Our first Housesitting – Taunton England 06.04. – 26.04.2019

Arrival and first meeting

Here we tell you about our very first Housesitting. Have fun! 🙂

After a beautiful train ride of about two hours through the countryside we arrived in Taunton, but the Housesit was in Creek St. Michael.

At the station Ian and Angela were already waiting for us and gave us a warm welcome. We felt comfortable with them from the beginning and the tension was gone very fast. After a short car ride we got to know the dogs and the eight chickens for the first time and the two of them even cooked for us. 🙂

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Chicken

Ian has printed out detailed maps of the area for us and marked hiking trails on them. Very nice! In general the two of them were very nice and attentive. Before they left for their city trip, we spent a nice day together. We went for a walk with the dogs, talked a lot and played games in the evening. We still have contact today. 🙂

We were incredibly lucky with the weather, because although it was only the beginning of April, we were able to spend many days in t-shirt and shorts. It rained only rarely. All the more gratifying that we were allowed to use their bikes. They also have a good table tennis table, which we also used a lot.
Archie and Billy were very trusting from the beginning, little Ted is a character 😀

Meet Ted

Ted is very old, and he can hardly hear or see anything anymore. He also can’t walk for very long and actually you could usually only lure him out with treats. When it comes to eating, he is still very easy to get excited and for that he walks along a bit. 🙂

He rarely wants to be stroked, sometimes he even snaps a little. As his senses are dwindling, he also gets scared quite often, so you have to be a bit careful. Most of the day he patrols the rooms to see if something to eat has fallen down somewhere, or lies upstairs under the bed and sleeps.

Meet Billy

Billy is still very young, playful, a bit stubborn and because he is a whippet and a greyhound, he is incredibly fast. He also needs a lot of love and attention. He always wants to be with his people and always has to be one step ahead when going for a walk. Otherwise he becomes agitated. 😀

As soon as you let him off the leash, he goes off like a rocket. He also likes to play catch with other dogs, but most of them have no chance. We have met many dogs while walking, the area invites you to do so. It is very quiet and green, and there is a huge meadow where you can let the dogs off the leash. There are several ladies who offer a walking service. They collect the dogs in the morning and walk them twice a day until their owners are back from work.

Meet Archie

Archie is a very calm and balanced dog. Also already a little bit older, he spends a lot of time chilling. But he still likes to run around outside and play with Billy. If it becomes too much for him, he makes it clear, because Billy is insatiable when it comes to running and scuffling. When he goes for a walk he likes to stay with his people, seldom does he run.

The surroundings

The property of the two is remote and at the end of a street (this will be interesting later 😀 ) and you have only one neighbour. Furthermore the property is very large and long. Sometimes we went only once a day a big round with the Billy and Archie and therefore several times to the end of the property. Further back there is a lot of space for running, playing ball and letting off steam. At the very end there is a former bunker. During the Second World War the English feared an invasion of the Germans. There was a line of defense here, accordingly there is a bunker like this every 250 m. In the past, they were usually disguised as a chicken coop or shed, but there were weapons and ammunition in it so that they could react quickly. Today they use it like a cellar.

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Bunker at the end of the property

Right in front of the entrance gate one already stands at the canal and the way alongside it is called Towpath. There, one can wonderfully walk and cycle. After approximately 25 minutes, there is a Lidl, where we often went shopping. Good selection and much cheaper than London. There are also some very cool “stones” on the way. It is the Somerset Space Walk, a true-to-scale model of the planets and the sun at a scale of 1:530,000,000. Off we go with the sun. It is located at a small lock and there you will find the explanation of the other stones and a café. You can go from there in both directions, there are two sets of the planet stones. To get to Pluto, you have to walk almost 12 km and you find it at the theatre in Taunton, and in between, in proportion to their actual distances, all the other planets. Very cool! Especially with the spheres, which represent the size of the planets in relation to each other. In the other direction you have to go all the way to Bridgewater to find Pluto.

We went several times by bike to Taunton, a small town with about 60.000 inhabitants and a beautiful centre. Outside it is rather not worth it. The ride there along the canal takes about 40 minutes. We went to a small market, where we bought delicious cookies and close by there is the Somerset Museum. The entrance is free and you can learn a lot about the history of Taunton and Somerset. After the many impressions of the museum we visited Vivary Park. A nice park with many flowers and beautiful paths. You can also play minigolf there and there is a climbing park.

Conclusion

We spent very nice days in Creek St. Michael and Taunton. It was quiet and idyllic and we liked it there very much. In the first two or three days it was still a bit strange and unfamiliar, but after getting used to everything, it was really great. Our first housesitting was a great success.

To save money on the way back, we went back to London Paddington at 9 pm in the evening. This train was cheap, but led to a sleepless night. 😀 In Paddington we waited about two hours for the bus to the airport and got there at about three o’clock at night. But since our flight didn’t leave until noon at 1 pm, we had to kill some more time… Very annoying, but still the right decision. The other trains were really absurdly expensive.

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Mecki at the airport –  7am.

One last story 😀

Since we loved the Beyond Meat Burger, we looked to see if you can get it somewhere in England. We found them at Tesco and there you could even order them online. Perfect!

So we ordered some food, said burgers and craftbeer and looked for a reasonable time window for delivery. Since late in the evening was the best time, we chose 9-10pm. So it was already dark and unfortunately the driver’s Navi was not up to date or he ignored the warnings. He managed to get to the Towpath with the delivery van and then also got to the locked gate from the wrong side. Since the gate is on the way at the end of the long property, we did not notice this at first. At some point we asked ourselves where he was and we went outside. When we opened the door, we already heard the beeping of the car driving backwards, nothing good was in store for us. 😀

Then we went to meet him and drew attention to us with our mobile phone lamps. He actually stopped again and so we could unload our stuff. He also gave us the boxes which are normally hung up in the car and apologized a thousand times because we had to carry all our stuff back. The driver had a harder time there, because he had to drive several hundred meters backwards, on a very narrow path with hedges and ditch on one side and the canal on the other side. The next time he will probably listen to the navigation system announcing a private or cycle path on the route.