“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9

February 2, 2015

Dear Diary: Letters from the English Countryside

31st January 2015

Dear Diary,

Today we had the adventure of a life time. We met Carolyne, a farmer, two dogs, Tommy and Inca, and some horses, sheep and hens. All while I lost the keys for the cottage I was meant to be responsible for. Okay, well it did all work out in the end...

To begin the day I woke up in a lovely, large double bed in a huge room looking out over a luschiously, pale green front garden. To recap, I came to Birmingham with Anita and Brenton Riley, who I have been working with the last couple of days, yesterday with their kids Elias, Alisha and Josiah. The journey from Edinburgh to Birmingham and our cottage was meant to take around 6 and a half hours, and ended up becoming around 8 hours long because of the peak-hour traffic. How annoying...

Driving at night everything kinda looked the same, but in the morning everything looked so beautiful!! This is our cottage below. Alisha and I shared a room on the top left-hand side of the house, Elias and Josiah shared the top right-hand side of the house, and Anita and Brenton had the bottom left-hand side of the house. It is really quite a large cottage.

Our Cottage in Abbot Morton Parish - Cartref Cottage.

Our feet :) Alisha had the idea for this picture, not me...

After we all adjusted ourselves to the temperature, we set out to the owner's farm. As we walked up to the farm the farmer's wife, Carolyne, called out 'Hello' to us. She was very welcoming, while mucking out the horses stables, and said that there is a walk around the farm we could take. It was around that time when a gorgeous German Shepard lept out from around the corner. We all fell instantly in love with him, so Carolyne said that we could take him on the walk with us. Carolyne then looked at all of our shoes, and said that Josiah's trainers wouldn't be appropriate for the walk, and gave him a pair of wellies to borrow. English generosity <3

To begin with we had to cross several fields to get to the track. Inca then came along with his stick, so we had to continually play catch with him. Not that we were complaining :)

Josiah racing Inca through the fields.

As we got to the track it becoming increasingly apparent that we would have to walk through piles of mud and puddles. Lucky for Josiah with his wellingtons, but the rest of us had thin boots or sneakers on.

We had to tread carefully through the muddy paths.

Alisha throwing the stick for Inca the dog.

Carolyne said that we had to hug the hedge to the right. I love the English little sayings!!!

The amount of mud weighing our boots down.

We had to go though all these little fences, and you had to use your brains to work out how the locks worked. Not to mention strength...

Elias giving a hug to our trusty tour guide - Inca :) Alisha found this huge branch on our walk (that Inca is staring at in the picture), and we were all too tired to keep picking it up and throwing it... We tried throwing a smaller stick for Inca, but he kept going back to the large, heavy one. Shouldn't have done that Alisha :)

Finally reaching the end of the meant-to-be half an hour trek around the farm. It ended up being around an hour, or more. Not quite sure.

As I had locked ourselves out of he cottage, we had to wait for Carolyne to finish her horse-riding lesson so she could find the spare key to the cottage. All of our shoes and jackets were filthy, so I turned the washing machine on while we waited. Luckily that was in the utility room, not the cottage itself.. :)

We did finally get the spare key, and got in to make ourselves some lunch. The kids had a shower, and then we watched a couple of episodes of 'H2O'. We have become addicted to that show...

Now you are uptodate,