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John the Happy Housesitter

ID: 54i



Is / are:


Age group:

55 plus


Freelance writer

Preferred locations:

London (full regions list)

Reply rating:

5 stars

More Information

It's All About Building Trust

Handing the keys of your home to a total stranger can be nerve wracking. Having been both landlord and tenant in the UK and overseas, that apprehension is something I thoroughly understand. The fear of strangers, like so many of our fears, thrives on an absence of trust and a lack of information. So I will use this brief bio to become as un-strange, as human and as accessible as possible.

Experience with Properties
I have been housesitting for friends and the friends of friends for the thick end of 20 years. Over the years these assignments have included

an unoccupied 7.5 acre school complex in Central Florida
5 bedroom detached house on a private estate in Surrey
4 bedroom town house in Primrose Hill, North London
3 bedroom apartment in West Hampstead
4 bedroom detached house in Wimbledon
2 bedroom apartment in Kiev, Ukraine
4 bedroom villa in Murcia, Spain
4 bedroom house on a gated estate in Texas

Of course, things do not always run according to plan. Equally, one should never turn a drama into a crisis. And the best way to ensure that doesn't happen is by having a clear and rigorous method of dealing with emergencies. We can't always control what life throws at us, but we can avoid an awful lot of brickbats by good communication and a procedure to deal with the unexpected.

Experience with Pets
Sometimes I think that we can measure each stage of our lives through pets. It's impossible to recall my daughters growing up without picturing the first Guinea pig; the first cat, and Bella, the most affectionate gun dog I have ever known. Over the years my house sitting duties have included care of the following -

an aged cat (Minnie has now sadly passed away) in West Hampstead
chocolate coloured Labrador (Choccy) in Primrose Hill
Staffordshire Terrier, Deny, at an apartment in Kiev, Ukraine
Zoe the cat and Lily the dog, living happily together in the same Texas household
In addition, my late wife and I spent over a decade caring for a string of parrots, including Orange Winged Amazons; African Greys; cockatiels and Macaws.

About me
My own background is varied. After watching my wife die from cancer I decided the time had come to stop living as if life were some eternal treadmill and do the things I had always wanted. Since then I have lived in Ukraine and Russia (i still speak some Russian), where I organised tours. Although officially retired (retirement has no definition in my vocabulary), I now work as a freelance writer, and have spent much of the last four years in Thailand, where I now have a home and fiancée. However, U still spend around six months of the year in the UK: my ties to are too great to be severed. Beside my many friends they include two daughters (one sadly stricken with MS) and another who,lives in Surrey with her husband and three children.

Although I turned 71 last October (some numbers really are too big to take in!) I am extremely fit. I have been a member of various health clubs for over thirty years and, when rime permits, work out at least twice each week and stretch for 15 minutes every morning. Nobody enjoys getting old, but from your point of view it does provide some comfort that my friends are unlikely to turn up bearing crates of alcohol and loud music for a weekend party!

My references will include a lawyer; the owner of a Central London advertising agency: a property developer, and a healthcare professional.

I hope that these paragraphs have helped to add a beating heart to a name and a still photo. If you want to take things to the next level I suggest a pre contract meeting - either in person or virtual. Nothing beats seeing someone in real time, and hearing the sound of their voice. I look forward to meeting you. And good luck locating the housesitter who's right for your home. Thanks for taking the time to read.

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