Talking of Christmas, we ordered our Christmas presents to ourselves last week … his and her matching Kobo Auras. I think it’s really cool that you can now take a room full of books along with you without any additional weight. I remember regularly culling travel guides and novels to keep the weight limit manageable last time I traveled. It will be interesting to find out the pluses and minuses of not having to book-swap and discard … will it limit serendipitous literary encounters or expand them?
This Christmas is going to be more about the spirit of the thing than the substance as for the most part we are still on a purchasing ‘freeze’. We have done all the ‘must-haves’ as it is the end of an era for family Christmases 😦 Of course there will be new eras but probably no more like this one with both Daughter No.1 and No.2 in residence. But on the whole we have tried very hard to keep the spend low. All expenditure is now measured in nights accommodation or meals for two, or the Husbands favourite … the difference between a real bed or camping.
This week we signed up to a range of websites for house-sitting and job/accommodation exchange. We did a heap of research and identified the following as the best for European opportunities:
House sitting seems to be a great idea and totally suited to the skill-sets of mature ‘experience seekers’ such as ourselves. (I found the term ‘experience seekers’ on the interweb and although it sounds a bit flaky, I think it is also very descriptive.) Having been responsible home owners for many years and having had a full range of family pets from goldfish and rats to canaries and large dogs, we have all the necessary skills for the job. The idea is very simple and symbiotically useful. Essentially you look after someone’s home and (usually) pets while they go on holiday or a business trip and in return you get free accommodation and the experience of living someone else’s life (in a non-creepy way, you understand!).
We signed up to a job/accommodation exchange site where you work a few hours a day in exchange for accommodation. Some of the ‘jobs’ are not a very good fit for ‘moi’ as I am not physically designed for heavy lifting and hard manual labour. However, lighter work, social, creative and computer endeavours are in my ‘can do’ pile. The Husband has the muscle angle covered so we might perhaps be useful to someone. We have agreed that anything we apply for has to be palatable to both the Husband and I … anything that means eating large amounts of lentils and leaves is ‘out’ for me (you’d understand if you had to share any confined spaces with the Husband!) and the Husband has vetoed anything that requires him to meditate or abstain from things he enjoys, such as wine and meat. However, we have seen several opportunities that look promising so we’ll keep an eye out for anything that would work for us. Of course, while we’re traveling, we might get really into lentils and meditation … I have after all been encouraging the Husband to release his inner ‘hippy’.
While we’re on that subject, I idly wondered whether my extra BC (before children) ear piercings were still in existence and functional, since I have only used one hole in each ear for many years now. The Daughters were horrified, so that of course meant that I had to find out and instal as many earrings as possible. I was very surprised to find out that earrings slipped in with no resistance at all and I instantly set about finding suitably Daughter-unsanctioned earrings to wear. I have high hopes for the Tattoo shop down the road where they seem to have a wide range of metal attachments. I’ll just finish making these Christmas mince pies and perhaps I’ll pop down and have a look … they might be just the thing to liven up the conversation over Christmas lunch!
Image borrowed from here