So what is like living in a 178 year old manor house in the countryside? Well, once you get past the fact that there are about 200 Americans living under one roof in a foreign country (thank goodness for the bistro), you tend to fall in love with just about every aspect. To tell you the truth, it is one of the most interesting experiences that I have had in my life and I love it!
When I first arrived at the manor I was in shock. It was stunning, plus how in the world was I going to be able to make it back to my room everyday, and how do you even begin to find any other rooms? Now, I efficiently navigate my way through the manor as Gregory Gregory’s servants once did. I thought that I had seen every room in the manor, but just a few days ago I stumbled upon another room and a bathroom that I had not discovered yet! There is a book in the library that mentions a shield that you press/pull and opens a secret door. I have been on a mission to figure out where this “shield” is, but so far every shield that I have seen is out of reach. I am determined that I will figure out this mystery before I leave.
There is always something going on at the manor. They offer many clubs, and our SGA has put on multiple events. If I am ever bored (which is hardly ever) I find myself looking out the windows from the upper floors. The views are great! Especially when a storm front is moving in, it's snowing, or at sunrise and sunset. Another favorite spot of mine is the center of the Great Hall under the chandelier. I could lay on my back and stare into the shiny crystals for hours. While hand washing my laundry I have also become very familiar with the wall behind my sink. There is a blue spec and I have named him Charlie.
Anyways, It is finally time for spring, which means that England is beginning to warm up! I honestly thought that I might never be warm here in England. I am shedding layers of clothing and it is miraculous! I don’t have to wear three shirts and two pairs of pants anymore to class!
I have been waiting for what seems like a lifetime to leave the manor and explore all of the grounds and Harlaxton Village by foot (it was too cold before). My Meet-a-Family lives on the property of the original manor house and their garden is beautiful. Hopefully I can walk to their house and give them a surprise ring at the door! Did I mention that we had the opportunity to see a solar eclipse just recently? I can’t wait to see what else the springtime weather has to offer!
As we are approaching the end of the semester, it feels as if we have let go of the rope and are freefalling into summer. There are only a few weeks left until we politely get kicked out of this beautiful place and I personally become homeless (I am going backpacking for a month). It's a really scary thought. Just as we are settling down and accepting what we can of the British culture, we will soon be yanked out of place just to start the process of reverse culture shock. Until then, we shall continue studying for our British studies final (ha!) and making memories that will last a lifetime!