Give A Dog A Bad Name…. Balance…. Stonehenge World Heritage Site…

by Bernie Bell - 07:30 on 10 February 2023

Give A Dog A Bad Name….

Someone in  ‘The Grey King’ observes that…. “A sheep-chaser can sometimes be given a home, somewhere away from sheep, without having to be killed….”

This brought to mind a memory for me.

When I was a little girl one of my Dad’s friends, who was a farmer, had a Collie dog that couldn’t be trusted – had been known to nip the legs of cattle.  He was a lovely dog otherwise, called Prince.  So Charlie Lafferty gave Prince to Dad, who took in pretty much any un-wanted creature – four legs or two legs, feathers or fur.

Dad was the Caretaker of a school and we lived in a house in the school grounds.  This was a Convent school and back then – 1960’s – the nun’s still wore the old-fashioned ‘Penguin’ habits.  They’d wash them and hang them out on the line to dry.  Prince took to ripping them off the line.  The cattle he used to ‘worry’ were big, black ones – he must have had some reason for going for black things, moving.   Maybe he had been kicked by a cross cow sometime.

Anyway - we couldn’t keep him, but Dad was able to find an alternative home for him - one where nun’s habits flapping about wouldn’t feature in his life.

This connects with another memory, and the observation in ‘Over Sea, Under Stone’ re. the Walker, that there aren’t as many ‘Tramps’ roaming the countryside as there used to be - also – something to do with signs that can be read by those who know how to read them.

The Convent school was in an old, Edwardian era building with big gate posts and big gates, opening onto a long driveway.  It had been a very ‘posh‘ house at one time.

The nuns used to give food to Tramps if they called at  the Convent kitchen door, and the Tramps used to leave marks on the gate-posts to let each other know that food was to be had without them having to traipse all the way up the drive and maybe get nothing.

I knew this because, in his youth, Dad had been an itinerant farm-worker, knew some Tramps and had learnt some of their signs about where a person of no fixed abode would be welcomed - and where they wouldn’t.


I was wondering, does that still  happen? Are the signs still the same or have they changed?  And – where and how long ago did they originate?  I wondered has anyone studied them?   So I Googled – and there’s a lot of information!  I’ll bung in the big link…


Lots of info - but where are the personal stories?   That’s the thing with info from the Internet – it often loses the human touch.



Returning to the idea of balance …. http://www.spanglefish.com/berniesblog/blog.asp?blogid=16137 …..  I remembered writing this to someone years ago, when discussing these themes….

“The whole Darkness/ Light business too.  My perspective is, that both are two aspects of one thing, that thing being the totality of LIFE, The Universe, whatever you want to call it.  It's a false division which has been put in place by people to frighten other people.  There is ONE LIFE, 'Darkness' and 'Light' are aspects of it.  Though, having said that, I also am certain that light can always dispel darkness.  Darkness can't infringe on light.  Where Darkness is, light can disperse it - whereas where light is, darkness can't creep up on it and dispel it or engulf it.  That's why, when troubled by troubled spirits, I place myself in the light and with the light.  I then try to help them not to be troubled, usually, but sometimes I know it's something which is too strong for me, so I ask for protection from and in the Light. 

Think about it.  Picture a darkened room, open the door, from a light exterior, and light floods into the room.  Picture a light-filled room, open the door from a dark outside, the dark doesn't flood in, does it?

It's like there’s a huge puzzle which is LIFE, but a person can only 'see' certain parts of it at any time.  You do your best to understand it, but you know that you can only possibly see parts of it, and dis-jointed parts at that.  So you put together what you can, and make sense of what you can, as best you can.  At the same time, trying to learn.  Learn about things and ideas, and about the life around you in relation to those ideas.  At the present time I feel that's all I can do.

I feel that I, and others, are groping our way, carefully in the darkness, trying to piece it together, but I also feel that it's just not possible to grasp in one life-time.”

It’s a recurring theme with me - that light dispels darkness…… https://theorkneynews.scot/2021/11/28/st-lucy-light-bringer/

I also maintain that there isn’t good and evil in the world, there’s wisdom and muddle.  Muddle is the absence of wisdom.  Gaining wisdom helps to clear muddle.

And meanwhile -  I try to  keep on keeping on… https://theorkneynews.scot/2017/11/05/keep-on-keeping-on/


Stonehenge World Heritage Site…

I received the following email from ‘The Stonehenge Alliance’   https://www.cpre.org.uk/opinions/the-high-court-challenge-to-the-stonehenge-tunnel/

Spring budget: Letter to ministers

Save Stonehenge WHS AND Save £2.5bn!

Please can you act today and demand Rishi Sunak and his Government deliver a budget that stops making things worse and starts putting things right?


Stonehenge World Heritage Site (WHS) and sustainable transport systems are under attack.

The proposed road scheme for Stonehenge, condemned by UNESCO and rejected by the Planning Inspectorate, is being redetermined by the Secretary of State.  

The Stonehenge scheme simply doesn’t add up economically.

We need to tell Government that the money should be re-invested in UK-wide public services. For example, we are at a tipping point with public transport being dismantled as a viable network in the UK.  

Whether you are a UK resident or not, please use the template below as a starting point and edit to personalise your response. This will give your letter greater weight. Below are some things you can add.


Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Rishi Sunak: rishi.sunak.mp@parliament.uk

Or email Cabinet Office and complete the form: https://contact.no10.gov.uk [The readymade letter below comfortably fits the 1000 character message window.]

Chancellor of the Exchequer  Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt: public.enquiries@hmtreasury.gov.uk 

Transport Secretary  Rt. Hon. Mark Harper: DfT.Ministers@dft.gov.uk  (This address has been updated)

Subject: Widening of A303 through Stonehenge World Heritage Site

Dear Prime Minister/ Chancellor / Transport Secretary,

The widening of the A303 through Stonehenge World Heritage Site is a bad idea. Your team of Planning Inspectors said it is hugely damaging to the archaeological landscape, with UNESCO threatening to withdraw the site’s World Heritage status if the scheme goes ahead in its present form.

All the evidence suggests that spending £2.5bn on this scheme makes little economic sense.  People the world over are realising that we cannot build our way out of congestion.  What is more, road building generates more CO2 and we need to get to net zero as fast as possible.  There are low cost, low carbon, heritage friendly options that the Department for Transport should investigate straightaway.

Funding saved from building this new road should be diverted to other essential public services including sustainable transport, to ensure more people can access the WHS without having to drive. You would avoid international condemnation as well.

Please add your home address to validate the email.

You can also write to your MP asking them to forward your concerns to the ministers.  More details here.

Thank you!”


Here’s one I made earlier…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2019/11/14/the-creed-of-greed-a-bit-of-a-rant/


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