Hello once again my faithful followers!
It’s been a long, crazy first week here in England! I’m about to end my stay here for a while at Harlaxton and it’s definitely a bittersweet moment. The first couple days were calm and relaxing. On Monday we woke up, ate some breakfast then went out to explore the manor, which was incredibly fun. I may have mentioned that in my last post, but it was so amazing that its worth mentioning again. Its weird to think that its my home for now and its a manor that was built by Greggory Greggory back in the day.
The second day was also very calm. In the morning we woke up, ate breakfast, then rode the shuttle into town so we could get tickets to Wales for the weekend. Grantham is a really interesting little town. Natalie, Amy, and myself all stayed behind to explore the shopping center a bit before going off on our tour. We found a nice chain store called “Poundland” and literally everything inside was a POUND! I’m talking umbrellas, candy, dog toys, hotdogs, bacon… EVERYTHING! Granted we do have places like this in America, but with the exchange rate here, its nice finding a place to buy nice, inexpensive things. After looking everything over in Poundland, we went outside to call our cab. We waited a good twenty minutes for it, then decided we needed to call again….it showed up five minutes and another sixty pence later. We got back to the manor with time to spare, so we hung out, then went to lunch. After lunch it was time to go on one of our first official tours to Southwell ( pronounced Subtle ) Workhouse. Its a home/building that the poor use to go to when they didnt have jobs to get better skills for one. “An empty workhouse, is a successful workhouse.” Parts of the tour made sense and it didnt seem like a bad deal to me, however, the overall control of the building was sickening. Families were separated right at the get-go and didn’t see one another until Christmas. It just wasn’t a good place and a lot of people didn’t like it. Overall, the tour was long, boring, and more boring. I was thrilled to be back at Harlaxton that evening.
On the third day, the schedule was very structured. Morning lecture, afternoon tour. The lecture was about listing houses and how they qualify to become historical places. It was quite interesting and actually fun to learn about. After lecture we got to do a fun exercise called, “Harlaxton Village exercise”. ( I know, creative, thought out name ) We walked around and looked at all the houses to figure out which were listed and how we could apply the lecture to looking at houses anywhere we go. I felt like I learned a lot. We then went back to the manor for lunch, then went to look at George Crabbe’s country home, “The Rectory”. It was a really cool old house, with an amazing outside, but I couldn’t live in it. I really enjoyed my time in the little town. We then went back to the manor for a night of homework.
The fourth day was my overall FAVORITE day here at Harlaxton. We woke up, ate, then got a tour of the gardens around the manor. Having a lot of botany/ plants and society background, I was incredibly interested in this. We saw all the nooks and crannies of the gardens, little spots that I can’t wait to go to and take photos or journal, and all the sorts. It was nice being outside even though it was cold at first. As we were walking down to another garden to see, Natalie pointed out that I had goose poop on my shoe…..great. I already hate birds so seeing their stupid poop was quite irritating, I mean…I was walking SO carefully. I got it off with a rock and the dew on the grass. We got down to the next garden and there was a dog! Her name was Tia and she was amazing. I stopped listening to the tour because I became so obsessed with her. We then said goodbye to the lovely Tia and headed up for lunch. After lunch we got to go to only the coolest place ever, the Bell Foundry. It made the bell for Saint Paul’s Cathedral and is one of two bell foundries still making bells here in the U.K. While we were there we were lucky enough to watch the process of creating the mold and making something out of metal. Although it wasn’t a bell, a CANON was pretty cool to watch as well. It was for a man in California and it cost him a quarter of a million dollars…. ( like, what? ) We finished the tour, rang a couple bells, then we were on our way back to Harlaxton.
Day five, Friday, was an interesting day here. We went to breakfast, then had a lecture about castles and cathedrals. It was my favorite lecture we’ve had so far. I felt like I actually learned about my surroundings and all the cool places here in England. The professor, Dr. Green definitely made the lecture easy to follow and answered every question in a helpful manner. After the lecture we had some free time to pack and eat. It was more hectic then I thought it would be. However, I got my bag packed for Wales ( we were going straight to the train station from our tour ) and we were off to tour Belton House. It was a self-guided tour and it was very crowded if you didn’t try to hurry along. We lost the professors at one point, so then our cab came for Wales and we were off.
I’ll be posting about our trip there within the next couple days!