For the month of June, we asked all of our writers to include a video in their piece.
I’m writing to you from my bathrobe. In a window seat. In a castle. In England.
At times, I think I must have fallen asleep on the couch in Ann Arbor and am merely dreaming of cream teas and hedgerows. But no! There’s a peacock crying beneath my window, I’m surrounded by seven-foot-thick stone walls, and our hotel room has its own electric tea kettle, because this is really England.
Though it’s nearly 10 p.m. here in Northumberland, the sky is still fairly light. My mom and I are up at the fifth-fifth parallel, a full ten degrees of latitude farther north than Michigan. Days are very long in the summer, very brief in winter. We’ve just come through two rainy ones in the brooding, sheep-trimmed peaks of the Lake District. Last night, we slept at an Airbnb in a rural rowhouse from the 1880s. Tonight, we’ve splurged uncharacteristically on a stay in the elegant Langeley Castle, which was built in the thirteenth century, gutted by fire a short time later, left abandoned for 600 years, renovated in the 1800s, and lately transformed into a luxury hotel.
My mom and I have been traversing England for more than a week now, fulfilling a dream I’ve cherished since I picked up my first Jane Austen novel. On a steady diet of BBC period dramas and stories about Henry VIII and his ill-fated wives, I grew determined to move to England and edit novels from the comfort of my own little rose-draped cottage.
Though my career path has shifted, the foundation of that dream survives. Now, I finally have a firsthand look of the country I’ve adored from afar. Mom and I have traveled by plane, taxi, train, car, and Tube. We’ve snapped photos in the Cotswolds town of Bibury, swerved around sheep in the Lake District, and marveled at 1300-year-old churches of Deerhurst. Along the way, I recorded a few video postcards for you, reader. If you’ll forgive my amateur filming skills and worse narration, please enjoy glimpses from our week. See the video descriptions for more details…
Geneva Langeland (’13) survived graduate school with minimal blood loss, escaping with her ms in environmental policy and communication. She now works in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as the communications editor at Michigan Sea Grant. There, she gets to hang out with educators, researchers, and communicators who love the Great Lakes as much as she does.