What Next?

Sunday arrived, the day of a visit from K’s Dad and Jan and a change in venue for our WWOOFing adventures. We were excited about our March stay, as we’d looked extra carefully for an accommodation with all of the facilities accessible to us and a significant opportunity to learn about something of interest (more details, hopefully, to follow soon!).

After a warming breakfast treat of porridge with brown sugar, so missed during the week, we returned to our pod to finalize our packing and prepare for our departure from Shillingford that afternoon. K’s Dad and Jan arrived shortly after noon and we briefly showed them around the facilities, including our shared kitchen in the office building, the packing shed where we worked on orders and veg boxes and then our lovely little pod.

They had arrived with a picnic lunch for all of us and so as the wind howled and the rain drops began to fall, we decided to share that perched cozily in the pod. K and I sat on the now bare mattress, Jan on our one chair and K’s Dad balanced on a stool. Hot chocolate cups were prepared for everyone with a huge thermos of hot water and then we enjoyed cheese and egg mayo rolls, cheese crackers and Swiss roll! After chatting for a bit, we decided it was time to make our way through the storms out of the Exeter area and Devon and into Somerset.

Buddy had given up his place in the car, selflessly, so that there was room for all of our luggage. Even then, it was a tight fit, with R wedged in the middle of the back seat between K and his big duffel bag and the boot full of the rest. Through the rains, K’s Dad made his way to Chard and then turned the car South to finally rest at Ye Olde Poppe Inn, just down the road from our new host. We popped in ( ; ) ) and all had a coffee while we waited for the auto service to arrive and repair a windscreen wiper for a safer journey home to Bristol for K’s Dad and Jan. Once resolved, they made their way back to poor Buddy, who had been stuck inside napping and listening to BBC Radio Bristol since they departed mid-morning.

After an early evening meal of veggie lasagna and veggie pasta, we walked across the street to Lakehayes Nursery, stopping to change into our wellies to get through the waterlogged driveway. Our host, Sarah, met us outside and offered to help with our bags for the last of the journey into the first of the two mobile homes on the land adjacent to the two polytunnels and greenhouse.

We arrived to find a living room full of boxes and miscellaneous things and our hosts working on cleaning the kitchen. We knew they were a bit behind based on a conversation we’d had earlier in the day when they’d attempted to delay our arrival to Monday because of a broken hot water boiler, but we didn’t realize quite the state everything else would be in. It seemed that the home had been used for storage, but also that it hadn’t been cleaned in quite some time and wasn’t impervious to the cold or the wet. That evening, we huddled against the cold, crouched in a corner of the couch we’d made by re-stacking boxes, waiting for the heat to come on at 1AM (Economy 7), and struggling to find a state of peace and comfort in our new surroundings.

We spent the entire day on Monday cleaning the kitchen, bathroom and living room, removing boxes and relocating to our host’s friend’s home in Axminster, taking two trips with a full station wagon (estate car) to clear. We removed more boxes to be placed into a polytunnel and yet others made their way into the mobile home next door where our host resides with her three dogs, Smudge, Barney and Tinker.

We were both reacting very strongly to the conditions in our mobile home, R sneezed and blew her nose every five minutes, literally, (making her way through an entire jumbo toilet tissue roll that day) and K suffered with asthma-like symptoms. In the afternoon, we were able to take a trip into Chard for food supplies and had a nice little walk along a farm track across the road to breathe in some fresh air. K did his best to adjust the economy 7 heating so it released heat when it was actually needed, but alas, that evening, we huddled again against the cold that creeps in with sunset, hot water bottles in place, waiting hour by hour for the heating to come on.

Tuesday morning the cleaning resumed, with K working intensely through the bedroom with the vacuum and R rolling up the assorted carpeting covering the living room floor and then scrubbing the floor boards with a sponge and hot, soapy water. Our host thought it best that we take the afternoon off for some time away to breathe easier, as she needed to catch up on some other things for the business anyway and offered us a lift to Axminster where we could catch a bus to Lyme Regis. So, after we finished our cleaning tasks of the morning, prepared ourselves for the outing and opened a few windows to air out our abode, we jumped in Sarah’s car to catch the 11:17 bus.

Arriving at the sea lifted our spirits greatly. We exited the bus on the High Street and immediately made our way to the water and for our walk of the day along the coast line and then up the Coastal Path to the sea cliffs before venturing back down through the gardens into the town for lunch. We found brie and cranberry sandwiches and enjoyed them on a bench looking out over the water before heading to a cafe to share coffee and carrot cake in celebration of our two month wedding anniversary.

After spending some time working through a few things on the computer (our promised internet access currently barely working in the mobile home), we made our way back to the sea for a meander before our bus back to Axminster. Our host was waiting there for us when the bus pulled up and delivered us swiftly back to the mobile home.

Hungry enough from our morning work and subsequent day out of sea air, we prepared a lovely veggie and pesto pasta and then settled into the now cleaner living room with our hot water bottles. Again, we waited for the time when the heat would be on and now for the next day when the plumber is planned to arrive to repair the boiler, so that we would finally have hot water and the option for a shower. We also look forward hopefully to clearer breathing and to what will likely be our first day with the opportunity to learn something about what and how Lakehayes Nursery works.

Loving Simplicity