6 November 2010

Hello friends!  What a whirlwind this has been.  Will is already taking mid-terms!  Actually he just finished them yesterday.  Carolina is headed to a new school on Monday.  We switched her to a smaller school that is closer to our home.  We were not sure moving her was a great idea (too much change, etc.), but when we toured the school we knew it would be perfect for her.  They have a massive design studio, a fantastic art program and drama lessons through The London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art.  All stuff that is right down the Carolina alley.  It’s a great opportunity for her and she is excited.  We spent yesterday getting her new uniform  - complete with crested blazer!  She is mortified (lots of eye rolling), but we think it’s adorable.  I will try to use a bright light to stun her so I can get a picture to post.  She will never forgive me, but isn’t that what mothers are for?  Therapy fodder.

Are you all glad the elections are over?  I was in a job interview and the guy actually started talking about American politics (not in a good way, of course).  It was so awkward.  I’m thinking, “If I agree that George Bush is evil, will I get the job?” . . . I mean, I need to pay for Snickers ice cream bars.  Why do people think it’s OK to completely trash another person’s country and government right in front of them?  I’m going to start trash talking the Queen and see if they like it.  Start making fun of her hats.  Seriously though, I know we have inserted ourselves in to an academic environment, but I hate talking about politics.  Especially in job interviews - sheesh!  So, I just changed the subject and asked him how he felt about God.  I didn’t do that.

Well, I promised to share some more about our sweet little town.  Just today I had this great chat with an old Scottish man at the grocery.  I was trying to decide what beer to buy (huge, amazing selection) and he starts talking to me like I have know him since I was a wee lass.  I really have no idea what he said, but I think we may have a date this Saturday night.  Seriously, he was definitely pouring on the charm, which is not too tough for a Scottish guy (can anybody say “Sean Connery”).  Even if he is old enough to be my grandfather.  He was adorable.  I love living here (and not just because I get hit on by old Scottish dudes).  It’s just this little town is so . . . livable.  Every single thing I could possibly need is within walking distance - butcher, hair dresser, market, coffee shop, sporting goods, drug store, stationary, bank, etc.  We have great restaurants - some of the best in Middle England. And, of course, there are pubs!!  Like 8 of them.  In this tiny little town.  I can’t figure out why we have not been able to duplicate the pub in America.  Maybe it’s the dreary weather here that makes the pubs seem all the more cozy and inviting.  But, I can’t think of a bar I have ever been to in the US where I could go in on the middle of a Saturday, curl up on a couch by the fire and read and have a pint (or not) and talk to whoever came by who was feeling chatty (or not).  It’s fantastic.  And there are parks and greens everywhere here.  The River Avon is just down the street and the castle grounds are so beautiful to walk around.  I know the fun and newness will probably wear off, but I feel so lucky to be experiencing living this way.  Will has had a few tough commutes on the bus, and I thought he might break down and buy a car, but he is hanging in there.  If I start working at the University (see interview nightmare above), I will be joining him in the bus commuting world.  All types there.  Should make for some great stories anyway. 

I might try to do some video of stuff around town.  For now, here is a link to some pictures of the more famous sights around Warwick.

Next time I’ll do photos of some of the places we hang out.  For more information on some of the places in these pictures:

The Lord Leycester Hospital dates from the 14th Century.  The term hospital in those days referred to a home for retired soldiers and that is the role the building continues to serve today.  Even though it looks like it could fall down at any moment with a strong wind.  The walls are wonky and lean every which way.  It’s like something straight out of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley.

The Warwick Castle is the premier medieval castle in England.  It was built by William the Conqueror in 1068 and has been the home of the Earls of Warwick since 1088.  It is magnificent and very well preserved.  Some of the pictures are taken from a garden at the bottom of the Mill End street which is just below our street.  The garden has been the lifelong project of Arthur Measures and sits at the base of the castle.  We have not toured the inside of the castle yet (we are waiting to go with visitors from American  . . . hint, hint).

Part of St. Mary’s church dates back 900 hundred years, but most of it was rebuilt after the great fire of 1694.  It’s one of those magnificent old cathedrals where every nook and cranny is gilded or adorned with jewels.  There are also crypts scattered about everywhere and a few of the Earls of Warwick are in there.  We did a tour and Carolina eventually realized we were walking on tombstones and she freaked out, screamed and jumped up on a pew.  The docent was not amused.

OkenOken.  The building dates from the 16th century.  It is also very wonky (but warm and cozy) and we love it.


Linda said...

Could it get any better? You're living in a place right out of a fairy tale - castles and gardens and cathedrals, oh my; Carolina is settling into a school that sounds custom-made just for her; Will is doing great in school and no doubt enjoying the experience if not the massive amounts of studying; you got to escape the relentless media circus of US politics while relaxing in a variety of quaint pubs making small talk with the locals (or not) and flirting with men the likes of Sean Connery. I suppose it could only get better if the old guy turned out to actually BE Sean Connery...
Keep the posts coming and definitely, definitely post a picture of Lina in the new uniform. How can she deny us :-)???

Loree said...

Seriously, we heard this crap about the uniform in South Africa and NEVER DID SEE it! What the face?!
We are her aunts and deserve to see anything humiliating - particularly for being denied the experience in person. Now give.