Well, lots of stuff has happened that got complicated, but for the sake of the blog I’ll keep this chronological and hark back to the time I spent WWOOFing in Slovenia, out in a Village called Velika Stanga. I was there for ten days. It was a smallholding rather than a farm, with more apples than any family would ever need, and more animals. It’s hot there but not too too hot; the hottest day was about 33C, so too hot to do any farm work in the middle of the day. I’ve been living in the pattern of waking at 6 and working in the cool of dawn until 8, usually picking up buckets of windfall apples and tiny golden pears before the wasps get about. The we had breakfast and worked until noon, then lunch, which was the main meal of the day, and a seista until 6pm when it was is cool enough to work again.

There are animals everywhere.

Ponies, Donkies, a pig, two dogs and a kitten. Oh and two tweenage boys, Tim and Zan. The dogs are a huge Newfoundland mix called Fite (to rhyme with theta) and a rescue mutt called Pan. The family asked the wwoofers to give the pig an English name and we’ve called her Blue, short for Blue Murder because of how she squeals when we pick her up to put her out each morning. The kitten is tiny, you can pick her up in one hand with room to spare. They say she’s at least two months old but when I saw her I guessed she was only a few weeks. They found her lost on holiday and brought her home, and somewhere between being taken from her mother so early and the diet of bread and milk they are feeding her, I doubt she will ever grow much bigger. She answers simply to Mutz, which is Slovene for “Puss.”

WWOOFing here was very different to Iceland, because for a while I was the only WWOOFer and so the only person with English as my first language, and it got lonely quite quickly. The kids are lovely though, especially three-year-old Zala who seems very taken with me. We don’t have any language problems, she talks Slovene interspersed with her few English phrases “yes”, “no”, “stop”, “like”, and “do this”, and I talk to her in English and we get along just fine. Also she thinks my lip-ring is the best thing she has ever seen in her life. Ever. It’s hilarious.

The family’s way of life is very different to what I’m used to (it’s always fascinating to see how other families live) but we have a few things in common. They’re very wholefood-y, and very Steiner. The kids go to Steiner school and all the ethos about childraising is floating about, which interests me. I like a lot of the theory I just want to one day meet a family who go in for the ideals without being completely wacko. It must be possible, surely? Anyway the food was good, and though I ate rye bread for two meals a day it didn’t get boring. I learned to love ‘Ajvar,’ an Eastern-Europian spread come pickle thing made of peppers. The family did not drink coffee or any kind of caffinated beverage, not even green tea, so I spent the first few days with a withdrawal headache of death. Typical. Before I went to Iceland I came off coffee completely just in case, then found that at Vallannes they drank more coffee than I did, and for Slovenia I didn’t bother, and Gods did it come back to bite me! Still, you live and learn.

So that was Slovenia.

Peace x