Stonehenge and Littlest Pet Shop, a Match Made in…the Oven!

Littlest Pet Shop/Stonehenge cake, photo used with permission

Littlest Pet Shop/Stonehenge cake, photo used with permission

Stonehenge replicas? You must be weary of us bleating on about them. We’ve decided that for the next few posts we will talk about other, more widely varied things, like a children’s show called Littlest Pet Shop, some handmade glass marbles, the game of crazy golf, and a housing complex in the States, then maybe even a festival dedicated to old time car racing. That should get us out of our rut!

EXCEPT—there’s something that all of those things have in common. What could it possibly be? Hmmm… *drums fingers against head* Oh. Right—the picture at the top may already have given it away: STONEHENGE REPLICAS!!!! Surprise! We’ll bet you weren’t expecting that. Heh.

Yes, people of all gender identities, please observe the picture above. Behold the cake that is a mash-up of the children’s show Littlest Pet Shop and the millennias-old Stonehenge monument! A kawaii cakehenge. Who would do such a thing, you ask? The Ebola virus? A member of Parliament? Kim Jung Un?

No, it was made by a lovely lady called Alycia Maltby, who then posted a picture of it on the Clonehenge Facebook group (as all hengers should. It’s the law, you know.), seemingly with no fear of reprisal! She had two birthdays in her family, her father’s and her niece’s, and she decided to please them both with just one cake. We’re going to assume her niece is a Stonehenge fan, and her father watches Littlest Pet Shop religiously, but we could be wrong.

We confess we have, in the past, suggested the possibility of a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Stonehenge. This is not so far off from that. At first glance, we admit, we thought we glimpsed good old Twilight Sparkle. But this is even more remarkable for being original, and being a cake!

Score: 6 druids! When we started the Clonehenge blog many years ago, it wasn’t because of beautiful Stonehenge models rendered so truly to the real monument that it took our breath away. No, it was the result of having seen a Vienna sausage henge and then a cheese puff henge, and thinking, “All of humanity should see this!!!” (We think with a lot of exclamation  points, okay? Neuro-punctuation experts are even now researching how to extract them.)

To this day we continue to award extra druids for being in the spirit of Clonehenge, and in this case, that more than makes up for the odd, leaning, partial Stonehenge we see before us. Cakes are only so big, after all. All of the work is beautifully done and the flowers and butterflies are, shall we say, the icing on the—er—rather, the cherry on top.

Our thanks to Alycia Maltby, her niece, and her father. May this inspire more, similarly wacky, people!

Don’t forget—we suggested the Godzilla/Hello Kitty mash-up a long time ago, and it’s still up for grabs!

Until next time, friends, happy henging!

The Eternal and the Momentary—the Trilithon Fountain of Lanjaron, Spain!

trilithon fountain,  photo from the Lanjaron website

trilithon fountain, photo from the Lanjaron website

There are a few Stonehenge-like sculptures and fountains scattered around the cities of the world, but we hadn’t heard of this one until Mr. Dean Travchav Phillips posted it in the Clonehenge Facebook group. Nice find, we must say! Happily, this brings us to 80 large permanent replicas, and you know what that means, right? It means you live on a planet with an incredible number of Stonehenge-obsessed maniacs! What could be more fun??

We know little about this fountain except that it’s in the center square of Lanjaron in southern Spain, and the name of the sculptor is Ramiro Megías. There is a page about the inauguration of the sculpture/fountain here. Its title is something like Living Fountain, or Fountain of Life, and it is meant to bring together the timelessness of the stone with the moving waters and figures of children, along with the old couple who seem to exemplify lasting love. See a photo from another angle here.

The timeless and the momentary—that’s what we’re all about here at the Clonehenge blog: the timelessness of Stonehenge and the fleeting moment of enjoying that Stonehenge cake; the eternity it takes us to get around to doing a new post and the seconds it takes you to read it and forget it. It’s the balance of life.

Trilithons in a way represent balance, the two sides supporting the lintel evenly to create a structure that has an impact greater than its parts. Maybe that’s part of why people all over the world build Stonehenge replicas. We have records of large permanent Stonehenge replicas on every continent. Wherever modern man goes, Stonehenges follow. It’s a strange phenomenon. Someone should write about it!

We did discover one distressing thing, however. We were looking at available emoji for our iPad keyboard and what did we discover but—AN EASTER ISLAND HEAD!!! No Stonehenge emoji, but they have an Easter Island head (aka moai)? Who ARE these people? We have to find some way to demonstrate that Stonehenge replicas are way more prevalent around the world and in the human psyche than moai. And also get a Stonehenge emoji added to the lexicon, so to speak. Whom do we contact? This needs to happen, and soon!

Luckily, we never lose our focus and wander off topic.

So, until next time, then, henge nerds, happy henging!  (And hang onto your henging hats—because some unprecedented and really fun henging news could be in the offing, taking henging to a whole new level! Stay tuned.)

Now You Can Live Near Stonehenge—in China!

Stonehenge replica at Hefei, China  (STR/AFP/GettyImages)

Stonehenge replica at Hefei, China (STR/AFP/GettyImages)

This is a new (to us) large permanent replica: number 79 for our list! We thank Hengefinder Extraordinaire Pete Glastonbury for finding it for us—and it’s a good one! This remarkable replica is in the Chinese town of Hefei, associated with a housing development. Hey, who wouldn’t want to live there???

Hefei Stonehenge with high rise backdrop (STR/AFP/GettyImages)

Hefei Stonehenge with high rise backdrop (STR/AFP/GettyImages)

We have posted Chinese replicas in the past, small ones in those parks that are so popular there, with replicas of famous buildings from all over the world. They tend to be unusually well done, sometimes actually resembling Stonehenge itself, something that, oddly, is not that common among Stonehenge replicas.But this has them all beat. If only we knew who designed it, who built it, whose idea it was in the first place, whether it aligns with the sun’s movements, and what it’s made of. But no.

So this is brief. Score: 8 druids! Very well done! The sheer variety of Stonehenge replicas and reasons to build them continues to amaze us. Oh, the humanity! What even are we? Is Stonehenge building the true meaning of life? [hint: But, of course!]

Until next time, friends (and it may not be so long this time), happy henging!

Our 400th Post: No Stonehenge, No Replica. It’s the Modern Long Barrow at All Cannings!

Artist's impression of what the finished Long Barrow will look like, (c) Peter Dunn

Artist’s impression of what the finished Long Barrow will look like, (c) Peter Dunn

Despite the fact that we have in effect left this blog on its own like a kitten at a rubbish tip (or dump, if you prefer), it has somehow matured to the ripe age of four hundred posts. To celebrate all of those magnificent and ridiculous Stonehenge replicas, what have we chosen to feature? A new Sconehenge? The long-awaited Space Station replica? (we wish!), a Stonehenge replica owned by Angelina Jolie or Justin Bieber? (please, no!)? Absolutely not. Instead we are featuring something that not only is not at all a Stonehenge, but is also not actually a replica. BECAUSE IT’S OUR BLOG AND WE CAN DO WHAT WE WANT!!!

And what is this delicious non-henge confection we are serving up to you today? It is the remarkable and brand new Long Barrow at All Cannings. Its website says:

Inside the longbarrow at All Cannings

Inside the Long Barrow at All Cannings, photo by Joby R. J. Wheatley

The Long Barrow at All Cannings is a columbarium or place for cremated remains in urns to be kept. It is being built in 2014 in the style of a traditional long barrow in natural materials, but made relevant for today in its internal layout. It is aligned to the sunrise of the winter solstice when the sun will illuminate the internal stone passageway.” Yep, you still gotta have that sunrise alignment!

To help us tell you about the long barrow, we have pretended to be responsible journalists/bloggers and interviewed the man behind the barrow, the increasingly famous Tim Daw, writer of the Stonehenge-related blog Sarsen.org. (If you’re a Stonehenge fan, it should already be on your blogroll!) Mr. Tim Daw is a staff member at Stonehenge for English Heritage, and owner of Cannings Cross farms. We’re told he is rather handsome, although of course we wouldn’t know, since we personally are attracted only to Stonehenge and its replicas*.

Clonehenge: What made you decide to build the long barrow? Was there a moment of inspiration, or was this in the back of your mind for a long time?

Tim DawIt was a moment of inspiration that brought together various long cogitated thoughts; it would be nice to build a barrow for myself, lots of people need a place for cremated urns that is a bit special and has a spiritual quality which is hard to find elsewhere, somewhere to revisit and remember;  WOW! this is a great spot.

Clonehenge: How would you say your long term knowledge of Stonehenge and the nearby landscape of Wiltshire’s distant past affected your inspiration and decisions about the long barrow, its purpose and construction?

Tim Daw: I think it made me want to make it authentic and real but not a copy or pastiche. Using ancient techniques but not bound by play acting reconstruction. And making it worthy to be alongside the other monuments in the area.

The barrow during construction, photo by Paul Robinson

The barrow during construction, photo by Paul Robinson

And therein, we think, lies the secret of the fine quality of this barrow. If you have been reading the Clonehenge blog from the beginning (We know you haven’t, but please just play along?), you have heard us talk about the sacred landscapes in Wiltshire, not only Stonehenge, Avebury, and Silbury hill, but cursuses (cursi?), long barrows, round barrows, avenues, and more.

Mr. Daw has been taking this in, dwelling in the midst of it, his whole life, developing a deep respect for the history and the land itself. That relationship reveals itself in the understated excellence of the design and his choice to pay for the finest quality stone work. The barrow is not only a folly and a place to deposit a loved one’s ashes with reverence and permanence. It is, in the best sense, also his gesture to that sacred and legended land that surrounds it and perhaps to those who once did and those who still do revere it.

But hey, what do we know? We’re a humourous blog, much more suited to embarrassingly-shaped vegetables than to that sort of talk! We’re running out of time, so to make a long story short, we say: this is your chance: £1000 pounds to be your own barrow wight seems like a bargain to us! And what if that ancient theory about the solstice sun when it enters the barrow bringing the dead to life turns out to be true? That’s more than your money’s worth, right there.

Sure, this isn’t a Stonehenge replica, but to us it points up the things that make most Stonehenge replicas ridiculous. Stonehenge is an ancient monument which is a unique part of humanity’s deep history, placed in a landscape that still resonates with the reverence of many thousands of years of inhabitants, some of  whose descendants still live there today. No Stonehenge replica, from two upright carrot sticks with a cross carrot on top, to the most carefully accurate full-sized replica, can approach that essence of what Stonehenge is.

But in All Cannings there will now be a long barrow of modern construction that, while it is not a Stonehenge replica in any other sense, may have captured a whiff of the ineffable weight and meaning of Stonehenge both on the land of which it is a part and in the psyches of those for whom Stonehenge and its ancient companions have become an obsession.

Whoever THEY are.

And until next time, friends, happy henging!

*We say things like this because Clonehenge is supposed to be a humourous blog. The truth is, we are, of course, attracted to megaliths of all kinds.

P. S: We did ask Mr. Daw if he was planning to add some Easter Island heads to the property later. He said no, but he might add some gibbets in preparation for The Glorious Day….

Game Henges: Trash Goathenge. Ruin your cultural heritage!

Goathenge, photo by Jake Crimmins, used with permission

Goathenge, photo by Jake Crimmins, used with permission

from Venture Beat's Goat Simulator guide

from Venture Beat’s Goat Simulator guide

Virtual henges: no one likes to talk about them, but they are the dirty secret of a persistent reality in the Stonehenge replica world. Hardly a gaming world gets invented without a Stonehenge in it somewhere. Some have several—why should they be limited to one puny Stonehenge like our world is?

Maybe you’ve heard of  the game Goat Simulator. It has created a sensation in the gaming world in the short time since it was released, as much for its bugginess and simplicity  as for its game features. The game is played from the point of view of a goat and the goal is to wreak as much havoc as you can. And, of course, what would be more fun to trash than Stonehenge?? The copy reads, “Trash Goathenge: knock down all of the tall stones. Find Stonehenge and knock down every rock.” “Trash Goathenge. Ruin your cultural heritage.” We especially relish that last one. Almost makes us want to take up gaming! Actually it’s good to know that Stonehenge is still so much a part of pop culture that it shows up in games like this. And there’s something that feels right about goats and Stonehenge.

Another trendy game with a Stonehenge scene is Tearaway, a game in which everything appears to be made of sugar paper (construction paper if you’re from the wrong side of the Atlantic). Granted, you have to be watching for this one, but it’s there. In the following picture, you can see the paper Stonehenge below the main character and to the left.

screenshot from the game Tearaway

screenshot from the game Tearaway

Another Stonehenge, made in this case by a friend of the blog, James Brocklehurst, can be found in Minecraft on Snakeskin.

Stonehenge in Minecraft, on Snakeskin, made and imaged by James Brocklehurst

Stonehenge in Minecraft on Snakeskin, made and imaged by James Brocklehurst

It’s a little lumpy, but we’re told that underneath it is the Pandorica. If you don’t know what that is, drop your device right now and go watch the entire Doctor Who oeuvre! Not that you have to watch them all to know what it is, but it’s clear you haven’t watched them, which means you need to. Go ahead now. See you later.

Eternity Stonehenge, from Gamezebo's walkthrough

Eternity Stonehenge, from Gamezebo’s walkthrough

Stonehenges can also be found in games like Eternity and Mystery P.I.—The London Caper. Don’t ask us what platforms these games are on. We  don’t even know what that means. Just savour the henges, which show evidence of someone actually having looked at Stonehenge before designing them!

Stonehenge in Mystery P.I.—London Caper from Gamezebo's walkthrough

Stonehenge in Mystery P.I.—London Caper from Gamezebo’s walkthrough

We hoped to include more in this post, but there were so many game replicas that other kinds of virtual henges will have to have their own post.We have no doubt that readers will want to tell us about Stonehenges in other games. Please do, and we’ll include them in another post somewhere down the line. So far no Easter Island heads among these. Don’t send us anything that would ruin that for us!

Our thanks to inimitable friend of the blog Jake Crimmins for sending us the Goathenge and inspiring this post! And to James Brocklehurst for supplying the picture of his Minecraft henge. We have so many  non-virtual Stonehenge replicas needing to be posted that we have probably forgotten most of them. If you want to keep up, you can join the Clonehenge group on Facebook (or—get professional help!), where they get posted as we discover or learn about them. You would be surprised how often a new one gets posted. The world has a bad Stonehenge infection, and Stonehenge pop up all over like pustules. We’re just lazy about putting them here.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy gaming day to have a look at Clonehenge, and until the next time, friends, happy henging!

Stonehenge For Sale! In Australia!

 

Stonehenge Esperance, from the Real Estate listing

Stonehenge Esperance, from the Real Estate listing

We don’t usually list real estate on Clonehenge, but we’ve learned that in the realm of Stonehenge replicas, nothing is out of the question. Today there is a full-sized Stonehenge for sale, in conjunction with a cattle farm and luxury home, in Western Australia! And although we are posting this on April 1, this is not a joke. The real estate video (enjoy the music!):

We followed the building of this henge from when its stones were commissioned by Ross Smith, through the awkward stages of when he didn’t have the money to build it to when the Beales bravely decided to erect the abandoned stones on their property, watching that process as it progressed until it was built, and, as some said, better than the original, and now the “pink Stonehenge” is up for sale! Who will buy it? What will they do with it? Stay tuned for the news at 11:00!

Stonehenge Esperance, from the real estate site

Stonehenge Esperance, from the real estate site

So if you have $5 million Australian—and who doesn’t these days?—the dream is yours. You might miss the sheep, but on the other hand, you get an ocean view! And, as one site reminds us, “Unlike the English Stonehenge … this one is not broken.

Good luck in the bidding, and we don’t think we need to remind you, we have a very important birthday coming up. Hint hint!

Sountil next time, generous friends, happy henging!

Chip Henges: They’re the Latest Thing!

Stonehenge with chips and mushy peas, by Prudence Stait

Stonehenge with chips and mushy peas, by Prudence Staite

This won’t be a long post. We just want to keep you informed, Gentle Readers!Lately friends have drawn our attention to a couple of chip henges, or as the crasser parts of the globe might say, French fry henges. And we want to share them with you here, to enjoy with a fine ale and perhaps some fried fish (or, if you must, a burger).

The one pictured above was created by artist Prudence Staite, not to be confused with Firefly‘s wonderful Jewel Staite. Ms. Staite also created a cheesehenge a couple of years ago. Perhaps we should interview her on the blog! To quote the article that featured the photo, “Ms Staite’s edible art was commissioned to celebrate Chip Week 2014, which is organised by the Potato Council.” It reached our attention via Visit Wiltshire and the revered friend of the blog Rian Edwards, and very nearly by author Mike Williams as well. Thank you to them all!

Perhaps Chip Week was equally the inspiration for the other henge we’re featuring in this post:

Chip henge from the BBC's Room 101

Chip henge from the BBC’s Room 101

Not having seen the piece from which this chip henge was extracted, we don’t have any context for it. But it was sent to us by alert friend of the blog Ms. Emma Evans. Thank you, Emma!

They are similar and of similar quality, but we would be amiss not to draw your attention to the lemon sunrise in the photo at the top. A definitive touch! The mushy peas are, of course, definitively British as well.

We will keep you no longer. You are dismissed to go on to more weighty matters, like trying out the Megabits beta, or, well, eating chips and drinking heavily. Chip henges are not worth spending too much time on. They just show how Stonehenge replicas are an integral part of the Zeitgeist. As Clonehenge should be!

Don’t be afraid to make a chip henge or French fry henge part of your Saint Patrick’s Day celebration. Not that Stonehenge has ANYTHING to do with Ireland or Celtic people, but chips are very good when you’re drinking too much. So, whether in your cups or suffering with hangovers, dear friends, happy henging!