At work in England

At the end of the last Blog, Annette and I had made it to Kilworth house.  What a beautiful place!  Check it out.  Google “Kilworth House”.

This is an old, stately country home that has been renovated and turned into a conference center and hotel.

Tonight we walked through the second floor just to see the artwork and the beauty of the actual building.  All of the artwork on the walls is great.  Some big pieces.  Some small pieces.  And every now and then some quotes from Lord Byron, Shakespeare, Wadsworth, etc.

The building was restored very well.  I was looking at the carvings in the woodwork.  It looks like it is new.  This is a great place to see what a house like this looked like in its heyday.

There is a greenhouse attached to the building, which is called the Orangery.  Maybe they grew orange trees in there in the early days of the house?  But the Orangery is the main restaurant for the hotel.  It is fine dining.  The presentation of the food is beautiful, but sometimes the food is overcooked.  I don’t think this is the “fault” of the chef.  I think the English like it that way.

Another interesting food thing they do is that they bring you a little rack of toast.  They cut the toast in half from corner to corner and then stand up 6-8 toast triangles in this rack.  By the time it gets to you the toast is cold.  The butter won’t melt on it.  Again, I don’t think anyone is doing a bad job, that’s just the way the English have come to expect it.

Well, as several of you have noted, there hasn’t been much about work.  But I actually did go to work on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The cubicles, if you can call them that, were almost non-existent.   Imagine an X of walls.  A person had an indentation/corner in the X.  But the cubical walls were just a meter high or so.  There is absolutely no privacy.  Normally cubical walls stop some of the noise, but not here.  You can hear what is going on several desks away.  And how do they concentrate with all that noise!???

Anyway, I was presenting some training to several groups.  That went pretty well.  My boss actually texted me and said that he had heard that it was going well.

The JLG facility is on a large property with an airplane landing strip, which was actually a US Air Force base during WWII.  

The person who currently owns it is using it to make money anyway that he can.  He leases space out to companies like JLG.  He leases the runway and taxiways out to car manufacturers and motorcycle manufacturers for testing.  He flies old planes (Huge airliners) in and takes them apart and sells the parts. He rents space for people to store their junk.

One other very interesting thing that goes on there is the Manheim Auto Auctions.  Evidently, all of the rental companies and leasing companies send their used cars through here.  They have auctions two days a week.  There are detailing bays that clean up the cars.

The auction is held in a huge hangar.  One night after work they had staged about 500 cars in front of the hangar with another couple hundred off to the side.  In the morning, they were all gone.  Just imagine the staff they needed to move all of those cars in the time allotted!

Well, enough about that place.

After work on Tuesday evening, a group of the guys were going to a pub.  They were taking out Marcel from Belgium, Charlie (my training partner) and me.  I brought Annette along.  We went to a pub.

Pubs are drinking houses, but they are also a very popular and common restaurants.

Anyway, the pub that we went to was having a Carvery on Tuesday night.  This is sorta like a buffet, but there is a cook slicing off chunks of meet for you and then you can get your vegetables out of large trays, much like you would at a buffet back home.  You only were entitled to one serving of meat, but the vegetables were all-you-could-eat.  The food was OK.  

It was awkward at first for Annette, but then she turned on her smile (and Laugh) and started making conversation with Jeremy and Bruno and the evening turned out OK.

Wednesday night was a great experience.  We noticed that the Kilworth House has an outdoor theater, so we signed up for the pre-theater dinner and the show.  (Quite expensive)  
The dinner was in the Orangery.  The food was beautifully presented and overall was pretty good.  Then we walked down to the theater.  One of the guys at work said that he had been to a show there.  He said that he expected it to be rather amateurish, but it turned out to be very professionally done.  And that is the way this evening was.  My expectations were kept in check, but the performances were very professional.  The play was “Anything Goes”.  It’s an American play.  There were some references to old-time American pop culture and I wondered if they were lost on the English.
On Wednesday, at lunchtime, we went to a pub called The Joiners Arms.  The food was the best that I have had in the UK!  It was so good that tonight I took Annette and we went back.
Charlie paid the bill at our lunchtime at the Joiners Arms and I don’t know if he didn’t leave a big enough tip or what, but the main guy in charge seemed to not like us.  Maybe he doesn’t like Americans.  
They opened at 6:30.  We got there at 10 to 7:00 and there was nobody in the place.  He asked if we had reserved a table and when we said no, he said that he only had one table left, a small table right near the entrance.  It was one of the obviously less desirable tables.  Then it was all we could do to get him to pay attention to us.  By the time that we left, about an hour later, only four or five of the other tables had filled up!  Yeah, right!  He only had one table left! Hah!

Anyway, we ordered the Supreme of Chicken with Mediterranean Vegetables and Chorizo.  The chicken was nicely cooked.  The vegetables were cooked but were not cooked to the “mush” stage.  The Chorizo was a few slices of sausage.  There was a glaze/sauce on the whole thing that was nicely sweet.  Annette and I both really enjoyed it.

After dinner, Annette and I took a short, quick walk around the back of the Kilworth House.  This place is just beautiful!

So here we are.  Up to date.  Annette and I are in one of the sitting rooms by Reception.  Annette’s working on pictures and typing up notes about her days and experiences.

Tomorrow, we check out of the Kilworth House and head up to King’s Lyn in Norfolk.  If you are looking for this on the map, look at the part of England that juts out to the east.  King’s Lyn is near the top of that.

Sorry.  No time for pictures on these days.

Until next time…