For those of you who are understandably confused, allow me to explain. There’s a site called Workaway where you can sign up to be able to contact families looking for workers. You stay in a home for free and get meals for free in exchange for doing odd jobs around the house: jobs, in our case, like painting and gardening. This is our first Workaway experience, and it’s amazing so far! Like I said, we’re staying in a house that’s been in the family since 1775, I believe. It’s huge and beautiful, with miles of farmland to roam around on.
The family is magnificent. There’s the father: a farmer who’s witty and feisty and has an opinion on everything, often with sweeping generalizations. He’s straight out of a Jane Austen novel. There’s the mother, an artist who pulls off a bohemian-yet-upper-class look. Picture Meryl Streep with hair that’s more golden. She’s fun, easy going, and classy. There’s the older son, who farms along with his father. He’s cheery and helpful and makes a person feel at ease in his presence. Then there’s the younger son, nicknamed Bear (funny because there are two dogs around here also named Bear, which probably gets confusing). He’s intelligent and a talented musician, about to start school at Trinity College. The family wouldn’t be complete without their three energetic dogs who never hesitate to jump up in the nearest available lap! They’re a wonderful bunch!
The house and the farm are beautiful, and we’ve been introduced to lots of family members. We’ve been to the family parish church which meets only every fortnight. We had tea in the drawing room at a cousin’s lovely estate. We set up for, then attended, an opera concert outdoors at the same cousin’s farm. We’ve been horseback riding and fallen off runaway horses. We’ve played table tennis by the light of the setting sun. We’ve cleaned out the river/moat that flows around the mill house and gotten acquainted with a lovely Spanish girl who’s also staying in the house. It has been, without a doubt, one of the best choices we’ve made on this trip, and I’m looking forward to another week here.
Now, to catch you all up on where we were leading up to this, here’s a little rundown of our previous travels:
1. England and Wales with our friends Suzanne and Daniel and their three sons.
2. A week in London
3. Dublin, Ireland…for like a month…sort of working, sort of not…along with a day trip to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher with Shelby
4. A quick few days in Cork, Ireland
5. Edinburgh, Scotland---which is AMAZING!
6. Back to London for a weekend of theatre ;)
7. Amsterdam with Shelby. BOOM! CLAP!
8. Back to London, but only for one night, then a long day/night of traveling by bus all the way to Dublin. Then to Carlow, Ireland, where we were met by our Workaway family! And here we are!
9. Next up: house sitting near Brighton, England with a cat! J
10. And then…Going to Lincoln, England to see Amber and her fantabulous choir perform in Amber’s debut trip to England!!!! :D
After that, literally God only knows! Jill’s mom is coming for a European adventure in August. Aside from that, we’re just figuring it out as we go along. Sorry I haven’t blogged in so long. I really am. There’s no excuse; I’ve neglected you all. But hopefully I’ll be back on schedule this Thursday. As such, I’d love it if you’d fill the comments with any questions you may have about anything and everything on this entire trip or about any of the locations we’ve visited. Please, please, please ask away! I know we haven’t given you much consistent blogging to go on, so now’s your chance to satisfy your curiosity (plus, having questions to answer will help me have something to blog about).
I really love you guys, and it’s been great reading your blogs! Talk to you on Thursday!