Sunday, November 7, 2010

Week 4

I found a "real" grocery store this week. Typically the stores are small, but when I can locate someone with a car to drive me, I can now shop at Tescos, a store with 3 aisles of produce--I was estatic! Aiden Mackey, renowned GK Chesterton scholar, recently moved close by and offered his services whenever I need a ride to the store--yes, freedom from busses and small loads of groceries that are only carriable! Besides grocery shopping and the typical tours by Michael and Cole, Dr. Bernard Brandstater was our house guest for a few days. Since I had stayed at his and Bev's home in Redlands, I had fun returning the favor by taking Bernard to church with me, eating at the Eagle and Child, touring the Ashmolean (museum) and Oxford, visiting Lewis' church and seeing the beautiful Narnia window and his gravesite. As soon as Bernard left on Monday, I quickly prepared for my first "proper" tea at 4pm with Walter Hooper and the dean of Christ Church (college) and his wife among the 9 guests. Since this tea came at the last minute, I of course, phoned up the English Rose tea house in Chattanooga, TN and they graciously guided me in planning out the menu and how to make everything--even down to the cucumber sandwiches! The English Rose serves the best English tea I have ever had anywhere and I thank them wholeheartedly for saving me in my risky endevour! I knew I had arrived when the dean's wife looked in the dining room and said, "Oooh, a proper tea!" and Walter Hooper took me by the arm and said in the presence of everybody, "These are the best cucumber sandwiches I have ever had in my life!" Ahhhh, victory!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Week 2 &3 at the Kilns

Adjusting is the name of the game for weeks 2 and 3. Our third scholar returned from his conference in NY (and fell in love with NY), I had our first and second set of house guests (the first was a speaker for the Oxford CSL Society, Ann Loades CBE--Commander of the British Empire and spoke about Lewis and Gender--and the second were 2 guests from the CSL Foundation who were preparing for the upcoming Oxbridge conference in the summer), more tours were conducted by our very capable and interesting tour guides, Dr. Michael Ward (author of Planet Narnia) and Cole Matson (Renaissance man). The Aga stayed lit--the Aga man, Tony, told me to toss out my cookbooks and develop a relationship with the Aga . . . ; however, the upstairs heat wouldn't work so capable Tony trekked over here and got the radiators working just in time for the 42 degree weather and the second set of house guests. And I'm rereading George Sayers biography on Lewis--quite good! Off to week 4--see ya!