Here we go again! Our home is a great base to explore the south of England. We have two friendly, healthy 10-year-old, indoor/outdoor cats who will need care and a bit of love while we head to France.
Southampton is a very old city of about 270,000 diverse people. It has important docks (the Titanic, and the Mayflower, sailed from here), a good chunk of medieval wall, two universities, culture, good restaurants, shopping, pretty good transport links.
Our house is in a quiet, very convenient residential neighbourhood (Upper Shirley). It's 260 paces to a corner shop, less than 10 minutes' walk to The Common (350 acres of woods andparkland), a city park, pubs, cafes. A walk of minutes brings you to a shopping street; there also are a few buses nearby, so a car is not 100% essential. You can walk from Southampton Central Station to our house in minutes (1.5 miles)
Built 1924, the house recently has been extended and renovated. So it's bright and up-to-date but still cosy and comfortable. A major feature is the 25' (nearly 8 metre) kitchen/dining room that extends from front to back and opens onto the small patio and landscaped garden. There are three bedrooms upstairs (must be able to manage stairs), modern bathrooms. There is good wifi, a landline, easy on-street parking on our quiet road.
From Southampton, there are frequent trains to London Waterloo (1 hour, 20 minutes, an easy day trip) and many other UK destinations. There are pedestrian and car ferries for the short trip to the Isle of Wight. The lovely New Forest, a national park with its 1000s free range ponies, cattle, donkeys, sheep, is just 20 minutes away. The cathedral cities of Winchester, Salisbury, and Chichester are easily accessed, as are lovely villages, several National Trust properties, gardens, etc. A great area for gentle walking, also cycling, sailing, horse riding, shingle and sand beaches.
Our main need is for cat care for our friendly-but-independent furry cats: they may well want a lap to sit on, once they approve of you. Other modest needs are to bring in mail, water a few indoor plants, tend the small garden and mow the small patch of lawn, communicate occasionally with us, leave our home clean and in good order. There may be small jobs available to an eager handyperson or gardener--very welcome, but these are not required.
I'm happy to provide more information and photos to prospective sitters after initial contact. Please do tell us something about yourself and your experience with cats. Please note, too, that we may need sitters at other times of year as well. Non-smokers only, please.
COVID coda: Giving the ever-changing travel regulations, we think it prudent to make arrangements with house sitters who are already in the UK, the better to reduce chances of travel cancellations or changed restrictions. We prefer vaccinated people.
I'm American and my husband is British. We love house sitters, have had great experiences for over 10 years with sitters from many countries; it's such a good solution for travelers, pets, and sitters. Cheers.