This blog comes to you from sunny Perth in Australia, where Vanessa and I are finally shaking off the last effects of jet-lag after traveling halfway around the world.
One of the great joys of house sitting, at least as far as Vanessa and I are concerned, is the never-ending change. We both enjoy new experiences and new challenges. It is fun finding our way around a new neighbourhood, discovering the local market, or hiking in a different location.
Each sit also brings new connections and, of course, new pets.
We’ve had a busy couple of months since the last regular issue of House Sitting Magazine, which was published in October, while we were still house sitting in Barbados. At the start of November we flew back to the UK, where we enjoyed a sunny but chilly month, as we took on three short house sits, with a bit of time scheduled to catch up with friends and family too.
Our first sit was near Liverpool in a beautiful converted barn on the edge of a golf course. We had just one cat to look after, a gorgeous Bengal, Pixie. She was so independent, and behaved just like her larger, wilder lookalikes, but still offered the occasional display of affection.
From there we moved to a lovely house on a hillside, overlooking Matlock on the edge of the beautiful Peak District. Here we looked after Toby, a 4-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with lots of character.
Our final sit was to the east of London, in Gravesend, Kent, where big grey cat Marley provided endless amusement. He was another very independent cat who spent his time between two houses.
When he was with us he was usually either eating or asleep. I think we were just there to open doors for him, and provide food upon request!
We managed to meet up with a few other house sitters also in the UK, and enjoyed several great traditional British pub lunches.
Our next stop was Asia and this month’s magazine is loosely themed around this eclectic region, with a sprinkling of Christmas joy for those celebrating the holiday season.
We had booked three luxurious nights in the centre of Kuala Lumpur, the bustling capital of Malaysia. We stayed in a beautiful apartment (a great deal through Booking.com) with a rooftop pool looking out onto the KL Tower. It was only a short walk to KL City Centre where the iconic Petronas Towers stand, the tallest building in the world until 2004.
In the other direction a short distance away we found streets filled with small restaurants offering amazing curries and a wealth of other dining options. Our favorite offered the infamous Malaysian roti bread with curry sauce, and our first meal there, including tea, cost us less than USD $5… for both of us !!
Kuala Lumpur is a great stopover city when traveling between Europe and Australia, and is becoming something of a digital nomad hub too. No wonder, with cheap accommodation, great food, fascinating culture, and blazing-fast internet.
One must-do is to visit the Heli Bar at sunset. Perched on top of one of the higher building in the city centre, each evening the rooftop heli pad becomes a trendy bar for a spectacular sundowner.
Our final destination for the next three months is Perth in Western Australia. We arrived about a week ago and stayed with friends for a couple of days before our first house sit began. The weather is warm and sunny, as summer has begun Down Under, so it’s great to be in shorts and t-shirt again after being so well wrapped up for a cold UK November.
We’re currently looking after two very interesting Basenji dogs in the Swan Valley area of Perth, to the north of the city. Logan and Missy are very striking dogs who don’t ever bark, but “talk” to each other, and us, in little quiet yips. Logan occasionally lets out a very odd howl when he wants to get our attention. They are fun dogs to have around.
They potter around the house quietly, sniffing and inspecting everything, but are quite restless as they live mostly outdoors. If we decide to watch TV they usually have to go outside, unless we can finally get them to settle on the sofa with us.
Find out more about Basenjis here:
Where are you this month, and where do you plan to be for Christmas?
We hope you have a great festive season wherever you are, and we hope you enjoy this issue of House Sitting Magazine.
Ian and Vanessa
(currently house sitting in Perth, Western Australia)