I know that I haven't posted much about what it is like living here on staff. That's because I had the idealistic notion of posting all about what I did here as a student before moving on to what's happening now. As you can see, that's not been happening. So...here's what has been going on this Britophile's life.
|Mailing you this "postcard" ;)|
Another part of me is tempted to start missing home, but there are plenty of things to do to keep my mind off of homesickness.
The work here suits the organized-detail-oriented-paper-pushing side of my personality. I answer phones in a chipper voice, try to interpret mysterious regional accents, make tea, write messages, run errands around campus, make tea, process invoices, sort mail, make tea, and count loads of money (I think I'm an expert on British currency by now).
But there's so much more to life here than work. I enjoy socializing with dozens of new friends, many of them from far-flung areas of the globe. I've gotten to know people from England, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Australia, Canada, and even Wisconsin. Amazing. We watch movies (I've learned that no matter what culture you're from, Mr. Darcy is a heartthrob), make food, and play games, not to mention the deep and encouraging conversations.
|A real Advent calendar|
As Christmas approaches I am learning so much about European holiday traditions. For example, Saint Nicholas Day is coming up on December 6, which means that I will be setting a shoe outside my door and hoping for friends to fill it up with candy. My German friends have introduced me to the wonder of real advent calendars--not just sheets of paper with little doors, but sacks full of goodies wrapped up with colorful paper and ribbon and the gorgeous origami stars that I'm suddenly finding all over the place.
But this is England after all, and there are plenty of English traditions that I'm enjoying as well. Christmas is already in full swing here at Capernwray, with evergreen boughs and ornamented trees popping up all over the place. Mince pies have been a highlight of the season so far, along with Christmas cake and piping hot apple cider. I'm looking forward to many more evenings filled with mulled wine and wood fires, surrounding by the people who are quickly becoming my second family.