Our latest housesitting adventure

LOCATION: Meonstoke, England – 30 miles from Southampton

WEATHER: A bit dreary. Light rain. High 55

We slept on and off at the B&B in Southampton – our bodies are still 6 hours behind. We awoke to the smell of breakfast cooking, so quickly joined the other guests in the B&B’s dining room. We had the “full English breakfast” – sausage, Canadian bacon, egg, toast, pork & beans, grilled tomato, and mushrooms. Much more than I could eat…

We walked down to the docks and saw several cruise ships getting ready to depart – also observed tourists lugging their huge suitcases to and from ships. We found our car rental agency and picked up our car. When we got ready to leave, I almost got in on the wrong side – forgetting about the driver’s seat being on the right.

Thank goodness for GPS on the phone. Getting out of Southampton was a nightmare. George is really a good driver. The car is a 5-speed manual. So, he drives with the steering wheel on the right, and shifts gears with his left hand. I could never do this in a million years! We had to negotiate about 20 round-abouts, missing some of the turn-offs, thus adding to our twists and turns. The car motor is noisy so George couldn’t hear the GPS lady. So, I had to yell out the directions, plus yell to remind him to stay on the left. Then, we made it to the main highway where cars and lorries (semis) were zooming to and from London. It was terrifying! Thank goodness we only had about 15 miles on the highway, then turned onto a peaceful country road. The road was covered with a canopy of trees, now turning colors with the autumn weather.

We found our little village of Meonstoke. It is darling. All of the houses have names, instead of addresses. We searched for our house – Mill Cottage on High Street, and easily found it. Then, we found the pub – of course!

We had a lovely lunch – I had the broccoli/Stilton cheese soup and George ordered the pot pie of the day – minced beef and mushrooms. Huge portions! We told the waitress that she would probably see a lot of us this upcoming week.

We met up with our homeowner – Pippa (what a cute name!). She oriented us to the house and we met our charge Buttons. She is a sweetie….

Pippa left to pick up her children, and to meet up with her husband at Heathrow to fly to Dubai for the week’s holiday.

Buttons showed us around the yard and garden. In addition to the pub, the village has a small convenience store which is chock-full of goodies. We did a little grocery shopping for dinner and breakfast tomorrow.

DINNER: Pippa had kindly left us some homemade vegetable soup. Yum.

I am in heaven with old BBC shows on the telly…. .”Fresh Fields, Are you Being Served? Keeping Up Appearances, and Last of the Summer Wine” Years ago, we watched “Last of the Summer Wine” on US public TV which came on at 9:30 on Saturday nights. Our ritual was to watch the slow-moving show on the couch, at which point we promptly fell asleep.. This almost happened to us tonight, too. We got very sleepy watching the show, then let Buttons out to do her business, then fell into a comfy bed. This promises to be a lovely week ahead…..

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