March 21, 2012

A Typical Day in the Life of Little Miss Zaura

Now that I’ve explained my motives for coming out here in the first place on this introductory post and have told you a bit about the farm and surrounding area on this last one, I think it is time we get down to real business. You must still be wondering what on God’s name I do all day, so I will attempt to walk you through a typical day for me here at the farm.

On weekdays, my alarm goes off at 6:25am. At 6:30am, I reach for my journal while still laying in bed and write for 15-20 minutes. I engage a little writing exercise known as freewriting, in which the objective is to get as much of one’s thoughts down on paper during a specified amount of time. Whatever pops out. No over analyzing or thinking and certainly no editing are allowed. I might write about a dream I had the night before or some of the people I’m interacting with on a daily basis. On other days, I write about something I might be concerned about, perhaps a specific job I’ll be taking on later that day or activities I have planned and maybe look forward to doing. I’m really pleased with the results I’ve had since I started doing freewriting and highly recommend for everyone out there to try it out. Apart from being a superb writing exercise, it also helps to reduce the clutter inside the mind, because once most thoughts are down on paper, they tend to stay there.

Once I finish the freewriting, I am ready to get up, wash up and throw on my work clothes. With somewhat of a clear mind, I spend the next 10 to 15 minutes meditating. I’ve set up a special corner in my room with soft cushions especially for that purpose. My own little sanctuary. A few years ago back home, I enrolled in a Raja Yoga meditation course at the Brahma Kumaris Center that lasted several months. In a similar way to other types of meditation, Raja Yoga is about embarking on a journey inward and spending a little time with oneself, in the hopes of gaining a clearer spiritual understanding and rediscovering some of the positive qualities and virtues we already posses. It is an invaluable tool that enables us to develop our strengths of characters and create new attitudes and responses to the challenges life throws our way every day. On most days, I follow one of the BK guided meditations I’ve downloaded on the Internet. Each one deals with a specific topic. When I’m feeling adventurous, I freestyle it. Sometimes while playing soft music in the background, other times while listening to the sound of birds happily chirping away in the early morning. Feels great spending a little time getting to know oneself.

At around 7:30am I head over to the pack house, where we have the kitchen for common use and I have a cup of green tea, first of the day (don't forget, this IS England!), and a substantial healthy breakfast. Work starts at 8am and in theory finishes at 1pm when we all sit down for lunch.

The type of work varies depending on the day. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are box delivery days. For the first few hours in the morning, I’m usually responsible for preparing what we refer to as the “miscellaneous” orders. Most clients receive a standard box, which contains whatever fruit/veg we decide to send out in any given week, depending on what we have a lot of and is being harvested at the moment. However, some of the clients have particular requests that we treat as a special order. The work is enjoyable and pretty straightforward, especially once you begin to get to know specific clients’ tastes. I grab a basket and start chucking all sorts of things in there so it kind of feels like shopping.

We try to pick, weigh and bag most of the vegetables we’ll need for the week’s boxes on Mondays so I often help with that. Picking is one of the jobs I enjoy doing the most, especially on warm sunny days. Fridays I usually spend most of the morning making jams, marmalade, chutneys and other preserves. As most of you already know, cooking is one of my favorite things to do so this job doesn’t really feel like a job at all. Fridays are also good days to finish jobs that were started and not completed earlier in the week, as well as cleaning and organizing the kitchen and the other workspaces.

When I’m not picking vegetables, preparing special orders or making jam, I’m usually out in one of the fields doing whatever needs doing. There is always so much to do here and the jobs vary widely. Typical jobs range from collecting, cleaning and boxing eggs, to planting or transplanting vegetables, weeding, watering and sowing seeds in trays. If the big boss is having a particularly good day, he might even let me drive the tractor for a little while and do some ploughing on the fields.

After lunch, I usually continue to work for a couple more hours, even though the arrangement is 5 hours (8am-1pm) in exchange for food and accommodation. At around 4:30-5pm I go for a run or a bicycle ride on this lovely cycle trail near the farm. When I get back from exercising, I have a shower and then do a little more writing. Dinnertime is normally at 7:30-8pm and then I check my email, maybe catch up with various people on Skype, and do other Internet-related stuff. Internet is one of those things I am not ready to give up just yet, and quite frankly, I’m not sure that I ever will. I try to get back to my room by 10:30pm although this is not always the case, because I quite enjoy a little reading before bedtime. I finally go to sleep, after a hard day’s work, sometime around 11:30pm or midnight.

My days may seem monotonous but I assure you they're not. I have not experienced one single minute of boredom since I arrived. On weekends, I usually “allow myself” a couple extra hours of sleep and quite a lot of free time to do as I please. I still do the freewriting, meditation and at least one hour of exercise during the day. Even on Sundays. Being the social butterfly that I am, I have inevitably made some local friends. Some of them quite special. So I’m never short of things to do really. This last weekend, I had the pleasure of hiking to the top of Brown Willy, Cornwall’s highest peak. Don’t get too excited now, this is England. No real mountains here. It was not terribly challenging to reach the summit at a mere 420 meters of altitude, but I cannot complain. I was surrounded by the beautiful English countryside, so deliciously green and luscious, and I do most certainly enjoy a bit of outdoor action.

As nights get shorter, days longer, and the temperature warmer, the farm seems to spring to life, and my experience gets better and better with each day that passes. Writing about my adventures and sharing it with all with you is the cherry on top. I haven’t even published this one and I’m already looking forward to writing the next one. Until then, I bid you all a fair adieu, but not before leaving you with an image of Brown Willy's majestic summit.



18 comments:

  1. you are invited to follow my blog

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    1. Will do Steve. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Love the idea of freewriting in the mornings. Thanks! Your days are long, how do you survive without a nap?! Just kidding, I can see you stay pretty busy, there is no need for nap, there is so much to do. I'm so happy for you that you are having this experience. Keep enjoying it!

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    1. Yeah really helpful, try it out and you shall see! I sneak in a little nap once in a while jiji Thank you hun! See you soon..

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  3. Oh, I want to know more about your substantial healthy breakfast! ;)

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    1. I usually have a couple of eggs in the morning -omelette, hard boiled or scrambled- sometimes throw in a bit of spinach or rocket. Maybe have some freshly squeezed orange juice and musli as well. I try to stay away from the homemade bread and jams but I slip once in a while jajaja Everything deliciously organic :)

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  4. awesome Zaurita...keep up the good bloggin'!

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  5. though i'm curious as to the actual mechanism behind this...i'll look into it: "Raja Yoga is about embarking on a journey inward and spending a little time with oneself, in the hopes of gaining a clearer spiritual understanding and rediscovering some of the positive qualities and virtues we already posses. It is an invaluable tool that enables us to develop our strengths of characters and create new attitudes and responses to the challenges life throws our way every day."

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    1. There is a Brahma Kumaris New York! http://bkwsu.org/us/newyork/
      All the courses should be free: Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. At least this is how they classify them in bcn. You should def try it out! Besos

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  6. Hey, Z, me encanta como estas escribiendo. It is definitely flowing! Se te quiere mucho por aqui, keep on living life! Yo sigo con mi proyecto en Rancho Arriba, algun dia te lo enseño, si no lo consideras una abominación. jeje! un besote!

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    1. Rubio!! Que bueno verte por aquí :) I'm glad you're enjoying it. Of course I would love to see it. I should be going to DR soon. Te tiro por Skype cuando te vea y te digo la fecha, a ver si coincidimos. I send you my love!!

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  7. I write and maintain a blog which I have entitled “accordingtothebook” and I’d like to invite you to follow it.

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    1. Hi Covnitkepr1, thanks for becoming a follower. I will definitely check your blog out as well!

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  8. hummm...siempre he dicho que soy una mujer urbana, pero esto puede hacer cambiar los parametros a cualquiera..aprende y disfruta mucho mi niña!

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    1. No se apure Doña que pronto le vamos a preparar su finquita!! Mejor dicho "nuestra finquita" jeje

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  9. Babes I'm loving every minute of it :-)! So happy for u and so proud of u! Keep it up! Love your writing style. Miss u tons! - Frances

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  10. I can read you for hours jonishhh!! I'm in love with your typical day routine and I adoreee how you express and describe it!! You have it in you :)) Muaaaa

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