Oxford … and Sawday’s
We're in Oxford, having had a very good flight and a day to decompress in a little apartment that we've rented here for a few days. Tomorrow we're off to Ludlow, Shropshire, to do an interview with the leader of a fascinating, really innovative project. I had forgotten how visually rich and lovely Oxford is; I lived near here for a year in the late 1960s, but I feel as though I've largely forgotten what I knew about it.
In arranging this trip, I stumbled across a quite wonderful web site for finding accommodations: Alistair Sawday's Special Places (http://www.sawdays.co.uk). Alastair Sawday is a champion of sustainabiltiy, having stood for Parlimaent as a Green Party candidate, founded Avon Friends of the Earth and been vice-Chair of the Soil Association. His efforts to promote sustainability have led to the company being honoured with a Queen’s Award for Sustainability. It was also voted Independent Environmental Publisher of the Year – twice. Their site says: "We believe in what we do, passionately and honestly. We love all things local and independent, and seek out quirkiness and creativity. We reject the bland, the corporate and the impersonal. We select only the most special places and owners."
We weren't looking for a green business to provide us with accommodations — but having looked for those types of accommodations, we found we were dealing with Sawdays. They not only offer "special places" in Britain, but also in France, Spain, Portugal and elsewhere. I think they're a find — and I'll give a fuller review later when we've had more drect experience with the accommodations they list. They certainly seem to be the kind of organization that's a pleasure to experience.