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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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"Nor can foot feel, being shod"
I'm tired now - it's been a strange day - so this will lack any great literary style. Luckily I have pictures.

I turned up at Millennium Square at 6pm, to find the fire already lit, and blazing fiercely against the drizzle...


From above, the scene looked strangely Lowry-esque:


Nevertheless, the temperature in that fire was still around 700 degrees centigrade. At 6.15 I and 70 other virgin firewalkers were escorted to a mandatory seminar in preparation for the Event. I was afraid that this would be either a) a cult-style indoctrination - something about the word "seminar" made me think of scientology - or else b) a horribly touchy-feely experience in which we would be exhorted to say things like "woot" and "yee ha" and "I can live my dream" - all of which I'd been dreading far more than the firewalk itself. Luckily the man conducting the seminar was from Taunton, and fairly laid back. All it amounted to was a few mild ice-breaking exercises - giving each other silly dance moves to do, and such.

And so, on to the firewalk itself. The burning logs were by now reduced to an even carpet of raspberry popsicles, which were raked occasionally with the traditional Firewalker's Set-Square. I wasn't wrong in suspecting a Masonic link, it seems: eat your heart out, Tamino (and pull your tongue out by the roots while you're about it)!


The crowd of firewalkers outnumbered the people who had come to watch them, and for a while there was confusion as we tried to edge our way to the fire itself, but eventually it was my turn, and I made the walk - as you can see, more or less in my sleep:


To be honest it was a bit of an anti-climax, and didn't hurt a bit - but I posed for a triumphal shot afterwards...


... before being taken for a drink by my friends Dru and Mal. Dru took most of these photographs, and Mal bought the beer. Thank you to both! And thanks to everyone who sponsored me.

What will I do next? I thought about sky-diving, but on reflection I'd prefer people to sponsor my longevity - an event I propose to call die-skiving.

Will it catch on? How could it not?

. . . and she does it!

With more courage than I've got! Woo hoo is right!

AWESOMESAUCE. What did it feel like?

Also, the plaid of your jacket is astounding, and you are pulling it off very well, and being able to pull off plaids is one of life's neater little tricks. (Personally, I look amazing in safety orange plaid, but have never been able to bring myself to buy any.)

What did it feel like?

It was warm, certainly, but my feet were cold and wet from the rain, so I was happy enough at that. The best explanation we were given is that it's a bit like holding a hot potato: if you hang onto it it burns, but if you pass it from hand to hand it's bearable. Same principle here: no part of the foot was touching the embers for more than a split second.

Thank you for the plaid compliment! I was happy to shrink underneath it in that weather.

Edited at 2013-03-23 03:04 pm (UTC)

Part of it also is the wetter your feet are (including from sweat) the easier it is -- during that moment your foot is touching those embers, as much heat as possible is spent evaporating the water rather than burning your skin.


I think it is totally rad how you stride along with your purse, over glowing-hot coals. Congrats!

Totally awesome toast!! Well done :)

I'll sponsor die-skiving! That's a great idea, a great name.




Quite mad!

But well done you! :o)

Wow! Well done! I remember reading about fire walking when I was a kid, so I knew that it works on the principle of not leaving any part of the skin in contact with the hot coals for long enough to burn, but I'm not sure that I really believed it enough to want to try it myself. I think you were very brave.

Oh, you're much braver than me! Bravo!!!

I so want to say "very cool" - because it is, and it isn't. Not something I would have the courage to do, so I'll just sit here and be impressed.