Thursday, October 21, 2010

Week 1 at the Kilns

Well, my first week was mostly spent trying desperately to get on the correct time zone for sleeping, and handling tech issues with email access for the Kilns site. The time zone was critical due to the fact that others expected to see me at other times than three in the morning when I happened to be most awake, and the emails were critical due to the fact that people wanted to schedule tours and that particular site combined with my not being in a zombie-like state was what hinged on their being able to pay the place a visit . . .
Lots of things happened during week one: one of the 3 students left for the week for New York for a conference, the AGA quit working (see google for AGA: it is a type of cook stove that stays on all the time--without it we could not cook, nor would the kitchen stay warm), the temps began to drop into the 50s and damp, I gave my first tea to Christopher Mitchell and his guests from Ireland (try making a full tea without a stove . . .), I attended my first Oxford C.S. Lewis Society meeting where Walter Hooper was in attendance (and he and I chatted about enjoying the small things in life [profound] and electric blankets [practical]), I met the AGA repairman and the gardener (you fix tea for the workmen over here--it is expected), I scheduled lots of tours, sorted out tons of emails, and unpacked in between it all (and did I tell you that my rooms are always in "showable" mode for the tours?).
Take a deep breath--I also walked everywhere as I had (and still have) no vehicle--but made it by bus to get groceries, hit the charity shops (2nd hand shops are a big thing over here as they help heart and cancer patients and have very nice things in them--I was able to pick up a very-much needed wool coat for 8 pounds/12 dollars).
There's a lot more, but here's one story to get the feel of things: One person phoned the Kilns from outside the gate (where the number is posted) and wanted a tour right then and there--I had just gotten out of the shower and said we have tour days (not right then, of course)--"Could I please show them the house now?" as they were only in the area for a short time--I sent them to look at the pond outside the house, dried my hair, and then showed them inside--only to have them be very rude . . . go figure . . . but that's just one person (actually two, but only one was rude); the typical groups who schedule to come through here are absolutely wonderful and have lots of questions and are very grateful for a chance to come and visit. We've had people from the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Russia, and more. This place remains a witness both to those who live here as well as to those who visit--I hope I am as much of a blessing as I feel that I am blessed already!


  1. Deborah, I was once one of those people who called from right outside the gate! I appreciate the willingness of those who give the tours at the drop of a hat! (However, I would like to hope that I was not rude to my tourguide!!) I'm so glad I found your blog. My tour of The Kilns and the rest of Headingtons Quarry remains my favorite part of my trip to England. Enjoy your stay & I look forward to reading your blog!

  2. Dear Laura,
    I am so glad you had a good experience at the Kilns! I read your blog and see that you spent time in London while you were studying. That's awesome and I hope you will be able to get back over here someday. Congratulations on your graduation and I wish you well in your future!
    God bless, Debbie

  3. Hi Dr. Higgins, I just interviewed at Southern and was so interested to read about your work at The Kilns. I pray that the blessings and interesting encounters would continue!