As I sit down to write to you, I just wanted to tell you that I DID remember to say ‘rabbits’ this morning as it is the 1st of September, the beginning meteorologically the first day of autumn. As a child I was taught that on the first of every month, before you spoke to anyone, it was lucky to say either ‘rabbits’ or ‘hares’ depending on whether there was an ‘r’ in the month or not. I forget now which was which, so I said both this morning just to be on the safe side.
The crop circle season appears to have come to an end and a rather abrupt end it seems, with a final fling, a complex and elaborate event containing as yet undeciphered hieroglyphics at Rochford, Essex. Sadly, I could not fly over it as the cost was beyond my purse. The last one I flew over was the Wooton Waven circle which appeared on the 7th of August.
My Canon camera lens with autofocus and stabiliser had thankfully just come back from being repaired, but sadly it still would not focus properly so had to be returned yet again - it still is not right. I drove up to Wellesbourne in Warwickshire where HeliAir have their head office. It was a glorious morning, one of the few sunny days we have had this summer. As we will fly low, if conditions permit, the airfield have to notify and get permission from the police before taking off. I flew with a pilot with whom I had flown several years ago, so it was good to renew our acquaintance. Unlike the pilots at Thruxton, where I sit beside them in front with my door off, he liked me to sit behind him so that he could be on the same side and be able to put me in the right spot; but that presented a bit of a problem to start with as all I could see was his back!!! However, we sorted that out and all was well, and as there was no-one in the circle, or any animals anywhere, we were able to hover very low; which is always a huge help and a great excitement.
Wooton Waven has a very ancient church dating back to the 7th century and well worth a visit. The original building was probably of wood and thatch, but a stone building was soon built to replace it and survived the probable depredations of the Vikings. We don’t know the date of the Saxon tower base that forms part of the current church.
Wooton Waven is also very close to a very small tranquil village called Alveston, tucked away in the country where I lived for several years as a teenager with my parents and sister. It is close to Stratford on Avon and we were right on the doorstep of the wonderful Shakespeare plays. I remember punting on the River Avon and also visiting Charlecote, a splendid and rather grand 16th century country house, surrounded by its own deer park, on the banks of the River Avon near Wellesbourne, Warwickshire.
So what sort of crop circle season has it been? We have certainly had fewer circles than for some years, and indeed I have been reliably informed that the last time we had so few was back in 1973. It is hard to conjecture why; is this a waning phenomenon - who knows? However, we have had some special ones amongst the few and I will write more about them in my annual article in the spring.
Since I last wrote to you we have had the yearly scientific research day. The results have not come back yet so those again will go into my annual article. It takes a long time to compare and analyse them properly and accurately.
I have also been working hard on the new 2018 crop circle calendar which hopefully will be ready by the end of September/beginning of October. I do hope you will like it.
There have been two unexpected last minute cancellations for the Crop circle tour on 25 July with the optional extra of a wonderful private evening entry into Stonehenge.
In addition, I have one more special private entry Stonehenge ticket for that evening so that makes a total of 3 private entry evening tickets to Stonehenge.
Please let me know as soon as possible if you would like to join me as I expect they might go quite fast.
We have had some really wonderful circles recently including the Hackpen event lying just below the Hackpen chalk White Horse.
If you look closely at the image you will see it appear in 3D!
I am flying tomorrow morning (weather permitting) over a spectacular circle at Cley Hill, near Warminster, Wiltshire, so please keep an eye on my website.
Hackpen is a special place of legend and mystery. There is a well documented report of Faery happenings. These were recorded by John Aubrey and tells of a shepherd who was taken under the hill; the hill at certain phases of the moon, being raised up on pillars. Music was heard and revelry was seen by the shepherd before he returned. It seems he was never quite the same after his visit to the fairies. There seems little doubt that crop circles are linked to hill carvings, ancient monuments, tumuli and faery places.
James Hussey has kindly opened his field for visitors and we are all happy to pay an entrance fee. The money goes towards the charity James set up in memory of his wonderful wife Gill to raise money to equip a breast screening radiotherapy unit to be built on the site at the Great Western Hospital, Swindon, as the closest unit was in Oxford and for Gill and others to have to travel many hours for a daily treatment lasting a few minutes each time over a period of six weeks was altogether too exhausting and draining.
James continued to allow people to enter his fields, charging a fee to visit the circles which went towards the target of £2.9 million having already raised £750,000. This is a really splendid charity worthy of support. The charity, Brighter Futures who are running the appeal told me that to date “we have received support from companies in Swindon such as Sainsbury’s Stratton and TE Connectivity”. Staff at other companies including Corporate Events, Arval, Jury’s Hotel, Nationwide and Santander have all supported the appeal by fundraising for us.
Many schools, nurseries and centres for learning have also adopted us as their chosen charity for the year, as have many other smaller organisations such as churches, local groups and WI’s and Rotary Groups. To find out the latest news about what we are doing with the help of local people visit our website on www.brighterfuturesgwh.nhs.uk
This is my most hectic time of the year with Crop Circle tours, the wonderful Glastonbury Symposium and my Scientific Research day plus getting up in the air to take photographs. So very many apologies and please forgive me for such a short letter. I will try and do better next time!
Here we are in the middle of June just before we reach the Summer Solstice on 21 June, the longest day of the year when the sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer.
We are told that we can expect the sun to rise at 4:43 am and sunset will be at 9:21 pm which means there will be a total of 16 hours and 38 minutes of sunlight whilst the sun will be highest in the sky at 1:02 pm.
Solstice comes from two Latin words – 'sol', meaning Sun, and 'sistere', meaning to come to a stop or stand still, translating to ‘sun standing still’.
It is a joyful time of year when the crops are growing in the fields providing food for the winter months.
Entrance to Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, is open free of charge (English Heritage introduced parking charges) for the annual gathering of Druids and travellers from all over the world who want to welcome the rising sun as it breaks over the horizon in all its magnificent (weather permitting!) at this sacred time of year.
If you stand in just the right place inside the Stonehenge monument on the day of the northern summer solstice, facing north-east through the entrance towards a rough hewn stone outside the circle – known as the Heel Stone – you will see the sun rise above the Heel Stone (small stone in the distance showing between two giant megaliths).
Since I last wrote we seemed to have a plethora of circles appearing almost daily (until suddenly a gap until a few days ago on the 16 June). After the beautiful one below Milk Hill, the next ones to appear were on 28th May at Summer Lane, Nr Broad Hinton, Wiltshire. There were three circles in all; all different shapes and sizes - two in one field and a star shaped one in the adjacent field over the hedge.
The tracery work on the larger circular one is very fine, consisting of four concentric rings with a combination of larger and smaller floral patterns interlacing the concentric circles.
If you look closely at the circles (15 medium sized ones and 60 smaller ones) in the star shaped event, you will see that there are no connecting lines between any of them. This is a good sign as walking between the crop leaves a visible trail indicating possible human or animal evidence or involvement.
Following close it their heels on the 30th of May came the beautiful and complex six-petaled floral pattern at Fonthill Down, Nr. Chicklade, Wiltshire. These wonderful pictures were taken by Mat Stainton, who most generously allowed me to use them.
Not to be left out a small and delightfully modest single ringed circle with a flattened circle appeared at the Sanctuary on the 3rd of June not far from Avebury.
The very next day, a circle with 3 sets of six circles of diminishing size came to rest a Woolstone Hill, Nr Ashbury, Oxfordshire.
Woolstone Hill is part of an ancient landscape and lying close by you will find the oldest of our chalk White Horses, the Uffington White Horse; to me it resembles a Henry Moore sculpture. It has clearly changed over the years and there is some debate about it's original shape; could it have started life as a dragon? Close by we have Wayland's Smithy which is an atmospheric historic site about a mile's walk along the Ridgeway from the Uffington White Horse. It has a Neolithic chambered long barrow, once believed to have been the home of Wayland, the Saxon god of metal working.
The last story I am going to relate is about a most charming family, cardiologist Mark, his lovely wife and perinatologist, Karen and their two wonderful children Gabriel (16) and Anna (12). They had written to me in November 2016 saying that they would very much like me to take their family on a private tour round the circles etc. in the summer 2017. After lots of correspondence, it was planned that I would take them round any available crop circles, and if there weren’t any we could visit we would go round the ancient sacred stone sites in the area such as Avebury stone complex, West Kennet Long Barrow (the oldest), Silbury Hill etc. I planned a helicopter flight (requiring two helicopters to take us all) to fly over the circles and ancient sites. To finish the day I was really lucky to obtain a private entry evening visit to Stonehenge. It all sounded wonderful and we met at Silbury Hill car park - but - the weather decided otherwise. Such are the perils of living on an island — the weather is mercurial. It was raining when we met and it rained consistently ALL DAY. Were they daunted - not one little bit! They were as gallant as any knights of old. Visiting a crop circle was the top of Gabriel’s list so we started off by walking up the grass track to circle below the Milk White Horse at Alton Barnes, Wiltshire. We could see the circle quite clearly as we walked towards along the path and marks in the field where people had trampled over the crop to reach it. Having visited it previously on the day it first appeared, I knew the entry point into the field which would lead directly down a tramline into the circle, thereby not damaging the crop at all. Into the field we went and not only was the circle no longer visible, the landscape had somehow changed due to the recent incessant rain and heavy winds which had caused considerable wind damage knocking the crop flat where I thought the entry tramline should be. However, I decided we should walk further along the vertical tramline and we entered a horizontal tramline only to find it was the wrong one. Undaunted we tried another—another wild goose chase.
As you can image by that time we were all soaking wet having taken on the water from the heavily water laden barley seed heads as we walked down the tramlines. In addition, the plants had closed together and whereas the tram line was still there beneath our feet, we had to ease our way through the crop which was so high that it came to Anna’s neck - 'would anyone like to capitulate?', I asked. Not a bit of it, the whole family were game to last and such was the joy when we finally found it, having caused no damage on the way (except to ourselves), it made our sterling efforts all worthwhile. Anna had said she was freezing but by the time we had walked back to the cars, she said 'I am fine; I can’t feel my body at all now!' What a marvellous child, she will go far in life. 'A possible out of body experience', I joked!!!
We had booked to have lunch close by but it was quite obvious that we couldn’t possibly continue soaked to the skin as we all were wearing heavily wet clothes, so we drove back to Silbury Hill to collect my car before continuing to the hotel in Salisbury where the Alkire’s were staying. As I took my Wellington boots off, at least a pint of water poured out of each of them!!! Who would like to come on a private tour with me next year???!!!
Karen very kindly lent me a change of clothes. Oh the joy of being warm and dry again! Our never diminished spirits rose higher during lunch only to be dashed as news came from our plot that flying was out of the question due to the very gusty high winds and wet weather.
Close by was Old Sarum. Still completely unfazed we went in and wandered around the old ruins — IT WAS STILL RAINING!!!
We are told that Old Sarum is the site of the earliest settlement of Salisbury in England. Located on a hill about 2 miles (3 km) north of modern Salisbury near the A345, the settlement appears in some of the earliest records in the country. It is an English Heritage property and is open to the public.
The great monoliths of Stonehenge and Avebury were erected nearby and indications of prehistoric settlement have been discovered from as early as 3000 BC. An Iron Age hillfort was erected around 400 BC, controlling the intersection of two native trade paths and the Hampshire Avon. The site continued to be occupied during the Roman period, when the paths became roads. The Saxons took the British fort in the 6th century and later used it as a stronghold against marauding Vikings. The Normans constructed a motte and bailey castle, a stone curtain wall, and a great cathedral. A royal palace was built within the castle for King Henry I and was subsequently used by Plantagenet monarchs. This heyday of the settlement lasted for around 300 years until disputes between the Wiltshire sheriff and the Salisbury bishop finally led to the removal of the church into the nearby plain. As New Salisbury grew up around the construction site for the new cathedral in the early 13th century, the buildings of Old Sarum were dismantled for stone and the old town dwindled. Its long-neglected castle was abandoned by Edward II in 1322 and sold by Henry VIII in 1514.
Although the settlement was effectively uninhabited, its landowners continued to have parliamentary representation into the 19th century, making it the most notorious of the rotten boroughs that existed before the Reform Act of 1832. Most famously, Old Sarum served as a pocket borough of the Pitt family.
Steadily becoming wet again we drove to Stonehenge Visitors Centre and visited the really excellent exhibition and also had the luxury of a cup of warm tea or coffee in large café. At the appointed time we went to the stones by coach and guess what — it was STILL RAINING and our second set of clothes were as wet through as the first!
Never once was there a moan or grumble of any sort and if there were a medal for 'Croppie' endurance and gallantry, they would all have received one with my blessings. What a joy and how I hugged them for their marvellous spirit and wonderful good humour. They are truly an inspirational family!
However, you will be glad to hear that this story DOES have a happy ending as the next day the rain had been banished and the sun shone, allowing us to fly over the circles and Avebury, AND I was able to return Karen’s clothes, now dry!
We parted the greatest of friends and will definitely keep in touch.
Just a reminder to say that all the places for the 25th July crop circle tour and 3rd August are both full apart from cancellations BUT there are places available for the private entry evening tour at Stonehenge that day. I will be closing booking for that on the 24 June.
If you are interested in sharing a helicopter flight with me, I will add you to my list. I have to warn you that it is often at very short notice. Please send me your landline and mobile telephone numbers and where you live. It a really wonderful and magical experience.
I send you love and very best wishes
If you feel able please donate to enable me to continue my work.
P.S. I have just returned from flying to Target Wood, Nr Badbury Rings, Dorset with great friends who were so excited to be up in the air sharing the helicopter with me. We flew back via Stonehenge. It was a marvellously warm evening and I didn’t even need a jacket. Inside the helicopter at about a height of 1000 feet (303m), it was still 25 degrees! This formation has been likened to the Sephirothic Tree, the Six-pointed Star, the Unicursal hexagram.
The song below is a 13th century medieval song which I remember singing when I was at school. It has wonderful lyrics. Below the original version is a modern English translation.Svmer is icumen in
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ sed and bloweþ med
and springþ þe wde nu.
Sing cuccu!Awe bleteþ after lomb,
lhouþ after calue cu,
Bulluc sterteþ, bucke uerteþ.
Murie sing cuccu!
Wel singes þu cuccu.
ne swik þu nauer nu!
Sing cuccu nu, Sing cuccu!Summer is a-coming in
Loudly sing cuckoo
Groweth seed and bloweth mead
and springs the wood anew
Ewe bleateth aft-er lamb,
Calf loweth after cow,
Bullock starteth, buck farteth,
Merry sing cuckoo!
Well singest thou cuckoo,
Nor cease thou never now!
Sing cuckoo now, Sing cuckoo!
My huge apologies for this very late email, giving you some of the first crop circles, starting in April with several in oil seed rape (canola). This is the easiest crop for testing the veracity of the circle, as we have found that owing to the plant being hollow stemmed and brittle, if bent, it breaks at an angle of more the 40 degrees. I think I have sent you images in an earlier letter showing the distinct difference between both the man-made crop and the genuine one.
Sadly because the farmers would not allow anyone to visit the early circles, I was not able to check them out.
The second circle was at Waden Hill (part of the ancient sites all around that particular area, such as Avebury and West Kennet Long Barrow etc.) which in the olden days of long ago, in the time of our forefathers, would probably have been called Woden Hill after the Norse God who in Germanic mythology derived from the Norse God Odin, a widely revered god. He seemed to represent and be associated with a myriad of characters such as healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, battle, sorcery, poetry, frenzy, and the runic alphabet, and was the husband of the goddess Frigg.
Waden Hill lies in between the magnificent Silbury Hill and Avebury complex.
The vivid yellow flowers of oil seed rape (canola) plant have now faded and when flying over the fields they appear as a pale bluish colour.
The next crop to act as host to the circles is barley. It is a deliciously soft and seductive crop gently brushing against one's legs as one walks down the tramlines, (the bare lines in the fields running horizontally or vertically, used by the farmers to make sowing and spraying easier as a point of entry).
After a long dry and chilly period followed by days of much needed rain, a wonderful Goddess figure appeared earlier this week on the 22 May at Cerne Abbas, close to famous male fertility symbol. For the Goddess figure to arrive close by seemed a special balancing up of the two energies in the landscape.
Cerne Abbas is close to the little village of Ansty where the memorable circle appeared last year which drew visitors from all over the world. Sadly when I flew over it yesterday, it was so badly worn that it was almost impossible to photograph. I could see that the crop had not been a very dense one to start with and had become easily damaged.
And only yesterday another circle was discovered nestling directly below the Milk Hill chalk white horse. It was a very crisp pattern and looked wonderfully comfortable resting in the field of barley beneath its guardian above.
Usually any circle found along the Pewsey Vale is harvested out immediately, so it was all credit to Brian Reid, the kind farmer who has kept it in so far. Admittedly there are not many people around just at this early part of the season so the likelihood of his crop being damaged is hopefully slight. I do hope so anyway. I did go in the first day it appeared with Hugh Newman of Megalithomania and his mother Meg, who returned to the car as it was a long walk. On entering the formation I was struck by the quality of the crop as it felt almost as bouncy as when I was walking on a newly laid and very thick Wilton carpet of the best quality.
Whereas the majority of the crop seemed undamaged I did notice several tread marks from the soles of shoes left by people where they had trodden on the crop. I was wearing a pair of canvas shoes and I found it interesting to note that when I stood on the crop, my soles left no mark (I had no treads on the bottom of my shoes, also I only weight about 108 lbs (49 kilos). I do know that a friend of mine had been in before me with a colleague so that could explain the tread marks. But I will never know!
I examined as much as I could for further evidence but ran out of time. Many is the time when I am asked to pronounce on how many circles are man made and how many are genuine—this was an excellent example of the many times I have to say that 'I have no opinion' - in other words I do not know and cannot make a judgement as I was not the first person into the formation.
I flew over it yesterday taking two friends with me as the helicopter can take the pilot plus three passengers. Flying over the countryside always gives me and my passengers an enormous thrill and my heart gladdens to see an unspoilt landscape where cattle and sheep graze and crops are grown for our ever increasing demand for food. In addition, seeing the hills, sacred mounds, castles and winding rivers is an extra bonus. Soon there will be glistening fields of red poppies adding a touch of colour to the landscape. It was the artist L.S Lowry who always included a speck of red in all his paintings and it is extraordinary how that little speck can bring the whole painting to life. On a more mundane level, I love counting the number of houses that have swimming pools!
If you would like to join me in a helicopter flight, please contact me and send me your landline and mobile telephone numbers. It is often at very short notice.
Now that summer seems to be right on our doorstep, please remember to book if you would like to join me on one of my two wonderful tours. The crop circle tour on the 25th of July is fully booked but there are still spaces for the special private evening entry to Stonehenge the same day. I am closing the booking for that on the 20th June so please hurry if you would like to join me for an experience of a lifetime as the places are going quite fast.
If you would like to book for this visit and are not on the crop circle tour, I will join you with my group in time to go in. If you arrive early you might like to visit the really outstandingly good exhibition at the centre and if you say you are with me on that day, you can enter for free before going into the stones.
There are still just a few spaces left for the crop circle tour on Thursday the 3rd August with the optional extra of flying over the circles after the tour in a small plane.
It is expensive to fly, so if you feel able to make a donation I would be very grateful.
I see that it is some time since I last put pen to paper (or rather finger to keyboard) and since then we have come out of winter and are now fully into Spring. Hopefully all the hard frosts with their icy fingers that covered the leaves, trees and ponds have gone.
The clocks have gone forward and as I drive round the countryside and the little lanes in Hampshire and West Sussex, I see signs of new life everywhere. Yesterday I drove round the tiny little West Sussex hamlets of Iping and Stedham. The lanes, old drover’s tracks, are so narrow that when I stopped the car to get out and take a picture, there was hardly room for me to open the door! Either side of me, bluebells intermingling with primroses and white Stitchwort covered the high banks in a profusion of colour. I have never seen the banks so heavily carpeted in flowers.
It is the most, most exciting and magical time of the year and each year it never ceases to send tingles of excitement down my spine as the land reawakens after its winter slumbers, yarns, stretches and is slowly bursting into energetic life again. The mornings and evenings are both longer and when I get up each morning, I can see that the sun has travelled further across the heavens. The birds have changed their song and if by any chance you happen to wake up at about 4:30 - 5:00am you will be treated to a magnificent orchestra of many of different instruments all skilfully blending together in total bird song harmony. We are past the Spring Equinox and on our way to warmer days.
I am checking out my cameras and making sure that I have everything ready to go as the oilseed rape (canola) is bursting into bloom and when that happens we can expect the circles to make their reappearance. We have had many events in the past, some more remarkable than others. Herewith a small selection. (If you go into my photographic library and look over the years in the months of April and May, you will find many more.) http://www.lucypringle.co.uk/photos/index.shtml
Some of the ones we have had in the past have been quite remarkably beautiful such as the large ring with seven arcs spanning the centre on 23rd April 2007 at Oliver’s Castle, Nr Devises, Wiltshire.
The sixteen pointed 'Sunburst' formation at Avebury, Wiltshire on 23 April 2009.
And finally in 2010 we had and the amazing Wilton Windmill formation that was discovered on 23rd May. It could only be seen from the top of the windmill or from the air and the week-end during which it arrived, the windmill was closed. It was a complex circular formation of twelve segments, with eight concentric lines of differing length and number in each segment. It is a close approximation of Leonhard Euler's profound and beautiful equation - e^(hi)pi)1=0
Oilseed rape (canola) is one of the easiest in which to determine whether it is man-made or not. It is a well-known fact that due to the crop having a hollow based stem, it snaps when bent at an angle of more than 40 degrees. As a result, it would not able to make the circle without breaking, snapping, crushing or bruising the crop as the images show.
I would be so grateful for any help in supporting my photography and I would like to thank everyone who made a donation last year. You have no idea how hugely grateful I am and how much they mean to me, by helping me to continue with my research and allowing me to fly and take these wonderful pictures.
If you would like to join in helping me with my quest to bring pictures of the circles for the world to enjoy, please make a donation safely and securely through the PayPal button at the side of my 2017 crop circle page http://shop.lucypringle.co.uk/funding/
I would just like remind you that the crop circle tour on the 25th July is almost fully booked but there still places that day for the amazing Stonehenge private evening visit to Stonehenge http://shop.lucypringle.co.uk/
Some people might like to take part in the Stonehenge visit only and that is fine. I will join you with my group in time to go in. If you arrive early you might like to visit the really outstandingly good exhibition at the centre and if you say you are with me on that day, you can visit enter for free before going into the stones.
I will have to close the Stonehenge booking at the end of June so please hurry if you would like to join me on an experience of a lifetime as the places are going quite fast.
There are still a few places left for the August 3rd crop circle tour http://shop.lucypringle.co.uk/ This tour will have an optional extra of a wonderful flight over the circles in a small plane. Both are wonderfully exciting days.
I also have a list of people who would like to fly with me in a helicopter. The helicopter can take three people plus the pilot so that means there are two spare seats available. We fly from Thruxton, Andover, Hampshire with brilliant pilots. It is a fabulous experience and many people who have come with me before are on the list to join me again.
A very belated Happy New Year and may it be very good for you in every way.
I have recently returned from a wonderful holiday with my younger son Angus, super daughter-in-law and grandchildren in Thailand.
Thailand is a lovely country sandwiched between Laos to the north, Burma to the west, Cambodia to the south and Vietnam which lies to the southeast. On the whole it is a peaceful country apart from the occasional religious troubles in the south.
It is presently in mourning for King Bhumibol Adulyadej who died on the 13th October 2016. Having reigned for 70 years he was the world’s longest serving monarch. He was the only Thai king ever born abroad (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) and he was educated in the USA and Lausanne, Switzerland.
It is customary in Thailand on the death of its king for the period of mourning to continue for as long as a year. He was much loved and respected, having brought great stability to the country. He was revered almost as a God by everyone. Indeed the royal family is considered to be above reproach and woe betide anyone if they are caught saying anything derogatory about them; the punishment is harsh and immediate, resulting in a prison sentence.
Angus works for WHO (World Health Organisation) in Southeast Asia and has travelled extensively in that area on different postings.
I had not seen my three grandchildren for three whole years, an agony despite chatting regularly on Skype. It was just wonderful to get to know them properly all over again. Skyping is just not the same - there are no hugs. Three years is such a long time in a child’s life, and it was a joy to hear about their ideas, ambitions and thoughts on life in general and how they saw their futures. Mind you, these can change as there are so many options for the young nowadays and the work ethos in Southeast Asia is exemplary, so no problems getting them to do their homework etc! My elder son Sloane, from Sydney, was there too, so the whole holiday was completely perfect (despite the fact that I got a nasty chest infection on top of one I had already had!).
Angus lives outside Bangkok, but as always we went up to Mae Rim, a little village above Chiang Mai. It lies beneath the mountains surrounded by magnificent views, lush green vegetation of every hue and winding canals, all blending together, the scenery becoming a wonderful tapestry, a Natural Work of Art.
Every evening, the Evening Star Venus, led the way shining brightly in the unpolluted sky together with the other stars, which the longer I looked at them, seemed to come alive and breathe, and which have been there since the world was in its infancy.
I had first visited Chiang Mai some twenty five years ago when it was a small dusty village with one main street with small ones leading off — now it is a vibrant, sprawling metropolis, heaving with people of all nationalities. The heat and smells are still the same, some good and aromatic, some bad. A stranger could easily get lost in the bustling labyrinth of streets. As ever the food, fresh from the markets, is delicious. However, sadly a lot of the street markets have been closed including the wonderful flower markets - quite why, we didn’t really know. Luckily an excellent evening market remained, starting at around 5.30pm and continuing until late. It was full of an amazing array of goods, colourful clothes and shawls made by the hill tribes, whilst others sold fake designer goods of all description. Children and animals mixing in with their stall holder’s families brought an atmosphere of gaiety and a sense of unhurried family life as one wandered around stopping here and there. Bargaining was fun as usual for both seller and buyer and is a natural way of life. The starting price is nowhere near what they expect you to pay in the end, if you know the ropes, and my lovely Thai daughter in law is an expert!!!
We also visited a most special temple complex called Ram Poeng in the Suthep District of Chiang Mai. Thai Buddhists are all of the orange robed Theravada Order, the Forest Buddhists or sometimes called 'Southern Buddhists'. The name means 'the doctrine of the elders' - the elders being the senior Buddhist monks. It was in a most lovely tranquil place set with shady trees and various different temples all with magnificent mythological beasts proudly standing guard outside. My grandson remembered being taught Thai mythology as a young child and so was a font of knowledge about which splendid beast was regarded as being the Guardian of the Rivers or another being Guardian of the Hills etc. We wandered around and could have stayed much longer drinking in the peace and solitude of the place. The Temple complexes have a special quality and atmosphere all of their own, just like churches, except that the area in which they lie is much more extensive and thus the setting carries a greater expanse of 'energy'.
I don’t know when I have enjoyed a holiday more and I carry such happy memories away with me that when I go to bed, I feel I can open them up like a book I know and love, choosing which chapter I want to read and experiencing the joy and excitement all over again!!
I am now back and continuing to work on my book that seems to be slow in developing but which will definitely come to fruition before too long.
Christmas Approaches ~ Latest Posting Dates for 2016
As the festive season draws nigh, I think that maybe we forget the real meaning of Christmas. It is not simply a Christian festival celebrating the birth of the baby who was born to become an inspiration to the world, but it has universal meaning. We do not know the exact date of this event and was not until the 4th century AD that Pope Julius I set 25th December as the date for Christmas. All religions going back to Pagan times believed in a God or a Supreme Being, and religions throughout the world belief in an unknown, unseen Divine Mind, Energy or Presence.
The frosty weather continues, with the trees and grass glistening like jewels in the sunlight.
I have a little solar panelled garden owl that lights up at night and enhances the whiteness all around bringing with it a feeling of magic and beauty.
The picture of a fog bow by Melvin Nicholson appeared this week in the papers. It is quite a rare occurrence and happens in the same way as rainbows in that light is reflected inside tiny water droplets and emerges to form a large circle or arc of approximately 42°C centred on the antisolar point, opposite the sun.
I am sending you images of some of the exciting and unique gifts that you will find on my website that may just be the answer you are looking for that special present.
May this festive season bring you much joy and hope for the future for all mankind worldwide. The world has experienced difficult times before of suffering for many innocent people but I am a great believer in the fundamental goodness of the human spirit in overcoming these ills and allowing the Light to shine through.
With love and great blessings,
Below are some of the gifts in my online shop.
All Shop Products Latest Posting Dates 'Abroad' from UK ~ see below Latest Posting Dates within UK ~ see below
I can remember when I was a child how the excitement of Christmas built up day by day. Just as the summers were always sunny so the winters were cold, frosty and snowy and sitting in front of glorious log fires and toasting chestnuts or curled up reading an exciting book was all part of the fun.
Several weeks before Christmas it all started with elder my sister Amanda and I being allowed to stir the Christmas pudding; I think I must have been very young as I remember it was quite an effort getting the large wooden spoon to move at all but I can still recall the lingering smell of delicious spices.
Next came the decorations; being allowed to help with the parents with Christmas tree; gold and silver stars, yards and yards of sparkling tinsel, fragile glittering glass baubles of all shapes and sizes which had to be handled with greatest of care in case they fell and broke, and then the crowning glory of the angel which had seen better days, right at the top of the tree.
Decorations seemed to be everywhere throughout the whole house or so it seemed to me and the excitement grew and grew.
We made presents for our parents and relations. When very small we just wrapped silver paper round chicken wishbones and tied them with blue or pink ribbons; as we grew a little older we made mats and purses from multicoloured raffia and later we made hand-embroidered handkerchiefs and little sachets. We also made calendars and of course we always hand-drew or painted our Christmas cards.
We always had a large jigsaw puzzle going throughout the Christmas period and we still love doing them to this day and can sit engrossed for ages carefully selecting that special piece that should go in just there but doesn’t always!
The house was always buzzing with our huge family, grandmother, Great Aunt, Aunts, Uncles and cousins who came to stay over Christmas, beds were made up, and rooms that we were normally used for other things became bedrooms, and suddenly it was all happening.
I remember groups of grownups and children coming to the house and singing carols and if it wasn’t too late we could stay up and listen to them. As we grew older, we also learnt the carols ourselves and the one called the Holly and the Ivy was one of our favourites.
I used to get so excited that sometimes I became ill, so when there were children’s parties I was never told about them until a few moments before putting on my party dress!
Christmas stockings were the magical start of Christmas day. There was always an apple and an orange at the toe of the stocking and then it was packed with exciting little gifts such as yoyos and coloured crayons, rubbers and little colouring books. Of course it was during the war, so there was not a lot from which to choose and certainly they were not filled with the huge expensive things that are now used to cram a stocking. (In later years this was also a moment of huge excitement and anticipation for my two sons.)
We joined everyone for Christmas lunch and Christmas tea and pulling the Christmas crackers was the best part of all. The Christmas pudding (which I didn’t like) was full of small pure silver treats such as silver sixpences, silver horse shoes, the silver Bachelor's Button, the Old Maid's silver Thimble and a silver Ring.
Christmas seemed to last at least a week as some family members had come a long way. As soon as we were able to write, we were made to write our Thank You letters within the first week after Christmas (the same for Birthdays) and this has remained a habit.
So now with Christmas approaching again within a few weeks, I have some wonderful Christmas presents suggestions for you from my web site. Special and unusual presents that can be enjoyed by everyone.
I still produce the ever popular and wonderful calendars, and you will also find special wooden jigsaw puzzles. There is only place in the UK that still makes wooden ones and they also make them for Prince Charles. Being wooden they will last from one generation to the next and they contain special little pieces relating to the subject such a small crop circles in the Crop Circle puzzles and riding gear in the White Horse puzzle.
Despite the wonderfully clement UK weather, we now suddenly find ourselves in November and starting to think about Christmas and the all too frequent worry about what to give people as a present. My new gorgeous calendar continues to show stunning photographs from this year’s crop circles and could be just the thing you are looking for.
Since 2000 I have been producing these wonderful crop circle calendars, every page showing a main crop circle image plus a selection of side images, some of other crop circles and ground shots and others of flora, fauna and ancient archaeological sites - taking you on journeys not just in this time honoured Isle of Albion but worldwide - which has made it an unique, popular and special calendar reflecting the beautiful circles enhanced by these exclusive side images, all blending into a perfect marriage of great photography.
Bertold Zugelder graphics continue to grace every page. Also you will also find special monthly quotations, some ancient, and some modern. All will make you think and wonder!
It really is a perfect gift for loved ones, family, and friends old and new. The calendar is the only one produced to a very high standard with ring binding in order that it will remain strong and intact during the whole year. It opens up into an A3 format with date boxes large enough for you to make notes and appointments. It also shows the lunar information.
You will find copies of past calendars in the same much loved format on my web site; a few years have already sold out as they are now Collector’s Pieces.
So far my fine reputation of dispatching the calendars orders rapidly remains intact and I sell the calendars worldwide.
I have already sold half the calendars I ordered from the printers, so please put in your orders as soon as you can.
Crop Circle Tours 2017
I have had so many enquiries already regarding my ever popular crop circle tours, and the special private entry evening visit to Stonehenge, that I felt I should give you the dates herewith.
I will take the first tour on Tuesday 25th July and the second tour on Thursday 3rd August.
Both tours consist of a crop circle tour and then an exciting optional extra event in the evening.
I thought I should let you know that it may be quite a strenuous day as we do a lot of walking, but those who do not wish to be so active can come at their own pace or rest for a while. We meet at 10am at the Silbury Hill car park (Silbury lies between Marlborough and Calne on the A4). We will set off in as few cars as possible to visit the circles. We have lunch at a pub (lunch is not included in the price) and then set off again to visit one or more circles. Last year we visited a circle in the morning and two in the afternoon. If there is only one circle available to visit we will visit sacred sites such as the famous West Kennett Long Barrow. At about 4pm, I will take everyone to Avebury where you can wander around the stones and really do whatever you like or come to the wonderful Honey Street Cafe by the river and enjoy their delicious home cooked cakes and tea or soft drinks. It is a very relaxed day fitted to everybody’s needs.
For the optional extra of the special private entry visit to Stonehenge on Tuesday 25th July; those coming will meet again at 5.30pm at Silbury Hill when we will set off. This will enable us to enter into the inner sanctum of the stones and see the sun set behind the stones. It is a marvellous end to a hopefully wonderful day. There is also a really splendid museum at the Stonehenge centre which I strongly recommend and those on the tour with me can enter for free.
For people coming with me on Thursday 3rd August tour there is an optional extra of flying over the circles after the tour in the early evening and also seeing the surrounding historic countryside such as the ancient Avebury stone circle complex and famous and sacred Silbury Hill, the largest man made mound in Europe. This is an incredible way of viewing everything in all their majesty from the air.
Due to the vagaries of our weather, it is advisable to bring wet weather gear and strong walking shoes. Also please bring water as it can be thirsty work!
If you are interested, do please get in touch with me as the information will be available on my web site.
I will try and write again before Christmas.
With all my very best wishes of happiness and joy,
In light of the debate and controversy surrounding the amazing Ansty crop circle, I hope you will find the following interview with Karren Price helpful in clearing up certain areas of misunderstanding.
The hamlet of Ansty (situated in the south west of England between Salisbury and Shaftesbury, Wiltshire) is a small and sprawling village lying on the A30 between ancient high banked narrow lanes - clearly once used as drover’s tracks. In the southern part of the parish is White Sheet Hill, on which there are Bronze Age barrows including a long barrow. Ansty is in the Vale of Wardour. The A30 Salisbury to Shaftesbury road follows an ancient course, north-west of (and parallel to) the Ridgeway on the greensand terrace, and includes the steep northern slopes of White Sheet Hill.
The Church of England parish church of Saint James dates from before 1210 and is a Grade II listed building. The south wall of the nave is considered likely to be a survival from the original building, and the font is also Norman.
Boasting some 120 inhabitants, Ansty has no village shop or post office. Ansty Pick Your Own (PYO) is therefore the only amenity and lies directly on the A30. It is clearly marked with roadside signs.
Driving in, you enter a large area where cars can park and farm vehicles such as tractors can manoeuvre. The PYO shop abuts a large shed containing farm vehicles and other farming equipment. To the south, and closest to the shop, are rows of strawberries placed in pots shoulder high to prevent the interest of slugs and avoid soil-borne diseases - and to make picking easy.
They are often covered in white plastic sheeting to prevent rain damage and protect the fruit. Beyond lie the various rows of fruit and vegetables. Further still are the fields. From the image below you can clearly see patches of green in the standing crop showing Convolvulus cneorum (Bindweed) throughout the entire field, not just on the flattened wheat.
The crop circle was in the field beyond and to the left of the raised lines of strawberries. It is visible from the shop.
If a crop circle were being made during night or day during a two week period, as suggested by other reports (including the week that Karren was away), surely people picking and attending to the rows of strawberries or working alongside the field in which the circle appeared, would have seen marks in the field? They would have been clearly and unmistakably visible due to its proximity. If this is so, can we conclude that the event appeared in one night?
Ansty PYO is no ordinary farm shop. Consisting of a farm shop, tea room and kitchen, and despite being small in size, the farm shop, as well as basic items, stocks delicious teas and jams, honeycombs, and mouth-watering home baked pizzas, Eccles cakes and Sally Lunn current buns to name but a few. The tea room is where people come for coffee or tea and to feast on Karren’s freshly baked goodies.
Just as Ansty PYO is no ordinary farm shop, Karren Price (also known as K) is no ordinary person. Small, and as slender as a whippet with her light brown hair tied back in a ponytail, she is a whirlwind of activity. You will find her serving behind the counter or baking in the kitchen - where she says she is happiest - or coming through with platters of hot freshly baked food just out of the oven.
Married with two active young sons, she somehow seems to manage to combine all three activities. She told us her husband does a ‘proper’ job. One of the things we noticed was how Karren seems to be on such friendly relations with everyone who came into the shop. She told us that she has many regulars, some of whom come at different times of the year, some to pick or buy fruit, during the summer months, and later in the year for pumpkins and Christmas trees; whilst many regularly come to buy her produce.
Karren is ably assisted by cheerful helpers. Run as a family business, the fruit farm was taken over in 1998 and since then has developed into what it is today. On the wall behind the counter are pictures of several maize mazes that Karren told us she herself had designed and made in the fields with her team.
The first one she made took six weeks to design, plan and place in the field. As they gained experience and skill they were able to speed up the process with the advancement of technology ‘...but we never achieved it in a day - very far from it!’ When asked if she could make the recent crop circle, she laughed and said that given all the time in the world, she couldn’t possibly have done anything like that.
She will soon be framing and putting up two images I sent her.
This then was the setting when the crop circle appeared in early August, one of the busiest times of the year. As soon as word got around, Karren unthinkingly opened it to the public and was totally unprepared for the hundreds of people who descended on her shop and disrupted her already busy life. Armed with microphones, recorders, cameras etc., and wanting to speak to her and her staff, she was inundated, and swept off her felt feet as though she had been struck by a bolt out of the blue.
A naturally courteous person with a ready twinkle in her eyes, interview after interview was requested by all and sundry. Eventually she declined to enter into any further debate on the issue as she was so exasperated at how things she had said had been chopped, changed and edited.
Gary King and I kept in touch with Karren over this period, respecting her privacy and gaining her confidence. She was therefore prepared to give us one last and final interview on the subject.
On the morning of Saturday the 24th of September we met in the courtyard at Ansty PYO shop. Just at that moment the representative from Wiltshire Air Ambulance arrived to receive money Karren had collected from people visiting the crop circle. The circle had been harvested on 24th August.
Seeing that Karren was busy with shop full of people we decided to drive around, and later returned to Ansty PYO to have coffee. Karren spotted us, and as the shop was having a quiet spell, she suggested we did the interview there and then. Sitting in the tea room with cups of coffee, she told us her story.
She made it quite clear from the start that she did not want to be recorded on tape, nor did she want us to comment on any negativity already written about her or the event. She simply wanted to rectify a few untruths that had been printed. She started off by telling us that she wanted to thank everyone who had visited the circle and told us that she had met some really charming and interesting people as a result. Regarding the question about when she and her parents went on holiday, it was clear that confusion surrounded this and she wanted to clear it up.
Point 1. On the 31st July, Karren together with her husband and children went on holiday to Devon (she even showed us a photograph on her mobile of one of her sons with bucket of crabs he had caught dated the 2nd August and another dated 4th August of the bay where they had been staying). THE CROP CIRCLE WAS NOT THERE WHEN THEY LEFT.
Point 2. Karren and her family returned home late on the evening on 5th August.
Point 3. Early on the morning of the 6th of August Karren saw the circle from her bedroom window. This was the first time she had seen it, and it was complete. Therefore there are just seven days when it might have appeared.
Point 4. Despite reports to the contrary they did NOT go on holiday with her parents. Her parents went on holiday shortly after she returned.
Karren explained that she ‘sat’ on the circle for several days uncertain what to do about it. It was enormous, covering two acres of crop. Her husband has a drone and took several photographs of the circle. He said that people were already in the circle.
Her PYO lies close to two airfields, Compton Abbas just a few miles away, and Old Sarum near Salisbury. Planes fly over the farm constantly. As reported in a previous article, a farmer’s herdsman daily moved the line of the field overlooking the circle and in which the cattle grazed, in order to give them fresh grass. He saw no circle partly made, or being made, in the field below during those seven days. As word got around, Karren decided to open the crop circle to the public.
The famous crop circle web site, Crop Circle Connector (CCC) published the first photographs of the event on the evening of 12th of August. (They had been notified of the circle about noon that day and in case it might be cut-out, Mr Gyro - Mat Stainton - flew over it that evening and took some photographs. He regretted not being able to include the hill behind it due to the light at that time of day.)
Regarding the suggested involvement of the a small American, Bellingham-based company called ‘Mothership Glass’ (run by the artists Scott Deppe and Jake Collins who make glass pipes) and the similarity of their logo to the crop circle, Karren said she had never heard of Mothership Glass until Saturday 13th August. She has never communicated with them, nor has the secretive Mothership Glass responded to any communications from any crop circle researchers.
In addition, Karren wanted us to report that she has very good relations with her neighbours. This seemed clear to us anyway by the happy, friendly relationship she had with all the customers visiting her shop; many of whom were local.
Karren was delighted to donate the profits raised from people visiting the circle to the Stars Appeal - £1107.16 and £1275 split between the Somerset and Dorset Air Ambulance and the Wiltshire Air Ambulances. Together with other donations, this makes the total donated from the Farm Shop to charities this year - to date - to almost £8000! Karren also managed to squeeze in training for the London Marathon this year!. Coming from a small family run business that is an amazing achievement!
In conclusion, one thing in particular struck us both when interviewing Karren. This was her transparent honesty and her determination to tell the truth down to the very smallest detail. Unless you have witnessed this personally face to face, it is a quality that may not be apparent over the telephone - especially if she is busy. (We both consider ourselves good judges of character).
Several people may have been disappointed when trying to get in touch with Karren, and a previously arranged interview during a time when she is not busy is a very different scenario to speaking to her over the telephone unexpectedly and hoping for a verbal interview there and then, when she may be extremely busy at that particular moment serving customers or baking in the kitchen.
I will write more about the symbolism of this crop circle and the many other aspects in my annual article but until such time as there is photographic evidence of the crop circle being made (despite all the claims) or any concrete proof of exactly how or when it appeared during the seven day period, this event must remain a tantalising mystery.
If anyone would like to come with me on a helicopter flight and share the costs, please get in touch. It is the experience of a lifetime and a fantastic way of seeing not just the circles but also the surrounding countryside and often archaeological sites.
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