It's tempting to think that we have a lot of freedom to do whatever we like. And that's roughly true. Strangely, though, I think we are only just starting to realise it. Part of this is due to Rosie passing earlier this year. Before, when we left the boat, we'd also leave Rosie, and that meant there was always a hard deadline for returning. Someone was looking after her, and we felt uncomfortable leaving her for long periods.
We were having such a great time in Glenfarg looking after Fetlar, Jura and Sid that we looked at each other and admitted, "We don't want to go back to the boat". After a moment's thought, we asked ourselves why we had to. To which the answer was that we didn't, not really.
There's no Rosie waiting on us. The boat is safe in a marina and being watched. If we want to stay in the UK we can. The only commitment we really have at the moment is the 25th of December, we need to be back on the boat to meet Jasper who is arriving the day after. So we decided to stay! We found another house sit in the UK, this time down in Surrey, and that's what we're pivoting to instead. Of course, it caused a moment or two of stress while we rearranged flights and made it happen, but it's all sorted now. On Saturday, we hired a car and drove to Surrey, where we will stay up until the 20th before heading back to Greece.
In many ways, that was about as exciting as the week has been. It's been a chill, relaxed time, walking dogs, enjoying the snow, and playing with the Aga oven. We drove to visit the city of Perth. Karina finished her puzzle of Balmoral Castle.
You know, relaxing stuff. One benefit of the extension is that we got to spend an extra couple of days with Ella and Inge in Edinburgh. I visited lots of cafes, Karina saw two movies (Saltburn and Napoleon), and we all had an Indian dinner on Friday. Karina and I also took in a stand-up comedy show on Thursday evening.
Friday we did a big walk around the city and walked up to the castle. Amusingly, despite the frequency with which we've been visiting Edinburgh, we haven't been that way for a long time. During the Fringe Festival, the city is always so crowded that it's best to stay away, and of course, when the Tattoo is on, the castle is covered with bleachers.
And that's more or less it this week. The most amusing story was when we picked up the car. I (for sensible reasons I can no longer recall) had booked it for a 10.30 am collection, but after realizing that the drive to Surrey was around 8 hours plus breaks, decided we wanted it earlier.
We arrived at the car rental at 8 am, only to find they were still closed, although there was an attendant doing early deliveries. He took pity on us and offered to help. For only £600 he could offer us an upgraded car we could take right now. Given we’d prepaid, I said we’d rather just wait till 10.30 and pay nothing extra.
“I’m in a good mood today,” he says. “I can give you the family & friends discount, waive the insurance and you can have it for £240. We thought about it and declined. We’re not earning money these days, but we do have plenty of time. We’d arrive later at Mark & Elizabeth's house, but it would save cash.
We sat back down outside the rental booth and started browsing on our phones.
“Ok, maybe there is something else I can do for you both, I just want my customers to be happy. How about £100?”
At this point, we agreed. He’s tried really hard. We can get the car now, plus it’s a much better car for the long drive. I asked Karina if I could have the fudge we bought the day before (a resounding no), but there was cheap wine in the bag I could take. So, I gifted the attendant the bottle as a thank you. He was so thrilled he went back to the computer and knocked another £50 off the price! From £600 to £50 was a good deal!
And that’s the week. A quiet, relaxed time. A big drive on Saturday to Surrey from Edinburgh, where we are staying with Mark & Elizabeth. Then, on Monday, we begin our second house sit for 10 days in Surrey in an old converted Coach House on a larger private estate.
Until next time,
Tim & Karina