Workaway enabled us to make this trip what it is. We’ve started off incredibly well – at a fantastic place in northern Holland where we spend the days gardening and the evenings relaxing on the paving where it is sooo peaceful, especially in the evening sun. We’ve learnt a lot already – from the unusual uses for the plants they cultivate here, such as using dandelions to make jelly, right through to what permaculture really means.
Where we’re staying is a unique environment where offices, businesses and individuals come to take time away from their regular routine to focus time on something important. Since we’ve been here, we’ve shared the space with scientists writing their dissertations and communications departments of large companies coming for training. If such a place exists in the UK, I’ve never been lucky enough to try it. There are many workspaces including a large kitchen (newly built) where the chef, Saskia, cooks the most incredible communal lunches (and other meals where guests require it). Each lunch is shared between everyone using the space; you could say it’s the only real rule here as everything else is flexible. Comfortable. Casual.
There is also a large glass fronted upper space (you could say attic but it’s huge) and meeting rooms downstairs, along with a large kitchen/lounge area and a handful of guest rooms with gorgeous tiled bathrooms.
We’re staying in a loft above the carpentry workshop where we share mattresses on the floor and look at the stars through a skylight. It does the job; it’s comfy and cosy, but after looking at the paid accommodation – I have envy! The new builds have been constructed with such attention to detail at all points, from the Eco materials used in building the walls through to the hand-placed multicoloured tiles which adorn floors and bathroom walls. It’s beautiful. The main thing that strikes me is the awareness of – and great use of – light. Light floods into the building and brings a real sense of life to the place. It’s beautiful. We were given a full tour by Aaf, the lady who stays here each night in a mobile home (which is awesome) and we saw the private space that the owners developed for when they stay over with their three kids. There is a skylight hand-crafted and angled so its architect-designer could look at the moon whilst laying in the bath. Their kitchen top looks remarkably clear ’til you realise a draw pulls out to reveal the induction hob. Walls are clad, floors are tiled and windows are vast. Every single room in the place, I would happily embrace as my home.
I’m particularly fond of the room we first saw; the kitchen in the main building – featuring wall to wall, floor to ceiling books, I feel at home. The kitchen top is stunning, as is the vase holding the flowers, and as is the kitchen table. Also, everything here is biological, or organic and even the wash products are zero impact. I love it.
Whilst the place has endless visual stimulation, the sounds are more predictable; ducks, geese and herons, quacking and squealing as they fly overhead, more frequently than the aeroplanes heading for Schipol. I love it here. More to come.