What's in a Name? by Mandy Baker Johnson

Adi and I honeymooned in the north of England one chilly May. Despite a severe lack of funds, a cramped caravan, and Adi's streaming cold, we had a great time.

A particular joy was discovering a B-road that runs alongside Hadrian's Wall. Up to that point, Hadrian had been just another Roman name for me.

A few years later, we decided to holiday in the north again and thought it would be fun to stay in a guest house overlooking the Wall.

Adi researched on the internet, which in those days was not what it is now.

'What do you think to this?'

Beaulieu Guest House in Somewhere-on-the-Wall, a few miles from Newcastle. It sounded perfect. I wrote a letter enquiring about reservations and prices.

We were excited with the reply. The rooms were very reasonable at £15 per night and the pamphlet said the garden backed onto Hadrian's Wall. I sent off a cheque at once. This sounded almost too good to be true.

They acknowledged receipt of the cheque but there was a slight change in the address at the top of the letter. Beaulieu Guest House, near Throckley Service Station, Somewhere-on-the-Wall.

We were a little puzzled but not too concerned.

A few days before our holiday, we received another letter with directions. Again, a slight change in the address. This one read: Beaulieu Guest House, Throckley Service Station, Somewhere-on-the-Wall. 'Near' had been completely abandoned.

Being us, we chuckled over the address and joked about spending our holiday in a service station....

Never will I forget driving up the main street of Somewhere-on-the-Wall and catching the first glimpse of our holiday guest house. It was indeed a service station.

And the Wall at the bottom of the garden? A small pile of rubble covered with nettles.

It was still a great holiday :)

Mandy Baker Johnson is a private medical secretary and freelance writer. She enjoys blogging and has recently co-authored her first book, Drawn from Words. She volunteers with a Christian charity working with women in the sex industry.


  1. Love it. This is something which would happen to me :-)

    1. We certainly got a blog post out of it! x


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