A Little Thank you

A Little Thank you

I apologize for our absence on the blog, the last few months over the Coronavirus period have been extremely hectic and busy. Royce and I have been attending Farmers markets selling the veg, being delivery drivers. And then every spare moment has gone into getting Chester the Transit worthy of a month long trip around the United Kingdom. We have dealt with cancelled plans, changed travel dates and a significant shortening of the van tour we planned.

We stayed on at Styan family produce for an extra two months longer than planed to get the van completed, and because nothing was open, because…..Plague!!! Finally however, England has opened up to overnight travel and we felt (while practicing social distancing and being able to be self contained and sleep in Chester.) That we could go explore some of the countryside! Getting to this point has been a long time coming, and the last few months in lock down have taken a toll on so many people mentally. Us included, even though we have been extremely lucky in our ability to continue working. It’s been an overall stressful and crazy time. Because of this, and because our time in the UK is coming to an end. I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to few people that have made our last few months, and our last twelve months as enjoyable as they have been.

Van DIY
On the road finally in Chester!

Firstly to the people of Malmesbury market, an area which I started to attend markets in the beginnings of Coronavirus period. Standing on the side of the road with my stall, as the wind howled and I couldn’t feel my frozen fingers, To the sweltering summer heat trying to keep my fruit from disintegrating in the sunshine. The community stepped up. As the virus hit, the support for the local shops boomed. People lined up for the butcher, baker and on a Friday with me at the Vegetable stall. On behalf of Styan Family Produce I came out every Friday and set up the stall to sell fresh English veg. As the virus worsened and lock down went into full swing I didn’t get anything but smiles and grateful thanks for making the trip. Cups of coffee were offered and a chat here and there asking after everyone on the farm became the norm. I delivered to several people as the Styan’s set up the website to help with the lack of markets. I want to say Thank you to every member of this wonderful community. In this stressful time they found a spare moment to make me smile, to stop, to have a chat and to be so welcoming into their community where they could’ve chosen to close the doors.

Malmesbury Market stall during Lockdown
A thank you gift from customers
Two beautiful patrons of Malmesbury market

Secondly to the People of Summertown in Oxford. Royce and I had been working the Summertown market for some time previous to oxford. It had become a favourite of ours for the fabulously friendly out of the box people that Oxford attracts. So when lock down hit and the market stopped The Styans stepped up. They set up a website with a door to door delivery, and I became a delivery driver for the first time. I was met again with so much thanks and kindness. Bottles of wine and offers of coffee and cake to keep me going. These little things, the five minute conversations that brightened my day on one of the only outings I had off the farm in a week made so much difference to me. It seems like a small thing to say thank you to your delivery driver, to stop and ask how their day has been. But I assure you the compassion and kindness I received made doing it, knowing I was potentially putting myself at risk, but equally helping these vulnerable people, that made it all worth it.

Market stall setup for Coronavirus
Saying thank you to my Summertown friends
“Pauline” One of the sweetest people I have met and a Summertown patron

Thirdly to the Market stall holders and all of the other patrons of markets we have been to. Thank you for your friendliness. We have unfortunately found England to be a difficult place to make friends. Finding such a vibrant welcoming community within the farmers markets was a welcome and pleasant surprise. Everyone is friendly and generous and it has made the past twelve months of markets so much fun.

Market stall pre-virus
Making up Veg boxes for delivery

And finally but most importantly; to the Styans. To Roger and Liz and to all the Styan family. Thank you. Thank you for taking on to crazy kiwi shepherds and teaching us about plants and tress and vans and electrics. Thank you for the flexibility, for allowing us to travel and to come back and have a place to base ourselves. Thank you for being patient and kind and for letting us get off the farm and go work the markets. And especially thank you for saving our sanity and sending us out to deliveries and markets in the months during lock down. The Styans have been so welcoming and generous during our time with them. Having showed so much compassion for the patrons of their markets when they could’ve closed the gate and have simply been a pleasure to work for. I have learnt so much from Roger’s wealth of knowledge and gained a new perspective on farming as a whole. So Thank you for making our time in England so enjoyable.

Concentration faces at Styan HQ while making Veg boxes for delivery
Liz and Rog enjoying some well deserved down time
“Boris” The farm dog

With our time in the UK almost gone we are finally on the road. Doing a grand goodbye tour it could be said, as we traverse the countryside before jetting back to the land of the long white cloud. Head over to the gallery as I will post some more photos and to those who have Instagram and want to be a bit more up to date on our adventures we are continually updating there. Do stay turned however as more adventures (now as official vanlife travellers) will follow.

Till next time get lout that gate and go see some local countryside!

6 comments

  1. We miss you so much! I find it so odd you say you found it hard to make friends in the UK – I would have thought there would be a queue round the block! Hope Cornwall wasn’t a total washout xx

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    1. 🤣 Oxford was of course an exception. We didnt make it to Cornwall. Made it to Portsmouth and then heading North. Would rather be in a quieter forested area then smelling toe jam on the beach!

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  2. Great you are both ok and getting through this terrible time. We are safe here in NZ. Life is back to normal. Looking forward to spring and warmer dry weather. It is nice to see and watch the bulbs starting to grow.
    Had a catch up with your Mum Royce when we were in Hamilton helping Naomi shift in to her new house. Which is very nice. Hopefully when you are back in NZ you will be able to visit her.
    Did you get our birthday wishes I sent.
    May be we will see you when you are back home and gone through all the regulations that are necessary and you can become part of us all here in safe NZ.
    Safe travels and look forward to reading about your journey.
    Lots of love Helen

    Liked by 1 person

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