We have just completed a house-sitting in the delightfully named Buntingford – it’s as if the flags are always out, and the town is in a permanent state of excitement – but, in spite of it’s name, we were not looking forward to our visit. Previously, Sophie and Bobby, our two Labrador charges, lived in the New Forest. (Out of Season. Out of Time.) When … Continue reading Buntingford.
Our third Airbnb address in as many months was in Bos en Lommer. Or BoLo as it’s called nowadays. There is nothing much in BoLo. Most tourists probably never venture this far west but maybe that in itself is enough of a reason to give it a go. At first glance it appears uninviting, nondescript even, but delve a little deeper and BoLo doesn’t seem … Continue reading Bos en Lommer. Not Your Typical Amsterdam.
‘You’re like a different person here’. I am not good at doing nothing. I get so excited when I get someplace new and want to run about and discover, walk the streets, sit on terraces, eat the food; soak it all up. To Jim, I’m manic. I envy his ability to sit and stare into space, nap in the afternoons and hang over gates watching sun-sets. … Continue reading The Charente.
The padlocked wrought-iron gates barred our way. In the inner courtyard, a flock of twenty-something pigeons took flight as one, filling the silence with a flutter of wings, and the emptiness with a scratch of charcoal grey. In the eastern cemetery a skinny fox sauntered amongst the tombstones, turning to look back at us, tongue lolling from the corner of his mouth, before he disappeared … Continue reading Highgate Cemetery. Fairyland With An Edge.
Our latest house-sit in a converted Georgian chapel was going to be all about relaxing – watching Wimbledon, (and the test match for Jim) – writing, reading and cooking for me. The dogs are Spotty – a Jack Russell her owners say, but she looks more like a Chihuahua; and Dag (short for Dagley) a Heinz 57 variety (he does look like a Jack Russell!). … Continue reading The Best Laid Plans…..
The farm nestled in a bend on the road – less of a road, more of a lane – narrow, leafy and green. The white-washed stone cottage sat hidden, surrounded by trees, fields, woods and wild flowers. I pushed open the metal gate, and Sally appeared on the doorstep as Merl and Mia, two cocker/springer spaniel crosses bounded towards us. Sally was a stranger, but we were … Continue reading Carmarthenshire – Coast And Castles.
Kruger National Park is a bubble. A fantastic bubble. But a bubble nonetheless. Real life is suspended. ‘Won’t it be nice to get back to a normal routine? You know, get up, have a cuppa, slow breakfast and a shower, instead of shooting off looking for animals’, said Jim. Some things to think about during a trip to the park. The Early Bird Catches The … Continue reading The Kruger Bubble.
‘We will take what nature gives us. I’m not going to squeeze the nature’. We were about to step into the wild. I felt a mixture of emotion. A thrill of excitement. A whole lot more fear. ‘Whatever happens don’t run. It’s not good to die tired’. Aron, the head ranger was holding forth. ‘You too are very bright’, he said, nodding at the Germans, … Continue reading Far, Far From The Madding Crowd.
Tenikwa is a wildlife rehabilitation and awareness centre close to South Africa’s touristy Garden Route. I thought long and hard about going there. All of their publicity seemed to concentrate on cats – wild cat experience – walking with cheetahs – and photo combos of all of the above. It felt a bit like exploitation. But I read a lot, kept an open mind and decided to go for it. After … Continue reading Crayzee Cat Lady.
For drama lovers and story tellers, take a walk on the wild side to what was once a little island in the middle of the Seine and discover some tall tales in Les Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques. I like visiting cemeteries. I think of them as parks with dead people. Mostly they’re beautiful, peaceful places and not at all morbid. Sometimes … Continue reading A Tear Jerker!