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Stonehenge, England

0.The Roadie Memoirs


Stonehenge, England – “I said eighteen feet, not eighteen inches.” I guess it’s good Nigel wasn’t there to confuse the Ancient Druids.


Even though we were out late last night having birthday drinks with some friends in London, and were exhausted beyond belief, we got up early in the morning to catch the train to Stonehenge.  Even I had to find coffee to start that day.  Luckily there was an amazing French café across the street from our hotel near Hyde park.

As I stood there in front of the French café with my blazing hot cappuccino, I recalled the last time I stayed at this same hotel. It was for the Live8 concert in July 2005, when I was working with Joss Stone. An estimated 3 billion people came together in the fight against extreme poverty. I recalled returning to this hotel on one of the best days in my life, after seeing Madonna, Paul McCartney, The Who, The Killers, Pink Floyd (my favorite of the day), Coldplay, Elton John, Mariah Carey, Snoop Dogg, Sting, U2, Velvet Revolver (my second favorite of the day)  and so many more.  Aside from the most amazing music event I have ever witnessed, the energy of the whole day was unforgettably special.  With the likes of movie stars, kings & queens, and the 250,000 music lovers, there was such an aroma of peace, love, and happiness.

We eventually walked to the tube station as the rest of the group arrived. It was about a two-hour train ride, with 3 trains, each way. But we slept through most of it anyway.  Upon arriving to the train stop in Salisbury, we found a cab, cut a deal, and went straight to Stonehenge.  The area really reminded me of Oregon, very green and wet.  The whole drive there was like a rollercoaster, up & down the winding hills, as the cabby raced us down the two-lane road through the trees.


We arrived just as the sun was beginning to peer through the clouds. It was an amazing site to watch. We walked a large circle path around the site, as we listened to the fascinatingly irrelevant info on the headsets.  After about five minutes I ditched the audio and just made up my own story.  I got some great pics and memories, as we circled the stones, watching the sun hit it at different angles, capturing the true essence of its beauty. It was definitely cool to watch but not exactly what I was expecting. I almost expected it to be more of a supernatural, out of this world experience. Unfortunately, I just didn’t feel anything extraordinary, no phenomenal energies or anything. We stayed about an hour, before the cold finally had my fingers, toes, and face frozen numb.  We actually hung in the gift shop for a while, trying to warm up and eventually headed back towards the train station.


Apparently, Stonehenge was built between 3100 – 1100 BCE. The circle was aligned with the midsummer sunrise, the midwinter sunset, and the most southerly rising and northerly setting of the moon. The stones used in its construction were brought from 240 miles away, averaging eighteen feet in height and twenty-five tons in weight. More than nine hundred stone rings exist in the British Isles. Of these, Stonehenge is the most well known. The druids are known to conduct their ritual activities mostly in sacred forest groves. Stonehenge was simultaneously used for both astronomical observation and ritual function. By gathering data regarding the movement of celestial bodies, the Stonehenge observations were used to indicate appropriate periods in the annual ritual cycle. During those periods, among them being the solstices, equinoxes and different lunar days, festivals and ceremonies were held. Wow… that’s a pretty awesome calendar, but not as cool as mine.


(Ryan Huddleston Guitar Solo Live! Dionisio Aguado – Study in Amin)

As we headed back to the train station, we saw this Cathedral not too far off in the distance. We had the cab driver take us straight there. We were sort of in a hurry to get back to London, because the Thanksgiving dinner with the whole band and crew was in only a few hours.  From afar the Cathedral looked really cool and not too crowded, so we figured we could get in and look around with enough time to still catch our train.



This cathedral is recognized for having the oldest copy of the Magna Carta. As I scantly searched my brain, I asked the lady to remind me why the Magna Carta was significant.  She said, “You should know why it’s important, it’s a huge factor in American history still to this day.” I defensively told her, “uh, I’m Canadian. So can you just tell me?”  She skeptically reminded me that “it was the first document forced onto an English King, whereby proclaiming American liberties, eventually leading to the Constitution.”

One thing I really love about Europe is the rich culture and its elaborate, detailed history, far different from the young United States. The Huddleston family has been traced back over 1,000 years to many parts of England. English people often ask me where I’m from, confused by my American accent. Huddleston broken apart is “huddle” and “stone”. To huddle is to gather something into a circular form, such as stones. Which was commonly done by Druids, and similar historic English tribes. I found it ironic that I realized all this while at Stonehenge.

It was a cool little detour, and totally worth it. Thankfully we got in and out in enough time, and made it back for the delicious Thanksgiving dinner, which seemed ironic because they don’t really celebrate it in England.  It would have been nice to stay in Salisbury longer though, I was in such a hurry, just running through the whole day taking pictures. I never even turned my camera off or put it away all day.

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