It’s been a hectic few weeks since we last blogged! The day after signing the contract for the ‘plan A’ land, we discovered that it was literally not worth the paper it was written on! To cut a long and complicated story short, we are still hoping the land will become available in the long term, but for now, have negotiated and signed for the ‘plan B’ land on the other side of the villa. Subsequently, we are delighted to announce that we have signed the deposit contract for villa, and anticipate that it will be completed towards the end of April, which will allow us to open in May.
Internal carpentry almost complete – staining next so that the walls match the original colouration.
The ‘plan B’ land also has a small house, which we will be able to utilise for a lovely massage/therapy room space. The garden provides plenty of room for the yoga sala and meditation labyrinth, so apart from aesthetics, our plans have altered very little as a result. After signing the contract, the ‘matriarch’ of the family gave her blessings with “I will try and stay alive to see your business be successful”, a very touching sentiment which we aim to honour!
We have also inadvertently adopted an extremely adorable ‘spa puppy’ who we have named Poppet. Poppet is currently being lovingly looked after by the landlord of the soon-to-be spa. Her calm, gentle, playful nature will have everyone doting on her, and as a semi-stray, she is also fully equipped to be pretty self-sufficient, needing only affection, love and supplementary food and water to nourish her as she grows and becomes a part of the ‘Gratitude Family’.
Dotty has experienced a bit of a tumultuous few weeks, having come on heat very soon after moving in. Did you know that when a cat is on heat, their uterus expands to three times its normal size?! Despite conflicting advice as to whether or not this is a painful cat experience, Dotty was clearly uncomfortable, and as there are too many abandoned kittens and cats to ensure good homes for a litter, we decided to have her spayed. After a quick recovery, she stopped eating for a couple of days and became extremely lethargic. It seems that she picked up a bug when she went for the op, but following a home-visit from the vet and a ‘glucose and vitamin’ injection, she is now back to her cheeky, mischievous self (with a newly acquired taste for fine foods, as all she would eat when poorly was freshly cooked chicken!).
We have enjoyed the company of a number of visitors over the past weeks. My parents, their friend Rosemary, and Hannah’s mum all joined us for a fortnight, which gave us plenty of opportunity to explore the activities and ‘areas of interest’ in and around Hoi An. With trips to ‘The Marble Mountains’, ‘My Son Ruins’, local craft villages, a leather workshop, cookery class, lantern making workshop, Hoi An Impressions Show, river dinner cruise and many other visits, we really made the most of the time, and thoroughly enjoyed having them here. I was also delighted to welcome Becky, an ex-student (of, ahem, nearly 10 years!) who has just graduated in Medicine and is currently completing a fabulously beneficial research project in Cambodia! Becky joined us for a fun-packed weekend, and it was truly wonderful to see her and catch up!
This week, we have enjoyed the company of Dr. James Spears, a friend from The Sanctuary, talented acupuncturist, herbalist and developer of the delicious drink Azenja (blog post to follow on this!). As well as a scrumptious dinner at Baba’s Kitchen, (the best Indian Restaurant we have yet found in Asia… and they do home delivery!), he also accompanied us for a viewing of the villa! Massive thanks to Jim for rescuing my abandoned laptop and returning it from The Sanctuary! We look forward to seeing you here again soon.
Our home is starting to look a little like a warehouse as items arrive to furnish the villa! The next blog will be about our gorgeous hand-crafted bespoke bed-runners, followed by the hand-crafted crockery, the Azenja…
With gratitude and love,
“Life is like a roller coaster. You can either scream every time there is a bump or you can throw your hands up and enjoy the ride” Unknown