Most of this weekend has been spent cleaning and packing. The only way to determine if I need to ship things home is to pack everything I own here into my 2 suitcases and weigh them to see if they are each under 50 pounds. It's a little tricky, since I'll be using things for a few more weeks, but since I'll be gone most of that time, I needed to get cracking. So this weekend, I decided to stay local.
The weekend did get off to a good start, however, with a Stocks Green Staff party with an ABBA sing-a-long at a curry place on Friday night. Brilliant combination! I do have photos, but I know that some of the school parents read my blog and I'd rather not lose my job with only 3 days left to teach. Suffice it to say, a good time was had by all.
A very good time.
I decided that if I met my packing goals over the weekend, I would visit a couple local places that I've been wanting to see, Ightham Mote and Knole. Both are National Trust Properties. The National Trust is a wonderful agency that protects historic homes, castles, gardens, pubs and even entire villages! I have definitely got my money's worth from my National Trust membership this year!
When I got my first suitcase packed, I headed off to Ightham Mote.
|I'm a big fan of anything with a moat around it!|
Ightham Mote is a 14th century moated manor house. It comes complete with a Great Hall, a crypt and a couple of knights in shining armour. (I'm so torn if I should spell that the British way or the American way..... well, it's their armour, so we'll go with the Brits.)
|What do you think, "armor" or "armour"?|
|Can you believe that beautiful building is a horse stable?|
|I really liked the gardens!|
|I wish my blog had "smell-o-vision", Sweet Peas and Lavender,|
it doesn't get much better that that!
|Thank you National Trust, for letting the public visit places like this!|
Okay, I didn't exactly get the second suitcase packed, but I made good progress and did all the laundry and hung it out to dry, so that's worth something, right? So it was off to Knole. Knole was built as a palace for the Archbishops of Canterbury. Not a bad parsonage! Archbishop Tomas Bourchier liked to hunt deer, so in 1456, Knole became a deer park. There are still 400 descendents of those 15th century deer at Knole! In 1538 Knole was given to King Henry VIII (he always seemed to get what he wanted!) and it eventually ended up belonging to the Sackville family who have lived here for 400 years and still occupy part of the house. It's a "calendar house" with 365 rooms, 52 staircases, 12 entrances and 7 courtyards.
|Descendants of the Original Knole Deer!|
|This guy really got around! It seems Henry VIII|
has something to do with almost everyplace I visit!
|This looks a lot like one of the rooms in my flat.|
|Clocktower: I think I read it came from Denmark.|
As I was leaving Knole, I noticed some fellows in white up on the top of a nearby hill. I had a sneaking suspicion that they might be playing this game that I still cannot figure out! I went to investigate, and indeed they were. No time to stick around and learn the rules of cricket, I had a shower back home to clean!
Today also marked my last day to attend church at St. John's in Hildenborough. My plan was to visit different churches during the year and not really get attached to one in particular, but I've really enjoyed St. John's so that plan went out the window. Unfortunately, I was out of town last weekend for the vicar's last Sunday before retirement, but I did get to say goodbye to him when he came to do an assembly at my school. I got one last photo with the Hamlyn family who have been so wonderful to me and took me into their home when I needed to move out of my first UK home.