The Beginning of an Adventure

                                                                        The East Coast train line that passes by Natalie's Cottage.
                                                                        The East Coast train line that passes by Natalie’s Cottage.

Welcome to my online journal, which is not a blog. Blogs are things I never remember to do, but journaling is a discipline. For starters, I’m still living in Greenville, South Carolina and am in the midst of a job transition. There being six weeks before I start my new job,  I decided to visit my sister in England, stopping in Paris and Germany as well. I’ve been here since Monday and it’s all turned into quite an adventure.

Natalie and her husband Francis live in Durham, where she attends university. They live in a quaint railway cottage just off the moor (another name for fields?) and have two devilish bunnies that sometimes escape into the donkey field next door. The cottage, like everything else in England, is small and compact.

I’ve discovered that England is exactly like it is in the movies. People actually say “brilliant!” and “where’s the loo?”, and they constantly “put the kettle on” for tea. Some of the students at Durham live in the castle, and they wear robes and belong to houses (they call them colleges) just like in Harry Potter. 

Everyone here walks. Not like “go for stroll” walk, but walking as THE primary means of transportation. It’s revolutionary. They walk to work, they walk to the pub, they walk to the station, walk to the grocery store, they walk in the rain, they walk in the cold, they’d probably walk to America if the ocean didn’t get in the way. I was not prepared for this, and I think I’m getting shin splints. And no one thinks it’s abnormal! Today I absolutely refused to walk home from the botanical gardens, and when we asked the lady for a taxi number, she instead gave us different options to get home, all of which involved walking. Natalie doesn’t think I’m going to make it in Paris. Apparently they walk a lot there too.

I also was unaware there was a difference between a cathedral and a church. On my first day, Natalie told me to meet her at the cathedral, assuming I couldn’t get lost it being the biggest landmark in the area. Well I managed to get lost, but I saw this lovely old building with a tower and steeple and assumed it was the cathedral. False. It was a very large church. So I kept walking and saw an even bigger and lovelier old building with a tower and steeple and thought, this must be the cathedral. Again False. Not to be outdone, I decided to follow the general direction everyone else was going, and lo and behold came upon an enormous castle, which is apparently the cathedral. I tried explaining that we don’t really have buildings like this in America… but oh well.

Anyway, check out the pics above, will do my best to keep these regular!