Monday, 28 January 2019
On Silbury Hill and belonging
I have just finished reading Adam Thorpe's excellent book 'On Silbury Hill'. It is much more than an introduction to Europe's largest man-made prehistoric mound - covering the theories as to how and why it was built; accounts of the archeological digs that tried to discover what (and if) anything lay within; and the personal relationship that the author (and others) has had with it. The book is also part autobiography, part gazetteer of the Wiltshire ancient sites, a quick dip into paganism/druidism, and a lament on what we have lost in our uptake of all things technological.
Belonging is something that many of us today have a vague notion of. The 'staying put' in one place is not very 21st century and slightly frowned upon, so we have thin strands of 'life' that connect us to several places. Me? London (born), Hertfordshire and Surrey (lived), Wiltshire (fanciful ancestry). To some, it is a big deal. I was once in a pub with a work colleague, who had a Belgian Father, French Mother and was born in Northern Ireland. He had a strong Ulster accent. We were talking about 'belonging' when he stood up, slightly the worse for wear, and shouted at the top of his voice, "IT'S ALRIGHT FOR YOUSE LOT, I HAVEN'T GOT A F**KING CLUE WHERE I BELONG!"