After two months of house-sitting it is sadly almost time to go home again. We’ve travelled through Hertfordshire, Nottinghamshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Leicestershire and spent the last two weeks in the smallest county in England, Rutland.
We’ve had truly wonderful experiences in each of the four houses we’ve stayed in, and have cared for in total; 3 llamas, 6 dogs, 2 cats, 6 horses, 2 sheep and 6 chickens. We have also had to make 4 trips to the vet in that period. One for an elderly Jack Russell’s gippy tummy and 3 trips for a grass seed in a Spaniel’s eye. The more often we house-sit the likelier trips to the vets are going to be of course. I tend to take it in my stride now and not get in too much of a panic about it. Happily all the pets made quick recoveries from their various maladies and we could hand them over fit as fiddles.
High points have been so many it’s hard to choose but I’ll give it a go!
- Fabulous half-day ride from, Flash, the highest village in England, through the stunning Peak District. Courtesy of Northfield Farm Riding Centre and 16 h.h skewbald gelding, Marmite. (You either love him or hate him)
- Monty’s chippie in Leek! We visited it thrice. Fortunately there’s no scales in present house sit but because they were small F&C I hope I won’t have put on too much weight.
- Walking in the Chilterns and stumbling across Tring’s quirky National History Museum of stuffed animals including famous racing greyhound, Mick the Miller. (Yonks ago our derby donkey, Mick was named after him)
- Guided tour giving solely for us about the silk weaving industry in Macclesfield by guide, Daniel, at the Paradise Mills.
- Visiting Edale, Peak District, and stumbling across glamping site, The Gathering listed as one of the best ten escape-to-nature getaways in the UK. Going on the bucket list!
- Walking around Rudyard Lake (Rudyard Kipling’s parents liked it so much they named their son after it) and visiting the carvery afterwards.
- A sublime day at Chatsworth House.
- Sunday dinner at The Star Inn, Sancton, East Riding (is there a food theme emerging here?)
- Visiting York’s lesser known but equally beautiful little sister, the cathedral town of Beverley.
- Discovering Stamford in Lincolnshire. Reputedly England’s prettiest town. A bit like the Cotswolds but less touristy.
- Seeing my sister compete at Staffordshire Horse Trials.
- Getting to know all the owners and the pets in our care.
- Waking up each morning and looking out onto the fabulous Roaches. (escarpment in Peak District)
- Cooking on an Aga
- Collecting fresh eggs from the chucks every morning
- Sampling the fabulous Rutland Pippin (posh pasty)
- And the absolute icing on the cake, our final house-sit on this trip turned out to be almost as grand as Downton Abbey. Yes, I am totally Downton-struck; even the dog looks like Isis.
To be fair we like to house-sit for nice people who take into account our needs and want us to feel welcome and comfortable their home. Social status isn’t important to us. We look after everyone’s house and pets with the same amount of respect and care whatever walk of life they come from. A few photos for you below.
I promise to live up to this blog name and write about Amsterdam next time!