Harold’s Stones, Trellech, Monmouthshire

How Not to Listen to the Land

My trip to listen to the Harold’s Stones turned out to be a masterclass in how not to listen to the land. If you are looking to have a rubbish listening experience that leaves you feeling vaguely disappointed in yourself, just follow my handy point-by-point guide.

1.     Try to find the Harold’s Stones using a 4 miles to 1 inch road map of the whole of Great Britain, because you are too tight to buy an OS map of the area.

2.     Assume that if you get lost you will have a mobile signal so that you can google your way out of it.

3.     Fail resoundingly to find the Harold’s Stones.

4.     Get annoyed with yourself.

5.     Be too proud to ask locals for help.

6.     Get even more agitated because the evening light is perfect for photography. Torture yourself with thoughts of the amazing images of the stones you could capture, if you could only find them.

7.     Nearly cause an accident by driving with one eye on the road and the other on the hunt for a field with stones in it.

8.     See the Harold’s stones! Drive for ages to find somewhere to park.

9.     Rush back to the Harold’s stones to capture the last bit of light, with bits of camera, lenses and tripod flying akimbo.

10.  Be in such a hurry to take your photos that you forget to honour the site. Just dash up and without asking, start taking photos as if you were born to be on Instagram.

11.  Realise what you’ve done. Say you’re sorry. 

12.  Half-heartedly and shame-facedly try to listen, knowing that you’ve just shown the Harold’s Stones that you are a disrespectful buffoon. 

And if you really want to make an extra special mess of it, here are couple of additional pointers for later:

13.  Find out that your photos weren’t any good, anyway.

14.  Realise later that you missed two other sites – a holy well and a Norman motte – in the same village.

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