Understandably there haven’t been many housesits kicking around lately. Due to the current circumstances, people are naturally reluctant to go away. Furthermore, the rules and regulations regarding quarantine are changing all the time. In fact, there are still many countries that you still can’t travel to from the UK and the list seems to be shrinking instead of expanding! Consequently, housesitting has been hit hard. We have, however, been lucky enough to have had a flurry of housesits over the last few weeks. Additionally, although we can’t travel, we are remaining positive about the future and still dreaming of and planning for future adventures.
Last week we were housesitting in the village of Patcham, on the outskirts of Brighton. Initially, we were supposed to be caring for two dogs, but their owners changed their plans and the dogs joined them on their trip. Consequently, we were in the unusual position of doing a housesit without any pets. We made use of the time to do lots of writing and also watched the French Open Tennis. Indeed, the tournament should have been played back in May, but was sabotaged by COVID-19. This week, however, we are back to cat-sitting and are once again surrounded by furry friends.
A Double Whammy of Cat-Sitting
Actually, we are having to split housesitting duties. Not wanting to take any chances, we had double-booked, thinking that there might be a cancellation due to the unpredictability of the current situation. As it happened, neither of them were cancelled. Housesits can be like buses – you wait for ages and then two or three come along at once! Consequently, T has headed back to the Patcham area and is cat-sitting for Albert (also known as Little Al) for a few nights, while Ku is in Brighton cat-sitting for Pauli and Sweetie.
Anyway, back to Patcham. The village is situated at the foot of the South Downs National Park. Rural Patcham was, in fact, originally separated from Brighton by three miles of fields and was a small country parish. Over the years the city sprawl extended. Finally, Patcham officially became part of Greater Brighton in 1928.
Patcham’s historical core, the main thoroughfare being Old London Road, remains intact. There are lots of cottages, one of them dating back to the 15th century. Additionally, many of the buildings that line the road are listed. The Elizabethan Cottage Tandoori is housed in one of the historical buildings and also a restaurant which serves Bangladeshi and Indian dishes.
The village is also home to a traditional bakery known for its ‘Patcham Pasties’. As a matter of fact, Ku made the mistake of asking for a Cornish pasty the first time she went in and was sternly reprimanded! For overseas readers who may not be familiar with Cornish pasties, they are a pastry filled with seasoned meat, vegetables and potato. Although a speciality of the county of Cornwall, they are a popular snack throughout the UK.
The Art-Deco clock tower, situated on the green, was built in the 1930’s to advertise the development of the Ladies Miles Housing Estate. With a clock on each of its four sides, it’s a prominent landmark in the vicinity.
A Hike on the South Downs
Being situated close to the South Downs, there are several walks to do in the vicinity including Devil’s Dyke and Ditchling Beacon. The hike that we did took us through Coney Woods, situated on a steep hillside, overlooking Patcham.
We discovered a couple of shelters made from the branches of trees – potentially useful for when we don’t have a housesit! As we walked, dappled sunlight shone through the trees and orange autumnal leaves covered the trail.
Eventually, we emerged on the grassy open space of Green Ridge which is overlooked by Patcham Windmill. It was an enjoyable walk on a beautiful September day and we hadn’t even realised that the trail existed before we set off.
A Night in a Downtown Hotel
After our stay in Patcham, we had a gap in housesits, and so we spent a night at the Ibis Hotel in Brighton. In fact, we used some of our Agoda points that we had gathered in Mexico and Colombia and managed to get a pretty good deal. Despite the present 10.00 pm pub curfew, together with bouts of heavy rain, it sounded as if there were a lot of revellers on the city streets. Indeed, it wasn’t conducive to a good night’s sleep! We arrived bleary-eyed ready to start cat-sitting duties next morning.
The Story of Pauli
We have been cat-sitting regularly for Sweetie and Pauli for many years. Originally, Sweetie, a dark-haired Persian, was the only cat in the household. Pauli was a cheeky street cat who used to sit in the garden and look longingly in through the kitchen window. Sweetie’s owner, Adele, used to put a bowl of food outside for him. Pauli persevered, waiting patiently, occasionally being allowed in if it was raining. Finally, the inevitable happened – Adele gave in and consequently Pauli has officially joined the household!
Our First Post-Lockdown Pub Lunch
We managed to get together with our friends, Grant and Kevin, for a meet-up at the newly-refurbished Lewes Road Inn. Previously, it was a dive, but these days it looks good inside and out and we enjoyed out first post-lockdown pub lunch. The speciality is pizza and it was pretty good too!
North Laine Street Art
The house is only a short walk away from the North Laine, Brighton’s most colourful neighbourhood. As a matter of fact, being in the area has been a great opportunity to check out some of the new street art on the scene. Indeed, there is an intensity of art in the area, especially around Bond Street Laine and Trafalgar Lane. However, if you look hard enough, it can also be found in many of the nooks and crannies throughout the North Laine. As a result, it’s a great part of the city to explore for anyone who loves street art. Here are a few new creations that we have discovered since we were last here:
We have been housesitting for a long time now and it’s been a great way to see the world and meet an array of wonderful cats and dogs. We are registered with TrustedHousesitters, one of the largest housesitting websites in the world.
(Affiliate Disclosure: We are affiliated with TrustedHousesitters. This means that if you were to click on the above link and take out membership, we would receive a small commission. We only affiliate with companies who we have used ourselves).