At Stonehenge, Taking Pictures of Everything BUT Stonehenge.

The town of Swindon in the UK has the reputation of being a bit of a cultural wasteland. When I told an English person in the States that I was visiting a friend in Swindon, he wrinkled his nose and said "Good Luck." I was a bit surprised, then, to arrive on the farm at the close of an International Poetry Festival being held there at Lower Shaw Farm. The farm is absolutely divine and has a wonderful energy about it. It used to be a center for community living, but after the community dispersed, Jake the Juggler (a circus friend of mine) and his parents live on the farm and operate it as a Bed&Breakfast, event center, organic farm, yoga and spiritual center, and circus arts training center. They hold daily yoga classes, host WWOOFers (sp? volunteers that come from all over the world TO all over the world to volunteer on organic farms), festivals such as the Poetry Festival and the Swindon Literature Festival, hold mushroom picking excursions, and so so much more. All this is on top of general daily upkeep of the farm, which features greenhouses, massive vegetable gardens, two massive grey and black pigs, three very vocal and bushy sheep, loads of chickens, and a flock of very social ducks who wander around contentedly quacking and nipping lovingly at whoever takes the time to sit down near them. Jakes father, Matt Holland, is an author who organizes a good deal of the cultural events, and Jakes mother, Andrea is an absolute hero and makes sure everything on the farm runs smoothly. She's the kind of woman who can make five loads of bread from scratch before breakfast and still have a massive smile on her face. I had planned originally to leave a day early and spend a day in London sightseeing as well, but my time on the farm was so absolutely divine that seeing London seemed to pale in comparison. Jake and I got in a bit of slacklining and circus fun here and there, but the best day by far was our neolithic history tour around Wiltshire. There are tons of old tombs and monuments still standing in Wiltshire from the stone age people living in UK from about 4000 BCE - 6000 years ago. The crowned jewel of which, of course, is Stonehenge. We spent at least a good hour at stonehenge, doing circus tricks on the grass there (Jakes an amazing juggler, he can juggle three pins while balancing a fourth on his chin), and walking around blatantly taking pictures of tourists taking pictures of other tourists. So fun and funny, I highly recommend spending your day at popular tourist destinations just taking pictures of other tourists. Some people do some really incredibly silly things.