At pretty much every single one of our WWOOFing hosts I think it is fair to say that hosts have become friends. This last week the opposite has been true and friends have become hosts!
After a fairly intense first half of our planned adventures (we have booked nine months worth of hosts, we are now four and a half months in) with no real time off to speak of we were all feeling ready for a proper break. We have had days off and the odd restful period here and there but not a genuine break with no work or expectations since we set off. We were due to WWOOF at a community in South Wales which did look great and I am sure would have been another good experience and chance to meet yet more interesting people but it was 100 miles plus in the wrong direction to the host we are now at in Derbyshire so we decided to take a week off, invest the petrol costs saved in food and a campsite and contacted friends to arrange meeting up.
So Saturday last week saw us heading to Cheshire, an area we lived in for several years when Dragon and Star were really small and the home of our dear friends Lynda and Stuart. We have stayed with them several times before and they have always been notable for an amazing level of hospitality but I think they surpassed their own very high standard this time. And of course we were oh-so ready for a bit of home comfort!
We were greeted with glasses of wine and beer for Ady and I, the delicious scent of chicken and sausages (MEAT!) wafting out of their kitchen, the sun shining on their patio, jelly and trifle for pudding, a bath and real beds. If we’d compiled a list of all the things we were missing and handed it to them I don’t think they could have done a better job of ticking them off!
We enjoyed Lynda and Stuart’s company so much and are so very grateful for how well looked after they made us feel. Knowing we have their love, support, faith in us and championing of our adventure means more to us than I can ever express. So Lynda, these ones are for you.
|with Snowdonia in the background|
|on Bangor Pier|
|at our hosts in Bangor|
Our week off was sandwiched in the middle with my fabulous friend Jay and her very cool son L meeting us at Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. It was great to catch up with them and their news, spend some time chatting together in the sunshine outside the museum and enjoy playing with some of the interactive exhibits. Jay treated us all to coffee and cake and then very generously bought Dragon and Star each a momento of the day in the museum giftshop, which as close as you can get to hospitality without us actually being in her home!
We also enjoyed browing charity shops and Star and I had a lovely couple of hours just the two of us which inlcuded a trip to a cafe for hot chocolate
Our second half of the week was back in Willow again, but this time for some recreational camping rather than day to day living. We managed to gatecrash a meeting of a group of friends celebrating one of Dragon’s best friend’s birthday. We had a fabulous three nights with three other families with the children all roaming, making dens, building camps, whittling wood, building campfires, flint knapping, sharing skills, cooperating and working together, creating a show to entertain the adults and being Proper Children, while us adults did plenty of cooking outside communally, drinking tea, cider, mulled wine (camping essential!), chatting, laughing, sharing in jokes and making memories.
What a fantastic week we have had, sunshine, laughter, great food and drink, rest and relaxation but more than that, the greatest gift of all, the love and company of some of our wonderful friends.