I almost can't believe how fast the start of 2019 has gone, and that we will be finished at this housesit later this week! The homeowners return on Friday, and if all goes well we will be flying out to France on Saturday. All that means that it is time for a look at what a typical day in the life has been like as we have lived in the community of Street, England.
Early Morning: Pet time!
Of all our housesits so far (Cyprus, Germany, Wales) this one has had the most work to do when it comes to the pets we are caring for. We have two golden retrievers and six Persian cats! So the first thing we do every morning is care for all of the animals - everyone gets a batch of wet food, a refill on dry food that is out all the time, fresh water, and the dogs get let outside while the cats get their litter boxes (3 of them!) cleaned. The division of labor has been that I take care of all food/water while Joel takes care of everything else.
I also clean the kitchen that the cats were wandering about in all night, then they get corralled back into the conservatory where they spend their days. So basically I get to start every day here by literally herding cats.
9AM: Morning Meeting
We figured out that our days are generally more productive if we start by officially chatting every morning about what our plans are for the day and what our goals are for the week. We go over blog statistics, check finances, and plan blog posts and activities for the week. This new habit has really helped us to be more productive and on the same page with each other.
9:30AM: Morning Activites
When our morning meeting is done, we get going for the day. We usually start by Joel doing the dishes (no dishwasher here!) while I walk the dogs. Then I might start on a draft of the day's post while Joel works on scheduling Twitter posts or checking the housesitting website for our next possible gig. We also both usually get our study time with Duolingo done in the morning.
11:00AM: Food Time
Our intermittent fasting schedule has stayed pretty consistent in our time here, so we usually eat at 11 (and are done by 7 every day). We usually watch one or two episodes of whatever show we are currently watching (right now it's Community) and then turn the TV off so we can get on with our day. (In Wales we developed a pretty heavy TV habit but we've broken it here, and we both feel so much better!)
12:00PM: Varied Activities
One thing we have loved about this housesit is how close we are to town! (Ironically this is also the first place where we have had access to a car.) Most days we will walk somewhere just to get out of the house. We might go to Lidl to get groceries or walk down to the High Street to wander through the charity shops (my new favorite activity!)
Early on we learned that on Thursdays there is a local market (what we in the Midwest would call a Farmer's Market) with local produce, specialty cheese, crafts, etc, so most weeks we try to go check that out. The first time we went we splurged on some fancy cheeses. Turns out, however, that for the most part, we like the inexpensive cheese we get from the discount grocery store as much as (if not more than) the more expensive stuff! Go figure.
We have also gotten out and about to do some bigger touristy things in the area, made easier since we have a car. We checked out the nearby town of Glastonbury, the famous Tor, Wookey Hole, and England's smallest city, Wells. A few times we have had some church activities to be involved in - I even got to preach once back in January!
A couple of times a week we have to use a good chunk of this time to groom the cats. Persian cats are long haired so they need frequent brushing to avoid tangles, and because of their flat faces they cannot groom themselves very well, so we also have to clean their faces. It's a lot of work with six of them to care for! We usually set up in their room with our laptop so we can watch something while we get the work done.
4:00PM: Publish the Blog post!
For the most part, I'm pretty good about getting the blog post done on time. If I'm at home I'll add the finishing touches in the afternoon then hit publish, or if I know we are going to be out and about I'll get it done in the morning so I can publish from my phone on the go. I also try to give the dogs their second walk of the day shortly after I get the blog post up.
Our meal schedule has been a little weird here, with the intermittent fasting I find that I'm usually eating two meals a day and a small snack rather than 3 full meals. So sometimes we'll have dinner really early, and other times it's late, but I'd guess it averages to around 4:30 every day. Since we have had much better access to grocery stores here than we did in Wales, I've made a pretty significant shift to us eating far more fresh fruits and vegetables. I can really feel the difference in my energy levels so I hope to keep this up at the next place, too!
Early Evening: Pet Time!
The evening routine with the pets is pretty similar to the morning routine - food, water, clean the litterboxes, let the dogs out. When all is said and done the cats get let into the kitchen for the evening and overnight.
6:00PM-11:00PM: Evening Time
Our evenings have been filled with various activities during our time here - we often will get work done in the evening (more writing, social media stuff, etc.) If we aren't working we might watch a movie, continue watching a show, or play Dominion online - a new activity we discovered during our time here!
We've also been doing a lot more working out! My new favorite way to motivate myself is to alternate YouTube workout videos with a fun activity like a game, a movie, or an episode of a show. If we move the coffee table in the living room we have just enough space to do some basic workouts without running into each other.
I feel like our time here in Street has been the most low-key of all of our stays so far. In part, we have stayed a lot closer to home here because we have a lot more pet responsibilities at this one. It's been a good time to hunker down, get lots of work done, and make progress on some of our personal goals to work out and get in shape.
I have a feeling our time will look quite different in France as we will have a lot less responsibility and therefore a lot more free time, so we'll see what happens!