Week 198: House Sitting in Bunbury

Housesitting in Bunbury and exploring Chesire while we wait to head to Spain.

Week 198: House Sitting in Bunbury
Catching up with Brenton in Milton Keynes

The wedding went very smoothly. It was a delightful affair, and everyone had a good time. The student co-op was returned safely to the hands of the students (who apparently commented, "What happened here? I've never seen this so clean!"). The newlyweds have enjoyed a peaceful week at home together.

Mum and Dad headed north with my sister Tiff to Inverness, and Karina and I caught the train south to Bunbury, a village near Nantwich. Nantwich is a small market town about thirty minutes from Chester, a city in Cheshire. As you might gather, it's all pretty small! And quite rural.

Why another house sit?

Meeting the neighbours.

Well, we didn't particularly intend to when we left Greece, but as we started planning with Mum and Dad about spending some more time with them after the wedding, a few things became clear. Greece was a bit out of their way, and while they would like to see Matilda, with the fact it's being sold and the fact they weren't interested in long cruises (every cruise on Matilda from Mytilene is basically going to be a long one), it was inconvenient to visit. They were going to be in Spain to visit other friends and we've been wanting to go, so meeting them there made more sense.

Instead of flying home to Greece and back to Spain, we sought out another house sit and have ended up here in Bunbury. It's a delightful house with a wonderful dog, Otto, who is an old boy who just needs some company. He loves a quiet snifari (our new favourite word) in the morning and the evening. Other than that, he loves to sleep in the many baskets spread around the house. We've been enjoying relaxing and recovering ourselves after a busy week last week.

The train ride to Bunbury from Edinburgh took around 3 and a bit hours. Really quite a quick journey. When we arrived at the local interchange station, Crewe, we were met by one of the homeowners, Andy, who drove us back to Bunbury with a tour of a few local sites on the way. Andy and Diana have been very generous, and we are enjoying their house while they are off on holiday in Greece! We all enjoyed a meal at their local pub, and then after some instructions for Ottos' care on Tuesday, they headed off. We've been here since.

Wednesday I caught the train across to Milton Keynes. There's not really anything special about this location except that it was convenient for me on the train and for my friend Brenton to meet. Brenton is my oldest friend, who I've known since high school. He was in the UK for work so we decided to try and meet up. This was the simplest way to make it happen. The train journey was very smooth without too many issues. We enjoyed lunch together at a local pub next to a canal (always a highlight too!). The last time we met was also a flying visit – at the airport in SFO, so it was good to spend a bit longer this time around, but we'll need to meet up properly again soon.

Karina and I have also been taking the time to pursue a few more hotel barges—no real news there, but we're having conversations with a few potential options. We are trying to set up a visit to one while we are in Spain before returning to Greece (we'll pop up to France to do it!).

On Friday, we headed to Chester, which has the most intact Roman walls of any city in the UK. It's a lovely place with lots of old Tudor houses and the city walls encircling it, as well as a river nearby. There is speculation that the Romans invested so much in the walls because they initially intended it to be the capital, but when they failed to capture the north, London made more sense. Regardless, it's a very pretty spot.

We were there at the same time as a fancy wedding with several royals in attendance, so the security was crazy! After roaming the streets, waving at the bride, and finding a fantastic taco and wings place for lunch, we headed back home.

28 years ago we had a huge argument under this city gate (it may have been a debate about shopping vs. walking the city walls, can't really remember).

The other amusing part of Chester is that it gave us a flashback to travelling there in 1997. As soon as we saw the city walls, we had clear memories of a big argument near the gate. Today, we can't remember what we argued about, just that we did–no doubt it was because we were tired and stressed and just needed some time apart. If I recall correctly, we wandered off our separate ways at the time for about an hour or so before bumping into each other and almost 30 years later, we're still here together.

Saturday was the Bunbury Village Day. We wandered down to watch the parade (lots of kids and a few old cars), then wandered around the village green checking out the stalls (ate an exceptionally good rum & raisin ice cream) and then off back home again.

Today, we've had pancakes for breakfast, walked Otto, and now Karina is settling into her jigsaw while I do some writing. It's a relaxed Sunday! This week, we'll continue to tour the local area. There are a couple of castles, and we're both interested in a Cold War-era nuclear bunker site, Hack Green, that is very close by. It was built as a regional headquarters in case of a nuclear attack. There is lots to see and do. Saturday morning, we're off to Spain.

Until next time,

Tim & Karina