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Published: January 19th 2008
A few weeks ago we took another risk using the Woofing HotList website. We replied to Judy's advert wanting a pair to housesit her 'wonderful house' whilst she was on holiday in Christchurch. Quite what wonderful meant we didn't know nor want to risk looking forward to.
As it happens as we drove up the drive and saw a large 2 storey house complete with balcony, hybrid car and acres and acres of countryside surrounding it we were instantly relieved. Judy was normal and not the hairy hippy lifestyler we were dreadding.
The first couple of days we chatted to her and her annoying 13 year old cocky grandson (typical teen). Our room is fantastic and in (again!) a self contained area of the house. Her house is large, bright, modern, clean and perfect for us to relax in.
In just two days of 'housesitting' we have had many a smile! It really is quite funny.
Me on a tractor? Ben chasing a loose chicken we let out by mistake! Acquiring a goat from nowhere! The kitten like cat charging at my hands as I plant the lady's poppies!
Quite what state her small holding
Our base for the week which we looked after whilst Judy was away.
will be in on her return I dread to think! It was her risk leaving it in our hands! Bens' at home with the sheep and cows! He even played Mr vet when we discovered one of them was riddled with maggots in an open wound (NICE!)
A few days later...
This has been the perfect base to relax and definitly re-charge. To be in an area of New Zealand which is NOT loaded to the brim with activities to drain the wallet is actually quite refreshing. Our chores are easy compared to those on Waieke Island: Feeding the chucks and cat, collecting the odd egg for breakfast, checking on the cow n' sheep, a bit of gardening - its a doddle!
A final word...
Our week at Waikato was a truly pleasant experience- the week ended as effortlessly as it had started. I completed thistle topping the fields with the mini tractor and clearing masses of weeds in the vegetable garden for the rest of the time. B looked after the chooks and cattle. We cooked some fab meals in her large airy kitchen and did a few extra improvements to her farm
Me doing some thistle-topping!
(fixing holes in her fencing for one). It sounds as though we did a lot but it was done at such a casual pace in the morning sunshine we both didn't regard it as work. We even managed a trip to Raglan to see the longest left hand surf break in the world - it was odd to see the surf dudes riding the wave in the opposite direction!
Judy returned to the farm looking pretty pleased with what we had done - she not only let us use all her food, wash our clothes and surf the web but she left us 20 dollars for petrol. To top the week off she wrote us a touching thank you card with a further 50 dollars inside it! We worked out we both saved about 180 quid this week EACH! but oddly gained so much more in terms of relaxation and spending a week in such peaceful surroundings away from backpackers and tourists that we left feeling we almost cheated the woman!
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