House Sitting Magazine Issue 37: October 2021

Page 1



FROM THE EDITORS Find out what


Ian and Vanessa


have been doing on their long term

Global traveller

sit in France acquiring new skills -

advises on ways to keep yourself safe

cow wrangling!

on your travels as a solo house sitter.






shares the

is back to talk

house sitting story of her and hubby

about the discoveries he's made in

John's, Covid journey, back and forth

Australia while exploring his family

between Mexico and the USA.



Jenny Lincoln

explains how to deal with the "mush moments" as we heal and reinvent ourselves while travelling.


IN THE SPOTLIGHT VELORAIL FRANCE It appears that France has a network of disused railway lines repurposed for exploring the countryside. Here's more about our trip into the Morvan.


UNDERSTANDING THE APPEAL OF HOUSE SITTING How often are you asked why you do what you do? Here are some answers from

members of the House Sitting

Magazine Facebook Group .



founder of

explains why

ID verifications are so important when joining a house sitting website.



has the advantage of

being both homeowner and sitter she shares her observations.

Autumn in Bourgogne, France

from the editors Welcome to the AUTUMN 2021 issue of House Sitting Magazine What's the longest house sit you've ever done? Do you think longer house sits have different challenges to shorter ones? As you may know, Vanessa and I chose to settle for a while at the start of winter last year. Well... when I say "chose", what I really mean is we got stuck in France as the country went into a strict lockdown at the start of November 2020. So we didn't really have much choice but to stay here and see how things played out with lockdowns and travel restrictions. Fast forward to October '21 and we're still here, in the Bourgogne (Burgundy) region of France. We love the area, and thanks to the kindness of the home owners of our current house sit, we are fast-approaching one year in this lovely area. Prior to arriving here our longest sit was 3 months, so we've beaten that record by a long way. The house we're taking care of is a holiday home, so there are no pets living here, which means we haven't had any of the usual challenges of caring for pets. However, we have had a few slightly unusual challenges to deal with recently. Our responsibilities have been more about longer term maintenance of the property, which has quite a large garden. I've never done so much lawn-mowing in my life (in part because our own newly acquired piece of land here also requires a lot of garden maintenance).

Vanessa has done a lot of shrub, tree and rose bush pruning too in preparation for winter. However, just a couple of days ago we had an uninvited visitor to the garden. We have a large chestnut tree at the very top of the garden, right by the fence, beyond which is a field of cows. Some of the chestnuts fall into the field, but most into the garden. The cows love them, and we often see them close to the fence, noses deep in the grass looking for a tasty snack. It would appear that the other morning there were no chestnuts left to be found in the field, so one cow decided those in the garden looked obtainable, and had somehow got over the now trampled fence and wandered in.

Our main worry was the swimming pool in the garden, now closed and covered for winter. The winter cover is green, quite similar to the grass. What if the cow wandered on to that and then fell through, into the pool? That didn’t bear thinking about. Action was needed. While I attempted to lower the fence to ground level so we could get the cow back over it without it getting caught up in the barbed wire, Vanessa played cowgirl, keeping our visitor away from the pool. Once I had the fence prepared, Vanessa went to inform the farmer next door about his escapee, and I took over wrangling duties. I feigned an air of breezy confidence as I tried to herd the huge beast towards the fence, but she just stared at me in a mildly indifferent manner. As I got closer she started to move, and I was amazed when she made a beeline (a cowline?) for the hole in the fence, and casually stepped over. We quickly raised the fence again, reinforcing it with some wood from the shed. The rest of the afternoon was spent raking up the chestnuts, so the tempting treats were no longer in sight just over the fence. This will be a daily task for the next week or so.

Potatoes are in and Ian has panelled the insice of the garden house for sleepovers!

Another household maintenance task which has been on the list over the whole summer has been to fix the chimney cap (le chapeau) before we light the living room fire for winter. The roof is very very steep, and quite high. We’d been told we’d need a crane on a truck, but handymen are in short supply in our rural area. So just yesterday I spotted our cow-owning neighbour standing a huge ladder up against the side of his house. He then produced some flat wooden roof ladders so he could access his chimney.

I quickly offered to hold the main ladder for him while he worked, and wondered if I might borrow it when he was finished. These things are never as easy as you hope, and we were unable to secure the roof ladders on our house in the same way he had done on his... something to do with the roof construction. But our neighbour is very practical. He is a farmer, after all, and being hands-on practical comes with the job. "I have an idea," he smiled. Before long we had a tractor parked on the front lawn, and had the roof ladders held (sort of) safely in place by the bucket raised up to roof level. I headed up onto the roof, assessed the job, and returned with tools and screws. The chimney cap is now firmly fixed in place, and we're ready to get the fire blazing for winter. Our recent pet fix with Eliot With our house sit being pet-less, we've had quite a bit of freedom to roam, which means we've been able to take on a few short house sits in other parts of France. More recently we had a new request from our village mayor. Could we look after his 10 year old Yorkshire Terrier, while he and his wife enjoyed a much needed break?

It's the first time we've ever done a pet sit at home, even though "at home" is actually a house sit. Of course we made sure our home owners were happy for us to entertain this tiny visitor. The smallest dog we’ve ever looked after! However, a couple of other locals weren't quite so happy... the two cats who often come to visit us in the back garden weren't as keen about having a dog around for a week, and we saw a lot less of them for a while. Next week we are back off to the Alps for a short repeat sit ... with a new kitten to play with! More on that next time! IAN USHER & VANESSA ANDERSON CO-EDITORS

Stories from the house sitting community

Life in the Pet Sitting Lane BY DOREEN CUMBERFORD

"BLONDE SAND, WHEELING PALM TREES, LOUD MUSIC AND SEAGULLS." Those were the sensations that accompanied the arrival of Covid into our world on March 11th, 2020. Geography played a huge role in this change and where we house sitters found ourselves was influenced by geopolitics in ways we could only previously imagine. For 18 months none of us have been exempt from disruption and massive social change due to the Covid-19 virus. As pet sitters, many of us ground to a halt, stayed in place and watch horrified as our lifestyle shut down. We adjusted travel schedules, daily routines, methods of communicating, formed new cohorts and learned a wee bit of the language of epidemiology. Our own Covid pet sitting journey, looked like a series of reactions to circumstances, weather and regulations. We were fortunate to have the freedom ultimately to bounce between the US and Mexico. In early 2020, after pet sitting for three months in San Miguel de Allende (SMA), Mexico, we had taken a two week break in Cancun for a birthday celebration. Covid news was delivered by earbuds while I was sitting by a turquoise pool after a high energy aerobics class led by a svelte, high energy Mexican fellow. I recall mild concern landing, followed by questions. How would this affect our world, Mexico and the pet sitting lifestyle moving forward?

SO BEGAN OUR PET SITTING ADVENTURES IN MAGICAL MEXICO Mexico, like every other country, handled their Covid response based on a combination of information, fear and culture.

Queretaro We arrived in Queretaro, a wonderful throbbing hub normally buzzing with life and culture. Notices were being posted

San Miguel de Allende (SMA)

everywhere. Over two days in Queretaro, our pet sit One by one museums closed, then

hosts in SMA came to the decision that

hotels, then restaurants. El Centro was

they would not fly to Australia. Through

pulling a blanket up and over its

another pet sitting connection, we

population, everything felt muffled,

quickly found a house to rent on a

muted and mystifying.

month to month basis.

For more information on Queretaro -

We returned to San Miguel de Allende to

take a read here.

sit and wait it out.

The community connects

The connections, conversations, and crazy trivia games we came up with helped us

Thanks to social media, we watched as

cope and stay questionably sane. We

house sitters around the globe saw sit

needed these quizzes to apply our brains

after sit cancel. Calendars emptied,

to something positive and upbeat.

dreams of next destinations dissolved, dismay set in. Australians were stuck in

Pet and house sitting platforms dried up.

the Galapagos, Brits in Australia, French in

There are literally hundreds of stories

Singapore. Our world which previously felt

because each of us lived a different

like our playground, felt like it had been


torn apart and our pet sitting corner reflected the chaos.

Even now in September 2021, I understand there are sitters who are still

For the moment house sitting for us was

watching, waiting, living under

out the window. We were well and truly

restrictions where they cannot follow

stuck; even the US border closed for all

their pet sitting hearts.

commercial traffic for a few days – now that was unnerving. Of course many

The rest of us cannot fully imagine their

house sitters did continue to find those

plight having enjoyed a version of

rare and precious sits.


Weeks rolled by. Connections with other house sitters were built. We all moved onto Zoom as if it was a hostel. A house sitters trivia quiz was formed and we kept in touch with “where are you now?” and “what are your numbers like?”, conversations.

HOME TO THE USA Upon returning to the US in July 2020, we observed and compared the cultural differences in how two countries, sideby-side, were handing this monster epidemic. In Mexico, disinfectant mats, being sprayed down prior to entering an outdoor restaurant and the mask, gloves and one person per family in the grocery rule was our norm. One store prohibited us entering because we were over 60 years of age!!! News from Mexico City was grim with

On the other hand, arriving in Dallas

constant black smoke from funeral pyres.

after six months in Mexico, we arrived to

Mourning was pushed underground

a different norm. It was an adjustment.

because public funeral processions, a

All the seats at the gates were available,

normal civic activity, were cancelled.

few masks were to be seen and people lined up next to each other.

SMA had a great organization of former medical professionals from the USA who pumped out information, advised on

Back to pet sitting

behaviour and generally loved and

After three weeks at home in Denver, we

supported people when they caught

were contacted directly by a homeowner


just thirty minutes away. Would we please come and take care of their three dogs and two cats? Yes, we agreed in unison, ready to hit the road, find some relief from the intensity of the news, in the form of pets to love, a mission to accomplish and a new place to explore, albeit close. Thereafter, the summer was peppered with very brave homeowners who were bursting to travel - somewhere, anywhere!

A pattern emerged.

Needs and boundaries Discovering each of our needs and boundaries added another layer to the intimate experience of assuming someone else’s pets and property. We learned that the joy of adventure and walking this huge Malamute through misty mornings on a Christmas Tree farm, was delight enough to balance out all the limitations and isolation around us. While based in our home state of

One of the most poignant and sad

Colorado, we were able to pet sit for

experiences of the entire Covid chapter

approximately two weeks per month

was visiting the US/Canadian border.

around our home state. Conversations about Covid protocols, virtual handovers

Normally a hive of activity, with lines of

and masks were a new addition but

cars, hundreds of people, daytrippers

some version of normal returned to our

and tourists everywhere, we were met

pet sitting world.

with a deserted infrastructure bereft of humans and energy.

By October, families were getting bolder. They had discovered they could travel a bit if motivated enough, and would take critical journeys to see family, meet new grandchildren etc. We ended up house sitting from August through November in the US. One of the highlights and most visceral experiences was an October house sit in Bellingham, Washington just below the Canadian/US border. This was our second flight since Covid. The handover was not virtual, but we maintained social distance. Extra conversation and communication helped to oil the wheels.

It was the saddest moment of Covid.

Tragedy back in Mexico

The pet sitting community is remarkable

After a variety of house sits in the USA, we

competition for pet sits occasionally we

returned to Mexico to rent the same

spend more time and energy in

house, although we did slip in a few days

collaboration. We truly focus on win/win

of pet sitting while there. Sadly, the

and on serving.

in that while it appears we are in

homeowner from 2019 who could not go to Australia passed away within days of

On May 1st we drove to the US from

our arrival in SMA.

Mexico to get a vaccine. Since then we have driven through Texas, New Mexico,

Shocked and stunned, we formed pods,

Colorado, Utah, California and back up to

played pickleball outside while wearing

Washington State.

masks, followed the rules and yet, both of us caught a mild dose.

We have house sat in each state except Texas and Utah since May. Few

Our pet sitting colleagues in SMA made

homeowners in the US even ask if we are

soup, brought medicine and ginger,

vaccinated, they just assume. And we

checked in with us, called frequently and

always make sure to reassure them we

generally supported us. The Mexican

are, yet our hospitals are filling up again

medical community was superb.

as I write.

Global mobility has continued all along at a severely reduced pace. Families have relocated over the summer, expats and digital nomads have travelled. While the world continues to trip over itself to find a new normal, we feel hopeful that pet sitting will find new life very soon.


DOREEN CUMBERFORD Doreen is a Cross-Cultural Consultant, Certified Coach and Author specializing in global mobility for expats, digital nomads and returnees. She helps globally mobile communities master transitions. In re(w)irement she and partner John, enjoy pet sitting and all the bite-sized adventures it delivers.


STRETCHING YOUR LIMITS by Jenny Lincoln A full time nomad and house sitter, Jenny helps leaders, achievers and their teams move past their self imposed limitations. She is the Founder of HUMNAV ~ The Human Navigation Project. You can catch more of Jenny on her YouTube Channel

THE NUDGES & NIGGLES THAT CHANGE YOUR COURSE by Jenny Lincoln Central and South America has a feast of opportunity when house sitting outside of city limits. You get to test your own limits ... break through old boundaries, grow your courage zone and ignite that inner spark that is itching to "Burn Baby Burn!" You don't have to go jumping off a mountain (although that can be kind of cool and liberating), you just need to be open to trying new things and following the nudges from your intuition. A couple of months ago I had a lovely sit in El Retiro, Medellin Colombia. A cute little rural community in the Andes where they make their living from carpentry. I had 2 senior pups that kept me all "loved up", a bevy of hiking trails on my doorstep, plus full immersion in the local Colombian rural lifestyle. Life was good but I had a little niggle growing within. I pushed it aside and distracted myself with work. Then I started to get triggered by one of the lovely pups. She had a fetish for horse poop, so at times needed a little more discipline. On one of our morning walks I found myself saying, "If you break my trust I'll have to keep you on a short leash." Dang! Those words LANDED for me! Immediately I thought, these words are actually for me! I had been cooping myself up on a short leash, playing the disciplinarian to make sure I got a whole bunch of work done! All based on my own self imposed expectations and deadlines!

SPACE FOR ADVENTURE, SURPRISE & DELIGHT Wasn't I living this lovely nomadic house

I found myself accepting a wide variety of

sitting lifestyle for a reason! To be free

sits that had access to big hits of nature,

spirited, to explore, experience and devour


the local culture, beauty and all it has to offer! That doesn't happen when you keep

Seaside in Crucita, Ecuador

yourself on a short leash. You've got to

Mountain top views above Cuanca,

allow space for adventure, surprise and



Hilltops of San Lorenzo Salta, Argentina Lakeside in Pucon Chile

So with that very loud and clear nudge I

Village life on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

organised my first paragliding flight where I got to run off the top of the Andes and fly like a bird. What an amazing experience that was! So what's niggling and nudging you? How is it showing up in your life right now? Where are you speaking the words you need to hear?

The remoteness combined with the calm nurturing vibes of Mother Nature gave me the space I needed to embark on a huge inner journey! Everyone talks about the symbolism of the transformation of the caterpillar to the butterfly. But no one talks about the MUSH


MOMENTS you have during the COCOON

My time in Ecuador, Argentina, Chile and

becoming a pile of mushy goo before it is

Nicaragua became a period of deep immersion. My 21 year relationship with my partner had just come to an end. South America quickly became my Cocoon Room and Mother Nature my Bestie. She helped and held me as I healed my heart and reinvented myself as a Solo Sitter.

stage! The caterpillar totally loses its form, transformed into the butterfly. So do we! We can all have "mush moments" as we heal and reinvent ourselves after ending relationships, moving locations, changing careers, experiencing grief, as well as navigating a long ongoing pandemic.

One of the most important things you

During this morphing process you are

can do is have SOFT EYES for you ...

deconstructing the old version of you ...

meaning, release your expectations and

thoughts, feelings, values, beliefs, fears,

judgements of what you are going

doubts, habits, automatic reactions ...


everything comes to the surface! Which can be pretty overwhelming!!!

Embrace the glorious mess that you are because you are moving through a huge

The beauty of this reinvention process is

transformational process that affects all

you get to CONSCIOUSLY CHOOSE what

of you ... your heart, mind, body and

you take forward into the new version of


you! At times you may find yourself desperately clinging to past stories and memories, wanting things to be different! Holding on and resisting change only creates struggle and tension. However, this tension is powerful, it ends up sling shotting you forward into the new version of you! The whole reinvention process can be a wonderful shedding experience if you release the judgements and lean into the discomfort, just like a good yoga or pilates pose!

It is a little like when you first embarked on your nomadic / house sitting journey. You may have had mixed emotions as you packed up your house, sold or gave away all your stuff, said goodbye to your family and friends, then jumped on a plane! Yet the end feeling of FREEDOM and LIBERATION was profound!! Throughout this whole process it is important to know ... you WILL EMERGE a different BEAUTIFUL BEING through the portal of discomfort!

YOU ARE CAPABLE OF MORE! Too often we underestimate our own capabilities and so side step adventure and experimentation. We fill our days with stuff that keeps us busy and distracted. Before you know it, the seeds of inner disturbia sprout and grow.

When you dismiss these nudges, We tend to judge these feelings as bad or

challenges find their way onto your path,

something we need to fix, when really it

forcing you to step into your "courage

is our soul's way of getting our attention.

zone". At times you may even curse your

It is trying to get us to make different

circumstances and question ... "Why is

choices or take a different path.

this happening TO me?" A powerful reframe is to get curious around ... 'Perhaps this is happening FOR me!' Consider how you can benefit and grow from the challenge! When I reflect on some of the challenges I've experienced in recent years of house sitting, my growth in capability plus the trust and knowing what comes with that, is immense! It has enabled me to navigate a range of experiences (many unexpected) with grace, ease and an open heart!




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HOW SAFE ARE YOU ON YOUR TRAVELS & HOUSE SITS? by Journey Jensen Whether you’re a solo sitter, a couple or

Scope out the fastest escape route for if

a family - safety is something to

there is a fire or some other emergency. If

consider and isn’t always foremost on

you are staying in an apartment building,

our minds when we start an exciting

become familiar with the exit stairs. During

new sit.

an emergency everything may be dark or smoky so it’s best to know ahead of time

I’m a solo female house sitter and love

where the stairs are.

the opportunities house sitting brings me. But as a global traveler and nomad

Be sure to have on hand the local contact

I’ve had my share of personal safety

details of the police/fire-brigade. If you’re in

issues on my journey bouncing around

a new country, learn the emergency number

the world, especially in more remote

to call for relevant help and find out what


information they will want. If they need a postal address you should have that

None of this is to put undue fear into

information handy because you’ll struggle to

anyone house sitting on their own, but a

find it during the emergency situation.

little risk assessment never did anyone any harm and if you are unlucky enough to have an emergency situation, forewarned is forearmed. So here are my tips for both house sitting, and personal safety when traveling, especially as a lone female. Let’s begin with house sitting:

Emergency planning in the home

Ask the homeowners who you should call

Consider how to manage an emergency at

trouble you need help with.

from their group of friends if there’s any

the home including fire, adverse weather or personal accident. Know where the

If you’re house sitting with a partner or

homeowners keep their first aid kit, fire

family, make sure you are all aware of your

extinguisher, fire blanket, and torch. Ask

exit plan in case of a fire or other

the homeowner if smoke detectors are

emergency. If the exit door requires a key to

currently operating and where the spare

operate, leave it ready near the door every

batteries live.

night so you can find it very quickly.

security steps

If you do find yourself traveling or house

Together with the homeowners, check that

may want to carry some form of personal

windows and doors are secure and that you

safety spray. However, in many countries it

have keys where necessary.

is illegal to carry mace or pepper spray so

sitting in a less secure environment, you

another option is a small can of hairspray, or

Ask if there is a security system and how to

deodorant. An easy to activate personal

use it. Make sure to check whether it

alarm that emits a loud signal is another

connects through to a monitoring centre –


you may need a password in case the alarm goes off for no apparent reason.

There are now many personal safety apps for phones that allow you to do many things

Use rubber or wooden door wedge to keep

like automatically operating the video

doors closed, or even just to the door of

camera and microphone in secret, alerting

your room. There are quite a variety of

your circle that you’re in trouble, tracking

portable door locks and alarms available to purchase online to that you can travel with. They are very handy if you’ve got a door without a secondary lock.

DON'T GET LOCKED OUT It’s important to know where the spare key is and if you feel more comfortable, move it to a new spot that only you know while you are staying at the house, but remember to put it back in the original place when you leave! You may want to invest in a portable lock box for this purpose at each sit. Check who else has a spare key and what their contact details are so you can get in touch if you lock yourself out and don’t have a spare.


your location, recording what’s going on, turning on the torch, alerting you if in a bad area, and more. Your phone can also call the local emergency service and share your location with loved ones.

SELF DEFENCE I’m an adventurous traveler and I’ve had a few negative experiences including an attempted armed robbery on the streets of Quito, Ecuador when I lost my phone and other possessions. It was there that I turned to recently acquired self-defence techniques after learning how to kick-box in the Philippines during the first Covid lockdown. Personal choice in these situations is paramount – we may all react to situations

Be aware of your surroundings and ask the

differently. But assessing risk ahead of time

homeowners if there are areas of their town

can really help you when having to make

that should be avoided.

split second decisions.

I also keep my cards and cash hidden on my body and carry a fake purse containing only a small amount of money. I could easily throw the fake purse and cheap phone on the ground and run.

TRUST YOUR INSTINCT One super important tip is to listen to your gut instinct. Sometimes it can be hard to


hear the messages being given but at other times your instinct is yelling at you!

My assessment now is that it’s far better to

Often you’ll never know if it really saved

hand over your bag and not risk your life. I

you or not but I do know from personal

would not fight next time, I was lucky once

experience - if you can feel your instinct

but next time could have a different

whispering to you that there is a


problem, there often is.

It was a valuable lesson to learn and I have

It can be hard to distinguish from fear

now changed the way I carry my valuables.

but most people who’ve acted on a gut reaction agree there is a distinct

These days I carry my iPhone in a hidden


belt against my belly and use its hotspot to connect to a cheap Nokia phone that I use if I am following directions. If I need to check my iPhone I duck into a shop or toilet. It can be annoying, as I use my iPhone as my camera too, so that’s a downside of keeping it hidden.

More phone tips: If your iPhone is stolen put it into “lost” mode which means thieves cannot wipe it and sell it easily. Use “find my phone” to locate it, it's useful, but you’d have to assess whether it’s safe to do that.

Journey follows her name around the world on a perpetual journey to experience every corner, nook and cranny of our beautiful world. She loves to intersperse her adventures with house sitting while she spends time illustrating and writing. Find out more at her website Ninkompoop.

Need a place to get support and chat with the house sit community? Come and join our Facebook Group!


There are many reasons why a house sit may appeal to you. It might be the location, the pets or proximity to family. It could even be a combination of several factors. But have you ever considered securing a house sit to help trace your family history?

WHO KNOWS WHAT YOU'LL DISCOVER WHEN YOU TRAVEL TO THE PAST As the pandemic hit, a DNA match contacted me through the Ancestry website asking to collaborate on our family tree. That message reignited my passion for family history and so began a serious project and subsequent post-lockdown hobby. A number of discoveries were made and there are now a number of cities and towns throughout the world that I am keen to visit to further track down my ancestors. I plan to actively seek house sits in these areas as the world of travel opens up again. One of the benefits of researching while house sitting is that house sits generally offer you an extended period of time to interrogate archives. Some may also require several visits to sort through relevant material.

ONLINE RESOURCES Many ancestry records are now digitised and can be searched online either for free or via subscription sites. Working from what I already knew, going back in time to the unknown, I have been able to obtain copies of birth and death certificates, wills, and prison registers of many of my ancestors. Digitised newspapers are a great resource as well and these often tell the everyday stories of relatives while also giving more insight into the local area where they lived.

These online resources are a great place to


start, but some records simply aren't available online and you will need to visit the particular archive or repository to view the materials.

My 3rd great grandfather, a member of the United Irishmen in the last 1790s, was arrested and interned in Kilmainham Gaol for "treasonable practices". The prison


letters are fascinating and show his gradual decline while behind bars, worried for his

In between house sits in the UK in 2018, we

wife and family who were not able to

were very fortunate to be able to visit the

support themselves.

grave of Dr William Redfern in Edinburgh. There is an extensive visitor centre at the There's nothing quite like standing at an

gaol and house sitting in Dublin will provide

ancestors final resting place contemplating

a great opportunity to visit, and to search the

their life. While there are many photos

National Archives of Ireland. The same 3rd

available online of gravesites, being there in

great grandfather was a saddler in Belfast

person is incomparable and sometimes can

prior to his arrest and I am keen to walk in

be very moving or even spine-tingling.

his footsteps and stand on the site where he had his shop. The Public Record Office of

Kensal Green Cemetery in London is high on

Northern Ireland will be another place to

my list of places to visit, where a family

visit to find additional records on the

memorial stands of several long lost

notorious Robert Redfern.

cousins. Closer to home in Australia I also hope to house sit in rural New South Wales


to visit several cemeteries in the area. Buried in Gulgong, my 3rd great grandmother has a particularly grand tomb, despite suspicions she was poisoned by her husband. A photo of the grave will certainly add to the story.

We've house sat in Mexico several times and are keen to return. Santa Cruz is on the list thanks to another 3rd great grandfather, imprisoned as a result of his involvement in the Mexican War of Independence.

William Bestwick was shipped to New York

My 2nd great grandfather escaped from gaol

where he jumped ship and subsequently

in Bathurst, NSW and made his way to

made his way to Australia.

Hobart before being re-arrested. The pattern of criminals and gaols in my family is

This area of Mexico is one we are yet to

somewhat concerning!!

explore and what better excuse do I need than to investigate the prison and

He served out his sentence, working in chain

interrogate local repositories and archives.

gangs near Green Ponds (now Kempton). There's a convict museum being planned for


Hobart where my ancestor will be included. Spending time in Tasmania will allow me to

The Knowles family (a paternal line) were owners of the Swan Inn in Wedmore,

further explore my connections as well as hopefully meeting key historians who can

Somerset and the hotel still exists.

assist with my research.

You can even stay in the accommodation

Investigating my family history has

which is something I am keen to do, even

certainly unearthed some very surprising

for a night or two between sits.

discoveries and led to investigating many

One brother of the family remained in

stories of my ancestors are re-created it

Wedmore while two brothers emigrated to Australia. House sitting in the area and staying a while will allow me to immerse myself in the local history and perhaps even

unknown parts of the world. As the is fascinating to see where they will turn up next. As I stand in these places where my ancestors lived and worked I wonder if a sense of connection will wash over

track down some elusive cousins.



There's only one way to find out - start

Closer to home, Tasmania and particularly

ancestral roots. If nothing else, it may

the area around Kempton also has

allow an application to stand out in a

significance for my family.

crowd of many.

applying for house sits in the areas of my

Andrew Redfern

Andrew is one half of the Global Wanderers. With his partner Christopher he has travelled extensively and completed over 50 international house sits. You can read more about Andrew's family history discoveries at or Facebook or twitter

The Redfern Memorial in Kensal Green Cemetery, London


The rise of the automobile in the latter half of the 20th century was partly responsible for the decline of the railways around the globe, and over the


past decades many smaller branch lines and local stations have been closed. Initially, most of these transport corridors and buildings fell into disrepair, but more

Take a trip on an abandoned railway line through the French countryside using pedal power

recently the potential for alternative uses of these historic routes has been recognised. Many abandoned railway lines have been turned into long distance walks and cycle tracks. In the UK many of these old routes form hundreds of miles of the National Cycle Network. The tracks have long-gone, N O Mflat A D I and C | car24 but the rail bed offers relatively

free adventures through the countryside.

Many of these trails feature spectacular viaducts crossing high above deep valleys, or long tunnels through the hills. In France the railway tracks have found a new lease of life as "velorails". Instead of ripping up the old tracks, many have been maintained, and offer the option to enjoy a relaxing and unique adventure, pedalling through the countryside.

The route begins at the Gare de Cordesse, and there is a short option, and a longer trip. For those wanting a quick outing you can head up the line as far as Gare de Barnay, a ride of about 4 kilometres. There is a slight rise as you climb from an altitude of 317 metres to 346 metres. But don't worry, the draisine has electric motor assistance, so you'll hardly notice.

Riding the "draisine"

The longer trip takes you on past Barnay,

These unique "velorail" attractions involve

kilometres you arrive at the old Gare de

riding a on a "draisine". The word "draisine" comes from German inventor Karl Drais, who is credited with inventing the forerunner to the modern bicycle. And of course, people have been putting

and winds through the fields and forest, past a secenic lake, and after a further 7 Manlay. This section of the route is a little steeper, climbing to a final altitude of 431 metres, so you have to add some of your own effort to assist the electric motor.

bicycles on railway tracks ever since there have been both bicycles and railways. Our first experience of these unusual vehicles was on the Veloroute du Morvan, close to our current long term house sit in Cote d'Or, just across the border and into the department of Saône-et-Loire.

Veloroute du Morvan Visit the website for all the different options - picnics, family events, twilight tours etc.

Turning the draisine is a manual operation, but with two people is very easy. For both trips, the return journey is either downhill, or flat, and is faster then the outbound trip. The short trip is a return distance of 8 km, and takes around an hour or so. The longer adventure, 22 km in total, takes around 3 hours, allowing for a picnic stop somewhere along the route. We were amazed to discover a sign detailing other velorails in France, which informed us that there are 49 different locations accross the country. They offer

Draisines are used for recreation on

an incredible diversity of experiences in

several unused railway lines in Germany,

different terrains.

Sweden, Norway, Poland, some other European countries, and South Korea.

Not all have electric assistance, and some sound more physical than others.

In the United States, railbike tours have

Obviously they vary in length and price

operated in several states, including

too. "The Velorail de France" website links

California, Maine, Oregon, the Adirondack

to them all, where dates, details and prices

Mountains of upstate New York, and

can be found.


If you aren't planning a visit to France any

Find out more at Wikipedia

time soon, you can find similar activities on rails in other countries too.

The reasons to love what we do!

UNDERSTANDING THE APPEAL OF HOUSE SITTING How many times has a home owner, or even a family member or friend asked, "Why do you house sit instead of going on a standard vacation?" We asked our Facebook community: "As sitters and owners, it's a given that we all have a love of pets.. but what type of traveller are you and how has house sitting helped improve your lifestyle experiences?" Here's what we discovered.

Bonnie Hutchinson Collopy We've been sitting with Trusted Housesitters for over three years. And just finished our 20th one having skipped a year because of the pandemic. We use sitting to vacation in places we want to travel. Getting to live like a local instead of in a hotel is definitely our preference. Being retired allows us to explore more and live life to its fullest on a limited budget. We love the flexibility of traveling anywhere, spending time with the pets, meeting awesome people and seeing new places. I always say the silver lining to the pandemic was buying our camper. I've always loved camping and wanted one... Hubby wasn’t so convinced, but now he enjoys it too. I especially love being on vacation and exploring... House sitting has been a fantastic way to do much more of this. I can't imagine life without it.

Els - MyFeetWereMeantToRoam

Karen Colton

A full-time sitter who's into slow travel and living like a local. I work online. I love long sits because they give me a lot of time to visit the places I like more thoroughly. I can't really see myself going on a city break again for 3 days where I’m rushing around from morning 'til evening to tick off all the sights.

We are homeowners and sitters. We used TrustedHousesitters for our home and pets when travelling for about a quarter of each year or more, for many years before

Sharyn Nilsen We use it to bookend our cycling adventures, stop for a while to catch up on administration and sometimes work, and to explore popular destinations more fully without breaking the budget.

beginning to sit ourselves. We’ve sat in places we were considering moving to many times to get a feel for the place. It’s a super way to spend an extended time somewhere. Now we’ve relocated, so we sit places we want to visit. We prefer at least 2 week sits and are picky about homes and pets. We prefer countryside sits in a nice home with one, maybe 2 dogs, a cat or two, and occasionally horses.

Lisette Levantard

Sheryl Walpole

I've seen more of the world on a modest work and state pension than I have while working as I could not afford many holidays – maybe just staying in hotels a

I joined TrustedHousesitters at the beginning of 2012, rented out my house and planned to housesit as long as I was enjoying it. I sat in the UK until July with

fortnight once a year! I was raised with pets around me but decided not to have any while working full time and raising my

natural breaks in between sits when I either stayed with friends or booked Airbnb's. Then I flew to Auckland, house

children. They would have been left on their own too much.

sitting and travelling on the North Island for 6 months. Then onwards to Australia but just as I was about to start my first Oz house sit, the pandemic hit. I flew back to the UK just before the first lockdown began. I did a few sits between lockdowns but am now booked until April 2022 in the UK.

Now the kids have flown the nest it’s perfect in my retirement to rekindle this love through house sitting. I met an ex paramedic guy who had no home, and was house sitting to stay put for a while between travels. We joined together to see the world in 2016, through a mixture of house sitting (long term and short term), backpacking and campervanning, plus popping in and out of the UK to see our folks. The pets are always our priority. Our choice is not to do back-to-back sits as we prefer a breather in between to be fresh for the next assignment. We do miss the pets when we leave. Fortunately we’ve remained friends with the homeowners and get to see them on video chat. So yeah, it is a lovely way to spend our old age, granted I'm not a traditional hands on Grandma! We feel enriched in the knowledge of many cultures and how to deal with pets too. This lifestyle is an anti-depressant! We so enjoy our interactions with others that we could not go back to packaged hotel style holidays where no one talks to you.

I’m seriously now considering renting out my home again….I feel I’ll housesit until I get tired of it and can’t see me settling down for the foreseeable future, which does worry me at times. But this is a fantastic lifestyle. I do so much more when house sitting - exploring new areas, walking, cycling etc. Never been happier!

Click Here to Join TrustedHousesitters

25% Discount

Debs of 2 Northern Souls

Lynda Brighton

I house sit with my husband, we've been full-time since 2017 (apart from a slight hiatus due to Covid). We are based in the UK but have also done sits in Europe and are hoping to go further afield once the

I’ve been a full-time single sitter since Jan 2018, mostly sitting in Australia, but also Spain, the UK and the Netherlands more recently. I generally choose house sits of 4-

world and travel recovers.

8 weeks, allowing me to "live as a local", which is my preferred way of travelling. I select locations that do not require a car -

I run my own business so the slow travel element really suits me and allows me time to focus on this whilst I travel. Having

as using public transport, walking or cycling is another way of getting a true feel for a place.

the comfort of a home and animals for company is the best bonus. I love that I get to care for so many different breeds of animals, helping me better understand them and gaining a broader knowledge of pet care with every sit. I love exploring new

Around Australia, I use house sitting as a way to determine where I would like to eventually settle down. For overseas travel, I try to select different countries each time (as well as my favourite Spain),

places and one thing which really fascinates me is seeing different lifestyles and how others live. I take what inspires me and leave what doesn't.

so that I can broaden my range of experiences.

I've learned many life skills since house

I work remotely as a writer, editor and proofreader, so my only requirement is a good internet connection. In order to

sitting - emotional and physical. The whole experience has built my confidence and helped me address some personal issues along the way.

integrate and not become too isolated, I make an effort to find out about local activities and events - walking groups, craft circles, festivals and exhibitions - and visit

I don't envisage being full-time forever. But it's definitely something I'll continue to do part-time, and will use house sitters myself, if and when I ever settle again. Simply put, my life is so much better thanks to house sitting!

a wide range of small independent cafes and retailers. As far as pets go, I am a little “fussy”. My preference is for 1-2 dogs and/or cats, as I can then pay them the attention they deserve.

If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. Jan Kenney

Karen Stewart Ethridge

We are retired and are full time sitters. We

We've been house sitters since 2012 and

have a tiny 13 foot trailer to camp between our sits. Our preference is longer sits.

have been full time travellers since last year. We sit about four months each year, typically 1+ weeks at a time and have done 38 sits so far with 4 more booked. We've

Many of our sits are repeats, so it feels like visiting beloved, furry relatives!

been traveling only in the US for the time being.

Kris Liebsch I am a full time sitter mostly in the south eastern US while I wait for international travel to become more stable. I prefer the longer sits to get a feel for a place and, as others have said, to live like a local. Whenever possible, I prefer to go from sit to sit with as little time between as possible. I am on TrustedHousesitters as well as a few other sites to give myself more opportunities to be able to go from one sit straight to another without having to drive too far.

Bethany Teeples We are full time family sitters in the US. We live in a 5th wheel trailer and go wherever the jobs take us. That allows us to experience travel to areas we maybe wouldn't have visited otherwise. Living in the house on a sit gives us the chance to act like locals instead of tourists. It's a much slower lifestyle than typical vacationing. We camp a few days between sits to allow travel time. But camping for us is just being in our little home.

We look forward to seeing more of the world's wonders one pet sit at a time. Making friends around the world, having the ability to share life with pets, experiencing the hospitality of people from different cultures, and being able to travel slowly by living in homes are what we love about pet sitting..

Debbie Streather

Beth Peach

I'm lucky to have a very regular sit with

When friends ask me “why do you want to go take care of someone’s

TrustedHousesitters near Lands End, England, with horses which I treat as a holiday between working. It was my second sit when I first started and it's my second home now as they treat me like a daughter. I find the whole routine with the horses so reassuring and good for me. In Spain I ended up buying a cave house because of my repeat sitting for a wonderful gang of rescue dogs and cats in a cave village. That changed my life as my brother then bought a cave place out there and we now have a much closer relationship - this is all thanks to that one particular sit! Also I have gained very good female friends from sitting for the owners. Sitting gave me the confidence to set up my own pet sitting business in my UK village which seemed a very natural progression for me. Pet sitting has made me loads more confident in social situations because I'm dealing with new people all the time. Between sits I now live in my camper van.

home for free” it is these moments that I think of. For me it is usually walking on a beach somewhere. Hearing the sound of the waves, seeing the colors constantly changing feeds my soul. But I lived in the Lake District for a while and this beach girl fell in love with the hills. I can still close my eyes and see the fells with the constanty changing light and colors, the clouds coming in so quickly, seeing rain swooping in. I learned I have more than one place that feeds my soul and makes my heart sing with joy. These magical moments and having lovely furbabies to love on is a continuous source of pure joy. Yesterday I was throwing balls for two large bouncy lovely dogs, today I have a 2 lb ball of fluff puppy curled up on my lap. Add the new and lovely view and my soul is happy.

by Lamia Walker Founder of


How do I really know who you are online?

As some of you may know, I run a housesitting website, and when we began our house sitting network some eight years ago, ID verification seemed like a very good idea.

Now, increasingly across the world we are all being asked to identify ourselves before engaging when we buy things and when we work with others. And it makes sense in most cases, especially online where anyone in the world can set up an email address and make up a name.

So I'd like to look at some of the benefits of having an ID verification when joining a house sitting website.

I like to know who I am dealing with. If it's a

It's good to remind ourselves about the

company trading online, I want to see what

basics of a great housesitter profile. If the

others think of them, and essentially, who

house sitting site you use has an ID

else trusts them.

verification process, make use of it. If they have an online Police and Background

And, if it’s an individual I need to connect

checking system in place, then update

with then it’s all the more important that I


have reference points. So why not use an identification system? At Housesitmatch we offer it for free as part of our membership profile. But not everybody does yet, and some people are still resistant.


WHAT ABOUT HOMEOWNER ID CHECKS? From another perspective, ID verification matters because as a housesitter you are putting yourself in the care of a homeowner you do not know. You are entering their home, where they know everything and everyone near by and you

If like me you are desperate to leave that

know no one.

Covid state of mind behind you, and get back to travelling and house sitting, then

Building trust matters. When I housesit,

identification really matters. Actually, I have

and I do regularly every year, I always need

been fantasising about travelling as far

to know as much as possible before I enter

away from home as possible! So, I am

a homeowner’s property to care for their

buffing up my profile and checking that all

pets and home. I am just happier that way.

the I's are dotted and T's are crossed. Perhaps you are too?

Knowing the basic facts that they offer about themselves matters to me. It helps


me feel safe, especially if I am housesitting on my own.

Because it will benefit you and help others trust you more readily. Put it this way, it eliminates any of those vague obstacles that might prevent you being considered for that perfect housesit.


HOW DO YOU KNOW HOUSE SITTERS ARE CHECKED? As a homeowner, the safest way to find a pet sitter is to find house sitters by using a house sitting website. But you may wonder just who all these listed house sitters really are. People vary in how much information they offer, and how much effort they put into their profile. What information do you look for in their profile? Do you assume that because they are listed, they have already been checked? Well, that is not always the case with every

When a new house sitter enters my home, I must know who they are, what they do to sustain their lifestyle, and what they enjoy. It’s all about getting to know people and trusting them with your beloved pets and home. We don’t have any Monet’s or Van Gogh’s hanging in our home, so I'm not worried about valuables or material things necessarily. However, I still need to trust this person. I need to feel ok about them staying in my home. If I can get to know them and build trust then I feel safer with my home and pets in their care.


house sitting website. Make sure you check to see what level of verification they pass through before they can upload a

ID Verification


As a house sitting platform we invite you to

Look for the blue tick verification

selfie, sharing your Passport ID page and

symbol on – that means they have gone through our process. And if they are slow in going through voluntarily, we chase them. From the homeowner’s perspective it may seem obvious and essential to know where this person purporting to be a house and pet sitter actually comes from, and who they really are.

do the ID verification online, by taking a another form of ID. Our system – we use – then runs an algorithm to match your ID documents. It can be an involved process sometimes because it needs photos that are good enough to track the 75 common characteristics it looks for.

Do you assume that because they are listed, they have already been checked?

If you have a problem with scanning your

They will include a whole host of familiar

ID documents, we are happy to process

brand names and everyday utilities. Even

them manually. Get in touch via our

everyday functions in civil life may require

Livechat and we’ll tell you what to do next.

an online ID check, for example, joining a

Once verified you will have a blue tick next

new bank, or applying for a job.

to your username on the profile so everyone can see you are verified.

House sitting is a fairly daunting prospect if you are new to this intimate world. I'm

Police & Background Check

sure you’ll forgive me for saying that it is intimate. As a house sitter you move into

While this is not obligatory, we do strongly

someone’s home. You may sleep in their

recommend that you secure your

bedroom and cook in their kitchen. That’s

background check. Once again, we have an

pretty close.

online system that can process your documents no matter where you are

As a homeowner you're letting an unknown

travelling in the world.

person into your living space. Oftentimes you give them free reign to your home,

If you already have these documents, then

access to your media, washing facilities and

do share them with us and we’ll manually

food cupboard.

mark your profile to reflect that up-to-date Police and Background check exists.

Sometimes you may not actually have met these people before they arrive with a

Homeowners will really appreciate this

backpack and a laptop, ready to run your

effort on your part.

home and look after your pets in your absence. That can be quite a big step if the


world of housesitting is new to you.

While not all housesitting websites insist

So how do you build confidence in the

on ID checking, elsewhere you will bump into this request more and more frequently before you can engage or do

process? And more importantly how can that process help you build trust in a person before you begin the housesit?

business. There are many websites where you might have needed to do an online ID

Do the ID verification check!

check before making a significant online

It really helps everyone in house



Click here for your 50% discount - use code HSMAG50


STAYCATIONAUSTRALIA.COM The pandemic has certainly meant that the travellers among our house sitting community have had to get a bit creative over the past 18 months. Keeping the travel dream alive hasn’t always been easy and many have remained local, or even returned to their home countries. Inevitably at some time we’ve all considered the value of staycations.

Restrictions have meant we’ve often had to enjoy the leisure activities and sightseeing within driving distance of home, with or without overnight accommodation. But holidays spent at home can be just as rewarding and relaxing as a vacation taken abroad!

Our Aussie friends Jane & Duncan have recently created STAYCATIONAUSTRALIA.COM bringing you the latest staycation deals and travel inspiration. Whether you are looking for a city break, a country escape, a beach retreat or you just want to pamper yourself at a spa... this new website covers all things Australian!

As Jane & Duncan continue their travels through Australia searching out the best places to stay, they'll keep you up-to-date with unique accommodations, great places to eat, and the best sunset views for sundowners. Whether you have 24 hours, or one week or more between house sits, check out StaycationAustralia. And go join their Facebook Group – they’d love to hear more about your discoveries !



Although I have always owned pets, I welcomed pet sitters for the first time in 2018. I needed people to look after our two dogs along with our cat, while we traveled in South America for a whole month. Since then, our pets have been looked after by seven different couples. Some were from my home country, France, while others visited from different places in Europe. Their ages varied too… some in their 30s, others much older and already retired. When choosing sitters my most important criteria is how well they will care for my pets. Since my husband does not wish to travel as much as I do, I decided to become a pet sitter myself a year later. This has allowed me to discover my own country and to heal my sorrow after my beloved cat’s death. Keeping felines is a relief for me - I can cuddle cats, lie in their fur, and hear them purr. I still miss Zig so much! It’s important to inspire trust. I often apply for local sits to get references. Several of my sits have lasted one week, but a few only three days. Competition among sitters is less widespread for short stays in my country than for longer ones in popular cities like New York, or destinations like the Caribbean! Owners living in France have probably chosen me during the pandemic because they did not fear cancellation due to new lockdown travel restrictions. My experience as an owner and a sitter has given me insights that have made me modify both my listing as a pet owner and my profile as a pet sitter. These I will share with you.

I point out important details and ask many more questions now to avoid further disappointments or misunderstandings. I probably behave quite differently today than I did two years ago, as I understand the expectations of both sides.

Getting your application right As an owner, I am sceptical of sitters who proudly profess to be “the right fit” for me, but who really do not match the requirements in my listing. Some candidates seem to only look at the photos without reading the information. Others are not in France and do not speak basic French, which is something I insist on. English is still not widely spoken in rural parts of France with confidence, so how would my sitters fare in an emergency? Would they be able to communicate with my neighbors or the vet?

Beautiful Foudre

We all have different things that are important to us, and for me language is crucial. References are also vital for me, as well as sitters who pay attention to detail. I’ve had applications where the sitters have used the wrong name, not paid attention to my needs, nor given relevant responses. With my sitter’s hat on, I only apply if I’m sure I can fulfill the commitment. I check the pets’ names and gender, as I would feel bad to refer to a male when the pet is a female. I know I am not strong enough to walk two big dogs, and I never suggest I look after horses, alpacas or sheep because of a lack of know how. My answer to a new offer is very considered and it takes me time to write it. Because English is not my mother tongue, I look up words in the dictionary to make sure I am using them correctly. Applying to sits in the same region can make some owners suspicious or curious for my reasons which I always explain. For example, when I plan to sit solo, I say that occasionally I enjoy a break from my husband. Some are shocked I dare leave him alone (never for a long time), but others sound quite envious! One owner even suggested that I encourage his spouse to do the same!

Some things I've learned from having two hats! Good communication is important to me. I find it disappointing and discourteous when owners do not take time to read my applications or reply within a week. I know that sitters can take rejection personally, especially if there is no reason given for declining the application. As an owner I select sitters quickly, using the pause button to avoid being overwhelmed by offers, and inform everyone nicely once my choice is made. Early on I faced some disappointments such as lack of space for my clothes, and no essential information about the pets (vet address and account details, medications, pet routines). I have learnt that lesson. Now before confirming I ask many more questions. I request a welcome guide or home book and I insist if I do not get one. I want to know if the location is in a remote area, if an older pet is badly ill, if car parking will be difficult or expensive, and how far away the bus or train station is. So communication before a sit is essential.

I’ve learned to try and anticipate my sitters’ needs too. I provide them with useful information on amenities, interesting things to see and do around my home depending on their age, nationality, financial resources, food tastes, etc. Because I’ve experienced cancellations I now tend to stay in contact (months ahead of the sit) with the owners who have chosen me. I give them regular news so that I can check that their plans have not changed.

During the sit Like many pet owners who worry about their furry kids, I ask to receive daily news. I was very anxious on one occasion when I could not reach my sitters. After three days, I was ready to call my neighbors to see if they could check what was happening at home. We did feel betrayed by our first sitter who told us all was well while we were in Peru, and a long way from home. In truth one of our pets had fallen ill and he’d been taking him to the vets. He called us just before Foudre passed away after promising he would make contact if anything occurred in our absence. So following instructions is a must. Maybe I’m more anxious than some, although I do assume that most people appreciate getting calls, messages, photos, or videos. I know some, on the other hand, do prefer to be left in peace for a while to enjoy their time away.

Some of my sitters!

After the sit ... Owners seem to trust me totally, with some even telling me to drop their keys in the letter box when they’ve arrived home very

When I’m sitting myself I always take a gift of some sort to thank the pet owner for their hospitality. I know not all sitters


behave the same.

For me I always prefer to meet my sitters before they leave and offer for them to stay

Finally I know how important it is to give and receive feedback and reviews. I always

the night if they prefer. We are all very different and again it’s important to talk

send my reviews very quickly to sitters and even to owners. I hope they will react

about this to agree on a procedure that works for us all.

quickly too, crossing my fingers that they will give those all important 5 stars!

I don’t ever expect tips, but I do consider it normal to leave a bottle of wine or a box of

Maybe it's because I’ve seen things from both sides that I do the things I do!

chocolates to thank our sitters. We’re always delighted they have left our home tidy and our pets happy.

You can follow Carine at her blog here:

Carine & Vincent with Nuage & Zig


HOUSE SITTING MAGAZINE Editors Vanessa Anderson & Ian Usher Publisher Ian Usher Proofreading by Nicky Mackenzie Contributors Issue 37 Doreen Cumberford, Jenny Lincoln, Lamia Walker, Ian Usher, Contributors from the Facebook Group, Journey Jensen, Carine Lefant, Andrew Redfern



SUBSCRIPTIONS House Sitting Magazine is FREE to read online at: Copyright 2016-2021 by Ian Usher. All rights reserved


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