The next morning, we were scheduled for a fire drill at 8:00 am, with breakfast in the cafeteria and rehearsal for the children there after. I was up bright and early that morning and in our house commons enjoying a cup of coffee with one of the other chaperons. We peeked through the window on to the sleepy little street to see two men walk by in the drizzle and exchange pleasantries. It was 6:30 am in England and both she and I wondered when rush hour would begin. It was so still and quiet and calming, when all of a sudden, the fire drill goes off in our house. As I rounded the corner to the doorways, sleepy children and chaperons were filing down the stairs in orderly fashion and out to the courtyard below. We cleared our building in less than 3 minutes and I couldn’t have been more proud of how well everyone did. The house manager came to see if all was well and then checked the building, only to find that water had seeped through a window and had set the alarm off, thus we had our fire drill a tad early! This began our second day in merry old England!
Since everyone was up, we started the day and began to get ready for the days adventures. After breakfast, the students had rehearsal in the Big School Room for most of the morning, so an excursion had been arranged for the chaperons to Glastonbury. Anyone not wishing to go was encouraged to enjoy the town of Sherborne. I had explained to many of the uncertain chaperons that Glastonbury was worth their while. I later found out that they were delayed in leaving, got stuck in some traffic and ended up in Shaftesbury.
Prior to our trip, we had collected lunch money for the students and had exchanged it before leaving the USA. When we got to Sherborne, our thoughts were to exchange some of the larger bills for smaller ones so we could give the chaperons exact change for their family groups. (Each group of chaperons and students was considered a family and had either an American composer or and English composer as their surname!) Being from the big city, we didn’t realize that our request to exchange these bills was going to be the equivalent of “breaking the bank” in such a small town. The look on the three tellers faces was priceless when we walked in with a wad of pound notes and began asking for 10’s 5’s and 1 pound coin. They asked if it would be possible for me to fill out some paperwork and come back shortly and they’d be able to see if they could fulfill my request.
When I returned, they assessed their situation and were more than happy to help me out. I must say, they were extremely thorough in their system and I was quite impressed. When I left the building it had taken them just over an hour to complete the whole transaction and I had to have Frank carry my bag with all the exchanged coin. (I’d needed 792 one pound coins and they are extremely HEAVY. It felt like 792 pounds in my bag!) After such an heroic effort on the part of the banking staff, we went to a local florist and purchased a bouquet for each of them. I had Frank go deliver the bouquets with profuse thanks!
Such an experience demands a to be followed by a good cup of coffee, so Frank, a chaperon and I, found a pub/coffee shop. I enjoyed a delicious freshly brewed cup of coffee and Frank went for the tea. Both were fantastic and we enjoyed our biscuits as well. The hospitality of the town of Sherborne had been outstanding!
Once we had enjoyed our refreshments, we decided to stroll about the town and see what it looked liked while shops were open. The retail district in Sherborne closed up shop promptly between 5:00 and 5:30 pm, which was something new for the children to experience.
Fresh fruits and vegetables spilled out into the street on their trays and shelving. Flowers were abundant at every turn and the folks of Sherborne were out and about for their day. Light foot traffic was in the streets and an occasional vehicle passed by. It had occurred to me that I was experiencing that rush hour I had been asking about earlier!
Sherborne is not very big, but we found a very nice pub that had Wi Fi, where we tried to post to our blog the next day. The fish and chips were delicious as well.
We returned to the cafeteria for lunch with the kids and then we were off to the town of Bath. Follow the magic “brolly” to the next part of my blog, just like we did for our time in Bath!