Monday, 8 October 2012

A Canadian Thanksgiving.

The mere anticipation of a Canadian Thanksgiving at Dunsmore House allowed me to cope with the first week of school and the anxiety that went with it. Three evenings of classes seemed a small price to pay for a weekend of debauchery with a bunch of fellow Canadians in a Manor House in the country (Rugby, Warwickshire).

A couple of friends from University had moved to London on Rugby contracts, followed by a few more friends, and a few more, and years later they all remain, forming quite the contingent of Canadians. While the group wasn’t exclusively Canadian, it was definitely top heavy (not a bad thing). I guess it’s only natural that expats attract more expats. As most of my friends in London so far are British (shocking, I know), it was nice to have a little slice of home (and pumpkin pie) over the holiday.

**You'll have to excuse the quality of the night/ indoor shots- I haven't quite got a handle on this new camera, but I couldn't leave the photos out or we'd have gaps in the weekend (I know, heaven forbid).

Our first dinner after quite the train ride from Euston.

There were thirty something of us. Dunsmore House has three floors, two staircases, and thirteen bedrooms each equipped with huge marble bathrooms and beautiful soaker tubs. The house also boasts a large kitchen with four ovens (necessary for Turkey for thirty), a media room, ping-pong room, pool room, bar, gigantic dining room, and a ballroom. You get the picture. 

The wonderful bedrooms allowed us to escape the madness from time to time and retreat back to our own personal space for some R&R when need be.

S and I slept here.

How does one go back to a London Student Flat after this?

And we woke up to this...

There were even little ones...

And so it began...

Breakfast prep in the kitchen. 

Completely Necessary Footwear.

 The planning for the weekend definitely contributed to its success. Weeks before, we were divided into teams, each with a team captain. Teams were responsible for a meal, as well a portion of the Thanksgiving feast, some sort of alcohol, and coming up with a team costume. As a result of this planning, we were fed like kings, had no shortage of drinks, and were in the company of the Neon Nation, Braveheart Warriors, Lords and Ladies, and the Pan Am flight crew. Castle life was colourful to say the least.

We had perfect weather both days, and spent the majority of each day basking in the sun on the great lawn. We also kept busy with laser Clay Pigeon shooting, lawn sports, and ping-pong, and in the evenings (following dinner at a table for thirty), would retreat into the House Bar which we quickly turned into our own night club.

The Turkey prep commences... (there were 3 of them).

Too many Chiefs??
Dressing for dinner. Lady Mary had a walking boot right?

Thanksgiving toast.

Post dinner carnage.

Today I sit here (on what would actually be Thanksgiving in Canada) back in London (still slightly thirsty), at a starbucks on Northcote Road (still no wifi in our flat) watching the rain fall outside. I’m greatful to have been included in such a fantastic weekend with such a great group of people.

I heard a million stories over the course of the weekend of how various people came to move to this city, and why it is that years later they are still here. What was obvious, was how this group of friends was supporting each other like family in their new home away from home.

 I couldn’t help but wonder what the next year holds for me? 

....and strangely enough what it will feel like when I have to leave all this behind.


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