E. You can see two very distinctive aerials off toward Maiden Newton if you take the Road towards Maiden Newton and head toward the aerials in the field just by the aerials there’s the remains of a burial cairn two or more very large stones in the field There’s stuff everywhere standing stones which have ended up as part of farm gate ways there’s one very distinctive standing stone near a barn just near Wynford Eagle. The strip lynchets are very distinctive varying in size as you head East and over toward Loders way there’s supposed to be the remains of King Aethelstan’s (Alf the Greats grandson the first true King of all England Aethelstan) hunting lodge. I’ve tramped round there for hours days never found owt.

  11. Jan says:

    Brooke what’s the Addleton Curse? I never listen to remarks on my (lack of) sanity made by not that very far off elderly gents with Mohican hair dos. That’ll shut his noise up momentarily. A person whose younger brothers just hit a significant birthday. Pah!

  12. Brooke says:

    Jan, Addleton is a village with a barrow, stones, etc. where snow never sticks, etc. and is said to be cursed. On an archeological dig, the crew sickens, there is a death; later villages sicken and some die. Fiction? Try New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes–I think it’s also online audiobook.

  13. Helen Martin says:

    A village where, precisely, Brooke? Jan gave us traveling instructions so where is this one?
    By the way, what happened to the double the final consonant rule when you have a short E preceding? See? That’s a long E already so you don’t have to double the D but with travel it’s a short E so it should be travelling, likewise counselling, but we’re told not to.

  14. Brooke says:

    Helen, neither Dr. Watson nor Barrie Roberts (author) specify the village location except to say it’s on Addleton Moor (also fictitious)..

  15. Jan says:

    Helen I couldn’t understand ANY of that! Any of it! Sounds about as clear as my directions……you might as well be talking in Gujarati! This final consonant rule is about as clear as my maths homework.

    Have a Merry Christmas anyway! Best Jan

  16. Ian Luck says:

    Jan – just found your ‘Warmstone’ on Google maps. Lovely area for archaeology. Loads of ploughed out barrows shown by crop marks. To the north west, many miles off, there is a veritable forest of masts – do you know what that is? It made me think it’s a BBC transmitter site, like the one near Rugby. Lovely names of places, too – Ryme Intrinsica, Chilton Cantelo (home of a ‘Screaming Skull’ legend – a man called Theophilus Broome lived in the manor house there, and loved it so much, that after he died (17th C.?) his skull was left in the house. Unsurprisingly, subsequent owners tried to remove him, but ‘sounds of great displeasure’ emanated from the skull, until it was returned to the manor.) I love stuff like that.

  17. Ian Luck says:

    Cornelia – there was an odd Suffolk saying used by adults when they saw children sitting on cold stone or concrete:
    “Sitting on that will give you the pip!”
    What the dreaded ‘Pip’ was, I have never discovered, but it was obviously terminal, as it freaked out parents. I can honestly say that doing a job, where my seat was part of a sea wall, in November one year, never gave me the ‘Pip’. It did give me the numbest backside I’ve had for years. Maybe that was the ‘Pip’?

  18. Helen Martin says:

    I was told you’d get piles, but I didn’t know what that was at the time, either.

  19. Jan says:

    Hiya I know this is proper sad messaging you on this particular celebration of a Wednesday but what do you Do when your staying with folk who get up loads l8r than you and u wake up pretty early? I’m going to take their dog for a walk soon as I can get away with it. I know u yourself Ian are not caught up in these Wednesday revels and won’t be that bothered.

    What you can see on Google Earth are Rampisham aerials. Quite an interesting circle established in the 2nd world war – when lots of the early work was done on RADAR in south of I of W. This circle was important into the 1980s-90s.
    Thing is it shows you a circle that’s been partially demolished now + makes you realise how old Google imaging is. (I once Google earthed my old street in N.Harrow only to see my decrepit red mini parked outside me house. I’d been in Dorset a year or two by then mind.)

    Got talking to a lad who volunteered at the local Country pursuits/Wildlife farm(well I say volunteered but I think the local magistrates sort of volunteered him for it. He was a strange and angry youngster who the Wildlife people saw fit to train in tree felling. They taught him to use an axe very efficiently in other words. I myself was in two minds as to the wisdom of this strategy) any road I digress this lad told me that they had unexpected difficulty demolishing this circle of aerials because the plans didn’t reveal the very large underground circular corridor and spaces linked up beneath the structure. All reinforced concrete bunkers. The aerials of course were well rooted based into the reinforced concrete. There’s about three of these aerials left now that they won’t or maybe can’t get shot of for some reason.

    Took them ages to fill in the underground spaces below the bits they just could not fully demolish.

    Tell you where there’s an interesting array of aerials looks semi derelict almost now – but it never is if you Google earth north of Yeovil up past Ilchester to immediately S of the A303 you can see the airfield and bunker buildings of RAF Yeovilton not far to the south. Just E of the A road which runs through Ilchester and past Yeovilton -which joins the 303 at a T junction there’s a rectangular structure with loads of aerials small things that look like they are made with Smokey glass baubles on top of them. No its not some futuristic Wednesday tree. It’s just an odd thing. Not massive height about the height of one and a half actual lampposts these “aerials” Think its called The Eye. That and some weird Welsh type name. This place might not be shown on G.E. but don’t think its that important. Very odd though. Look N of here and you see the Somerset levels. Athelney, Glastonbury, Babcary. Where you are supposed to be able to see the Glastonbury Zodiac but you never can – if indeed you ever could!

    Tell you where the mega tall aerial arrays are – North of the Lake District up into Cumbria. To communicate with submarines allegedly. Really impressive very, very tall. Doubt they are on O.S. or G.E. They also did a bit of rocket launch development up that way on in the late 50s into sixties I think. The I of W was also the site of UKs getting into space efforts! That’s so unreal! Right I can hear movement. Thats me done. Best Wednesday wishes.

  20. Ian Luck says:

    Jan – as always, thanks. I did know of Rampisham, but thought it was elsewhere. Google maps are inconsistant – a high view of my house shows the front to be empty, but streetview shows two cars patked there – one being my brother’s last car, which he sold two years ago, after his failing eyesight stopped his driving.
    The rocket site in Cumbria is RAF Spadeadam – and it’s utterly fascinating. Look for it’s entry on the Subbrit site. You won’t be disappointed.

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