I confirmed 5 days into a 6 month stay as a housesitter that I was going to leave. I’d been looking forward to spending time in Bray, Co. Wicklow in the south of Ireland since August, when the owner confirmed me after numerous Skype calls as his chosen housesitter. I’d been a little uneasy with the lack of detail and photos on the owner’s profile on the Trusted Housesitters site, but he seemed friendly and open and sort of answered my questions. I did chase him for weeks for photos, and chased and chased for the Welcome Pack which he sent just days before I was due to fly in, and only a small percentage of it was filled in. According to the THS Code of Conduct he pledged “I will create a comprehensive and accurate home and pet owner listing, including photos and clear information about what I expect from a sitter, detailed information about my pet(s) and ensure this is kept up-to-date.” Continue reading
Walking along the mile long Victorian seafront promenade in Bray, County Wicklow, a seaside destination south of Dublin, Ireland, starting at the harbour, walking towards the base of Bray Head, where the old derelict Bray Head Hotel, an old hideaway for Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, which was put up for sale in September 2016 for €1.8m, stands sadly, on a brisk chilly Sunday morning was my first outing since I arrived at my house sit a couple of days ago. As I breathed in the sea air I was thinking about the next few months and plans I’d made now I was in one place long enough. I was in Bray for 6 months and planned to do lots of walking, follow up contacts to volunteer, clean up the thousands of photos I’ve taken over the last few years, I’d also signed up to take 3 on-line courses on Udemy, learn to cook again, and integrate with the local community. Continue reading
Back in the UK staying near Leeds, the capital of the North of England in the county of West Yorkshire also known as Gods Own Country. I find myself returning to my roots, in an area where I lived for my first 21 years, all be it for 6 weeks. I remember it being a grey, miserable industrial city with huge daunting buildings and tower blocks of flats; a strange accent missing out letters in words and sounding very lazy or sadly lacking in education. Today accents in the UK are revered and not like the past when it would discourage employers, today could actually be the tipping point of success. Speaking the Queen’s English is no longer a requirement of the BBC!
Travelling to Sozopol by bus from Sofia give me a window to Bulgaria’s landscape in June, as we crossed though the flat parched landscape along the motorway. The fields were crammed with tall, smiling sunflowers, each straining in the same direction towards the sun. In the distance were hazy blue rolling hills as the bus made it’s way south towards the Black Sea.
Arriving in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria during a red warning heat wave was not quite what I’d anticipated. Leaving SE Asia after a number of years of intense heat and humidity I was seeking some respite. I sort of found it….no humidity. Even in the heat wave it was definitely bearable to be out and about no matter what time of the day. The temperature actually dropped at night to make sleeping possible.
Travel fatigue crept up on me and forced me to slow down so I chose Sozopol on The Bulgarian Black Sea Coast to gather my thoughts and reflect and plan. I’ve spent many relaxing hours listening to the sounds of the sea and watching it’s every movement. Not one is the same as the last. It’s always moving, always evolving.