Penis shaped stones in the North

The sky has finally darkened up here in Kirkcudbright, Scotland. The lantern procession has begun. At the front is a gently lit and frailly beautiful paper replica of the Titanic.

There is an awed pause.

A dour voice crops up. ‘I’ wouldna be following that one.’

I do love Scotland.

Bagpipes do their merry droning thing and fireworks shoot off into the skies. I thought Scotland would be a great place to get away from the Jubilee but it seems Scotland will use anything as an excuse to get the bagpipes and plastic cups of beer out. I am slightly disappointed but it means I can stop attempting to say ‘aye’ in a stupid Scottish accent as to be fair, to go to a small Scottish town in midsummer, famous for being where The Wickerman was filmed and where there is currently a random parade of locals is quite simply asking for trouble. Or ritual sacrifice by fire.

Things are bad when I do not look like a virgin and I am thus tragically alive the next day. I decide to go in search of more paganisms and consulting The Modern Antiquarian, Julian Cope’s surprising yet wonderful book about stone circles and the only one thus far which has the word ‘cunt’ in its index, we drive though field and moor, almost getting bored with exclaiming how stunning it all is and yearning for an industrial park  to break up the unremittingly mountainous beauty.

Glenquicken is a lovely stone circle, one which I imagine to be somewhere more Southern would probably be featured in shitty calendars sold in train stations and have overpriced scones with clearly aerosol cream topping in the near vicinity for £5.95.

It is a perfectly round stone circle with an enormous central stone although someone on the Internet has darkly said that ‘it is almost too round…’ the three insinuating ellipses clearly hinting at black too nicely circumferenced deeds. Julian Cope thinks the central stone to be particularly phallic but I can’t see what is possibly phallic about an enormous engorged piece of rock looming powerfully above a small circle.

The area around is strewn with antiquity- graves, cairns and circles abound like some big Neolithic funfair. It has started to pour down; we tramp through the mist and come across another smaller circle, an apologetic little ring surrounded by mist, moor and mud. There is no sign of habitation for seemingly hundreds of miles. We stand and marvel.

Then a man sprints through the rain and miles of nothing in a small pair of shorts to shout across a joke about the weather and point towards a place where he bellows that more standing stones lie in a deep valley. Then he disappears again, waving cheerily as he disappears into a foggy mire of nothingness.

I think again how wonderful Britain is and begin the long walk back to a present civilisation.

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