After a long but well deserved night of sleep at Chavasse Farm, the smell of fresh bread and warm tea was all we needed to get us up and early this morning, Our first stop was the Hawthorn Crater: the wonders of technology allowed us to see the mine explosion itself on Geoff’s phone and a few seconds later we were IN the crater. On the way and back I desperately hunted for pieces of shrapnel but alas only found pieces of glass bottles of wine or beer and a few cigarette buts: looks like some people are still celebrating the end of the war … in the crater. I did find something I wasn’t expecting: a smooth stone which may very well be a former commonwealth tombstone that has since been replaced, Deanna dug for the rest of it on her hands and knees as Katie took pictures… she has a tendency to do that: 3 days in and already 1500 pictures! We made it to Beaumont-Hamel and it felt like being at home: having worked there last winter I was incredibly happy to see some former coworkers, we exchanged hugs and tears and within a flash I was brought back to my time as a guide there, giving the tour to the other students and leaders of the CBF trip. I was happy to share the story of the Newfoundland Regiment and it was certainly an emotional experience for me. We said our goodbyes to our fellow Canadians and were on our way to Thiepval!
It was nice to get to the farm and get things ready for our communal BBQ in the evening, everyone pitched in for a nice, hearty meal and we enjoyed good conversations with glasses of inexpensive and delicious wine. What sounds like a casual Monday evening became a little bit more exciting once Madisson went up to her room, screamed and ran back downstairs claiming a bird had decided it wanted to become the fourth roommate! Stay tuned to see how this story develops