A Discrepancy at The Welsh Manor House

The manor house.

Oh dear.
In our new volunteer location lives our host, John, and myself. That's it. Built as a "calendar house," it was originally constructed with 365 windows, 52 doors, 12 chimneys, 4 wings, and so on. Braggart's rights, I suppose...
Somehow, despite conversations wherein I received assurance that there would be plenty of woodworking, construction, restoration, etc. to work on at this 30-room behemoth, we find that our dear host actually hopes to keep us in the bramble patches. Disassembling them.

And when I say bramble patch, I don't mean a few ornery blackberry bushes. I mean the type of thing you'd expect a witch or at least an evil wolf to live in. They are patches the size of a mobile home, and they are filled with bad things aiming to poke, scratch, and pierce us.
A patch that's very similar—though smaller—than what we were intended to tackle in our host's backyard     photocred: Gardening at the Edge
Did I mention that blackthorn, apart from having huge spines, is poisonous? On a nicer note, it produces the sloe, a berry most often used for sloe gin.  photcred: About.com
Why was this bramble-clearing workload not included in either the list of things-to-do as reviewed over telephone conversations or in our host's HelpX profile?

Why, when we told him that our intention as volunteers at his home would be to build our skill set regarding construction and craftsmanship, did he not mention among everything else that he planned for weeding to take up the majority of our time here?

Ah, the joyful surprises of being a volunteer.
The dining hall, while beautiful, is purely ornamental, as our host prefers to take meals in front of the television.
But hey, what's this about a 30-room house, you ask? Well, it's the house John and I are living in. It's the house that I'm maaaaybe pretending to be British royalty in...but only sometimes.
One of the guest bedrooms, and you might notice that our host used to have peacocks roaming the grounds
British men like their baths. There's not a functioning shower in the house, which is cute in a water-wasting way
To say the least, this experience (misunderstandings aside) is cool. It's cool figuratively and cool very, very literally. Like I-am-literally-under-three-duvets-right-now cool.

Nobody said it would be easy to heat a 30-room home with only three people living in it.
An old wall, probably belonging to a building where in the old days either meat was cured and stored or dry foods were kept
The beautiful backyard and magically-pruned fruit trees had space for bee hive boxes built into the surrounding walls. The overall space was originally more of a kitchen garden.
Dating back to the 1500s (reminder, this was as our history as North American invaders settlers had only just begun), the home served initially as the town sheriff's and housed over 30 people, including family, servants, and farm hands.

It is the closest I will come to Downton Abbey and I am relishing the fantasy (go ahead, I deserve to be made fun of).
"Maidgirl, come stoke the fire and fluff my pillows, won't you?"
(This is the room that we stayed in, which was in our own wing of the house)
But as you might notice, I am not quite relishing the rest of the situation. Despite our host being an easy-going Welsh gentleman with a love for candy that rivals even the fattest American diabetic child, this lack of promised "skill-building" work upsets me, and we might be on our way sooner than planned.
When in doubt, wear five layers and go for a walk with the sheep

I'll update you soon.

(receive updates in your inbox, if you like!)

1 comment:

  1. This is the best way to satisfy customers and make good relations between customers and the company. If you have recently visited the Food Lion Locations, then provide your feedback on the www.talktofoodlion.com Survey...Food Lion Listens




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...