I arrive in Nailsea in the early afternoon of a hot August day.
Only an old woman is walking in front of me out of the station.
I have never been here before, but Google Maps told me where I have to go long before I even arrived.
I walk a few hundred meters and see this.
I keep walking.
Nice houses, nice gardens, empty streets.
Cars seldom pass by and go.
I keep walking.
I need to start my research.
A blonde woman walks down the hot pave in a dress.
A push-chair before her.
Shall I stop her and bother her with my survey?
She’s just having a walk with her baby.
But I have many, too many questionnaires to give out.
And they must be completed.
My train back to Leeds is tomorrow.
“Good morning, I am a student from Leeds University Business School. I am doing a research for my dissertation, to complete my Master. Would you like to help me by filling up this survey for me? It will take just a few minutes.”
She is completing the survey.
And I am making funny faces to entertain the baby in the push-chair, who does not look entertained, but suspicious.
The woman completes her survey.
I thank. I move on.
A man in his late twenties, dressed as if he forgot ten years passed since he was 18, walks alone. A long bush keeps him company.
I approach him and repeat my “commercial”, trying to lure him to help me.
Sure. He says.
He completes. I thank. And move on.
The day passes.
I said I am a Leeds University Business School student to way too many people who did not have the least interest in who I was.
But I now have 35 completed questionnaires.
In just few hours.
Nice houses, nice gardens, nice people.
I am hungry. I look around.
Do not feel like pub.
Do not feel like a sandwich from Tesco.
There is an Indian restaurant.
I stand at look at the menu on the window.
Behind the menu two big brown eyes look at me.
I do not hesitate. I enter.
I am the only customer. It’s only 6pm. I sit and stare at the corner in the left: Aishwarya Rai, Salman Khan and many others are dancing in a 32″ television screen.
“Are you ready to order?”
Brilliant. Or I shall say, Vah!
Full and happy.
The sun is slowly hiding behind the hills and I need to find my B&B for the night.
Google Maps, again, saves me and leads me to my destination.
I climb up a small unpaved road and find it lost in the woods, my roof in Nailsea.
I knock on the door and nothing happens.
I call the owner on the phone and few seconds later the door finally opens.
David shakes my hand and shows me my room.
And I am happy.
I walk out of the shower, inside the room again.
Through the curtain I see something moving outside.
I can’t stop myself and look out of the window.
There she is, the peak of my day.
Sitting on the bench just under the window of my room.
I play with her a bit.
Then she leaves me.
And she leaves me to my data entry task.
After a day of collecting surveys.
And I sleep.
But not before Sandra Bullock has kissed Hugh Grant in Two Weeks Notice.
Breakfast is ready in the kitchen at 8.30.
And so am I.
David prepares tea for me and I help myself to milk and granola, without forgetting to add some fresh strawberries that won’t stop looking at me in such temptation.
I reached the kitchen first, so I pick the best table by the window and stare outside, lost in the trees and the calmness of the place, interrupted only by David that asks me what I would like for breakfast.
I am confused.
I have milk, and granola, and strawberries, and tea, and there’s yogurt waiting for me on the cupboard.
David shows me a menu where I can pick from a list of items and again, David will prepare for me whatever I wish.
I order an omelette with mushroom.
Elm Tree Cottage B&B