The 9 Hour Housesit

One of our strangest housesitting experiences ever occurred last week. I had to leave our current housesit to undertake a second housesit for only 9 hours before returning to continue the first sit. Make sense? It probably doesn’t as it all sounds a little crazy now.

Why Why Why?

The backstory behind our convoluted plan was that we had booked a weeks housesitting in East Grinstead for the lovely Nicole and her red labrador Maisie, returning after a wet stay back in December 2019 (Maisie in Wet Sussex). Whilst we were staying down in Devon we were offered a fabulous long stay in Hove for over seven weeks which we were very keen to accept. Once we agree to a sit we never ever cancel so decided that we would split up for a week to cover both. Easy.

The only slight issue was that Jo had planned to go Glamping with her Pink Lady girls and needed to leave before Nicole returned to East Grinstead. Not a problem though as I arranged with the Hove hosts to be away for a single night in order to cover the changeover.

Hove to East Grinstead

So early on Thursday morning I left to catch the first of two trains to East Grinstead. Masked up and avoiding as many people as possible the journey was quiet and easy and within a couple of hours I was marching from the station to Maisie’s house on the edge of the town. I’d sneakily caught the earlier train so Jo was surprised and pleased to see me at the gate. Maisie was a little more suspicious.

After a week apart it was lovely to see her but we didn’t have long to run through the whole housesitting handover that every sitter knows all too well. Security, lights, pet food, bedding, walking route, kitchen, tv controls, and so much more. It was a big old house too so a walk around checking open windows, locks, doors etc was also required. Maisie still a little concerned.

After a quick backpack restructure and a final run-through of what food was ours and what wasn’t Jo had to leave. She was off to Maidstone to see our youngest son Ryan plus drop a couple of items off in our tiny storage locker before heading off very early next morning. Waving goodbye yet again after an hour or so together was sad but all part of the plan. Maisie went back to bed.

Settling in

So a spot of lunch before unpacking a few bits and then a lazy afternoon. Maisie decided that the best strategy was just to ignore me at this stage as it appeared just too complicated to worry about. However at five o’clock she was ready for her dinner so suddenly I was her new best friend. Followed by an hour’s walk through the woods we returned the best of friends and with Jo a completely forgotten part of the past.

I was scheduled to be there until the morning but got a message early evening that Nicole and family would be back at 9pm as the weather had changed down in Devon and they’d hit the road late afternoon. With just a couple of hours sitting watching TV the time flew past and before I knew it the car was pulling onto the drive and my time was up.

Maisie looked up. Checked me out quickly but decided the car was far more interesting. I opened the door and that was it. Gone. Nine Hour housesit complete.

Next morning

A chat and a coffee with Nicole and Tom before everyone hit the sack around 10, it had been a long day. With a lift back to the station at 8.30am I was back on the train less than 22 hours after I had arrived and on my way back down to Hove. Wonder if Maisie even knew that I had gone?Walking through the door felt a little surreal as I was back with the houseful of plants (and they didn’t seem to miss me at all). A very odd experience.

The 9 Hour Housesit

Luckily we will both be back with Maisie next summer, this time hopefully together, as Nicole kindly invited us to return. Every housesit we do is different and they each have their highlights but this ‘Nine Hour Housesit‘ was certainly the shortest and strangest one that I have ever experienced.

13/08 – 14/08/2020


    • Yes don’t think we’ve had more than 5 weeks previously so two records at once last week. Longest and Shortest. Not sure the Shortest really counts though as Jo wasn’t there.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sounds like the title of a moody film starring Emily Blunt! A bit of aggro for a few hours but the right thing to do even if the dog didn’t have a clue what was going on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • She was such a lovely dog and took it all in her stride. As long as she got a walk and her dinner then she wasn’t bothered at all. I must have broken some sort of record there but not received any awards or certificates from anyone yet ……… still waiting.


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