Over the past year we’ve done many more repeat sits than we ever have before.
We’ve been trying to keep on track with our “52 house sits in 52 weeks” challenge, so we’ve been doing lots of shorter sits, many just over a weekend. Some of our home owners seem to take these short breaks quite often, and after a successful first assignment, we’re often invited back again.
There is a nice feeling of familiarity in returning to the same house, the same pets, the same routines. Handovers are much easier, and on several occasions we’ve just collected a key and let ourselves in after the home owners have left.
The pets seem to settle quickly too, and in most cases it seems like they remember us. This is easier to gauge with dogs rather than cats, of course, as most cats seem to exude a casual attitude of, “Oh, you’re back, are you?”
As we prepare to publish this issue of House Sitting Magazine we have returned to a house and menagerie of animals we looked after three years ago.
In fact, this was where we worked on publishing the very first issue of House Sitting Magazine. Here is the picture we posted of Hamish helping Vanessa with that first issue, in June of 2016.
I was really looking forward to coming back, as Hamish is such a fun little dog. He likes to tear around the house and garden with a toy, teasing us, wanting us to chase him.
And he just loves to run. Across the road from the house there is a disused railway line that is now a public bridleway and cycle track. We follow the track for a couple of miles in either direction, Hamish loping along tirelessly as I cycle beside him, just keeping pace with him.
In one direction there is a pub which serves great beer and very tasty fish’n’chips. We go that way more often than the other!
Back at the house Hamish is equally helpful as Vanessa works on this issue of the magazine. Here’s Hamish helping out with issue #27, three years after we first met him.
At this sit we also have a small flock of 14 sheep to monitor, two pigs to look after, plus a hamster and a couple of fish. However the pay-off is worth it. We have a swimming pool, a hot-tub, a tennis court, and a home cinema in a beautifully converted attic area.
Three years seem to have flown by since we were last here, but when we look back at all the places we have been, the animals we have looked after, the people we have met, and the homes we have lived in, we also seem to have squeezed a lot of life into that time too.
And we wouldn’t change any of it. House sitting really has helped us create and enjoy a wonderful lifestyle.
So if you’re on the fence, wondering if house sitting might be something you’d like to try, we hope to inspire you to jump in and give it a go. In fact, if it’s inspiration you’re looking for, we believe there is no better place to find it than the very first House & Pet Sitting Conference. It’s only a month away, and if you’re in or near the UK in late September, we encourage you to come along. Find out more here:
We hope you enjoy this issue of House Sitting Magazine.
Ian and Vanessa
(currently house sitting in Droxford, Hampshire)