Hernes’ Rest by Angela Wooldridge

When a god oversleeps the world can shrink.  
One minute you are a god over vast forests laying down for a nap in the glade, and the next, you wake up naked on a strange small round concrete island talking to squirrels. 

Angela Wooldridge HeRNes’ Rest GOGv2
Angela Wooldridge Hermes Rest GOGv2

Grumpy Old Gods Volume 2

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An explanation of roundabouts.

Herne went to sleep in his forest glade sometime back in the Middle Ages. When he awakes, his portion of forest has shrunk to a roundabout on the busy B3232.

This may need some explanation to anyone unfamiliar with British roads.

A ‘B’ road, is a standard road with two lanes, each going in different directions. They can be busy or quiet depending on the area and time of day, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can overtake a tractor.

A roundabout occurs when the road splits into three or more different directions. The roundabout itself can be a small concrete island or a big grassy circle with trees. In Herne’s case, it’s the latter.

In America, I believe these are called four-ways or crossways; they don’t have the piece of ground in the middle, and you need to plan ahead of time where you’re going. (Of course, the big pile-ups you see in movies would never be as entertaining with a few bushes and trees in the way. Neither would the classic shot of a motorbike sliding beneath a lorry to escape be as achievable). The beauty of a roundabout, however, is that you can keep going around and around it until you decide where you want to get off!

In Britain, you ‘give way’ before entering the roundabout, letting anyone already going around it pass before joining in. Some European countries have a reverse rule where the people on the roundabout have to stop and let people on, which is traumatic for those not used to it as they also enjoy beeping their horns for the slightest offence. France have mostly switched to the British way of doing things, but it’s always a relief to see a sign saying ‘Cedez le passage’ just to be sure.

Don’t be misled into thinking that roundabouts are simply three or four road junctions, they can be much larger. The M25 around London is basically a big roundabout. (Whereas ‘Spaghetti Junction’ in Birmingham could be considered more of a… errr… work of art?) As towns and villages expand, you occasionally find double-roundabouts. It’s best to consider these a quaint aberration and try to forget the ordeal as soon as you’ve passed it.

The Herne’s Rest roundabout, however, is simply a large, rather too neat circle, with trees… and squirrels.

Angela Wooldridge Hermes Rest GOGv2

About Angela Wooldridge

Angela Wooldridge lives in Devon, England, in a rackety old house with her husband, the railway children and an assortment of creatures. 

She always wanted to be a writer, ever since the early days of exploring Narnia with the Pevensies, and eating sardine sandwiches with the Famous Five. She managed to hold off for a while but started writing in earnest in 2009. 

Her work has appeared in magazines, anthologies and she has been shortlisted in various competitions. She is currently seeking representation for her Middle-Grade fantasy novel, ‘The Merewoods Witches’. 

You can read her blog at or follow her on Twitter: @angwooldridge. 

Angela Wooldridge Hermes Rest GOGv2
spaghetti junction