came upon Stonehenge, as if by accident, despite plotting
a route, and overawed by its perfect circle, we drove right
past it! We bought designer umbrellas from the gift shop,
pressed the tape recorders to our ears, as we solemnly walked
in the cold wet summer morning.
Together with about 200 other tourists we walked the circle.
The British voice on the tape recorder made us stop in specific
places, and spoke to us about the archaeological significance
while postulating about the history of the people who came
These blocks of blue-green rocks, were majestic in stature,
but they did not belong to the immediate terrain since the
geological composition placed them a few hundred miles away.
The low mounds that surround Stonehenge, are in fact mass
graves. And I stood in my wet shoes and I wondered how much
manpower hours had gone into perfecting the symmetry and
whether men had just died in carrying and placing these
It was as though Stonehenge was the ultimate symbol of the
cycle of life, work and death. I wondered how many wives
and children had lost their bread winners, in the name of
Malaysia had built the Petronas Towers, Singapore had built
the Merlions, consciously, in order to stimulate a flow
of money into the economy. But the builders of Stonehenge,
right stack in the middle of nowhere, whatever else they
wanted, they succeeded in creating a massive spectacle of
a piece of real estate.
Value of land
Legend has it that the devil purchased the stones from an
Irish woman, and brought them to Salisbury and announced
that one will ever know how the stones got there. A friar
overhead and said: Thats what you think,
at which the devil threw a stone at him and stuck him in
the heel. Today, a special stone in the lot is called the
In 1915, a man named Chubb bought Stonehenge for £6,000
as a present for his wife. She later donated it back to
the people, together with some 30 acres of rolling English
The property is now owned by the National Trust and some
farmers occupy the land as tenants. It is listed as one
of UNESCOs World Heritage Sites. This means that is
price is now way above market, and that it is expensive
All land has value, but it depends on what use we put it
to, whether for monuments, for farming or for housing.
As we left Salisbury, the rolling countryside gave way to
The apartments opened onto the pavements and were excessively
high priced, and wonderfully small. Lace curtains, all in
white, hung in many windows.
Next day, we would board a flight to cross the Atlantic
Ocean, and get home just in time to go back to work. The
cycle of life, of living and loving, saving and sharing,
it goes on.