Hello from England, mates!
It’s day five, and I’m going to start from the very beginning so bear with me.
My flight out was Sunday at 5:45pm. There were many complications that day due to feeling like absolute crap from food poisoning the night before (SO MUCH FUN) and Delta confusing my flight with another flight and trying to tell me there was no room for me on the flight (which is really hilarious because there absolutely was, to the point that no one was beside me and I was able to completely lay down on the plane and sleep). As I’ve said before, I do not fly well. All went well though.
The flight was 8 hours so I landed at 2am our time, 7am in the UK. Got through customs, a shuttle to a train, and then took a train that was like the Subway in New York at 8am (this includes me being completely swarmed by people running as fast as they can to the train as I struggle to get on the escalator with all my bags looking like a complete f*!&ing idiot). This train took me to the Waterloo train station that was actually really nice and full of very kind people (unlike Heathrow) who helped me out with train directions. I was told not to sleep on the train because the Gypsies would rob me blind…but the train was pretty empty and I couldn’t help it. I slept the whole time. I called Debbie (my host mom) and was told her step-daughter and husband would be picking me up.
I arrived in Axminster and was greeted by Daisy (step-daughter) and Andrew (husband). Daisy is a really lovely girl. 18 years old, tall, blonde, sweet and confident. Carries herself very well. Poor Andrew had an incident with a shovel that did not end well for his face so his cheek looked like there was a golf ball inside, but he was extremely friendly.
Off we went, on the left side of the road, to Bridport where I would be staying the first two nights. I’ll keep Bridport brief as I was only there a couple of days. It’s a very quaint, adorable town. I had an amazing two bedroom/one bath apartment (“flat” as they call it) right in the middle of town.
I worked at Debbie’s mom’s store called Lilliput’s that is basically like an authentic TJ Maxx/department store. It literally has everything that you could think of. Kitchen equipment, pillows, lamp shades, rugs, cleaning supplies, couches, towels, frames, toilet lids, pictures, hand painted furniture, etc.
I spent my two days at the store painting with a lady named Liddy. I absolutely adored Liddy. She’s a total boy/dog mom with such a big heart and great personality. She laughs like Adele and told me great stories like her dog eating the steak pies off the counter or her boy getting in trouble at school when he was running to the bathroom for a “widdle”. She gave me a lot of good tips with furniture that I can’t wait to try out. You can check out her work here at Liddy’s Locker.
While the apartment was really nice (massage chair….HELLO), I felt exactly like I knew I would feel the first couple nights which was extremely homesick. Lilly was an excellent host my first couple days but there was just little social interaction and I was still jet lagged without knowing anyone, and it really got to me for a minute. The second night I woke up in the middle of the night thinking, “what the HELL have I done? Can I get a sooner flight home? Why am I here?” I was being a huge baby due to anxiety and I knew that. Luckily, that was the last of it. The next day I worked at the store and then Lilly drove me to Debbie’s house, where I would be staying the remainder of the time. This is where things get really good, because this is where I meet the caravan.
The caravan. I really love the caravan. It’s absolutely tiny, my suitcase takes up almost the entire space. There an airplane toilet, a small heater, a small TV, a small fridge, a small stove, a small oven, a small bathroom, and a MINUSCULE standup shower. Also the wifi doesn’t work. And the wind makes it sound like it will blow over. But I’m completely infatuated by it. (Except for the shower. And not because it's so small, but only because the hot water doesn't last long at all).
The next morning, Debbie and I went to an early morning yoga class. Barbara teaches the class. She’s a beautiful Italian woman with a tiny frame, ankle tattoos, and unshaved armpits. The great thing about yoga is that all the yoga poses are the same words in English, so everything was familiar. However, at the end we sat in a circle with the left hand on our heart and right hand on the person’s knee next to us, and ended the class with three “oms”. Definitely a first for me, though I surprisingly really enjoyed it.
After class we went to a nearby market, which had all sorts of food and junk for sale, basically MY HEAVEN. I’m talkin’ cheese, olives, curry, meats, fruit, pastries, bread, pies, sweaters, records, shoes, etc etc etc. I was obsessed.
The best part about that picture is Debbie's PHENOMENAL yoga leggings.
After the market, we went to a nearby furniture warehouse where Debbie was checking out some chairs she was thinking of purchasing to resell. This warehouse was two floors, completely full of BRILLIANT pieces of furniture and some really silly junk (I guess that’s every antique market). Their auction is on Monday and I’m hoping to go. The pest piece was a 1936 car. Dave (the owner) informed us that there’s only a handful left of these cars and it’s in extremely good condition.
We got back to the house and ate some of our market pastries with some tea and then I made some delicious vegan carrot cake muffins.
Later that night we went to Bingo at a local town center. It’s absolutely great because it’s set up like a town hall kind of thing or like a small YMCA; a small meeting room with fold up tables and auditorium chairs, except there’s a bar that sells beer and wine. And behind the glass is a large carpeted court for games of “ball” or maybe it was “roll”, I can’t remember. So with our glasses of cheap wine and cider we played Bingo, which is very different from American Bingo. I did win one round, making a straight line, I won 3 whole pounds! Winner winner chicken dinner. There, I met Debbie’s friend Daisy (another Daisy, funny), who has 5 workawayers with her now (workaway is the site I used to find my host family). Two of them are from Mexico, two from Italy, and one from Brazil. They speak English fairly well. Saturday I am traveling with them by train to Bath, which is about an hour and a half away by train and I can't wait.
My favorite part about the house in Axminster is all of the animals. Two sheep dogs: Ted and Ben. Three cats: Tigger, Jack, and Small Cat. There's something about having animals around while being far away from home that is very comforting.
Sweet Ted distracting me from blogging in the most adorable way possible.
That's all for now. Stay tuned for stories from Bath with my fellow workawayers AND how I made “Caravan Chicken Soup” with little to no space or my regular utensils.