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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Part III of, 'From Beatles to Boating and From Kilts to a Canine...Our Journey to All Things Great British'

Our first housesitting job (www.trustedhousesitters.com) brought us to the beautiful and quaint location of West Yorkshire, England.  The job was sitting a family of pets and a cottage that was once most likely used to house a family of servants for the nearby manor.  It was located in a village named Askwith which was a short, narrow, country road drive from the town of Ilkley.  The area had a curious mix of cow and sheep farmers with large parcels of land along with an affluent population living in some palatial homes.  
Just arrived in Ilkley
The owner of the home 'Jackie' picked us up at the train station, showed us around town and then introduced us to her family of pets.  There was Lola, the loving boxer; Oscar, the ornery, sharp witted parrot and the funny assortment of a chicken, geese and ducks one had ever seen.  All were quite happy to meet us and were bouncing about in the backyard on our arrival.  Jackie made us immediately feel comfortable in her beautiful home and with her feathered and furry family.  
Jackie and her friend Steve had plans to go on a juicing retreat in Portugal while we took care of her pets and her home.  Before they left we had the chance to get to know them better.  They took us out for drinks and a nice dinner.  She introduced us to her parents and grandma who also welcomed us and made us feel at home and comfortable.  During the ten days Amy and I enjoyed a lot of quiet country living, long walks with Lola, bike rides into town and some in-home time by the fire watching new episodes of Downton Abbey (we were able to get in 3 episodes of season 4) and a highly recommended British television series called Sherlock.  
Enjoying a fire with COAL in it.  Jackie thought we were crazy as we didn't know what to do with the coal.  We told her that we had heard of it, but didn't know exactly what one did with it.  
Although our time in Askwith was short we really felt at home there and grew quite fond of Jackie, her parents and her wonderful animals.  We are happy that we had the chance to meet such a nice family, befriend such a great dog and come away from this experience with a new friend in Jackie.  Askwith and the people we met will always have a special place in our hearts.  We look forward to the next time we should meet again.
Lola thinking she is a lap dog.  She would do this while we were watching TV or just sitting around in the living room.    She loved the attention and surprised Amy on how such a big boxer could be such a big lover.
The Askwith sign showing the distance to the two other towns we visited (Otley and Ilkley). 
The cottage and the front yard.
One of the many beautiful views of West Yorkshire.  This day was overcast, but most were quite sunny and nice.
Jackie's mom and grandma came over and joined us for a cup of tea.  Jackie's grandma reminded Amy of her grandma 'GrandMax'
It is Amy's local free range eggs for sale. 
Hey, it is Amy buying Amy's local free range eggs.
The weir we found on one of our hikes.
Some of the ducks enjoying the sun and the pond next to the cottage.
Took in the sights of the town.  The pubs in town had some curious names.
Out and about in Ilkley
Enjoying a sunday lunch at a local pub called Yew Tree.
The servant's paging system in Jackie's parents' house.  We had to take the photo as it reminded us of Downton Abbey.
"Mum's home!"  Lola happy to see her mom home after 10 days. 
Once last hug from Lola before we departed.
Saying our goodbyes to Jackie and our first housesitting experience.
Lola posing for one last photo.  I told her to smile, but I think she was sad that we were leaving.


Thank you Jackie, Steve, Lola, Oscar and wonderful family on making this experience a memorable one.