January – July 2020
Japan and England
In early January we returned to Japan after an absence of 12 years partly to take advantage of a BA/Amex companion voucher – a case of use it or lose it! We split our time between Tokyo and Kyoto and had a fantastic time exploring both cities. It was on arrival at Haneda airport for our homebound flight and seeing the temperatures checking stations being erected, that we first started hearing about the Covid-19 virus that would wreak havoc on our (along with everyone elses) plans for this year. We will get around to posting about our time there soon. Amazing where the time in lockdown goes – scary!!
Arriving back in London we went straight to one of our regular pet sits; looking after the lovely Lulu, in wonderful Henley on Thames. After a couple of months spent in Henley (probably our favourite town in England). We were approached to house and pet for some people who had lost their regular house-sitters, due to them getting stranded in various parts of the world. Happy to oblige as last minute replacements, spent a few weeks first in the Bedfordshire countryside and then Marlow.
We had been booked solid for house-sitting projects for much of 2020 but as other people’s travel plans so did those projects. Fortunately, we had previously stayed at a tiny cottage in the Suffolk countryside, so on the off chance we called the owners to explain our predicament and they kindly sought the permission of the local police and allowed us to return for the duration of the lockdown. So we spent two amazing months in the lovely Suffolk countryside enjoying some excellent weather. When conditions permitted we used our time there to search for a permanent home (haven’t found one yet!)
I am now writing this post sitting at a table in the garden of a wonderful house in St Johns Wood, North London where looking after and elderly but very special and very characterful Labradoodle. We will spend the next couple of months here whilst the owners are away and are really enjoying our time living the the capital – it has been a long time….
Norfolk / South Africa
Norfolk will always remind me of visits to my cousin in the summer holidays. Lashings of strawberries and cream and a feeling we were living in an Enid Blyton Famous Five story. Older now, but I am just as excited to be here as I was back then and will probably do some of the very same things! We are enjoying housesitting a wonderful quaint Norfolk cottage and just like the Famous Five, we are joined by a fabulous dog – a lovely Collie.
As soon as we leave here it’s off to South Africa, flying into Durban and out of Cape Town a few months later. Our first time to South Africa, the plan is to hire a car and take a road-trip through the country to experience the incredibly diverse landscapes and explore the varied food scene (biltong and bunny chow – not made from bunnies!). As usual we will be getting off the beaten track but we don’t intend to miss any of the many highlights for which the country is famous. Very excited !