I'm sat outside what was once a stately home, has been a school and is now home to a few families. I'm not sure exactly how many live in the house bit, as the stable block is lots of homes as well, with about 20 families here, about 50-60 people.My breakfast included soft fruit from the walled garden, which is wonderfully tidy and productive- that's a huge difference from here to Crabapple, which I was fighting a battle with the nettles taller than me. And, as usual, this place is completely different to all that we've been to already.
We're at Canon Frome Court, and the big difference here is everyone has bought their 'unit' to live in at market price, and then pays a monthly fee for maintenance, and then a seperate subscription fee for the 40 acre farm. My initial response is surprise- no matter how much or how little you work in the farm, the fee remains the same. My gut feeling right now is requiring cash isn't good- I would prefer some scheme where people who work more (e.g.full time hours),would pay very little if at all, and those who go out to earn but have little time for the farm, would pay more.
We've only been here a couple of days and already I'm thinking how I'd change things-so much for being open minded!
I'm finding it all interesting, and an awful lot to think about and mull over. I didn't realise how many pre-concieved ideas I had about communities, and now we've been to two very different places ( though only two!) I definately need to reconsider.
Thursday was moving day for us, and very relaxed as we were only moving an hour down the road. We stopped quite a few times, mainly to look at caravans. We've had some interesting conversations with the retailers, so we've changed what we want to do. The latest idea is a 'van with twin bunks, NOT fitting the woodburner on the basis that at least initially we won't have a free source of wood- and buying firewood gets mighty expensive. Also, as caravans are not designed to cope with such fierce heat, everything would be damaged. I like the idea of some fitted things working for a while ( we're thinking of a new-ish 'van so we get reasonable insulation), so sounds like the woodburner in the 'van isn't a good idea.
We're considering getting a 'van quite soon, as we also reckon we're going to want to do this again sometime- this trip is seeming like a taster, we get so see so many places for a very short time, and making friends we'd like to visit again. We're also considering NOT renting a house as soon as we get back, and seeing how we manage in a caravan for winter.
So, we're at a beautiful place in cider country, so we were able to visit Weston's yesterday. They have pedal tractors in their 'farm' area, which the girls LOVED and were so dissapointed that by the time we got there after the tour they had shut that area. We had an interesting tour, and tasted several ciders, one of which even I could drink ( I normally HATE cider).
Right, being harassed - I promised to make cordial- and can't think so must go. Apologies for typos, I can't face leaving this to edit later!
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