Monday, January 08, 2018

Still Dreaming of France -- Housesitting in France

Thank you for joining this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. (That's what I'm doing, although you may not envy me today)

It's here. Our first housesit.
For our trip, we have scheduled three housesits, two in France and one in England.
The first one is only a week long, which seems kind of a  pain, to travel there, schlepping along our numerous suitcases, getting from the train station to the house, getting to know the pets, unpacking... Until we got here, and then I thought, thank goodness that it's only a week.
This was the first housesit we applied for and were picked for. Maybe we should have realized upon reading the sheer number of animals that the condition of the house might be a bit questionable.
First, it's a farm. There's always going to be more dirt and more bugs at a farm.

I feel a bit like Eva Gabor on Green Acres as I watch Earl carry hay for the donkey and the mule, 

and I swat away gnats (fruit flies) that land on my bread. The gnats are here for the overripe bananas. Earl and I feed the bananas to the chickens in hopes the gnats will disappear.
And I'm just as happy that I didn't eat the bread because the only jam is orange marmalade. After Earl puts some on his bread and eats it, he discovers mold in the jar. I'm gagging and that's without even looking at the fly strip that hangs in the middle of the kitchen dotted with hundreds of black fly bodies.
Anyway, with three dogs and five cats, a house is definitely not going to be pristine. 

When we signed up, the house had two dogs and five cats, but they added a rescue dog a few weeks ago after a puppy mill was discovered. Hopi, pronounced Hoppy, had been bred twice a year every year of her life, so she deserves a break .

The animals are sweet, except for Mango the cat who continues to jump on the table while we are trying to eat. 
This is Mango by the cooktop -- he really spreads out. 
He knocked over Earl's tea this morning and we are trying to convince him to stay off the table, but if we yell at him, the rescue dog cringes in fear.
The owners of the farm came to pick us up at the train station. Barbara is probably in her late 60s or early 70s. She has white hair with streaks of blue and red. She's a pilot and hot air balloon operator too. She and her husband Chris moved from the UK to France in 1991 when he retired. He's 82 and in fragile health. They're both nice people, devoted to their pets.
There's an upstairs section of the house with a door to keep all the pets out. That's where we are sleeping. It's clean, except for some dead flies along the wall, but it's chilly because there is no heat. Of course, that works well for me when I have hot flashes.
Our suitcases are up there too to avoid extra dog and cat hair, along with any urine that might be sprayed that way.
They've had extra rainy weather here, with the temperatures in the 50s and 40s, so we had a muddy walk this morning with all the dogs.
It was still misty when we started our walk, but the sun came out eventually. 
The countryside is beautiful and we plan to visit a nearby village today, perhaps for lunch and definitely to buy some jam, butter and bread.
A cleaning woman is scheduled to come by this afternoon. I imagine she can make a dent in the animal debris, but anyone who agrees to share a house with eight animals should expect a little pet hair.


Anonymous said...

Well, this is an adventure. Good for a story, anyway.
La France profonde!
Good luck with the weather. It's been a tempestuous time, but at least not cold.

Noreen said...

Ok, I am just laughing . . .

Jeanie said...

Hey, a week is only a week! You'll barely be settled before it's time to move!

Mango is gorgeous!

sillygirl said...

Do you have to speak french to all the animals?

Philippe said...

Welcome in La France profonde ( Deep France ) Paulita and Earl! Mango is not a cat but almost the size of a tiger with the right color too! Be careful with him as your are living in its lair... LOL! Great to read your french adventures and I hope all is well for you two.

Kiwi said...

"Farm livin' is the life for me..." This is hysterical. Lucky you are both so good-natured and adaptable. Bonne chance with Mango and the rest of the wild bunch.

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