See that that cafe? It’s my little spot of peace, coffee and food here in Birmingham. It’s 11:06 on Friday. I’m waiting for an Americano and some breakfast. Thought I’d be wandering and exploring Birmingham today but instead have been frantically on phone and email this morning. Oh, and I did a load of laundry. Every white item in the load came out a buttery yellow. I promptly burst into tears. Let me explain…
The last night of our Cotswold trip was spent in the town of Bath. It’s a lovely place and our inn was comfortable and well situated. Everyone was packed, we’d met a local knitting group at the pub for drinks and dinner and we’d returned to the inn for our last sleep before the group’s mid-day flights back to the States. I’d be staying in Birmingham for the weekend, house and cat sitting, then would head north to Maryculter Farm near Aberdeen. I checked my email before getting into bed.
An email from Donna, the owner at Maryculter Farm had arrived.
I am very sorry to let you know, and especially at such short notice, that I am no longer in a position to host you or any other Woofers this summer due to a sudden change in my personal circumstances and health.
Yep. You read that right. She then went on to say that she’d been diagnosed with exhaustion and depression. She and her husband were canceling their trip to Europe. And she apologized profusely.
Actually, I think I said something more along the lines of “Oh shit.”
Heather’s voice came from the other room, “Everything alright in there?”
I paused for a moment then told her and my two additional suite-mates the news. Instantly, Heather (a swell person and also the tour coordinator) began to ask if I would like her to contact people she knows who might have need of some help. I said sure and sat down to ponder this new development. I had five weeks of my eight weeks in the country scheduled for Maryculter Farm. That was five weeks of lodging, of food, of work in the gardens and ultimately a base from which to explore the coastal north.
“Okay”, I thought, “I have contacts. I have resources. I’m resourceful! I will find another house sit or another farm. I have all weekend in Birmingham to get this coordinated. No problem. This will all work out, I’m sure.”
I got into bed, started searching for house sits on TrustedHousesitters.com and scrolling through the WWOOFING UK site to see if any farm had their Woofers cancel on them. I found two farms that had and sent them emails. Then I found two possible house sits and sent them emails. Then the drinks I’d had while knitting at the pub kicked in and I fell asleep.
Went down to breakfast in the morning, told everyone what was happening and had another beautiful full English breakfast (to be described in a later post). Walked with a few of the ladies through Bath for a bit and then we boarded our van for the airport.
Continuing shortly. Must break to walk to the store to pick up a few groceries and some bleach. (Hoping to return those clothes to their former white glory.) I’ve got nothing to do today but continue writing to you, so don’t worry: actual tales of the Cotswolds are forthcoming!