Wednesday, September 26

Adventures in Rainland

Yesterday I had a very fun adventure exploring the countryside and town of Newcastle. I wondered around town where I live and stumbled on the Keele Parish church, which was an old church from the 1700s or something like that. The church was super old and pretty, with stained glass and a steeple and timbres. I wandered around the grave yard, it was so quaint and old. I felt like Miss. Marple or something :) The whole reason I was wandering around town in the first place was to find The Old Schoolhouse which used to be the school house of Keele Parish but is now owned by a couple and they have some rooms to rent. I ended up in their backyard but didn’t know if I should just walk up to the back door and knock, so I just walked away. I found the front of the house, which was through this really cute old iron gate. When I rang the bell, she ushered me in out of the rain, and her husband popped into the room. He asked if I had been in the back yard, and I guiltily said yes- that I was at the church walking around and kind of happened to end up in the backyard. He asked why I was walking in the rain, and I said “Isn’t that what British people do?”, he laughed and walked away!!
Then I headed down ‘three miles road’ just to see where it went and not even about 2 minutes down there was a huge pasture full of sheep!! I was walking along the sidewalk and they all just stopped and starred at me!! It was so cute, so British! It looks like the pasture went on for miles and miles, and I assume based on the name of the road, it goes on for three miles.
I finally made it into Newcastle-under-Lyme for the first time on my own. I wandered around the market, which apparently is a medieval market from the 1100’s. Some of the store fronts were still old with thatched roofs and exposed Tudor beams. They had some American type stores like McDonalnds (pronounced MacDonalnds), Laura Ashley, and Subway but the town basically had a lot of stores I didn’t recognize. I found the poundbakery and got some meat pies for dinner- one meat and potato and the other chicken, for a pound (which was a great deal). However, all I could think about when I was looking at the pies was Sweeny Todd and it kind of turned me off to them at first; however I had the chicken one last night and it was actually quite tasty! (Pictures to come) I just wandered around town until I got lost, and I found St. George’s Chapel and walked around the gorunds of the church for a while, it was even older than Keele Parish. It was quite beautiful.
I spent the night in the kitchen with my other flat mates cooking dinner while they got ready for the concert. Then Maroulla made me my first ‘cupper’ or cup of tea for England! They all laughed because I needed sugar for my tea, because apparently they only use cream!! It was actually really yummy.