We went out, one morning recently, into a darkly overcast and mist-filled day. Just as we came round the corner my eye was drawn to a cloud of rooks right at the edge of visibility. These are the one and two year-olds. I must mention here that the rookery, or at least the large group of trees where most of the rooks nest, is half a mile or so in the other direction. So this bunch of eighteen to thirtys had chosen to be well away from home. As you can see, the purpose of the meeting was quite simply to be able to indulge in beach barbecues and mud wrestling etc. away from adult supervision. It all happens at this time of year.
Did you see that the latest research at Stonehenge and various other Henges, has turned up a surprisingly large litter of well gnawed pig bones? Those deeply religious processions and services to the Moon or Sun or whoever, beloved of archaeologists, may possibly have taken place but the congregations would have been small, most of the attendees were there to have a party. Serious eating and drinking were the main attraction. If the people in those far off days were anything like their modern-day cousins, there was probably a fair amount of mingling and extending the gene pool going on too.
Then there are all those cast-away amphorae that litter the beaches near the tin mines way down in the south-west of Britain. Some of them appear to date back to the Phoenicians. I’m sure that one of the reasons they came was for the tin.
But after a few thousand years of ‘The Stonehenge Experience’ – we Brits do know how to give a good party, you know.