Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Snow, Paper, and British Family

I promised a post about Harlaxton in the snow, so here it is.  As you may have heard in the news, England was graced with many inches of beautiful snow on Sunday night into Monday morning.  Grantham, where I live, got about 3 inches I think.  I didn't really think that the snow was that bad until I started to read the newspaper and found out that this was the worst snow in nearly two decades!!  I am so accustomed to four wheel drive and snow plows that I don't really think it monumental when we get a few inches of snow. Here no one has four wheel drive and snow plows don't really exist either.  School was cancelled for the middle and high school students. This was the view out my window on Monday morning.

London experience nearly a foot of snow.  It debilitated the city.  The underground was practically shut down and none of the red buses ran.  Papers were calling this a "National Snow Day!"  The whole thing was funny to me because people really don't know what to do with this much snow!  

Harlaxton students, many of which are from Wisconsin, just go out and play!  Tomorrow is an all school snowball fight and many students have already made snow men.  One was 8 feet tall!  The manor looks beautiful blanketed in white.  Really it is like I live in Narnia.  I haven't had much of a chance to go play, but I did get out and take a few photos.  I guess 
these are pretty priceless since this much snow probably won't come around again. 

I also wanted to share with you that I am writing the overseas column for the Hilltop Monitor for the beginning of the semester.  I would love for you to read my column (and the rest of the paper) online at www.thehilltopmonitor.com

Finally, I just wanted to share a bit about dinner with my British family tonight.  Part of the Harlaxton experience is the option to be paired up with a local British family. This family often has dinner with the students and they do activities together.  My British family is Marcus and Maureen Pettman.  They are retired and live in Grantham.  I had meet them at the Meet-a-Family reception last Thursday.  That event was at Harlaxton, but tonight was at their house.  There was some concern about the weather, but still got to the manor without trouble to come get me and my "sister."  We ate talked for a while and then ate dinner.  I was surprised how interested they were in American politics.  We talked about Barack Obama and alternative energy!  This isn't really my type of conversation, but it was interesting to hear their perspective.  
The family is a bit more formal than at home, but not much. This is a picture of me, Ashley (my sister) and Maureen.  Marcus took the photo. 
We had a chicken pot pie type dish for dinner with vegetables and potatoes.   To drink I had a cordial which is a type of drink that is diluted.  I had never heard of this, but I think it is very popular here.  The one I had was a local variety.  I really liked it.  
They also have an electrical piano and I played a few songs.  Marcus can play piano.  He is very interested in the song of each state from home.  He has the music for the state song for most states.  
On Thursday they are going on a holiday to the Caribbean!  Sounds nice right about now.  They will be gone for a few weeks.  They like to travel a lot.  When they return we are going to walk around Grantham and eat dinner together.  
It was interesting to eat with a British family.  You really get a sense of their normal lives.  I was rather satisfied (that is something they would say).


  1. Oh, Jessie, it is just beautiful there! I just finished reading your last two posts - the scenery is amazing! I can just imagine the way it must have been long ago in the days of knights and ladies - I'm a hopeless romantic. I'm looking forward to reading your column for the paper, as well. Keep up the good work! Love, Aunt Janet

  2. Good morning (here!) sweet Jessie! You can imagine my delight in finding you in my email box! I plan to read every post to catch up with you. I love England! Bob and I used to take middle school kids from Columbia and do homestays in Somerset. We'd travel around all of England. Bob did it for around 12 years, making 6 trips in all, I did 3 trips. I celebrated my 10th anniversary in England!

    I am glad you read my blog! I hope it doesn't sound too boastful. I am just so proud of my family!!

    Take care!