Friday, January 28, 2011

I'm "Proper" Today

Well, I've decided that the favorite word over here is "proper". If you set a nice tea out, then it is a "proper" tea, or a "proper" lunch, or a "proper" thing to do, which just about fits anything. So, today I have decided that I am "proper" as I have welcomed overnight guests into the house in a "proper" manner, I have fixed "proper" scones, and so on so forth; so, today I am "proper." We may speak the same language, but only to a point. If I am asked if I want pudding after dinner, then that means dessert; to say someone is wearing a nice vest, well, that means undershirt so what I mean to say is "waistcoat"; and to make my recipe I needed a courgette--so I asked the young produce man where to find the courgettes--and he corrected my pronunciation--I used a hard "g" and of course, (since this word came into the language after 1066 and the Norman Invasion) the word is pronounced with a soft "g")--I explained that we didn't have courgettes in the U.S and he just smiled and pointed me in the direction of, "next to the onions"--and low and behold, there sat the . . . zucchini's! Why not just call it a zucchini?! And of course, don't ever say you are wearing pants as pants mean underpants--you are wearing trousers (and hopefully pants as well:-). Well, on to events of the past two weeks. The Oxford CS Lewis Society meetings began for the new term (called Hilary term--not semesters--there are three terms: Michaelmas, Hilary, and Trinity terms which obviously show the religious roots to the university). Stratford Caldecott spoke, a renowned JRR Tolkien author who writes on the religious aspects of Tolkien's works. And I attended a chapel at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies--a very global mission with reports from all over the world and interdenominational. I was surprised that sitting right in front of me were the SDA president of the work in Tanzania and the Associate Director of the Global Centre for Adventist Muslim Relations! Then our overnight guest this evening is a professor from the University of Georgia who is an entomologist who specializes in bees. I must admit that I am gaining a rich education just from the people with whom I am in contact. More next week!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Comings and Goings

The weeks are packing full here at the Kilns! With the release of Voyage of the Dawn Treader there has been an increase in tours. If you've been to see the movie I would like to get your opinion on how it compared to the book. We've also had several teas and dinners with guests--that's part of what we do for networking--nice! Last Thursday we had 4 tours with 3 of those tours including tea. This past Tuesday we celebrated Michael Ward's (of Planet Narnia and The Narnia Code) birthday with a household dinner--that means the household is invited (the three scholars, but only two could make it). Michael said it was the first time he had had a cake since he was 7 years old:-)! I made a chocolate sponge cake with an "interesting" icing ("interesting" due to ingredients not being the same over here as in the U.S.); Jonathan decorated the cake with a lamppost--it was great--and if I ever figure out how to post pictures onto the blog then I'll get those up for you to see. Our new friend, John Garth, author of Tolkien and the Great War, joined in the festivities and kept us in good conversation about Tolkien and his involvement in WWI. So, this week consisted of Sunday's working with the CS Lewis Nature reserve people (known as "tree-huggers") for three hours checking bird boxes (the SAU biology department would be proud of me!), Sunday afternoon guests, Monday's three tours, Tuesday's dinner, Wednesday's attempt to catch up on emails, Thursday's lecture to Taylor Univeristy and a tour (both by Michael), and ASH the chimney sweep (yup, those are his real initials and he even has chim chim cheree as his ring tone--here's a memory for you!)--and ASH got a tour, tea, and biscuits (cookies) as well as cleaned our chimney (and shook my hand for luck)! And what will tomorrow bring?!