Over the last few days I have been reflecting on the variety of guests who have come to stay with us here.
Our vision was to offer simple comfortable accommodation for people who wanted to visit Taize.For the moment we only have one shower/toilet available so that limits us to small groups who know each other, families and couples although we have 3 twin bedded rooms.
Anyway, this year is our first season being fully open and available and over the last 6 weeks we have had lovely people staying - some returning for the second - or even third time!
We welcomed our lovely German friend whom we met in Taize several years ago before she had her two sons now 3 and 6 years old. She came here for the first time with her husband and boys, and was so pleased to visit Taize for the evening prayers several times. The boys were amazing in the prayers when they sat quietly all the way through.
We opened our home to a couple from the Midlands in England who were visiting us for the first time en route to Nice and thence to Corsica. They were very upset to leave us and we hope to see them again. They took advantage of our local vineyards to try out the local wine and buy some to take back with them. They also visited Taize!
We have welcomed my dear friend who was at teacher training college over 40 years ago, along with her travelling companion who both strayed over the border from Switzerland where they had been on a walking holiday. They were able to notice the changes in the house and in the garden which we have been able to make because we are now resident here.
We were delighted to welcome near neighbours and great friends from Wordsley for a week when they helped us with the Jubilee Tea Party and revealed themselves as ace makers of Pimms!
We had a visit from 2 couples who are amateur musicians - one couple making a return visit and they had invited the other couple to join them.
They were thrilled to be able to go to Taize having played some of the chants in their own parish, and they enjoyed the quietness of the area.
After they left we thought our next visitors would be at the end of the month when we welcome a German family who came last summer - we are looking forward to seeing them and seeing how much their 2 little girls have grown - their youngest was only 8 weeks old when the came last summer!
But then last week we received an email. It was from Kevin who hails from Australia and is embarked on a trike ride from Rome to Paris. He had googled "Taize accommodation" and up we popped! He needed to stay for one night en route to Chalon. He arrived about 10:15am on Thursday on his trike. He didn't even get into the house before he had given Joe a chance to ride on the trike! He gave him careful instructions ...
Then Joe was off - in a straight line and with a lot more confidence than he has had on his attempts to ride a bike!
Bon voyage Kevin! Bon courage!