Matlock, Maidstone and Meopham

Wow, that wedding really took it out of us! One of the most fabulous days ever but we felt shattered a few days later and really needed the week to fully recover. Perhaps it was the excitement or the pom-poms, who knows?

It’s been a couple of weeks since the ‘big day’ of Shaun and Katies Wedding and we seem to have done a mini-tour of places starting with ‘M’ for some reason.

Post Wedding and Honeymoon Business

The morning after the night before saw a few thick heads and a reasonably quiet breakfast before we set to the task of clearing away everything we’d set up previously. Signs to take down and tables to clear and of course Pom-Poms to remove. It’s always much quicker to tidy up than set up so before we knew it we were saying our goodbyes to family and friends as we set off for our next housesitting assignment up in Derbyshire.

Before we left however we presented the happy couple with a final wedding present which was a surprise honeymoon trip. We’ve always loved surprises in our family with countless birthdays and christmases being celebrated in all sorts of unexpected ways. The honeymoon was to be no different. Apparently these days it’s not called a honeymoon anymore and is known by the ridiculous name of a minimoon. The honeymoon bizarrely comes a year (or two) later. Jo and I are not at home to minimoons so this was a definite ‘HONEYMOON‘  as far as we were concerned.

So Shaun and Katie were instructed to be in their car, engine running, all packed, at 3pm, when they opened the first of several ‘honeymoon’ cards. The first told them to get to the Basingstoke Hotel in Hampshire where they had dinner booked and an overnight stay. Next morning at breakfast the second card was opened which directed them to the Red Funnel ferry port in Southampton where they were booked on a ferry to the Isle of Wight. Third card opened as they left the ferry directing them to the Lakeside Park Hotel & Spa in Ryde. A fourth a couple of days later gave them a couple of spa treatments so hopefully the ‘honeymoon’ week away was just what they needed and will be something they can remember forever.

Housesitting in Matlock

Whilst Shaun drove south we travelled north to Derbyshire and the lovely little village of Matlock on the edge of the Peak District. We were due to be looking after a little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Toby for a week. After meeting Pamela, who left the following morning for a week in the Lake District, we settled in with plans to explore Matlock and make the most of our stay.

Matlock, county town of Derbyshire and very very hilly
Sunny break in the weather in our lovely housesit back garden

Unfortunately two things conspired against us. Firstly the weather was awful virtually all week and it seemed to rain almost constantly putting paid to our exploration plans and long summer walks. Secondly, and probably far more impactful, was that we hadn’t realised just how tired we were after the wedding. It took us days to sort ourselves out.

Toby was a delight though and so easy to look after. He was affectionate and unbelievably well behaved and our twice daily walks were great even when we got a bit wet. The only real problem walking Toby was that he seemed to know every human and every dog in the area and loved to stop to socialise constantly.

Housesit on top of the hill so every walk went down. Unbelievably steep.

The week raced by and before we knew it we were back on the train heading for our hometown of Maidstone in Kent.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs in Maidstone

One of the main reasons for the ‘Return to the Stone‘ was for doctor, dentist, specsaver appointments plus a bit of shopping to replace a few of our clothes that were on their last legs. I needed new walking boots as my previous pair had been wrecked by the Scottish mountain of Schiehallion along with t-shirts destroyed by McDuff the Strimmer.

A few sociable lunches and nights out with family and friends completed the week nicely. Oh and we went to see ‘Dunkirk‘ at the Odeon Cinema, what a classic! Such a great film and it has to be one of my ‘Top Five’ war films now. If you haven’t seen it then sort yourself out and run along tonight.

Now here’s something interesting, well it might be interesting depending on what you’re interested in. We’ve slept in close to 130 different beds since we started this JWalking life over two years ago and the most comfortable by far has been the beds we slept in at the Travelodge in Maidstone. Who’d have thought it eh?

Top JWalking Bed Award

Meopham House and Dog Watch

Currently we are still in Kent but now up in Meopham near Gravesend where we are looking after a lovely house and an even lovelier labrador called Beatrice. Two weeks stay where we’re planning on getting back on track with some online business and a few emails as well as spoiling Beatrice and getting some long walks in.

Beatrice wondering what the 2 weeks has in store for her.

Do you get it?

We have met up with quite a few old friends and family members over the past few weeks and obviously chatted about our strange non-conformist life a bit. People are naturally interested and we’ve had all manner of questions relating to how we live, why we do it, and all sorts of other things. It’s fascinating for both of us as everyone appears to fall into two distinct groups. There are the ones that really, seriously don’t get why we’re living like this and struggle to understand us at all. Then there are those who totally get it. They understand completely what we do and why we do it. I suspect that there are more that don’t ‘get it’ but it’s no problem as we’re all different and whatever floats your boat is okay by us.

So. Do you ‘get it’?

23/07 – 06/08/2017


  1. Definitely get it. It’s obvious that it works for you. Maybe you should use the alphabet to sponsor your Housesits and Helpx. Next month it could be the letter K taking you to Keighley, Kettering & Knutsford!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “It” obviously suits you; and the house sitting idea is fabulous ( but have there been other pets to look after or is it only dogs??). Keep posting the pet and garden photos xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lack of interest, because secretly they want to do it, just ain’t got the energy to do it 🙂 To be honest, only travellers get what we do and that’s why it is brilliant connecting up with other bloggers and housesitters! Another thing is that people don’t really need to get it as long as we are happy doing what we do.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I get it 100%. What an amazing way to see more of the world and equally share in the way others live. I bet you have met some very interesting people.
    One day I might follow in your footsteps …..

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’ve met so many fabulously interesting people Deb and lots of them have become friends which is so much more than we could possibly have hoped for.


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