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Home Sweet Homefield

I can hardly believe it, but this is already my 20th blog post. How time flies! It seems like only yesterday I was reflecting on Luther College’s decided lack of swans. To mark this special occasion, I have decided to talk more about my time living in Nottingham, certainly the most meaningful experience of my college career (if not of my life). I have mentioned my time abroad before (particularly here), but I don’t think that I could cover it all even in a dozen posts. So I suppose I’ll just have to say something about my Nottingham home.

I lived with nine other Luther students in a flat above a German Lutheran Church. Perhaps the scenery was less than stunning (row upon row of slate-rooved brick houses), but the inside was the most beautiful place I will ever live. It was wonderfully spacious (not even counting the library and piano rooms downstairs). The merged dining room and den was the hub of our socializing. Every weekday, a cook crew would whip up dinner, and we would all gather together to eat, along with Jim and Karen Matrin-Schramm, our Luther College appointed “chaperones,” instructors, and temporary adopted parents.

The most beautiful thing about this space were the many windows. It seems like every morning sunlight streamed in to lift our spirits (even though there must have been quite a few gray and rainy days— it was the UK after all), and I can remember one spring afternoon in particular when we threw them all open to bask in the warm breeze.

In this space we played games and watched movies from the vast selection collected after decades of student inhabitation. We also took a class on contemporary British society for which a member of the Nottingham community would come to speak to us once a week. Our Professor, Jim Martin-Schramm, also taught a course on the fascinating Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor involved in an assassination plot against Hitler.

But there was so much more than just the dining room and den, there was the kitchen, where I spent an incredible amount of time. It was a fabulous space, equipped with two ovens, two refrigerators, and anything else a cook could ever need. I baked quite a lot during my time in Nottingham— including many birthday cakes for flat mates— and I cannot praise the kitchen space enough. We saw our fair share of disasters there, like the time the lasagna noodles all melded together into a giant slab, or when a pot of tomato soup got spilled behind the oven. Oh, yeah, we also shattered a lot of IKEA glassware— it turns out our dish dryers have slippery fingers.

But there is just too much to mention. There was the church yard in which we could sit and relax, and sometimes kick a soccer ball. The ground floor held a library full of a few hundred books that had been left behind over the years. With a comfy couch and space heater, it was easily the coziest place around.  Next to the library was a piano room for the musically inclined. Past groups swear the piano is haunted, but none of us ever noticed anything paranormal.

I can’t believe it, but I have rambled on for so long, and I still feel as if I have hardly scratched the surface. Maybe one day I’ll be able to get around to a post that describes the University, itself, and the city of Nottingham. But until then, it’s nice to reflect on home— #67 Homefield Road.

A view from the flat window
Setting up for my last dinner in the flat
Playing Monopoly!
Having fun in the dining room
A view of the kitchen
A devoured cheesecake
I heard this piano played a lot, but never by any ghost
The whole group at Thanksgiving dinner

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