Explore this green and pleasant land through homesitting
Posted on 3 March, 2019
Sue Cabrelli, who is 69 years old and from Loughborough has been home and pet sitting through Homesitters Ltd for ten years after retiring from her job as a service administrator.
Sue decided to become a homesitter after reading an interesting article about it in a newspaper. Her retirement was approaching and as she has always kept busy, she wanted a new role that would give her a sense of purpose and enjoyment.
Home and pet sitting appealed because Sue adores animals. She didn’t want to own a pet in retirement because of the restrictions and ties and wanted to be able to take breaks with her husband whenever they fancied it.
On retirement, she contacted two companies and chose Homesitters Ltd as they impressed her with their clear communication and professional but friendly approach.
After attending an interview at their head office, she was employed by the company and has since completed over 100 homesits and has even featured in the company newsletter
Sue’s husband Mark still works but sometimes joins her for a few days with the client’s permission.
Although Sue is very independent she appreciates the support she receives from Homesitters. As she usually homesits alone, the company checks in with her regularly to ensure everything is going smoothly.
Looking after animals is the biggest benefit for Sue however, she also loves exploring different parts of the country.
Sue explains, “I have visited so many beautiful places that I wouldn’t have even considered. There are wonderful rural villages throughout the UK. I love walking and when I am on assignments I often take the dogs out for long walks. If there aren’t any dogs, I just walk myself.”
“I’m a member of the National Trust and English Heritage so there’s always somewhere special to visit. Clients often leave me information about interesting places to visit and great walks too so I’m never short of things to do. If I am in London I try to see all the latest exhibitions.”
Sue learned to horse ride when she retired and takes her riding gear with her on assignments and, if there’s an equestrian centre nearby, she books a lesson and goes for a ride.
Her most eventful assignment was in the Derbyshire Dales. It started to snow as she was driving up there and didn’t stop for two days. Although she managed to reach the house, she was snowed in for a week! Luckily, she had taken some food with her and the owner contacted her to say she could help herself to anything she needed as the nearest shop was over ten miles away.
Sue says, “It was a lovely cosy Elizabethan house and it didn’t faze me at all being snowed in. One of my tasks was to feed the wild birds every day and it was lovely to watch amazing birds visit the patio to feed including pheasants and peahens.”
One of Sue’s regular clients travels the world to attend vintage car rallies while she looks after their home and cat. To reassure the client their cat is happy, she sends photos of her cat every other day. The client has become a good friend and always brings Sue back a gift from her travels, like a carved stone from Peru or a cat key chain from Japan.
Homesitters Ltd rewards its homesitters with a modest remuneration, as well as food and travel allowance. Sue saves her earnings to spend on their summer holiday to Italy each year.
Sue likes to keep fit saying, “I’m a big exercise freak – I take a Pilates class once a week as well as horse riding. When I go on assignment I take my yoga mat and do a Pilates routine every morning, which fascinates the dogs. They always come to see what I’m doing and on a recent homesit I did my ‘rolldown’ and got my face licked at the bottom!”
Homesitting also gives Sue time to practice her other passion, cooking. She always takes a cookery book with her and tries out new recipes she can then cook for Mark when she goes home and she also does large jigsaws in the evenings.
Sue has embraced a whole new flexible career since retiring and is looking forward to home and pet sitting for many more years to come.