I'll start with the house. I'm sitting in the first floor sitting room right now waiting for Paul and Sig to come back from the fish and chip shop with the orders. I'm borrowing Nick's computer which fortunately has both Mexican AND American settings so I don't have to figure out where the @ sign is all the time. It's nice. What I'm about to type is a description of the house and general introduction to this week. Mostly everything has been amazing and overwhelming and man oh man is this going to take a bunch of entries to cover. So please bear with me, don't worry if you don't recognize names or remember who everyone is- there will be profiles coming soon (I've got pictures ready and everyhing.) So with no further ado, here's what I've got so far:
This house is amazing, beautiful and filled with random unique bedrooms. I'm up on the 3rd floor in the old nursery beceause I liked that the room has random carpeted stairs that lead nowhere. Across the hall is a room with two bunkbeds where Kate, Tara, Jorge, and Nick are all staying. The first night they kept me awake with all their giggling.
The second floor has Heather in a giant master bedroom with ensuite bathroom. The window looks out on to the sea- the rest of us were creeped out by all of the dark open space, but she loves the room and in daylight it is quite lovely. However we are rarely at the house in the daylight. Sigrun, Paul and heir 3.5 year old son Rhys are on that level too. (Right now Nick is playing a very loud version of Hide and Seek with a very giggly Rhys. "Is he in the bottle?!" "No! giggle giggle")
The first floor has small bedrooms where Emma, Jo, and Caroline are all staying as well as a large sitting room with cushy couches, a large TV, and a window seat facing the ocean.
The ground floor is where we spend most of our time in the house- specifically in the kitchen. There are five rooms on the ground floor- a front sitting room, a dinning room we haven't really used except for a masive note sharing session where we all tried to remember what we had learened this week, a half bath, a laundry room, and the kitchen. The lovely, lovely kitchen.
The kitchen has a giant gas Aga, tons of cupboards, and a massive table with built in bench that we squeeze in to. We all sit around the table and chop vegetables and drink wine in an extended dinner party that has lasted all week. Everyone has been really good about chipping in with the cooking, the set up, and the clean up. We've had different teams of people making supper each night. The first night we made a mushroom risotto and a giant salad that was so good that everyone got competitive and tried to one up the night before's dinner. We've been eating well. And a lot- the amount of food that 12 people go through is just phenomenal. I think the crowning glory is a 3 gallon trifle that took 2 days to make and we're going to eat tonight after the fish and chips. (We've been very healthy so far- lots and lots of vegetables. But I think we're making up for it all tonight.)
Continuing on with the house- the door bell is this horrible awful out of tune version of Beethoven's "ode to joy" that gets steadily flatter as it plays. Everyone winces when the doorbell is rung, which is frequently because there is only one house key and if you're in a charming Suffolk cottage by the sea you have to take walks. We're about 20 feet from the ocean, and I have to tell you that part of the reason we all hang out in the kitchen so much is because the Aga is there and it is the only place where it is remotely warm. My windows are fogged up every morning with condensation.
Oh, and the bathroom! There are a bunch of bathrooms and really there is no reason for five of us to be sharing one, but we accidentally set it up that way so whatever. The important part is that it is a bath with a shower head, so I've had practice with my first ever sit down shower- which still has enough novelty to be amusing but I'm pretty sure would get old quickly.
("This time we have to find a new hiding place, Rhys" -Heather. I guess he's been going to the same place each time. Now Nick is a giant and going to eat Rhys. It's fun having a 3.5 year old in the house. He's such a happy good kid, but more on him later when I do the profiles. For now I'm going to go back down stairs and join everyone else.)