12:03 PM

Illuminating Hadrian's Wall

Posted by Melody

I got up at 8am this morning. I go down to breakfast and had cranberry yogurt (the Activia kind which I have never had before, but is really super smooth) and then mango yogurt, hot cross buns (roll looking things with black currants mixed in) with chocolate spread on it (although Cath said that usually people put butter on them), and hot tea with sugar. It was a wonderful breakfast.

Andy walked us into town to look at the market and get some snacks before going to Hadrian’s Wall. I went to a pound store and bought chocolate rice krispies, galaxy minstrels, daum (like heath bars), a small multipack of chips (salt & vinegar, cheese & onion, and ready salted), and revels. I then went out to the market to look around before walking back to Andy’s house. I had an enormous venison burger with garlic mayonnaise on it for 2 pounds.

I went by this one stand with an old man selling homemade soaps and lotions. I picked up a few and smelled them. I asked him how he got into the business. He said that he and his wife started it a few years ago because his wife had psoriasis. She found that the soaps she was using had all sorts of harsh chemicals in them and would make her psoriasis worse. She made her own soap and it started clearing it up. Their friends heard about it and used it, then it all grew from there. I bought 4 soaps for dad for 10 pounds. I left there and went to the post office and sent the soaps off. I thought that would be a good gift for dad since his skin acts up a lot in colder weather.

I walked back to Andy’s house around 12:15pm. I packed my day pack with a sweater, some of the stuff I had bought, my little Radley umbrella, chapstick, and my camera. Cath drove us to and dropped us off at the at the meeting place for the Hadrian's Wall Illumination orientation. We filled out papers and got our stickers, had a demonstration on how to light the burners and flares, then got on the coach and was dropped off at our lighting point. It was me, the two Nathans, Laruen, and Katie.

We waited for over an hour for the van to come with our stuff. It was hilarious what all we were doing. We had a roadside lighting point and we were sitting there on the side of the road just laughing and talking about all sorts of stuff. We finally got our stuff and went to the other side of the fence (where the sheep were) to set it all up. The guys hooked up the burner and then took the flares and went up the hill to their spot. At 5:55pm, I turned everything on and lit the burner.

The flame at my position

Light across the countryside

Once the flame was lit, we noticed that traffic on the road started to back up like crazy. Our spot was in the back of beyond and there were cars as far as you could see. I walked up the hill to look over and see the lights. It was gorgeous. I could see how it climbed up the next hill and over the ridge. Amazing. We kept the flame on for about an hour or so and turned it off about 10 minutes after 7pm. Once the flame was off, it got real cold really quick. We got the stuff to the side of the road and waited there for an HOUR in the back of beyond with no cars or lights in sight. The coach finally comes along and we were the last stop they picked up.

Once we got back, we got off the bus and got our goodies bag. It had ale (called “Emperor’s Flame” which was specially made for the illuminating of the wall), Divine orange chocolate, Cadbury Dairy Milk, a fruit bar, sugar packs, and some other random stuff. Andy put us in a taxi and sent us home.

Not too long after we got back, dinner was ready and we sat down to lasagna, garlic roasted potatoes (since we all RAVED over them), and garlic bread. For dessert, I had sticky chocolate cake and cream. It was amazing. After dinner, we went into the living room and talked until it was bedtime.

New word of the day: back of beyond = middle of nowhere

Cheerio poppets!


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