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One thing I have noticed about house sitting is that it is definitely not like being on vacation, or on Holiday, as they say in OZ.
The primary reason for that is that our main goal is not to see as many tourist sites as we can in a ten day period.
We have decided that two months is the shortest time for a good house sit for us, and six months to a year can be a great choice if the location is right. Here, in Western Australia, we wanted to experience the changes of season, plant a garden and be able to harvest food, and get to know some local folks. This is working out nicely in so many ways, and it is not perfect!
The folks here are great, helpful and friendly- most who we have met are retirees. We seem like retirees, but we are not quite yet!
Before we arrived, we were invited to play Scrabble and Indoor Bowls, by our house host. He said he hoped we would join into those local activities. I pictured us going to a grange hall kind of thing with maybe a few dozen people sitting at little card tables for Scrabble.
We looked up the Bowls game and saw people doing that in small groups as well. What we didn’t realize was that, if we didn’t play, the folks would be a bit short for players, with our hosts traveling to England. They really needed us to play.
Here is how it went down for Scrabble. Scrabble is held at OUR HOUSE! Two ladies come, sometimes three, often only one. And we love playing with them. We have to spell words the Australian way, of course- we laugh a lot about the words we can and can’t make! A “z” is called a “zed”, by the way.
A big part of Scrabble is that we stop half way through for TEA. To learn more about tea check out Neil’s post.
Tea time means that we bake something on Monday nights. Oh, and we also clean the house on Tuesday mornings, eat a quick lunch and go open our gate for the guests to drive in. These two ladies, our regulars, have been instrumental in helping us know where to go, what to buy, and more. One works at the Red Cross shop and let us know we can buy local eggs from one of the volunteers there.
Our other friend is between houses and staying with neighbors. She will be pet sitting for us while we bum a ride (with friend number one) up to Perth, for a week of city and beach life next month.
What about Indoor Bowls? We do play in the Kendenup Hall. There are usually seven or eight of us. Eight is perfect. Less than six and they might as well cancel. So, we are very popular. Everyone there is kind and not very competitive. We laugh a lot and it really is fun.
We stay away from politics (ours) and just try and learn about them and their lives. One woman actually came out from England as an orphan. They just shipped the kids here and raised them in a group home then sent them out to work! Some folks grew up in “the bush”, others retired from the big city in Perth or “out east”.
Everyone we meet has helped us get to know so much about Australia. Since we are maintaining a country property we also share produce and eggs and tips about the garden and the dog. Everyone wants us to watch out for snakes right now. They laugh at our decision to order fly nets to wear over our heads, but agree that the flies and “mossies” (mosquitios) can be annoying. We have had tons of rain so the the mossies are bad this year!
Some folks wonder why we decided to come here and don’t want us to miss out on the rest of the country, but we are content to follow the house sitting leads and the opportunities that come up. We are going to get to go watch some sheep shearing before Christmas!
Not your typical vacation, but way different than our “regular life”. Who knew that back when I was making my mind movie about all my fabulous homes, that I would be living in homes all over the world that other people own.