The Wonderers Return

We were due to be at an intentional community In Devon this week and next week but when I emailed them to confirm the details they said they had re-read our initial email and were worried we would not learn enough from them. They were concerned that we were looking to find hosts who could show us about self-sufficiency, green technology and rearing livestock and they are none of those things. They said they would love to meet us and we would be very welcome to come as there was always something to do in their communal gardens but we felt two weeks would be too long to spend somewhere that didn’t cover enough of the things we want to learn about. So we made contact with another couple of hosts on our reserve list. One was not able to accomodate us but the other, back in Glastonbury again could take us for the second week. That was enough to persuade us to take Jill at Middlewick Holiday Cottages up on her offer to ‘come back any time’. We had stayed in touch with a couple of phonecalls anyway, so it was simply a matter of seeing which cottages she had room in and what time we could arrive.

We’ve had another lovely week here, helping with various tasks as diverse as trimming hedges, mowing lawns, manning the office, tidying the library, converting an old red telephone box into a very small tourist information centre, filling up salt and pepper pots, serving breakfast to a group of Italians, cleaning windows, scrubbing the swimming pool steps, lighting the fire in the pizza oven, feeding the chickens and tending the vegetables. Enough glimmers of growing and animals to keep our hand in WWOOFing-wise and sufficient touches of luxury in the shape of proper beds, baths, large kitchens and of course the swimming pool and steam room to make it feel like a mini break!

Star has been happy to be back with Maggie the dog  with the added attraction of chickens and horses:

Dragon has very much enjoyed learning how to drive the quad bike, practising his Harry Potter / Jedi / Pirate moves with sticks /swords / wands / light sabres and some space to spread out all his drawing materials and get creative:

Ady celebrated his birthday too this week, the first of the birthdays we’ll spend away from home. We managed to get cards from friends and family send here, presents delivered bought online and had the day off ‘work’. We spent it doing the couple of things we’d not managed to get round to last time we were in Glastonbury and had wished we’d done; visiting the Chalice Well & Gardens  where we drank some of the water and had a quick bathe in the water too, reputed to have healing properties. I’m not sure if I believe in such things but it certainly felt lovely to put my shoes back on again after such shockingly cold water!

The other Glastonbury experience we had missed time we were here was fish & chips at Knights, an award winning F&C shop. We’d meant to get there but the only time we were organised to be there when we were hungry it was closed last time we were here. This time we managed to get there at lunchtime 🙂

It’s been nice to be somewhere where people already know our story, we have met new more people as well as strengthening links with people in this area. We’re looking forward to our next host; a week shared between two neighbouring farms.

Bad: missed farm-like jobs, I find gardening a bit boring (qualified that it is no one’s fault as she knows this is not a farm, just that she loves being on a farm!)
Good: Got to spend time with Maggie (the dog) and Jill again.
Learnt: How you can furnish a house for free – not technically learnt from Middlewick, we visited a neighbour who have furnished their entire shell of a house using free stuff from freecycle / friends / rubbish and it is fabulous, Star was very impressed 🙂

Bad: The cottages have been very busy, fully booked most of the time which has meant we have not had the run of the place as much as we did last time.
Good: Spent lots of time pretend sword fighting with Daddy
Learnt: How to drive the quad bike.

Bad: Missed Johnnie, Jill’s husband who was here more last time and we only saw briefly last weekend.
Good: The hospitality and generosity of Jill has been amazing once again, it’s a fab place to be with stunning scenery and a great place to spend time. Also it was nice to be somewhere that feels like a home away from home for my birthday.
Learnt: About repairing a rotten wooden window frame from spending some time with the carpenter working here.

Bad: It’s been a more sedentry week for me, less time spent outdoors and rather more sitting down. Nice, certainly but  not good for me, particularly when coupled with our own kitchen to cook bigger dinners in!
Good: Lovely to see everyone here again, have a rest from Willow in a real bed, with access to bath, swimming pool etc. A busman’s holiday certainly as we’ve carried on working but a slight rest nonetheless.
Learnt: more about the hospitality business; we got involved in catering for breakfast, more housekeeping and I spent several ‘shifts’ covering the office answering the phone and checking emails.

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