The Time, The Place, The People

Whenever, wherever, whoever. A journey through the British landscape, her stone circles, her pagan ancestry, and through the cycle of the year.


is a columnist and author with four books to his credit: Fierce Dancing (Faber & Faber 1996), Last of the Hippies (Faber & Faber 1999), Housing Benefit Hill (AK Press 2001) and The Trials of Arthur (with Arthur Pendragon, Element Books 2003). Columns have included Housing Benefit Hill and CJ Stone’s Britain in the Guardian Weekend, On The Edge in the Big Issue, On Another Planet in the Whitstable Times and Written In Stone in Prediction magazine. He is currently working on two new columns, and his latest book, the “biography” of a well-known supernatural being. He lives in Whitstable in the UK and, when not at his desk, is a part-time postman, which he describes as “like a four-hour workout every morning”. He is almost exactly 20,000 days old. See above for link to the website.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bear Nation

It was after this that I first heard a bear speak. It was Lydia. She was walking up and down by the fence making this noise. It is a unique and unmistakable sound, like a plaintive nasal cry, slightly wistful, slightly melancholic. The Latin name for bear is "Urs" and that is exactly the sound they make. "Ur?" It's a question. There's a questioning tone to it, like something you might ask of the mountains, of the wind. Something slightly sad. "Why have you left me, Ur? Where have you gone, Ur? Why do all us creatures have to die?" You can hear the peaks of the mountains in its voice. You can hear the breathing nearness of the wind. You can hear the echoes of the forest. You can hear the lonely miles of travel. You can hear mortality and loss.


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