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Starting the Year in Street, England

Submitted by Bethany on Mon, 01/07/2019 - 10:00

If you're new here around the blog (hi Tieks friends!) or if you've been following along but lost track of where we are (easy to do over the last month) I thought I'd spend today chatting about our new housesit and our new town for the next two months!


We are settled now in the town of Street, England, which, actually I don't think I can technically call a town. The population is about 11,000 people but in the UK they have actual requirements for what can be called a town, city, etc. Google gives me different results on what the requirements are, but our hosts here heard me call Street a town and corrected me that it is a "village". Whatever it is, it's great and we love it! One of our favorite grocery stores in the UK has been Lidl, and look what we have less than a mile from our new place! 

Yay! At our last housesit we were close to a very small grocery store but if we didn't want to spend a fortune we had to take a bus or get a ride from a friend, which led us to some dangerously low grocery days. (Joel almost ran out of cereal once, it was a near disaster!) So we are super psyched to have this awesome discount chain within easy walking distance. I realize this sounds like a small thing, but when you don't have a car, it's a big deal. Oh, but wait! We do have a car at this housesit! So, ironically, in the one place where we could easily drive to a grocery store if we needed to we don't have to. Ah well, we do plan to use the car for some adventures and they asked us to use it at least once a week so it gets some regular use instead of just sitting there. 

Other than our favorite grocery store, Street has tons of amazing shopping! Several people mentioned that to us when we said we were coming here and boy were they right! There is an entire outlet mall with 60+ stores about a 10 minute walk from here. It's right off the High Street (British for Main Street) which also has tons of restaurants, fish and chip shops, charity stores (like a Goodwill but more variety), and bakeries. I can't believe how close it all is and we are so ready to explore. 

On Sunday I walked down to the local Methodist Church to attend worship, and I am so glad that I seem to have found a similar community to the one we found in Wales. The outside of the church is beautiful, all old stone and teal accents. I've never seen teal used on a church before (most Methodist churches go with red for the Holy Spirit) but I kinda love it! This church doesn't seem to have an appointed pastor like the last one did, just different lay and worship leaders every week. 

The people were very friendly and welcoming, and immediately pegged me as a visitor from the States. (My accent gives me away every time!) The worship itself was familiar and yet not, I only knew two of the songs this time, and the pianist was out ill this week so some of them we sung to recorded music and some were done acappella. After worship I attended the coffee hour where I got to know most of the people in attendance (only about 15 total). One was a retired Methodist minister who told me tales of his time as a missionary in Zambia and a sabbatical he once took to visit his sister in America. Towards the end of the hour I revealed that I am also a Methodist minister (though technically a different denomination, we both have our roots in Wesley). When two of the ladies heard this they got so excited and immediately asked me if I would be willing to preach on January 27th. I have been missing being in the pulpit lately so I enthusiastically said yes! 

In general we are finding the people of the village to be quite friendly. On our walk home from the grocery store today we passed a couple walking out of a house, each holding multiple bottles of wine. As Joel passed them he jokingly held out his hand and said, "For me?" to which the lady laughed. But then the guy behind her actually gave us a bottle of wine and insisted over our protestations that we take it! They said they were cleaning the house out and had no use for it themselves. So that's how we got a free bottle of wine on the streets of Street. 

Ok, on to the real stars of the show at our new housesit - the pets! If you follow us on Instagram you've already been treated to some pictures of these cuties, but here's the full scoop. We have 8 total pets to take care of here. That's right, 8. I'm not sure we entirely knew what we were getting into. I looked back at emails today and the specific numbers of cats was never actually mentioned (6) so I guess that's on us for not asking. But we shall persevere! They are Persian cats which are more high maintenance than most cats - they require regular brushing so their fur doesn't get knotted, and we have to clean/wipe their faces daily. They are bred to have a flat face and the cats themselves can't keep it as clean as it needs to be to stay healthy. We are still trying to tell all 6 of them apart, but here's a picture of all of them in their room. They stay out here all day, then get to wander in the kitchen/dining room in the evening and overnight. 

The other 2 pets are two adorable and surprisingly chill Golden retrievers. The older one is Jess, and she is the mother of the younger one, Sam. I believe Jess was a show dog, but Sam was the runt of the litter and they kept him because he could not be a show dog. They get along really well, are excellent on walks (never bark at other dogs), and love getting treats. Luckily their owners left us a plethora of treats so they will get plenty from us! 

So that's the basic rundown on our new home and our new pets. I'm pretty sure once we get in a routine with all the feeding/walking/grooming we have to do it won't be so bad, but right now it's a tad overwhelming. Oh, there's also three birdfeeders they keep stocked in the backyard and a koi pond that we have to feed only if the temperature gets above 10 degrees Celsius. Phew! We got this, I swear. 

But also, wish us luck. And if you have any tips on how best to care for Persian cats or Golden Retrievers, or survive in a house with 8 animals, let us have 'em! 

XOXO, Bethany 


Your thoughts?

Woah! Good luck with so many animals to care for! The (adult) puppies are adorable!! The only thing I know about Goldens is that they are usually lovers and will really appreciate petting and attention. 

So. Many. Routine will be our friend. I also call all dogs puppies regardless of age, lol. We will be sure to give them lots of love and attention!