and a change is as good as a rest, particularly if the change is to such a restful place 🙂
We have had to shuffle about the next few weeks as we had a couple of cancellations which would have left us with empty weeks. We had been invited to stay at Paddington and our next host was flexible with us about when we arrived but we got one of those offers you just can’t refuse and fate conspired to mean our move was just next door!
Whilst at Paddington we were invited to the new neighbours for a pizza evening mid week. New owners have just taken over at Middlewick Holiday Cottages and have a regular Wednesday night pizza party using the fab brick built outdoor pizza oven. Neighbours, local friends and any residents of the cottages are all invited along to bring their own toppings and a bottle and join the fun. We headed over with T&M and had a fab few hours chatting to various people including the old and new owners, a couple of guests and some of the staff.
The following day Jill, the owner came and found us working in the orchards and offered us a swim in the residents pool which we very gratefully accepted. We crossed paths most days and we went over again on Sunday for another swim and some delicious rhubarb cake and Jill showed us round one of the cottages and made us the rather un-turn-downable offer of WWOOFing for her for a week in exchange for use of the cottage, plus swimming pool, plus trampoline, plus access to her very lovely dog Maggie who Dragon and Star adore, plus a fridge-full of food.
Well what would you do?
We decided that people who jack in their jobs, rent their house out and head off in a very well loved campervan for a year have to practise saying ‘yes’ to pretty much every opportunity that comes along and this seemed like a good opportunity. So we finished up Monday’s tasks at Paddington of cleaning out the feed shed, feeding the animals and dusting pigs and chickens for mites, went on a very unproductive shoe hunt to nearby Street and Wells for Dragon (have since ordered some online) and then arrived and settled in to Orchard View. Oh to have a bed, a shower, a kitchen, electricity again 🙂
We’re doing a vast array of tasks here including: gardening, clearing rubbish, tidying, painting, cleaning and housekeeping, some painting and decorating, reorganising the library, lighting the pizza oven, testing appliances and TV channels in each cottage, a spot of ghost-hunting (cottages are 350 years old and reputed to be haunted). We’re also doing plenty of swimming, getting to know Jill (and now her son who has arrived today and is currently having a great time with Dragon and Star in the swimming pool), playing with Maggie the dog, I was lucky enough to have a wonderful massage from the lovely Shirley and enjoying the luxury interlude of four walls again for a while. We’re learning loads about all sorts of things and really enjoying yet another diverse environment to the ones we’ve already stayed in – definitely another interesting chapter in what is already shaping up to be a good story of our year.
Infact, it’s going so swimmingly that we have done some further reshuffling of our schedule and filled what was an empty week with staying on here for longer. Jill seems pleased with what we’re doing (although she was less keen on my bad influence of ‘one more glass of wine’ the evening she came and had dinner with us!), there is plenty to be getting on with helping with here and as there are plenty of children around next week Dragon and Star are only too happy to hang out here a bit longer.