On new homes and old staircases

Over the past week, three important things have happened.

One: I was assigned to the Vimy memorial site, and I already love it. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying talking to the visitors, my tours in English and in French are improving each time I give them, and my collection of assorted random facts about the site and WWI in general is growing. I have a feeling I’ll be writing about some of these new additions more in depth here later, so stay tuned.

Brace yourselves: WWI history posts are coming.

Brace yourselves: WWI history posts are coming.

Two: we finally moved out of the hotel we’d been put up at during training and moved into our houses. Two weeks of living in a tiny room with two tiny, uncomfortable beds and no way to store or cook food meant that I nearly wept with joy at the sight of our spacious kitchen and multiple fridges. Their existence alone guaranteed I would fall in love with this place. Add to that the fact we have three floors’ worth of rooms and space (it fills up quickly with seven people living here!) and you get a huge improvement in living conditions generally.

I have found that living on the top floor of this house has some interesting side effets, however. For example, every time I forget something in my room, I must either decide between the hike to the top or going without. Even when I don’t forget anything I’ve been finding that moving around this house involves a lot of going up and down stairs.
I especially found this to be true when answering the phone. The house has a landline and the phone, of course, has a cord. I meditated on how much cell phones have changed my life as I barreled down from the top of the house to the bottom in order to answer it in time. I thought about it some more while I leaned on the wall to catch my breath, the nearby couch not being available to me as I was limited by the length of the cord.

Long story short, my long-distance running this summer is apparently going to be complemented by extensive stair training. How’s that for a silver lining?

Third important (though seemingly unrelated) thing: I have been catching up on all the episodes of Downton Abbey I missed while my first year of law school happened. While this is important in its own right (because who doesn’t love an episode of Downton Abbey?) it also has me musing on the lower body strength of basically the entire ‘downstairs’ cast. Every single time I make my way up our household’s single staircase I reflect on tasteful aerial perspectives of the massive abbey which generally show up at least three times per episode. How many staircases must they have, and how many hours of their lives do they spend going up and down them?

Another thing I’ve been reflecting on is the degree to which the downstairs crew at Downtown must be ninjas. This old house (and especially its staircases) talks all day long. And by talk I mean creaks and groans every time any of its residences so much as looks at a floorboard. If the abbey has been around for as long as the upstairs cast are always insisting that it is, then how on earth are the downstairs crew always moving around so silently?

These are the things that have been on my mind lately. Not necessarily the first things you’d expect would be on my mind from the past week, but there it is. More tales of adventures and musings on history to follow soon!

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One thought on “On new homes and old staircases

  1. I’ve been enjoying catching up on your most recent ambitions – eager to hear about how this time as a tour guide goes! No doubt you’ll be excellent at it. I was in Victoria today and thought of you. Enjoy that kitchen (and many other wonderful French-y things)!

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