Tonight’s news

I have really debated whether to write this post about our second house sit, but then I thought it’s important that everyone knows the responsibility that comes with house sitting and even though it might seem like a free holiday, the onus is still on you to be responsible and make sure you treat the house and the animals with the same care you would your own. I would like to point out at this stage we have only been in contact with Aggie by email regarding the house and animals. But it never entered my head to ask ”what is your standard of cleaning ”, but will in future. Never the less I’ll let you use your imagination to what state it was in. You soon get the measure of someone when you meet them face to face.

Anyway here goes.

It’s a very wet, cold day as we arrive at the house on the outskirts of Gesrves and it’s clear the photos we were sent are not recent. I knock the door to be greeted by Aggie the owner, we are invited into a somewhat smokey sitting room where she explains to us that she tried to light the wood burner in that room but as had problems so she would prefer us not to use that one. She gives us a quick tour of the house before taking us into the dining room for drinks where she lights the other wood burner.

House Sit

Later on that evening we make the decision to sleep in our motorhome tonight due to the state of the house and the cold.
Next morning Aggie leaves for England and we go into the village for groceries. When we return to the house, we decide to light the wood burner in the dining room so we can at least spend time with the cats as that’s one of the reasons we are there because even they are looking cold now.

Lighting The Wood Burner

The fire burns ok for about four hours when we realise the wood and plasterboard behind it had court alight. John checks upstairs and the rooms are full of smoke from the cavity behind the burner. After trying to deal with the problem ourselves we decide to call the fire brigade who arrive within minutes and they are extremely efficient. Even though they all stopped to welcome the lady firefighter with kisses who was driving the water truck!

It Begins To Smoke

It’s then not long before we are joined by the locals, french and English all running down the lane shouting, ” pompier, pompier, Aggie house, camper car”. They say we have given them more excitement in the 24hrs we have been here, than they have had in the last seven years! And that the three counties surrounding us will all know within the hour that something has happened on ’Mad windy English hill’ as it’s referred to by the French. It comes as no surprise to them what has happened tonight. Apparently we  are the third lot of house sitters who have had problems here.

The following morning stinking of smoke, sore eyes and a cough, it seems like we have been in a dream.
We now face the question whether or not to finish the house sit. On one hand, you feel obliged to fulfil the promise of looking after the house and animals but the other you feel let down.

Last nights events could have been far worst and feel our safety as to come first. There is a code of conduct that you have to abide by at Trusted house sitters, which as to be meet by both parties. If you are the homeowner you have to provide a clean and safe environment, this clearly wasn’t the case with this house sit.                                              We contact Aggie and give her a few days to make other arrangements for the animals to be looked after but she decides to return home.


When Aggie returns I explain the situation but there’s no concern for the animals or our welfare but then I’m not surprised.

In hindsight, we should never have stayed here. So altogether, an experience we don’t wish to repeat.

13 thoughts on “Tonight’s News, Mayenne, Pays De La Loire- May 11, 2018

  1. OMG. Glad you are safe and not hurt! Ray has just watched the video and says they must be retained fireman ?

    1. Hi Jo. Hope you are well. We have been reliably informed that they are full time fireman. Due to the state of the log burners, chimneys not sweep which apparently is a legal requirement here the chief fire officer was called x

      1. Oh dear. Not good.
        Thank goodness neither of you were hurt!
        Hope you have having a great time. Loving your updates x

  2. OMG!!! You two be safe out there xx that could’ve been a lot worse!! Am loving John’s French accent though lol Also the idea of French fireman coming to the rescue, very exciting!!! Please remain in one piece so we can meet up in Spain in the summer xxx

    1. It was a little scary to say the least. John nearly fluent lol with help of his translator. Look forward to seeing you in summer x

  3. Hardly out of England and you’re causing chaos!!!! All part of travel’s rich tapestry. You’re safe and well and dealt amazingly with that slight(!) hiccough. Looking forward to reading all future blogs. Have fun! xx

    1. Oh you know what we are like. We like a bit of drama lol. Hopefully meet up if we make it to Spain x

  4. How awful for you,, we used to house sit and you are right with the pressure of the responsibilities for somebody elses property and animals,, Our experience whilst sitting in spain,, was one of the cats got sick the day after they left,, took her to the vets to find she had eaten poison, vet wanted to know if to try and save her (which would obviously cost a bomb) or put her to sleep, cudnt get hold of the owner.. had to make the decision.. if it was my pet I would want to save her, luckily she pulled through.. but it was awful.. If you are going to do this type of work make sure your owners are contactable 24/7 email.. phone.. and friend,, !!! (we live south of Spain)

    1. Hi Angie. Thanks for your message and very true words. We are eventually heading to Spain where in the south are you? X

      1. Hi,, we live in Gibraltar,, We will be setting off on our 3/4 month road trip early june (Back mid september).. Cant stand the heat, ! lol..

        1. It’s starting to get hot here in France now. We are heading to Spain near end of July

  5. Sounds like a bad experience Karen,just put it behind you and look forward,things will get better.
    Stay safe.

    1. Thank you Milda. It’s something we don’t want to experience again. Hope you are well x

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