South Downs to Lewes and JExit

South Downs

From a classic JWalking hike along the South Downs to a situation that we never thought we would find ourselves in, this past week has been full of new experiences and emotions. A very different week to any that we have had since we began our nomadic lifestyle over 5 years ago.

Day on Hove Beach

The last time we were together was Boxing Day 2019 so it was over 7 months since we had seen our middle son Sam and our daughter-in-law Tabitha. A few Sunday night quizzes and the odd WhatsApp chat just hadn’t been enough and we were more than excited to be meeting them for a day in Hove.

Roasting hot so a day on the beach with a picnic, swimming, chatting and just enjoying their company was perfect. It was fantastic to see them both again and hear all of their news, wish we could do this every week. Finishing with a delicious fish’n chip takeaway from Wolfies Chip Shop in Hove the day just raced past too quickly. Really need to arrange another day out whilst we are so close to them.

The only negative from our day out was the fact that we were so ‘in the moment’ that we neglected to take a single photo of any of us! Next time.

Hove Beach

Ditchling Beacon to Lewes

Another epic day out occurred a couple of days later when we once again got the train to our favourite Sussex station, Hassocks, and planned a long walk up the South Downs to Ditchling Beacon but then onwards to the town of Lewes.  We had done half the walk previously (Return to Ditchling Beacon) but decided on extending it a fair way. Probably somewhere around the 12 to 13 miles by my cartographical calculations.

Clayton Tunnel
“The incredible Clayton Tunnel, built in 1841 and still in use”
Clayton Church
“St John the Baptist church in Clayton dating from the 11th century and listed in the Domesday Book”

Once again we passed the Jack and Jill windmills on the steep climb up but there were very few other people around so it felt like we had the area pretty much to ourselves. A few dogwalkers and the odd backpacker but basically just the two of us and some of the best views in the country.

South Downs

South Downs

I won’t go into too much detail but on our walk we passed wonderfully named placed like Western Brow, Plumpton, Black Cap, Mount Harry and Cuckoo Bottom. Fabulously named places all along the route as we headed along the top of the South Downs eastward then descended down to the historic town of Lewes.

South Downs

South Downs

South Downs

South Downs

It ended up being closer to 15 miles in the end which we both felt in our tired old legs but it was a great day out. Hopefully we’ll get up there again before we leave this part of the world.

South Downs
“Landport Bottom on the edge of Lewes. We will tell you all about this historical meadow next month”

Preparing for Jexit

After recovering we spent the next few days preparing for an event we never would have envisaged happening. JEXIT. Jo would be heading off to do another housesit whilst I stayed here continuing with this one. After the generous offer of this long TrustedHouseSitters sit in Hove we we decided to honour a previously booked week in East Grinstead as we never like to let anyone down after we’ve committed.

We stayed at the same place looking after Maisie the Labrador back in December so knew the house (Maisie in ‘Wet Sussex’) and it seemed sensible that Jo did that housesit as she was also heading off Glamping with her Pink Ladies immediately after that. So that would be two weeks apart! Two weeks! The longest we’ve been apart for potentially 35 years (can’t remember exactly though).

So just imagine the organising ……. Jo packing for the new housesit and also for Glamping, me booking trains for both of us criss-crossing the south east of England over the coming weeks, planning meals for two single lives, trying to organise seeing family and friends during the same period. Plus to make it even more complicated, I decided to travel up with her so we could both visit my Mum (returning late that night) and I would also have to go up for the last night in East Grinstead as the Glamping adventure started one day before the end. Still with it?

Loads to do then. Oh and Jo being the lovely person she is has been cooking and freezing meals for me so I don’t either starve to death or just eat cereal and pies for two weeks. She’s a star.

Summer Heat

Two Housesits in a Day

We are prepared for this strange situation and are not soppy newlyweds but it will be fairly sad to be splitting up for what feels like such a long time. I know it’s not and it will soon be completed but neither of us are used to living alone and we just miss each other. Perhaps we are soppy then?

So we will both be housesitting in different locations now. Something we never ever imagined and didn’t really plan but it’s another experience and all part of the adventure. Hopefully she doesn’t get a taste for the single life and hopefully I don’t get food poisoning! We’ll let you know how it goes……  Time to get moving.

Devils Dyke South Downs

01/08 – 07/08/2020


    • Thanks, we’re lucky to have found such a nice place to stay through the summer months. Would rather not be apart for these weeks but that’s all part of the adventure I suppose.


    • Jo will hopefully have a brilliant time. We don;t like being apart at all but it’s all part of life so we make the best of it and it isn’t for too long. Hope I survive!


  1. So busy, a bit of a nightmare booking all those trains! I think the longer you are together the harder it is to be apart. Thank goodness for Skype and WhatsApp .. hope you don’t get too lonely.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Two house sits at once? That must be some kind of record! Back to frozen meals it is then. It’s nice to catchup with family once again, and to be so engrossed with them to forget photos says a lot about how well spent the time was.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Phew! I read that in some dread expecting a horror story at the end, but this sounds survivable! I’ve been used to John going away to conferences all our lives together: not usually more than a week, which was ok, but when it stretched nearer to two weeks it was miserable. The record is 5 weeks when he did a short stint in Hong Kong, and that was awful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We did have the odd week apart during our working lives which didn’t seem quite so serious as we were so busy. These couple of weeks may be harder as we’re used to being together now 24 hours a day. We’ll survive of course but hope it’s a one off.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the term Jexit! I was wondering what was going on when I first started reading. So good you got to see your son and daughter-in-law again and I get that you were so in the moment you forgot to take photos! I hope you both go well with your house sits, it’s amazing you’ve not been separated for any length of time before now, and very commendable that you’re both a bit soppy!! I’m also home alone at the moment as my husband is with his mother who isn’t well, it’s quiet but I’m coping OK. You won’t starve, thanks to Jo, she is a real star!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not as bad as we made out but isn’t particularly fun as we spend so much time together and being apart just feels wrong. Jo is a complete star in everything, probably why I miss her so much. The healthy eating has suffered a little unfortunately though.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What’s wrong with you man? It’s only a couple of weeks and you should be able to look after yourself by now!!! That woman spoils you Ringo. I’m sure the time will fly by just like the rest of 2020. Brilliant that you got to see Sam & Tabitha.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ❤❤❤❤ hope the dats flew by for you both.
    I’m totally intrigued by the house sitting aspect…I’ve read about this a few times briefly on Facebook, but never really delved into it….mostly coz I’m still working. But what a fab way to see the country.


    • It’s working out pretty well so far for us this housesitting lark. Bit tricky currently in the midst of this pandemic but we’re surviving. Great way to meet new people and live in different locations.

      Liked by 1 person

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