We’d never heard of Oundle when we agreed to spend five weeks housesitting here; in fact, we didn’t even know how to pronounce its name. A quick Google search revealed that it’s a town of five thousand people, not too far from Peterborough and about 130km north of London; a map search showed it in the middle of nowhere. We imagined long days of work uninterrupted by any events at all except the twice-daily dog walk. We were wrong.
Well, not too wrong. We’ve been able to get into a pretty good work routine, and we do take the dog for a walk twice a day. But we’ve also gone on a surprising amount of excursions and spent a lot of time with people.
Wine and beer
On our second day in town the local wine merchants hosted a tasting of South African wines, which we attended with pleasure, and a week later our friendly neighbours Jules and Dan took us to a beer festival in a town called Old. We’ve also walked to the villages of Cotterstock, Ashton and Glapthorn as well as visiting the city of Stamford for an afternoon.
A highlight of our first week was the guided walking tour we went on, which was run by the local library and guided by a woman called Barbara Matthews. She gave us a historical overview of the town and left us in the centre, where the weekly market was taking place, and where we bought some delicious cheese.
The homeowner, Fiona, had kindly said that we could have guests if we liked, so Janine took advantage of that permission and came to visit for a few days. She was studying for a sailing course in Croatia and Craig and I were both working, so it wasn’t the most exciting of visits, but it was still great to see her.
That weekend I headed south to attend BlogStock, a festival for bloggers that was held in Aldenham Country Park, near London. Craig had suggested I go but it was all looking too difficult until our friend Helen said I could share her tent and agreed to pick me up from Northampton. Two days outside during a chilly autumn weekend left me cold for days afterwards, but I really enjoyed the event. It was great to spend time with Helen and other friends like Dylan, Paul, and Terry and Sarah, as well as meet some bloggers I’d known for ages but just never coincided with, like Julie, Samuel, and Audrey.
We’d been spending a fair amount of time in the local library and a cafe in the centre of town because the Internet at home was sporadic at best. During our third week in Oundle, though, school started up again and we’ve noticed a significant improvement in speed and latency, so we’ve been at home a lot more. In the evenings we’ve been enjoying Netflix, we’re wondering how much more of The Good Wife we can get though before we leave.
We’ve still got two more weeks here in Oundle, then we’ll be in London for a day before flying to… Moldova! We are ridiculously excited about this, we’ve been planning to go to their annual wine festival for about eight years and it’s finally happening. If you have any advice for what we should do while we’re there, let us know!