Welcome to the Spencer House! It’s a delightful little Edwardian outfit complete with two floors of a spacious rooms and comfortable be-curtained bedrooms. It’s also my home-away-from-home while I’m in England! Another prominent feature of the house is the ten-foot-tall wall that encircles it. The only point true point of entrance is a gate located on the side street, complete with an ancient lock and an almost-just-as-ancient doorbell.
I came to the Spencer House by taxi — well actually by plane, by bus, then by taxi to be accurate. So there I was standing in front of the gate on the corner of Woodstock and Moreton roads with my bags and two massive suitcases in tow. I waved goodbye to the friendly taxi driver and started ringing the doorbell. Once. Twice. Three, four, five, fifty times…and nothing happened.
The weather, as you might’ve guessed, was the usual English “cold and windy with a three-hundred percent chance of drizzle.” Needless to say I was cold and desperate to get inside and running out of different ways to ring the doorbell. The gate was locked and there was no other entrance to the house. I realized then that this wasn’t really a house, but a quaint Edwardian fortress!
In a moment of last resort, I threw my purse over the wall then made a sort of pyramid with my suitcases and used them as a step stool to climb up and (with the help of a few well-placed vines) over the wall. I jumped down on the other side and knocked on the bedroom window of our startled looking house-mum, Callie.
I had been the first student to arrive and, thus, the first student to discover our doorbell was broken. To avoid further wall gymnastics, we placed a sign on the gate that read
Attention CSU Students: Doorbell is broken. We’ll leave a window open — just holler.”
I was a little cynical about the plan to be honest, but thankfully everyone’s “hollering” proved effective and we all ended up on the right side of the fence.