John in Wales is going away for the weekend and wrote about the number of friends who are stepping in to look after things. It struck a chord with several of his readers as the comments show and it certainly did here too. Here is the link.
My mother lived next door in the annexe for fifteen years. For a number of those years, and on and off for some of the rest, she looked after herself, but she never liked being on her own overnight – not that she minded being alone in the bungalow, but she didn’t like the feeling that the big house next door was unoccupied. In addition, Russell didn’t really like being away from his beloved home and, at the least, wanted to know it wasn’t empty. And then there were the dogs. So we needed a house/Grandma/dog sitter.
At this time of the year, the greenhouses needed daily watering, the veg garden needed some watering and vegetables needed picking every day. This took at least an hour a day. So a garden-sitter was required.
Then there were the bantams that are fed three times a day and let out and shut up morning and evening. Chicken-sitter. Try saying it quickly several times.
Fortunately, though the dogs loved a walk, it wasn’t really necessary as there’s plenty of room for them and they never bothered a stray bantam, unlike Ben now, so at least we didn’t have to consider a dog walker.
The last family holiday we had was a visit to Brittany twenty years ago. Ronan had just finished at the village school and was going on to the middle school in September. He’d just had chickenpox and his hair was wildly curly and in need of a wash – but that’s another story.
After that, we had a few shortish trips away in this country, with or without the children (Weeza and Al were grown up by then, of course), but it all seemed too much effort to plan and book a proper holiday. I wanted one to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary and said to my husband that it was all I wanted – no need for presents or a party – he could hardly say no and put a brave face on it, so I renewed his passport. But then my mother’s terminal cancer was diagnosed, so we abandoned that idea entirely, and in fact she died just about the time I’d planned that we’d be away.