In order to write today’s blog post, I’ve had to channel my inner Jane Austin. Although my writing pales in comparison to Austin’s eloquence and style, this is my best portrayal of the simple but vast English countryside which I currently call home.
The story begins in early January when I arrive, by coach, (read bus, not horse-drawn carriage) after a two hour drive through South English, at a 15th century castle. The red brick castle, 20 minutes outside of Herstmonceux village in Hailsham, East Sussex, would serve as my temporary home for the next few months. Surrounding it are endless pastures for sheep grazing, and forests with foot paths and horse-riding trails. 5 miles south, past fields of downs (which is Old English speech for hills of rolling grassland), is the English Channel. On cold winter nights, the wind seems to carry the quiet strength of the sea all the way to the village.
In the mornings, I make my way down the paved path between the forests, fondly counting all the resemblance between this scene from my life and the famous Jane Austin novel. As I walk past the sheep, lazily working their way through the grass, I like to pretend I’m going to meet a dashing gentleman to run away with.
So, I’ll be Elizabeth. You, Mr. Darcy.