Posted by: tabliope | July 7, 2008

the real magical realism is money

During my recent trip to England I took against English Heritage and its £6.50 admission fee to Stonehenge where you aren't even allowed to go and sacrifice anything on the stones – I could resurrect the old joke about virgins and England but it wasn't even funny in 1973 when I first heard it so we'll leave that alone.  Anyway, I'm so old I actually went to Stonehenge when you could touch the stones and get in touch with whatever it is you get in touch with when you do this.  And, joking apart, there was something quite wonderful about walking across a field in Wiltshire at dawn to look at the stones and go 'hey, man'.  After stopping at Stonehenge and boring everyone within earshot about how outraged I was about how we didn't need more visitor centres, about families who didn't have much money, about how we need to encourage our kids to appreciate our heritage  and I was fired up to write the definitive blogpost about something to do with philistines, money and culture.  But then I drove further into the West and discovered the magical mystery tour of the holy waterfall that is in private ownership and because it's so holy and mystical and important they charge £3.50 to see it.  It's got to be a good gig hasn't it? Charging us to see the countryside.  And they didn't even have a visitor centre. 

But what they did have was a tea room but they wouldn't let you into the tearooms unless you paid the £3.50 entrance fee to see the waterfall.  Despite the fact that the waterfall is 100 feet away from the tearoom.  This has got to be the best way of making money since knocking old ladies over and running off with their pension money so you'll be delighted to know that it's up for sale for £900,000 .  Holy water anyone?



  1. Harold Macmillan will be spinning ….

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