I woke up to a beautiful, sunny morning, A nice way to remember this place. My B & B is situated off of Totnes Down Hill Road; the road that goes past Ticklemore. Dart Villas is just above the roofline of the buildings so it has a spectacular view of the river, most of Totnes and the fields beyond the town. I had the Garden Room. It overlooks the terraced garden in back. My room was bright and clean. I watched birds flitting around the feeders and butterflies going from flower to flower. It was nice to unwind and reflect on my experiences at Ticklemore in this room. I'm still a bit choked up. I don't like leaving such a wonderful place. I could not have predicted how well things went. I know I'm being silly, but I had a truly magical time here.
The breakfast was great. Organic scrambled eggs, sautéed mushrooms with garlic and homegrown tomato, grilled, served with fried bread. Scrumptious! I met two other women staying at Dart Villas. One lives on the South Island of New Zealand and is visiting her daughter. The other was in town for a class at Buckfast Abbey. We chatted for a while. Very pleasant women.
I packed up and settled my tab. I dragged my heavy luggage down the steps and waited for Robin to pick me up. The sun and gentle breeze felt good. I was happy to be out in the fresh air. Robin showed up with the van and we chatted all the way to the train station. I'm free to ask him any questions and wished me the best of luck back home.
We drove through town and he dropped me off at the station. A quick hug and off he went, back to Ticklemore. The train pulled up promptly and I climbed aboard. I watched Totnes recede though the glass and fought back more tears. Time to go home.
I'm in London now. The air is filthy. It's noisy and crowded. Everyone is in a hurry. No one smiles. My hotel is nice. I'm back at the Garden Court Hotel. Jim and I stayed here in June. I have the same room as before, 107. Amy the Kiwi is behind the desk.
What did I do after I checked in? I still have an Oyster Card with cash on it so I'm ready to go! I walked out of my hotel and caught the Number 7 bus on the corner and went to Tottenham Court Road. I wandered over to Neal's Yard Dairy. Sam and Zack were behind the counter. Big friendly greeting. I spent an hour just chatting and eating cheese. Old habits are hard to break. Yeah, I bought some, too. Hope it survives. Did some shopping in the neighborhood. Does cheese make a good birthday present? We'll find out. I'm kidding Jim! The cheese is for me. I'll share.
Bus back to the hotel. Easier than taking the Underground at rush hour. I go back to my room and relax for a while. Dinner at Nando's Chicken. Yes! I love that Portuguese grilled chicken. It is cheap and bountiful. Jim and I always go to Nando's. There is a location a block away from the Garden Court Hotel. The lazy person's dream dinner.
Gotta catch a plane from Heathrow tomorrow. Never fun under normal circumstances.
Where do I go from here?
I'm a bit nervous and scared. My next move is uncharted. I don't know where I'll be in a year, I don't know what I'm doing next week. I have a few options. I'd like to visit more cheesemakers and see other facilities. I'd like to go scouting for property. I can start writing a business plan. I can talk to the Cowgirls and see if they're willing to share some of their wisdom. ( I like this ideal.) I can experiment with cheese in my kitchen. (I like this one, too.) It is time to purge the crap in the garage. Time for a yardsale!
It is all up to me now. I've just got to decide what I want to do and go for it. Let me just close my eyes while I jump into the void.
Oh, and I need a name for my cheese.