Some of you may already know that us Joneses have moved to a little cottage out in the sticks with a huge and very interesting garden. There is a large chalet in the garden which was originally meant for the occasional use of learners. The intent was to renovate it and use it for mini bootcamps, learners retreat weekends and exchange weekends for those on a low income - such as gardening in Welsh for food and board etc.
Anyway, due to the ill health of my mother in law, she will soon be occupying the chalet on a full time basis and as a result we have just been through a couple of months of crazy renovation work!
Anyway part of me feels saddened to have lost the opportunity to have learners over for periods of time, to eat, drink, garden, barbecue, sing, sunbathe, fence, paint, live in Welsh.
This large, interesting, mature, wild, beautiful garden is still here and is a perfect social space in good weather. We've already had all manner of learners over on various occasions, so are already aware of how well the space lends itself to a weave of people, enjoying all the space has to offer as well as each other's company.
So I'm thinking of setting up some kind of gardening weekend. But am very weary of it sounding like 'please come and help me garden'. I truly want it to be an exchange experience where people feel like they're getting something in return. I used to live on an organic farm where this used to happen regularly and it was fabulous.
But I don't have the accommodation to offer any longer. We have space for one or two camper vans and possibly with a little imagination a tent or two - most of the space is a little sloped. But nothing more luxurious than that, I'm afraid.
In the long term we would love to put garden pods in the garden, but in terms of finances, we're not there yet. So this has to remain a dream for now.
I can happily offer meals and drinks, vocab sessions, singing sessions, barbecues and company. But I fear that this isn't enough without a place to stay. After all gardening is hard work!
I would absolutely love your input and ideas!