UK 2018: Part 2
So, onto pet sit number 2. Well almost!
We didn’t manage to exactly match up the pet sit dates so opted for a few nights in an Airbnb in Hove, a stone’s, or should I say a pebble’s throw, from Brighton.
Hove and Brighton
I spent many happy childhood hours in Hove. My Grandmother lived there and we would regularly go shopping together – I would be running to keep up with her strong, invincible stride – that and collecting pebbles from the beach to paint. Like Grandma like Granddaughter!!
Hove is an eclectic mix. It’s ‘multi’ everything, which blends to give the place a real vibe. A vibe you just want to be a part of.
A stroll through the streets of Hove will have your eyes darting in all directions left, until suddenly you realise …you’re in Brighton.
Nutley and the Ashdown Forest
We weren’t sure what we’d be letting ourselves in for with our next pet sit. It was going to be a full house. Two dogs and two cats!
Our concerns were totally unfounded. We had the waggiest welcome from the dogs. The cats, well the cats didn’t even notice us.
Finley and Isla were a couple of real characters – we fell in love!
Max and Morris were an elderly couple of brothers. They were very laid back and did eventually notice us (mostly around breakfast and dinner!)
We were staying in a gorgeous home in a small village called Nutley. Our host was friendly and full of life’s va va voom. She gave us free range to the house and left us with a well stocked fridge and bar.
The village was right on the edge of the Ashdown Forest (home of Winnie the Pooh) which was perfect for our twice daily walks.
The forest itself was full of wonderful flora and fauna, including rabbits which I don’t have any photos of – that’s another story. And many friendly locals, who made us feel very part of the community. We learned that meeting new people is so much easier when you have a couple of cute dogs with you.
We had a glorious month here. Our days were bookended with dog walking and the time between was filled with doing our own thing, looking after the house and garden, home cooking, playing with Isla and Finley, preventing Isla and Finley from eating the cat food, and short excursions to local places.
These two were such good fun, we’d rather stay home than go out!
Isla was 13, going on 1! She had the energy of a youngster, was deaf when it worked in her favour, loved food (including Max’s, Morris’s, Finley’s if he didn’t eat fast enough and anything she could find on the forest floor – eww!) and craved company. How can you resist that face!
Finley was super laid back. He was quite happy alone on his chair. He did like company too, but could take it or leave it. However, quiet, mild mannered Finley had a whole other side. If it was time for food, especially a walk or there was a rabbit anywhere in the vicinity he was like a dog possessed.
There were numerous occasions, when we were out walking, when Finley saw, heard or smelled a rabbit and would chase it like his life depended on it. He would disappear…sometimes for quite a while. Then we would hear him barking somewhere way off in the distance. Yikes! I can’t tell you how many times I started to form that ‘there’s something I need to tell you about Finley’ email in my head. But, he always turned up. We got used to his ways and sometimes didn’t even bother to retrace our steps to find him. Finley loved rabbits, but thankfully never caught one!
Max and Morris were around 16 years old – I think! They slept a lot, sometimes in odd places. They would often be out all day, probably sleeping in someone else’s house. They had their moments of affection. For us, the dogs and each other.
Uckfield was our nearest town and provided us with all the basics. A good selection of grocery stores, restaurants, gift shops, a cinema and a long list of charity stores. We’re hooked on combing through second-hand stuff so were in heaven.
One thing to consider if you’re going to pet sit for dogs is that you shouldn’t leave them alone for too long. 4 or 5 hours was our maximum window of opportunity for exploring. When we did go out it was usually just for a couple of hours.
We did manage to venture to Crowborough, Royal Tunbridge Wells and East Grinstead.
Royal Tunbridge Wells
There’s a good train service from East Grinstead and we made use of it. Our one day off, when the cleaner came (yes a cleaner visit was arranged for us), was spent back in Brighton. I also took the train into London one day.
Such a fun place!
Our next move was north. We were visiting my Mum in York, so there was much to look forward to. But… we left with sad faces and lumps in our throats. We were totally smitten with this place and our little borrowed four legged family.
The last word comes from Finley 🙂