Well, that’s the end of that particular era. The one where I travelled some of the length, if not all of the breadth, of England in microcamper Sowfy (reg plate...50 WFY) microcamper, peddling my wares as a house/pet sitter.
It is a source of never-ending amazement to me that there are still, even in this day & cynical age, people who are willing to open their hearts and homes to a perfect stranger. Although my status of no fixed abode caused palpitations to DVLA & insurance companies, it didn’t appear to faze my sits, who seemed happy to take the chance that I could disappear with their worldly possessions, without so much as an address to pin on it.
From Newbury Victorian terraced to Gloucestershire barn conversion to Derbyshire vicarage and Somerset smallholding plus more besides, I was able to sample their delights for almost 2 years.
A delightful way of life if, like me, you have an itch in your genes. Only once in that time did I have a void sit (a barking mad, bouncing-off-the-walls 2 year old working cocker confined to an elderly bungalow - I knew I'd be as doolally as him if I accepted the 2 week sit) but it gave me the opportunity to explore the Malverns. Beautiful area - I strongly recommend everyone to spend even just a few days there, and you too will fall in love with the peace and tranquillity. Try the Malvern Parish Church for starters, then after sampling the delights of the selection of independent shops, climb the Hills...
It had to come to an end sooner or later, though and it was my inherent aversion to risk-taking that finally did it for me. Unfortunately, my aversion to spending trumps all else so breakdown cover on an under guarantee vehicle was seen as a waste of money.
That came back to bite me when the van did indeed breakdown last August at just 30,000 miles with a clapped out gearbox. Yes, folks, you heard right – 30,000 – (that’s the last Citroen I buy!) Repairs at a money grabbing dealership then took a large chunk of my savings, precipitating the decision to bale out of itinerent housesitting before any more disasters took the rest & left me unable to get back on the property ladder.
Serendipidously, a property within my straitened budget in the right location came up just as my nerves and cash started to dry up. Having to make a snap decision took me into more uncomfortable territory – another Achilles’ heel – and despite a buyer’s fiasco, I am once again a home owner.
Static once more, as befits a pensioner, my legs & mind twitch and get restless occasionally…so perhaps this isn’t really the end at all… ; )