I am casting my mind back to my journey here – the still point of the turning world.
So, I have decided to share a small part of it with you.
After many summers, holidays, weekends, pit stops spent with Tamsin and Marc and their beautiful family at Bosley Patch, working the land hard and having lot of fun doing so, I found myself struggling to leave for any length of time, promising I would always come back and with one more backward glance, feeling an emptiness fill my chest.
It was when here felt like real life and there felt strange to me that I decided I needed to make a change. ‘you’re most welcome to make this your real life, any time you like, you know’ was something I heard many times over the years from Tamsin – 2014 was the year I listened.
So I combined this family, who are as close to being my own family as my own is to me, this beautiful place and my ideas and dreams into one and threw them into my forward vision. I did everything I could, worked the hardest I could to get there as quickly and as much in one piece as I could.
Three part time jobs, the weekly 20 hour day, one broken foot and an old Nissan Micra packed to the rafters later and me and my dearest Maman (Mum), hit the open road one sunny day at the end of July and made the journey from North to South. Her companionship and loving help have been the most important thing to me over the years and I am blessed to have such a remarkable woman for a mother.
I settled into a little vintage caravan under the walnut tree in Tamsin’s garden and was swiftly offered a job in the campsite cafe on Swiss Farm ~ who by the way, make excellent coffee! I also found myself back in the garden again, elbows and knees deep in the earth – all was well and I knew I had finally arrived at my starting point.
Coming from a nomadic family renowned for needing to travel and keep moving, it wasn’t always plain sailing. The days when the wind would pick up and warm breezes would roll in were the days when I almost packed up and left again. I don’t know what made me stand my ground this time, but I stayed because this time, leaving wasn’t the right thing to do.
As the long summer days of hard graft, manual labour, aching muscles and satisfying exhaustion started to draw in, I found the space and time to direct my focus to the path ahead. I welcomed the slower, autumn days because sometimes we need to ‘slow down long enough to know where we are going next’. I’m not sure who said that ~ but its true! I put some feelers out, talked to a lot of people and finally got in touch with Jessica at Massage For Everybody, who manage The Treatment Rooms at the Red Lion Hotel.
We had a chat and I was welcomed onto the team, she has since helped me no end with extra training days, evening marketing and planning sessions and the repetitive but therapeutic days out leafletting. I explained that I was happy for things to move forwards slowly as I was still working for Bosley Patch and Coffee @ Swiss Farm. ‘How slow is slow?’ asked Jess, ‘Oh I’d like to be full time by February’, I replied. A fast definition of slow perhaps? I am my mothers daughter after all! So, here I am, full time in February and what a wonderful feeling!
There have, of course been small moments of doubt along the way, but Tamsin has been there telling me to pull myself together because it ‘will all come right in the end’ whilst giving me an enormous hug. Marc has also been there, offering quiet, big brotherly support as only he can. The children have plied me with endless cuddles and trusty kitchen discos, all held together with Pip the dog resting his chin on my knee at precisely the right moment. This family have shown such enormous generosity, love and support towards me. After 5 months of living at the end of their garden, I moved into my own little caravan on Swiss Farm, just round the corner from where it all began.