Back in March we visited our first ever Helpx work stay in Suffolk. We lived with Andrew and Sarah for a couple of weeks and helped them work on their extensive gardens loving every single minute. In fact we enjoyed it so much that we arranged to come back for 12 days to see if we could be of any more help.
What is Helpx again?
For those of you that haven’t been paying attention Helpx is an organisation that lists houses, farms, and hostels inviting volunteer helpers to stay short-term and work in exchange for bed and board. It’s a fabulous idea and is a worldwide affair containing all manner of weird and wonderful opportunities in every corner of the world. We’ve done three or four now and really like the feeling of doing a days work in exchange for accommodation and food plus the knowledge that we are helping achieve something. Very satisfying.
Autumn in Thelnetham
Unbelievably the weather was great during our whole stay in Thelnetham and we managed to work outside in the garden for the whole time. The main tasks were clearing a large area of woodland, felling a few trees, and fedging the garden boundary to the adjacent ploughed farmers fields. Fedging? It’s a cross between a fence and a hedge made up of branches, twigs, and anything else that fits. We did a little fedging back in March but there was a whole lot more to do this time.
Our Helpx Hosts
We knew Andrew and Sarah from our first stay so it was just like visiting some old friends and we spent many hours chatting and laughing over morning coffee and our evening meals. They are a very relaxed couple who are so easy to be around. We all worked together each day and although some days were physically tough it was a pleasure to help get the jobs done.
Andrew had kindly allowed us to use a couple of bikes whilst we were staying so we managed a few little jaunts over to Hopton and back but to be honest most days we were a bit too weary to cycle after a few hours felling and fedging.
Yes mine does look like a childs bike, not funny.
What we really love about staying here though is the relaxing lifestyle. It’s so quiet and laid back and we’ve spent most of our time off just reading or catching up on emails or just enjoying the easygoing Suffolk way of life. It’s a world away from the pace of life in many other parts of England.
Riddlesworth Craft Fair
Our only real excursion was when we accompanied Andrew and Sarah to a local craft fair held in the impressive Riddlesworth Hall. It’s a private school nestled in the East Anglian countryside that obviously caters for the deep-of-pocket and is a pretty impressive place. We did have a wander around inside and it’s not like any school Jo or I ever attended, very posh indeed and all of the stalls had very posh prices too. Interesting though and our only purchase was a couple of fabulously tasty game pies from a dodgy fella in the car park.
Future JWalking Plans
That’s it for our Housesitting and Helpx stays in 2017 and they have all exceeded our expectations by a country mile. thanks to everyone that has welcomed us into their homes this year, it’s been unforgettable and we have made so many good friends that we hope to keep in touch with and see again very soon.
Next for us is JWalking 3.0
16/10 – 25/10/2017