Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Fiarfield House 10th May 2011

It’s been 2 months since I last blogged. That’s quite a departure from the many and frequent blogs that appeared in the early part of our travels. It’s fair to say that a very great deal has gone on since we arrived back in Nelson from those quiet days out at Cable Bay. I have decided to break the blogs up into three areas; our subsequent travels, including hitch-hiking down the west coast, ‘Brassed Off’ rehearsals and performing in Nelson’s stunning Theatre Royal and everything else. I have decided to start with everything else, so here goes…

We made our way up to Fairfield House feeling excited about finally being able to settle in one place for more than a couple of weeks, maybe try out a few of the recipes which have picked up on the way, rest those weary limbs after so many thousands of kms of cycling, that sort of thing. It quickly became apparent that this would not be the case over the first few minutes of our time in our WWOOF accommodation. It was a sunny day, as usual in Nelson as we made our way up through the gardens to our hippy, happy, bach type home feeling excited at its rustic exterior. We found the key and unlocked the big, wooden front door and stepped inside. The filth we met was only matched by the stench of at least one rat which had been living freely in the space for at least a couple of weeks. Urine, droppings, stains, not to mention mountains of dust, squashed bugs all over the walls and ceilings, grease, soil and spiders a-plenty. It looked like it had been uncared for not just weeks, but years. Mel and I spent 20 hours over two days, cleaning everything, floor to ceiling. We didn’t even start on the cooker, the holes where the rat had been making its way in and out from, the windows which we though must be there under the blankets of dirt. Now, 2 months on, it looks like it always should have done, and probably did in its earlier life. It is spotless and comfortable – a lovely little home which we have started to call with a great deal of affection, ‘The Shed’!

Fairfied House has been great for us. The lovely Catherine Brosnahan has allowed us to WWOOF here for a long time and she has even given us time off to go away hitch-hiking! We work hard mind you, gardening, cleaning and setting up for functions etc. We enjoy the exchange and it has given us time to consider what to do next in our lives, as we continue on this amazing adventure into life in NZ. We will make sure we put more pictures of ‘The Shed’ and the gardens that surround it, as well as Fairfield House itself in due course.

We both work 15 hours each a week here, we combine that with our theatrical commitments and our ‘real jobs’; Mel at Lush and me at Sound Stage, both of which have been simply brilliant. We both love the people we work with and on behalf of – and my students continue to impress me on a daily basis. I have also been teaching in mainstream secondary schools in the area, as cover for absent drama teachers – Waimea College and Nelson School for Girls. All good experience!

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