Tuesday, January 13, 2004

January 9

Besides the whole mix up with my laptop battery and the school office, we left on time and in good shape. Well, Nathan's battery was dead, so we (and by we I mean Joel) had to find jumper cables and Mr Martin saved the day and boosted the car. So. Once we were on the road, things were fine. We arrived at the airport in good time, met up almost right away with Susan, an ABU Oxford student, Carole, also an oxford student, ended up right behind us in the checkin line, and then we found Joel Rusthoven and Heidi and Tina within minutes. Sam and Nathan have a friend who works for Air Canada and he pulled us out of line to open a new checkin for us, and good thing he did-- Susan's ticket had apparently been cancelled by the travel agent over a month ago! So this friend spent close to an hour on the phone and eventually managed to get her back on to our exact flight, and we all went through.
Once we boarded the plane, poor Tina was all by her lonesome-- the others of us all got tickets in one section, while she was 15 rows up from us. Before the flight began, the attendants had to duct tape a baggage compartment up, and find out what fuse kept blowing, causing all the lights to go off. When we were scheduled to fly, the captain came on with the announcement that one of our second engines wasn't working properly so they had to check that out, but no big deal, we'll fly anyway. Great. When the movie started, I plugged in my ear phones and found classical music, classical music, and more classical music. I couldn't change the channel to the movie audio, and I could only even hear the classical music in my right ear. Oh well, I watched the whole of "Seabuscuit" without audio and could follow the plot better than other movies I've watched with audio. Supper was served at 8 or 9, and breakfast was served at 12 (5am England). We arrived safely in Heathrow at 6:41am, but couldn't exit the plane because (1) the plane ahead of us wasn't out of the terminal yet, and (2) when it did leave the terminal they couldn't attach the walkways to the plane. When we got off and made it to Immigration, we had lost Tina and then got split up into two different lines-- Susan, Carole and I got the better end of the deal-- we made it through before Sam, Joel and Heidi cleared the half way point. While we were getting our baggage, Susan raised an interesting point-- had anyone actually seen Tina get *on* the plane?? We waited for fourty five min for sam and the gang to clear immigration, and Lo and behold, Tina was with them. We met Dr Mantz, and then sat in Heathrow for another three hours, for three different flights to come in. Once we all boarded the bus, (after one girl had to retrieve her passport from the plane, and a guy had to get his backpack that he had set down in immigration) we proceeded to Charlbury, and most of us slept the majority of the way. We had lunch in the Baptist church, which was built in the 1850's, took a walking tour of downtown Charlbury, met our hosts and unpacked (and took showers and changed-- 35 hours in the same clothes is a bit much!!), walked back to the church to have supper, and then walked back home again.
So. I know, it's long, and I'm sorry if I droned too much. But. I cannot differentiate between today and yesterday-- when you don't sleep, and you miss five hours of a day, then it doesn't really appear as if you're in your second day as opposed to your first. My host's name is Marion, quite a lovely lady to talk to, and she knows what she wants and doesn't want out of this experience of having us, and has made that clear. A little intimidating, Tina and I were hoping for a host that would say, we're only *supposed* to feed you breakfast, but here's lunch and / or supper too... nope. *This* is our cupboard, *those* are hers. mmm, it'll be interesting to see how this all turns out. I could forsee some tension in the future three months, but then again, maybe because she's so upfront with what we are not to do, we won't run into problems.
Tomorrow we head to Stratford to do some sightseeing- Get a tour around the festival theatre, and tour a 17th century farm. And maybe wander around for a bit on our own. Oh, I forgot to mention one thing-- in order to get to the place where we'll be having lectures, I have to walk past this quaint little "cottage," which happens to be where the Arch Bishop of Canterbury lives on the weekends. Right here in downtown charlbury. And Marion does his gardens.
Work also begins, though, I have to have two plays read by friday. Shouldn't be a problem, they look interesting. "The Way of the World" and "The Beggar's Opera."
Well, I'm off to bed. Much to be done tomorrow, little sleep to be gotten.

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