Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Into the Danger Zone at The Trust

The National Trust, that is. Known as The Trust to those on the inside. Like the city, I guess. And I'm now officially on the inside. I'm working as a volunteer so I don't get deported, but I was talking with my boss today about the fact that everyone's basically treating me like a full-time paid employee. Which is really nice. Except that I don't get paid. Once I'm married I'll have a visa and be able to actually make money for the work I'm doing. It's pretty cool being a volunteer, though...I can work whenever I want, for as long as I want. I'm taking Friday off to meet John in London (he's down for the week, installing the new phone system), which would be harder if I were full-time.

When I first got my Trust badge with my name on it, I was SO excited. John had to stop me from pinning it to my pjs and wearing it to sleep. Today really took the cake, though. It's freezing in the House, so I put on a puffy NT vest (they call them bodywarmers....vests are undershirts), pinned my name badge to it and wrote a press release. The vest is this mangy old green thing with an NT logo on the front and is generally worn by house wardens and gardeners with their brown cords. Needless to say, I was a happy camper. I was v. sad when I had to take it off at the end of the day. I'm definitely going to have to ask the powers that be to order one for me.

After writing the press release, there were some signs that needed laminating. I don't know what it is that I love about laminating, but it's completely addictive. Laminated knitting patterns, anyone? I think if John doesn't watch out, I might laminate him.

Because Ickworth is so big, everyone has radios to talk to each other. I love the way people radio each other to announce that a fresh pot of tea has been brewed in the kitchen. The genuine enthusiasm that is generated by the radio squawking, "TEA in the KITCHEN!" is so funny. It's like they've been craving tea all day but didn't realize it. "Oh! TEA?? How lovely!" Tea is not all fun and games, though. There is a definite danger zone that starts somewhere after the 4th cup. I start to get a little jittery and feel like I should demand some scones and clotted cream.

Freda (John's mom) has all kinds of great stories about Ickworth and the Trust (she worked for them for ages). The Marquess of Bristol who was in residence when she was working for the Trust was a bit 'eccentric' and he and his friends would go on drug-fueled naked romps around the grounds while visitors were walking through. As my scottish colleague said, "he did cause a wee spot of bother." Um, yeah.

BTW, this is why I'm working 8am to 8pm tomorrow. Awesome!


C said...

I can't believe you're working an event hosted by a guy named Sir Nicholas Bacon. And that house!! This sounds like the best job ever.

I want to move to England! Only I have no Brit to marry so would have no income. Psshhh, who needs money...

Emily Hannah! said...

a) I think you should do a little debauchery of your own on the grounds, it's healthy for you

b) I changed the feed on my blog, so if you want the link to work you need to update it (I don't want people to think that your HTML skills aren't up to par!!)

Anonymous said...

I just put a fresh pot of tea on. Any takers? I'll even throw in the scones if you come all the way to Boston...