The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Sacred geometry

Sunday, 24 March 2013



In an as-told-to piece in today’s Sunday Times, extreme expeditioner Ed Stafford describes the hardships he underwent when he was dumped naked on a desert island. He found the loneliness and isolation especially difficult to bear. 

“My best technique for staying sane was something the Australian Aborigines taught me. I built a stone circle and whenever the panic or anxiety got too much I would go and sit in it and feel safe and happy again. It’s a simple technique, but it worked. I think I’d have spin out otherwise.”

A nice thing to have in a natural burial ground, perhaps? 

12 comments on “Sacred geometry

  1. Wednesday 27th March 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Great links, James. Thank you.

  2. Wednesday 27th March 2013 at 2:52 pm

    As you probably know Charles, Cothiemuir Hill natural burial ground in Aberdeenshire includes a neolithic stone circle at the summit of the hill – the stones there are simply beautiful and the recumbent stone is unbelievably huge and whale like.
    Coincidentally, I have recently proposed an earthwork circle at a future natural burial ground as a place to gather and to add features to a relatively flat piece of land. My inspiration came from Herbert Bayer [] and Richard Long [].

    • Thursday 28th March 2013 at 9:48 am

      Brilliant, James. Thanks!
      I’ll add it to our ‘wish list’!

  3. Tuesday 26th March 2013 at 6:07 pm

    It sounds like a wonderful occasion, Jenny. Would that I had been there — as an observer.

    A funeral director shouldn’t go round asking people if they are dead. He should know!

  4. Tuesday 26th March 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I don’t necesarily recommend it, Charles. On a rest between ‘pulls’ I lay on my back half way up the hill wondering why I had thought this would be a good idea. Keith (who, on account of an old injury had been given the camera instead of a rope) stood over me and with mild concern and great politeness enquired ‘Have you died?’ And that was only a fairly little stone compared to many I have seen and there were at leat 100 of us!

  5. Tuesday 26th March 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I doff my seasonal headgear (Russian-style with furry earflaps) to you, Jenny! I am ashamed to say that I have never shouldered a sarsen in the cause.

  6. Tuesday 26th March 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Oh I’m entirely up for a stone circle, Charles. We have a recently built one just up the road. I even helped pull one of the stones up the hill. The respect I have for the builders of the originals as a result is boundless!

  7. Monday 25th March 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Absolutely not. Stone circle or nothing. Bring your own shooting stick.

  8. Richard

    Monday 25th March 2013 at 6:10 pm

    A stone circle is all very well on a desert island but on the rainy isle of Blighty perhaps they could stretch to a gazebo lined with memorial benches.

  9. Monday 25th March 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Well, I think the stone circle is great whatever you think about Ed, whoever he is. I don’t know if Ed is sound on dogs, but he’s certainly sound on stone circles, so he’s at least halfway to the kingdom of heaven (now under my management).

  10. Monday 25th March 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Quite, another tip for survival…don’t spend 60 days on your own on an island unless there’s a REALLY GOOD reason!!

  11. Monday 25th March 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Grasping at straws, it seems to me……… not so much the rock island thing – it’s tough out on your own – but doing this kind of hi-viz career boosting stunt for TV.
    Give me Ray Mears any wilderness night.

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