The Difference Between Canada and England

The procrastination has begun and school hasn’t even started yet. On Saturday, round three of my program’s internship hiring begins, which means writing lots of cover letters and tweaking my resume. I was going to completely scrap my resume and make a new one, but at this rate I’ll just change my current one. But hey, who can blame me? I’m in a new city (heck, a new country) and there are things to be discovered. As you’ve probably guessed by now, writing this blog post is yet another form of procrastination. But I will work on it today. I will. And before I move onto my next topic, please pray that I get an internship! It’s a degree requirement and I can’t graduate without it. I got 4 interviews over rounds one and two, but no job offers. Hopefully that changes this round. (I’ve hated this whole internship process since it began in October.)

Talking about more interesting things, yesterday Lynn and I went to Baddesley Clinton, a house and grounds held by the National Trust. I received a Canadian National Trust membership for Christmas. The British National Trust has partnered with the Canadian National Trust, so I can get into all of the properties held by the National Trust for free (and free is always good, especially for a student traveling abroad and when their home currency is nearing an all-time low). Otherwise, a Canadian National Trust membership is good for just about nothing (Baddesley Clinton had already been around for 6 centuries when Canada became a country).

The most notable part of the house was the priest holes, where Catholic priests would hide from the priest hunters. We were only able to see one because unfortunately most of the house was closed off for maintenance. There are thought to be a total of three priest holes in the house. Obviously there’s no record of them because then it wouldn’t be a very good hiding place, now would it? The three they know about have only been found when repairs or other work has been done and they’ve come across these spaces. They recently found the one we were able to see because they were cleaning out a fireplace and found a passageway, and subsequently, the priest hole.

Another interesting tidbit is that the owner of the house once killed the priest of the nearby church because he saw him chinning his wife. There’s even a blood stain on the floor from where it happened. (The volunteer guide standing in the room later told us that it’s actually just pigs blood, and while they know the priest was killed in the house, they don’t know where). The man who killed the priest, Nicholas Brome, is buried at aforementioned church. Nicholas extensively repaired the church during his lifetime as penance for killing the priest.

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Saint Michael Parish Church, where Brome is buried

We also briefly stopped at the Hatton Locks. We didn’t walk along them for long because it was very muddy, but it was neat to take a look at. It’s a series of over 20 locks and the height difference between beginning and end is 148ft. I’d like to go through a set of locks on a boat sometime. Maybe not a stretch of 20 though.

My hope is to be able to see lots of the buildings and estates that the National Trust owns. I love looking at old houses and learning about the often frankly ridiculous histories they hold. Unfortunately, this time of year isn’t big for England’s tourist season so most of the buildings are closed, or open but under renovation. But I’ve looked up a couple that are close to Leeds and will probably make a weekend trip of going to see them.

I also realized that I have to adjust my frame of mind regarding the scale of maps. I was looking at a map of around Leeds, and figured it would take about 2hrs to drive to the next big city. According to my aunt, it takes 45mins. That’s what you get for growing up in Canada and moving to England (England could fit into Canada 40 times with room to spare). Just another thing that I have to adjust to. On the plus side, I think my body is completely on England time. I’m still tired though. Hopefully I can be well rested for when I move to Leeds on Thursday.

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