Safety in the manor house

All settled in the coffee shop I sipped my tea and started to write this blog.  To my left sat two lovely ladies each nursing coffees and reminiscing.  Ideas weren’t coming to me as quickly as I had hoped so I stopped to listen to Annie and her friend Sophia retell stories of adventures they had lived years ago.

It seems a dance tutor had cancelled right before the start of a performing arts, six month school in Stanton By Dale, England.  Annie, living in Canada at the time, was available to step in at the last moment.  A threat had been posted at all the major airports and she would be flying into Heathrow (one of the target airports).  She wasn’t the least bit alarmed seeing fully armed personnel sitting on the plane and more armed soldiers, rifles at their sides guarding Heathrow when they landed.  Fortunately for her, the threat did not materialize and she was safe.

Upon arrival, the large Manor House would be her home for the next six months while students from around the world would go through the disciplines of mime, choral, piano lessons, drama anddance culminating in a tour around England with performances in many venues.

Annie immedialey fell in love with England and the students.   Her first venture out to the post office was a garage converted into a candy store where she could buy stamps and mail letters.  E-mails had not yet arrived on the scene (nor had computers for that matter). While purchasing some stamps she was greeted with “Ah you must be the dance tutor” and was pleasantly surprised realizing word had circulated around this quaint town that someone new had arrived.

During Easter Break, another staff member and Annie had chosen to remain in the Manor House while students went home for the two week break.

These two ladies soon realized that their front kitchen window faced the street and since their bedrooms were on the second and third floor, if someone broke open the window in the night they would not hear the burglar.  The town was perfectly safe of course, but they needed more assurance.  They devised a plan to prop large cookie sheets against the window and hang frying pans from the top of the window so if someone did come through the window in the night, they would be heard.

Every morning when the ladies went down for breakfast they would laugh as they looked at the booby trap assembled.  Their sleeps were peaceful and the barricades came down before the students returned from holidays.  We never did tell them we were afraid of a break in.

Just as I was getting so involved in their story telling, Sophia quickly looked at her watch and realized she had to go and get her granddaughter from school.  I was loathe for them to separate because I wanted to hear about more of Annie’s adventures.  Hoping if I go back tomorrow, I’ll hear part 2.

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