Three things I’ve discovered yesterday. First. I like to torture my children with exactly the same walks as I was tortured with as a teenager, and I don’t feel sorry. Two. I don’t care if someone calls a day the saddest day of the week, it makes no sense. Nor is it a helpful exercise. Third. I may start following film crews around to make the most of their amazing lighting system that literally throws a new light on dark places I thought I knew well.
But…I’m jumping ahead.
Yesterday, we headed out for a walk to the West Kennet long barrow. A Neolithic chambered tomb, dating back over 5500 years. Despite the usual complaints, as we loaded the car with teens and near teen, I think they enjoyed the trip really. Deep down.
I used to live near by. It’s a place that I visited often, as a teen, when visitors came to stay. Each time, I thought the half mile walk would be shorter. I’d forget one particular section. Strangely this time it felt shorter. Not sure what this says about me. My teen self would have liked it though.
Anyway, yesterday it was biting cold and breezy. No rain. I thought we would have the burial site to ourselves. So, presumably, did the camera crew that was already there.
The mound is 100m long and open at one end. You can walk in without bending down. The roof of the further end of the barrow has collapsed in. You can go about 13 metres into it and see burial chambers on each side. Empty now.
In the past, only two tiny sky lights lit the way. It was dark. Especially if you forgot a torch. This time, the film crew had set up as series of big lights inside. They suggested I took a photo looking down the length of it, to make the most of the set up. I quickly snapped two photos, with Hero there, as I didn’t want to hold them up. I should have adjusted my camera settings. Even so, hopefully I did capture more of the inside than I have before.
Only two photos? Yes. It would have been one, but for the fact that the TV presenter, who was with them, pointed out that we should turn Hero’s ear the right way round for his photo. (Just realised that I’ve included the first photo) The two teens, for some reason, found this funny on the journey home. Along with the fact that Hero tried to check the crew’s bags for sandwiches. Honestly we can’t take them anywhere.
As we left, walking down the slope of the wide, open field, towards Silbury Hill, with the wind whipping around us, we could hear a bodhran drum being played in the barrow. The sound carries. Now we were out of the way, they were back to work filming. Certainly added to the atmosphere.