Tag: housesitting (Page 2 of 3)

Feeling fruity

At our sewing class this morning, one of only two this term, there was a plate of fruit. Peaches, plums and grapes – all from their property. Every single piece of fruit was sublime. They are frantically trying to keep on top of it all – bottling, stewing, dehydrating… Before they head on holiday and leave the rest – to us!

We will be housesitting there for a month or so from mid-February, and Small DB in particular, can barely wait. She has put herself in charge of looking after the chooks and the sheep, and her sister in charge of the aged (worryingly aged) cat and two stick insects. She has borrowed a garden book from the library so she can identify plants and herbs, and has great plans for what we might bake. She muses fondly on the ice cream we might put in their freezer. We had a lovely time looking after the same house for a week this time last year

It is a nice thing to have on the horizon – it will cut down the driving I do getting the Smalls to their activities, and it will mean that M gives the boat his undivided attention for five weeks. He won’t be called in to fix the toilet, have lunch, rescue my sanity – he will just be doing his two days a week on Dadda Duty while I work. He might come for dinner every few nights.

I am (not so) secretly hoping that this will be the last big push before we get on the water… But that has been hoped many times before. I don’t object so much to the boatyard as somewhere to live temporarily, but it has been a year and I’m pretty done with it. I’ll be happy to have a house around me for a little while. I’ll be even more happy to sail away on an adventure being tied to NO SCHEDULED ACTIVITIES for a considerable time. I hope it’s soon.

I am a farmer and a boatbuilder

We have been housesitting at the farm for just over a week. I call it a farm, and it kind of is – there are maybe 25 or 30 sheep here, a cat and about 16 chooks. Not to mention a whole lot of fruit trees, a vegie garden, three roosters and…omg… WIFI!! Mostly I am enjoying the fridge and freezer space and just the fuidity that comes with appliances such as the dishwasher, and not having to turn on the generator when I want to use the thermomix!!

055/365 • waiting for their dinner • #055_2016 #sheep #latergram #gumtrees #housesitting #Summer2016 #morningtonpeninsula

But the other awesomeness is – we are back in Hastings! The only town the Smalls have ever known (oddly enough) and it has significantly cut down on the time that we spend in the car – mostly going to karate, the library and the shops. That is a definite win.


My mother came and looked after the Smalls on Sunday and Monday – she stayed over. I spent both days…wait for it…. at the boat helping M with the ceiling panels.

Starting work on the ceiling panels.Two ceiling panels up.

It was so liberating. I have such a powerless role as far as the boat-build goes. Everything resides in the Head of M – for some reason I struggle with even the smaller things that I should take on, such as finding ways to keep things secure once we are on the water. But that, I think, is the crux of it. I can’t imagine that we ever will be. It has taken too long. I am in denial.

However, it was great to have a few days off parenting and feel useful in a practical way. M and I work well together – it’s just that we rarely get the opportunity because someone always needs to be doing the parenting. Here’s a little timelapse of some time in the shed….

Goodbye Farm

I have enjoyed being a farmer 🙂 Getting out the chooks every morning, feeding the sheep, making sure everything is fox-proof at night. I have enjoyed the crafting shed and the air-hockey table, and the sound of Small DB playing the piano at every opportunity…

That we have been here for five weeks…. Those five weeks already feel intangible. The night we all jumped into a cool shower because the weather was too hot. The parched look of the fruit trees. I woke up this morning and it was still dark at 6.30am – the morning was a proper cold Autumn one, with dew on the grass and a chill in the air. It turned into a very beautiful day…

079/365 • goddamn it's a beautiful day! one load of wash down and a monkey on the clothesline - moving back to the boat late this afternoon • #079_2016 #Autumn2016 #housesitting #hillshoist #clothesline #5yo #feet #breezy #sunshine

Our five weeks here has contained two seasons – I am very much hoping that we have seen the last of the hot glaring summer days. Today was all OK, up until about 2pm when I took on what I thought was the last GREAT EFFORT to clean up and get out of here…

Four hours later I was still going, and this did not include cleaning the chook home or hanging out and then retrieving two loads of wash. Nevertheless – by 6pm I was a vacant eyed drooling Zombie, with two Smalls that were trying to help me, but… my task was almost impossible.

In order to return to the boat by dinner time, we had to put the chooks away early. “No worries,” I thought, “Cheese will do it.”
Cheese. The great persuader.
Well, for some reason it persuaded only half of them inside their home. I became increasing irate, as they would dart for the cheese and then race outside, dodging Small Z who was valiantly trying to prevent them exiting, gobble their prize, and then slope back in to score some more.

After half and hour I had reached the end of the line. I stuffed whatever else I could fit into the car, including two children, and left the goddamn chickens to their own devices. We returned to the boat, to M, to dinner – gasped at the beauty of the ceiling and the coathooks that have been installed in three different places – and then I returned to the farm alone to foxproof the bloody chooks and have a few hours to myself *goggle* before waking up early and finally… vacating.

Animals and white goods. More housesitting!

We returned to the boat for Easter and M’s birthday and then the Smalls and I transplanted ourselves to E’s house in Emerald – the land of enormous trees, hydrated air and vintage steam engines. We are looking after Sunny the Dog, Samba the Cat (remember him?), Golden Glow – the Guinea pig and Starlight Princess – the other Guinea pig, two chickens and some fish. The Smalls are thrilled with the animals. I am in my happy place while running the dishwasher and washing machine simultaneously.

The Smalls were bathed on arrival…
Zoe. Bubbles.Having been commanded to wet the front of her head.

I am making friends with Sunny the Dog. When we have met on previous occasions I have belatedly realised that she was always a bit of an over-excited freak show because there were NEW PEOPLE mingling with her FAMILY PEOPLE and so many SMELLS and VOICES! With just the three of us here we have been able to be pretty chilled out with her – except in the morning when it seems that her love-o-meter has depleted. Seriously. She awakes DESPERATE for pats and affection and won’t settle until some have been doled out.

Walking her is excellent, while being slightly fraught. The Smalls take turns with her, but she is stronger than either of them and the first time we went out I was in mortal fear of them letting go of the leash and seeing her run into the distance, never to return. E reassured me over the phone that even if this did happen, she would always return home. Of course, it has happened, but I have managed to catch her each time…so far….

Daisy taking Sunny for a walk.

Sunny taking Daisy for a walk

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