Guys, this is where it happened…
-Amy looking at Jane Austen’s writing table
Yes, of course I’m talking about Jane Austen’s house in Chawton (don’t worry, I can feel the men’s eyes glazing over as I write this). I am a lover of Austen’s writing, I think she captured the small details of a rather small and confined world with quick wits and a keen sense of the ridiculous, whatever those eye-rollers may have to say about it. I also love the English countryside, there is nothing like it in the world. My parents live in Suffolk by Cambridgeshire and it really is a pretty place in a quiet and simple way. The summer is nice, but I love and live for the winter when the fens are covered in fog and the air is crisp…nothing beats that.
But I digress. Chawton is another of those quiet hamlets that just make you sigh in contentment looking at it. It’s a pub, a tearoom, a great house, a church, and a smattering of country cottages that makes you feel like it must have been sitting in the countryside like that for centuries unchanged. The Austen house itself is small and prettily kept with lovely gardens, but you can tell that the women who lived there had a very quiet and uneventful life. Just makes you appreciate her insights into the foibles of humanity and society that much more keenly!
And, of course, across the street we discovered a fabulous little tearoom called Cassandra’s Cup, probably named after Jane’s sister. Dr. Chapman, the sort of man who just keeps going until someone pulls on the reigns, was apparently looking all over for his troop of thirty young women and found us eating scones and drinking hot chocolate completely content.
We were storing up energy for our next stop, Salisbury Cathedral (with the best preserved copy of Magna Carta in its archives) and then on to Stonehenge. Natalia’s remark looking at it, “Oh, that’s it?” It is a bit underwhelming, but something everyone needs to see at least once in their lives!