I love being here!
13.05.2012 - 13.05.2012 65 °F
May 13, 2012
Traveling makes you appreciate sleep more than any activity you can do at home. No matter how coherent or awake you think you are feeling the day of travel to England, you wake up the next morning with the faculties enough to realize the day prior you were not fully yourself. So, 9:30 found us up and getting ready for the day. I wanted to post a few pictures to the blog while Nicole was getting ready. While I was upstairs in the study doing just that, I was able to, by looking out the window, enjoy a spontaneous water fight that had broken out between Saffron and her boyfriend Warrick in the back yard. Saffron had just run out of water with her super soaker, and Warrick was backing her into the corner with a glass full of water. Just as I thought Saffron had lost all ground, I watched Sarah sneak up behind Warrick with a glass of her own and poor it on Warrick! ha! I didn't know she was capable! Not too long later I helped David build a canopy and swinging chair in the backyard while Sarah and Nicole chatted over coffee. The sun was out and we were all acting more like family than guests. I wouldn't have it any other way.
After a quick breakfast, David, Sarah, Nicole and I went on a walk on the outskirts of Finchingfield. The walk itself was very pleasant. The sun was out, the birds were chirping, and everywhere there were bright yellow fields and little thatched cottages. Two items of note on this trip. The first was a mailbox we ran across that was put up in the time of King George VI. It's still in use to this day. The other thing, was something I should have guessed but did not. Back in the day, villages were often ruled by or protected by a lord. This lord would live in a manor and often would be walled in. Well, on this walk we ran across the manor that Finchingfield belongs to! Spain Hall I think it was called. It's a vast and sprawling estate at least two football fields long. The manor house to me was somewhat like a small castle complete with protective wall. In the back of the house is a huge farm hour that still stands. It was a very cool way to start the day.
After we arrived back at Mercers, we had some downtime to hangout and write. Nicole started her journaling while David made us a quick lunch. David suggested that we drive over to Saffron Walden to look at a nice church and do the hedge maze. Even though I am ready for a nap, I cannot pass up an opportunity to see more! The church was the largest I have seen in the little villages here. The best part was that we walked in on some sort of service going on and the choir was singing. So we have these soaring stone ceilings, topped by these massive beams. Near the top are windows that act as skylights letting the sun in, and theses angelic voices are singing praise. Such a great moment! However when they were done, and the minister started talking, I realized why I did not see any young people in the church. Catholicism is so boring and disconnected. I feel like church should be helping people live, to dealing with problems and emotions that people are facing day to day. However, this service was more pomp, more fluff, than substance. It's a bummer. From there we walked to the gardens and found the maze. If you've ever seen the secret garden before,then picture us walking through that. It was a proper place to be From the maze, we stumbled upon a cricket game in session. Since I'd never seen one and Nicole didn't now what it was, we stopped and watched the game while discusses some cultural differences. I have revelation to give that I did not realize until today. Did you know that English and British are not necessarily the same? A English person is British, but a Scotsman is also British. Also, someone from Wales is British. So, to be in Britain, or British, you are either part of England, Scotland, or Wales. Now, the United Kingdom is also different than being British or English alone. The UK is the combination of England, Scotland, Wales and Norther Ireland! Are you following? I was glad to learn this and part of the reason I love being here. After this lesson we walked to the nearby WWII memorial. It's not so much the memorial I will mention, but the impact of talking about it with David. I often forget how deep the emotion for WWII would impact the English. With tears in his eyes, David described some grave sites in France that he'd seen. I was struck by how his generation still felt so deeply about the sacrifice that men made during that war. My train of thought then led me to my own feelings. It bothers me, that although I feel strongly about the men who sacrificed, I do not know that it would bring tears. Am I too far removed? How will the next generation react? How can we lose the importance of something so great, so costly? I'm frustrated that the importance of those men and women's sacrifices will soon be lost, and are already lost on so many of my generation...
After arriving home not more than 20 minutes ago, I began finishing this blog . Tonight Sarah is cooking us a traditional feast that I'm very excited about and that is where I'll leave this until we have time to blog again. Tomorrow is a 4am wake up call to head to Roma, Italia!