Ode to the Workaway

So I left London for a bit.

It was about time wasn’t it? Thanks to the tremendous discovery of Workaway I enrolled in several volunteer projects for the next few months. There will still be plenty of solo wandering in between and I am excited to see how far I’ll get toddling around with my suitcase. Ok it’s not the jungle, but it’s still freedom. Utter freedom.

A view of the vineyards from the house in Gondrin

At the moment I am staying near the Midi-Pyrénées and working in exchange for accommodation, learning about sustainable living in the idyllic French countryside and eating the best meals I have ever had. Also, it’s 26 degrees.

I’ve just been sitting out in the vineyards and the silence is almost perfect. I say almost because I think my city-princess-ness is kicking in and I may never truly adapt to the gritty rural lifestyle. But the unbelievable silence, the clean air and smell, the neighbours spread miles apart: it’s idyllic and a truly inspirational lifestyle. Because the people here have spent years building up their homes from decrepit structures and old chateaus, living simply, killing the odd chicken and polishing off the prescribed bottle of red every night.

It’s quite funny, my lungs practically collapse each night from sharing a bed with two kittens jumping up and down on my head, but I couldn’t imagine asking them to be moved away. The night is filled with incessant purring and I wake up to a cockerel, it’s insane. My day begins being attacked by ten dogs as I attempt to take them on their walk through the vineyards. The sun is blazing throughout the day as we carry out odd jobs and ongoing projects and I’m dead by the end.  And yet I think it’s the perfect balance that I needed. We sit outside eating dinner and drinking unlimited homemade wine with the other volunteers. It’s tranquil, back to nature, sustainable living – and the best community spirit I have ever known.

Animals invading my bed

But there’s only so long that my city-ness will be kept at bay. Whilst the sun is hot (and yes it is) I am content, but I’ll crave London comforts soon. When the rain hits and the wifi fails I’m sure I will descend back into British misery and complain till the end, but right now, back to basics, I’m very satisfied.

Tomorrow we are going to forage for mushrooms. I’m so glad I came.

Currently reading Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
Listening to Angel Olsen – Unfucktheworld
Eating Coq au vin – as fresh as it can get given the locality of produce


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