We’ve been featured in the latest blogpost by Trustedhousesitters (24 Sept 2012), where they have written about housesitting as a lifestyle. Here’s the link:
And this was the short piece I originally submitted to them:
Hi, we’re Marie and Iain!
We have been house and pet sitting on the island of Crete for a little over three years now, and
have built up a group of around a dozen or so regulars, for whom we sit.
Predominantly based in the west of the island, the properties vary from traditional stone village houses;
to a renovated Turkish town house in the beautiful old town of Chania; to modern villas, with all
mod cons, in the beautiful countryside.
Since starting out, we have added to our experience with animals: skills
such as pool maintenance, gardening, olive picking and even a little plumbing – well, the system
here can present a few problems!
One skill we haven’t managed to master is the Greek language – we are still very much ‘beginners’.
Many of our ‘clients’ are rescue animals and we have grown attached to all of
them. Although we try not to have favourites, Marie just can’t help being
especially fond of the lovely Minos. Sometimes we are there just to
keep the property secure; and often there are several animals – mostly cats and dogs.
Though the Cretan summer is, as you would expect: dry, hot and sunny – and we’ve had a
tremendous summer this year; Cretan winters can be harsh.
From January to March – the coldest and wettest months – there is little to resemble the holiday
island that most visitors know. It is, however still breathtakingly beautiful with snow covering the
White Mountains (Lefka Ori), and the deserted beaches – now free of tourists – providing extra
walking routes for the dogs who in the summer can only exercise early morning and late evening
when it is cooler.
In winter, the cold beers and coffee frappes are replaced by red wine, raki and Greek coffee
laced with Metaxa, the local brandy. This year we will be growing our own vegetables during a five month
sit on a property with a large garden and swimming pool, near the village of Stavros.
This village is famous for being a film location in “Zorba The Greek” – the famous Zorba’s Dance scene
was filmed on the beach. Recently, we were fortunate enough to meet Walter Lassally who won the Oscar
for Cinematography for Zorba The Greek.
We are constantly adding recipes to our repertoire of Cretan dishes – they always taste better when we use
vegetables picked from the garden. The Cretan way is always to share – if we have extra fruit or veg we pass
some of it on; and we often receive gifts of raki, wine and olive oil.
As we enter our fourth year of house-sitting on Crete we sometimes crave a change of scenery.
We have in the past, house-sat in Hong Kong and Singapore, but we would like to try living in Spain, France or Italy.
We’ll have to make our minds up soon for next summer as a few of our regulars here on Crete already want to secure
our services for next year.
They say that once you come to Crete, you’ll find it hard to leave.
No doubt our regular ‘sittees’ are hoping that’s true.
Need a pet-sitter? See our travel tips and house-sitting services at https://theconstantraveller.wordpress.com/
Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/MarieIainHouseandPetsitting