My first very long day is over and I am ready to try to get some sleep. I left Santa Barbara at 1:25 pm then hopped through LAX and Dallas before the 9 hour flight to London. We arrived London just about on time with no difficulties getting my bag or getting through customs.
On the approach into London we flew right over downtown – I was able to see the parliament buildings, Westminster Abbey, and of course, Big Ben. The photos I got aren’t worth showing because I was peeking through clouds – a bit dreary looking but fun to see anyway.
I got a rental car and drove to Reading just a half hour west. Visiting my nephew Tim, his wife Ali and their 16 month old, Jessica, was nice but my family knows about my obsession with “The Thames”. They live practically on the Thames, so a short walk and there we were – as magnificent as ever!
I only had time for a short visit then had to push on southward to West Dean College – the purpose for my stop here in England. Although I have driven here before, it was just as much a challenge- remembering to stay on the left and the country roads are so narrow! A couple times I hit the curb or shoulder on the left side just to be sure I wasn’t going to get side swiped by drivers passing on the other side of the road. Thank goodness for GPS though. I did not make one wrong turn but would have were I relying on trying to find road signs indicating the direction I should go.
Arrived at the College exactly on my expected schedule – 7:30 pm. This place is amazing! I am not allowed to take pictures inside but it is full of old tapestries and paintings in the huge hallways. It’s heyday was around 1900. Edward James, who created the Foundation that the place survives on was good buddies with Salvador Dali. That gives you a bit of a feel for the kind of things the guy was into. It is a strange combination of old, almost medieval feel combined with a new surreal, artsy feel.
I am staying in one of the, about 100, rooms – hotel like. I think some of the full time students live here. It’s the on-campus “dorm.” Old creaky floors, doors with old style keys, huge stairways, big fireplace, clean rooms but not fancy.
Tomorrow I interview as a candidate for the school – not really sure what to expect it I am told is is somewhat informal. And then it is on to a B&B in Chichestser, a small town nearby, for the night.
Tired but happy,