Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Free holiday, anyone?

Look, I know this is probably a very very long shot, but does anyone know someone who would like to spend a rent-free week in Edinburgh from Saturday 18 October – in a comfortable house, with two friendly cats?

We have house-exchanged for holidays at various times in the past and always found it worked well. In this case, we don’t want an exchange; just a cat-loving house-sitter (or sitters) who would be happy to spend a week in our house and be nice to the cats.

We need to sort something out for the cats because to celebrate Mr Life’s 60th birthday (which was in May) the offspring have organised for us all to go down to Wales so that he can spend a day driving a narrow-gauge railway train. Those of us who live in this house are staying there all week. This gift has made him very happy. He’s been sent a programme of events, which will involve his being on his train from 7.30 in the morning till 5 in the afternoon. Such fun. Well, no, it wouldn't be the top of my list of great activities but he adores steam trains.

However, we haven’t worked out what we’re going to do with Cassie and Sirius. I have various friends who’ve offered to pop in and feed them, but I really don’t feel I’d be happy thinking of them all by themselves in the evenings, when they’re accustomed to watching television with Mr Life. "Scrubs" is their current favourite programme. We could put them in a cattery, where they’d be safe, but I really don’t think they’d be very pleased. Guilt, guilt… My mother thinks that this is silly – they’re just cats – but… well.

It's just possible that Daughter 1's guinea pigs might also be in our house if our son-in-law decides to come with us. An added incentive for any prospective house-sitters! I don't think the guinea pigs are so interested in television, though.

I asked my brother (who lives in Epsom in Surrey) if any of his friends would like a week in Edinburgh and he said, “In October?”. He can be quite scathing. He’s lived too long in the south and has become soft. All right, October perhaps isn’t the very best month to spend here. It might be lovely (crisp days, still air, sunshine) but it might be dark, rainy and windy. You just can’t predict these things. But there’s plenty to do: museums, art galleries, walks, historic buildings and so on. And we have heating, lighting, a roof – things to combat rain and wind.

We have one room with a double bed, one with twin beds and two with single beds; two bathrooms, two living rooms and a big kitchen with the usual appliances. Our house is in a quiet cul-de-sac but two minutes from a bus stop into town. There are lots of buses and you can be in town in ten minutes – it’s only a couple of miles. Or you can walk there in half an hour. Edinburgh is a good city to walk around; it’s not too big.

Anyway. Any ideas? This offer is open, you’ll understand, to any of my blogfriends or their friends and relations, not to random passing burglars. Do leave a comment if you can help. Or even if you can't.


  1. If only we didn't live so far away, I'd be there in a second.

  2. Anonymous1:42 pm

    I might have taken you up on the offer if only I hadn't decided to move flat that week.

    For ages and ages I have had the week commencing 18 August booked as annual leave, with no particular plans (or money) to go anywhere.

    I was vaguely thinking of going to the Edinburgh festival, but was not totally sure about it ..... then a few days ago I happened to find my dream flat + the wheels are now in motion for me to move during that week.

    Hope someone is able to take up your offer.

  3. Wow! You know I lurk here a lot, though I don't comment often, and I just wanted to tell you that this is an awesome idea! I'd love to do something like that, but I've got a four year old, LOL ... and Fiance has work. Plus, we live in America so that would be quite a plane ride, wouldn't it? Otherwise, I'd already be on my way, LOL!

    Can't wait to hear how it works out for you, and I'll be praying you are able to find a solution that is both safe and satisfactory.

  4. Isabelle! You must e-mail me IMMEDIATELY!!! We need to talk LOL!!!!

  5. So can I bring my cat? She might not like the long-haul airflight in cargo but she would blend in with your kitties........

    I don't mind which bed I sleep in......I am a great house guest, I am so good you might never let me leave....

    Now you will forward the money for the flight from Australia? Don't worry about the return......

    Also can you ring my boss and arrange the time away from work? (quietly laughing to herself as she logs off the computer)

  6. Wish I lived closer! What a greaty way to look for someone through your blog. We prefer to leave our house with a house sitter rather than vacant, mianly because of our pets.

    RE - the steam trains - in October we've booked a ride with friends and are taking our oldest grandson. What would normally be 30 or so minutes in a car is going to take us almost 6 hours return. Looking forward to it, so is our grandson.

  7. If only you knew how tempting that is! It's not a happening thing from this end but maybe one day we could house swap??

  8. Isabelle IfOnly I could Fly I would Be there in a Hour It would be easy for me to see my mum from your place she is in aberdeen I havent seen her for 37 years Health reasons stop me from flying or I would be there Hope you get someone Special to do it for you.
    Hugs Mary.

  9. Sounds like a great rendevous for Rise and me----a week away from H's and offspring, in a beautiful, explorable-by-foot city, with two gorgeous felines to come home to every evening! Makes me all dreamy-eyed just thinking about it! Of course, it being October, and my blood being permanently thinned, I'd have to bring several hot water bottles......Oh, you've got me dreaming Isabelle!
    Mr. Life's b'day present sounds dreamy for him!

  10. Dear Isabelle,
    You know I would mind your cats in a trice, and having been there in October, at your delightful abode, I can happily say that it is most enjoyable and I don't know what your brother is talking aboot.

    If I could make a suggestion what about one of the daughter's friends who may want some quiet time ?

    Sadly I won't be in the uk this year....

  11. I need to see what happens re the knee, but it may just be possible!