We'd decided it was time to see more of the world again, and wanted to spend at least two or three years away. We were lucky enough to have a five year visa to the U.K. and were keen to make the most of our time being so close to Europe.
Housesitting had been talked and read about, seemed like a fun option that might just work for us.
This could be just the opportunity we need to take us to all sorts of different places, meet some new and interesting people and discover a new life outside our usual environment.
|Tobermory on Mull|
First step of getting started was getting into the system. There are a number of websites that we registered with, getting references, police reports etc. They all have a steady flow of house sitting positions all around the world but we wanted mainly the UK and Europe. We put a profile together and started applying for what took our fancy.
They offer sits in all sorts of places and with a huge variety of animals and responsibilities. But we had quite a definite plan in mind as to what we were doing over here and how we'd like things to pan out.
|Early spring in Sussex|
We're both very happy to look after almost any type of animal, coming from years of farming in New Zealand. The only one I drew the line at, or perhaps for now anyway, was snakes and reptiles but of course David says we can do it!!! He's a never say 'No' kind of chap, but we may have to have the instruction book out in that case and there's always google!
So here we are almost twelve months down the track, loving it and enjoying some wonderful experiences.
|Pack of Hounds in Scotland|
We've also got some fabulous jobs through an agency that deals with animal orientated sits throughout the UK, but more about that later.
Our first sit was the result of a great friend chatting with a friend of hers. You know the way we girls network - "Oh I've got these great friends from NZ who are ..............." Julie turned out to be an absolute delight and has become a wonderful friend. She has a gorgeous flat in Edinburgh that needed to be looked after for seven weeks and even better a cat Sooty who needed lots of love, food and attention. What a beauty to start with - it's in a wonderful part of the city, so close that everything is in walking distance.
|Fettes School , Edinburgh|
|Holyrood House, Edinburgh|
|Nick in Edinburgh|
Sooty was an absolute delight and did take great pleasure in presenting us with a wee mouse as gift at least once a week. One evening she managed to sneak through the sitting room door, which lead to the hall and bedroom, and let her terrified little fury friend free. I think it was all a bit of a game until it managed to hide under a dresser and then all hell let loose - so Dave and Nick to the rescue. That was the only one I ever saw alive, otherwise we were greeted most mornings by blood and guts or a headless little body. Sooty so proud of herself and expecting us to feel the same way.