Chapter the Eigth
Papa Bouiloire Goes to Stonehenge and Bath!
Wherein is recorded how I trod in a cow pat.
As I had been invited to accompany the students to Stonehenge and Bath on Saturday, my plans were fixed, and accordingly I decamped to Balliol to board the coach to these well acknowledged wonders. The weather continuing remarkably hot, the coach was already heated to an unpleasant warmness which grew steadily as the journey progressed. As there were 60 teenagers squeezed into the omnibus with no perceptible air conditioning the atmosphere rapidly grew nauseating and I was obliged to sniff at my curried egg sandwich (sensibly pre-purchased to stave off starvation) in the vain hope of distracting my olfactory protuberance from the miasma.
An hour’s journey through the delightful English countryside brought us to Stonehenge. This wonder appeared on the horizon and I felt a frisson of excitement steal down my spine as I sat in expectation of seeing this most mysterious of structures in close proximity. I felt instinctively that I would feel the ancients’ presence as I stood near to the very stones where who knows what sort of barbaric and bloody rituals (or indeed some pastoral readings of the solstice) had taken place.
Unfortunately such expectations were fruitless as we discovered that, once the coach had parked amongst the sea of coaches in the most unattractive parking area, the wait to get into the area to see Stonehenge itself would be 3 hours at least and as we had to go to Bath and back in a day we could not see Stonehenge!
Determined not to leave without a least a glimpse of the Henge, I found my way into a field and braving the cows which grazed at a distance I scaled a small culvert and saw Stonehenge at a distance generally obscured by barbed wire and masses of swirling crowds. I took a few desultory photographs and then crossed back through the field, treading on the way in a large cowpat that not only decorated the sole of my shoe but the sides as well.
I did what I could to remove the majority of the pat and trudged back to the coach, the last vestiges of mystery and romance torn asunder. As I saw some other unfortunate tourists making the most of their misfortunes by climbing about on some barrows in the distance I boarded the coach and turned my thoughts to Bath.
If you feel inclined to explore more of Papa Bouilloire’s letters then you can find them all HERE