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Sitter available

Responsible & practical couple ('40's), homeowners, animal & travel lovers with house-sitting experience & references - please read more about us!

United Kingdom

Testimonials

They have 1 testimonial (view below)

Pet experience

Dog(s), Cat(s), Chicken(s) – Able to handle large dogs

Police check

They don't have a police check

Availability

From: 1 February 2023
Until: 24 November 2025
(see their busy times below)

Occupation

Ex-Energy Management

References

They have referees/references (view below)

About this sitter

We ( Michelle, 43 & Spen, 46 ) have been very happily together now for over 18 years, enjoying a number of different adventures and experiences in our time together. Job-wise, I'm currently taking a break from my 15 year career in management to allow us to travel more since Spen has successfully set up and runs his own on-line business, giving us more flexibility on dates - although limited still by house insurance to max one month at a time.
Both non-smokers and no children or pets ourselves whilst we look to continue to enjoy our travelling days. We consider ourselves (and have been told!) pretty down to earth people, easy to get along with, reliable and hard working.
Our main hobbies are hiking, cycling and travel (surprise), loving nothing more than a good long walk or bike ride out in the countryside where we live in Norfolk, as well as enjoying good local food & drink when possible.
Our travel adventures to date include a few month long road-trips, most notable would be East Coast USA, Alaska, Ecuador, South Africa & rural Spain/Andalucia - alongside shorter stints in Europe, adventuring to Norway's Artic circle, loving Prague for its winter markets and La Gomera for its amazing hiking. We have just returned from our first trip to the East, spending 7 weeks in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, loving the culture and food. We are used to dealing with unexpected issues, including a 500-mile unplanned trek back across Europe from Lithuania down to the Iceland ash-cloud chaos! We are not especially bi-lingual, having usual basic German, French & Spanish skills, but we are used to being able to have simple conversations ( including hand waving as required! ) in different countries to get by and have spent plenty of time in places where English is not spoken. We see it as yet another reason to travel more and to areas where we will get more practice!
Our biggest 'adventure' to date has been building our own home from scratch, which took about four years from buying a plot through to moving in. So we are both very handy in terms of DiY and fixing issues as well as very appreciative of the care and respect we'd want from house sitters ourselves.
We are pretty flexible as to what we are looking for in a house-sit. We do tend to prefer rural life to city life but have enjoyed our travelling all over the place – so if there's one thing we have learned it's that it's often the unexpected, non-tourist spots that we've ended up enjoying the most so open to all. We are happy and confident to look after most types of pets and animals, including large dogs - though would probably have to draw the line at horses without help as we wouldn’t want to take on responsibilities we didn’t think we could live up to. The only thing we would consider essential is reasonable wi-fi access for work purposes – though running warm water is always a good thing ;-)

Why they want to house sit

There are two main reasons we are now looking to start house-sitting. The first is simply the wider reach of interesting places to stay in a 'real' environment as opposed to tourist/commercial places. We really like being part of our small village community at home and when travelling we’ve found that visiting 'the sights' is always interesting but we usually end up remembering fondly tales of exploring and finding the real local places. This seems to us to be more likely through a house-sit based on our experience of these to date. So we see house-sitting as a way to stay in some different places as well as improve our language skills. With Spen being able to work from anywhere in the world we have a lot of flexibility for this now.
The second reason is that it would be great to combine this with the chance to pet-sit too. We have not felt it the right time to get a pet ourselves with being away so much so being able to travel and help look after your pets seems win-win to us. We know from previous house-sits as well as my own family's experience with Barney that pets being able to stay in their own home is far less disruptive for them, so if we can help someone with this - that's a bonus to us.

Their experience

In terms of house-sits, we have now completed two and both have been wonderful experiences followed by great references. We have just completed our second house-sit in El Hierro, a tiny Canaries island with very little english spoken and great hiking - perfect. We also had the absolute pleasure of looking after their three very large dogs and the local wild cats. Our first house sit in Ecuador was likewise a brilliant introduction, with two pets ( one old cat, one lively dog ) and in another non-tourist location with little english. We can also offer our Air BnB feedback to date as independent verification and can get additional work or character references from friends/colleagues if these would be of value to you.
In terms of experience in owning homes and pets - as outlined above - in this we do have plenty of experience on both of these. We also have experience running our own rentals business which may be of interest to anyone looking for support in that type of area. Through our previous house renovations and our self-build (as well as the usual on-going home maintenance) we are well used to looking after and caring for property and whilst not our professions we are capable of most minor plumbing, electrical and other such household repairs as building regulations permit - as well as the perhaps less needed brick-laying!
As said previously, we have no pets currently - but we both have had the usual cats, dogs, fish in previous homes and whilst growing up - including my parent's current dog, Barney, a slightly crazy but entirely lovable Border Collie who loves nothing more than having his ball thrown for him - again and again....and again! Having both grown up in the countryside we have experience of farm animals but would not call ourselves ready to handle everything ourselves with the bigger animals like cows and horses - though chickens and ducks etc are just fine.
Through our travels to date we also have plenty of experience of dealing with unexpected situations in foreign lands, when keeping a calm head and sense of perspective has been more than useful!

What can they bring to the assignment

Hopefully by now you have a good sense of who we are and what we are about from the other sections but would like to highlight a few points that we hope you agree make us good candidates for your house-sitting opportunity.
We are a well-balanced, responsible couple, both in good health and at a great point in our lives to have enough flexibility and financial resources to see more of the world. Whilst it would be simpler for us to do a more ‘normal’ travel approach, our interest in this is in really getting to know a place and experience local life as much as ‘seeing the sights’.
We believe that our previous experience with pets and animals as well as our practical property maintenance skills and adaptability in challenging situations give us a range of useful skills to ensure a successful house-sit and with no children or pets of our own we are pretty flexible on dates and arrangements.
With our future plans to travel more in this manner we have as strong an interest in making each house sit work as those of you looking for house-sitters and we would like to reassure you (as much as you can through an online introduction) that we would offer the same care and attention that we do to our own home and family pets to any house-sit we accept - since we will be looking to do all we can to ensure good reviews and build our reputations for our next adventures.
We hope this all helps you understand who we and that it goes some way to explaining why we would be great house-sitters for you as. Thank you for taking the time to read this and we hope to hear from you soon.

Available to house sit

Africa, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, Caribbean, Central South America, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North East Asia, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South East Asia, South Korea, South Pacific, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam

Availability dates

From: 1 February 2023
Until: 24 November 2025

They have indicated that they are busy at the following times:
10 December 2018 to 2 January 2019

Do they charge?

They don't charge for house sitting services

Membership

MindMyHouse member since 2016

Personal details

Age: 46-55 years old
Family status: Couple

Total sits

Total completed house sits: 2

Testimonials

You can travel quietly knowing that your pets are in good hands

Having Michelle and Spen taking care of our three giants has been like leaving them with good friends who love animals. Both were very friendly and respectful to us from their arrival, and also very affectionate with our animals. Our sensitive Nika is like a detector of good people, and when we returned from our trip, she was completely in love with Michelle and Spen. They also knew how to deal with our Bernie in love with a Bonnie in heat, keeping them separated when necessary and lowering Bernie's stress levels. The three dogs had a good dose of affection and exercise and also the cats were satisfied with the substitute caretakers. Although we agreed a short space of time, it was enough for them to learn the daily cares and also we could have interesting talks about our common hobbies, like trips and wines. Upon our return they came to pick us up at the airport and welcomed us with a delicious homemade meal. We can greatly recommend Michelle and Spen as loving sitters for your furry children

Vanesa, Spain, 25 September, 2018

  • Organised
  • Good at pet care
  • Reliable
  • Kept in contact
  • Friendly

References

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Last updated: 5 August 2022