Jan 3

House-sitting highlights – York

York. Christmas. Fox Terriers. Here’s what we liked best…


Mel – I’ve never encountered Fox Terriers before and quickly realised that they are extremely intelligent and quite stubborn, much like Beagles. Jake in particular helped me immensely by pointing out when I’d deviated from their usual routine, especially when biscuits were involved.

Nick, Jake and a jumper

Nick – Jake and Jeannie are inquisitive, strong-willed and, on occasion, bloody minded. And I loved spending a few days with both of them. It was my first experience of Fox Terriers, but hopefully not my last.

A very misty Ouse




Mel – Seeing the Christmas lights of York through the freezing fog was stunning. I also loved our walks on the frozen racecourse.

Nick - York does fog better than anywhere I’ve ever lived. And a thick gloop descended over the city during our stay. Walking into town towards the Minister, we got within 50 feet of the monstrous church before it loomed into view out of the fog. It always looks pretty spectacular, but on that day was particularly special.

York racecourse


Mel – Hearing the words “it’s impossible” being uttered by the teacher of a hairdressing student trying to cut Nick’s hair and giggling with Nick at what he describes below.

Nick – I visibly wince at the mention of ‘guided tours’ after hearing one too many dull blokes with monotone drawls read from a book. So it was with some apprehension that I joined the back of a tour of York Minster. My fears were allayed within minutes though. Our guide was a magnificently plummy man who took great pleasure in saying the word ‘breast.’ Apparently prudes in years gone by had removed a picture of a bared bosom from the roof of the Minster. Some guides might have passed over this detail. Our’s attacked it with relish, rolling the word ‘brrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeaaaast’ around the cavernous church. He said lots of other interesting things, but, being as base as I am, it’s the breast that stuck out.


Mel – Meeting up with an old friend, for a great vegetarian brunch at City Screen, after a four year hiatus.

Nick – A now rare trip to a British pub for a swift pint.

Food and drink

Mel – Parkin, nuff said.

Nick – The daal recipe given to us by Peter, one of the homeowners. Having access to cookbooks, spices and personal recommendations is a wonderfully unexpected benefit of house-sitting.

It made me think…

Mel – I really want a house with a walk in airing cupboard. Sorry it’s so sad, but it made doing the laundry in winter so much easier!

Nick – House-sitting is great for short city breaks too.

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