I’ve just completed a two-week house sitting stint at my old family home, but because my family still live there I was, essentially, house sitting at home… Exotic.
Here’s how to win when house sitting for family.
Act Like King or Queen of the Manor
If your family home is five times the size (or even just a bit bigger) than you current abode, make the most of it by spreading out, strutting your stuff, and lording it over your imaginary subjects. Really go to town if the mood takes you, and wear a cape and a fancy hat. If these regal items allude you, an old towel slung around your shoulders and your mom’s shower cap will suffice.
NB: The illusion will be shattered if you answer the door to the postman.
Water the Plants with Caution
If the huge responsibility of keeping the plants and vegetable garden alive falls on your shoulders, pick your watering time wisely. Not for fear of scorching the poor things if you commence your watering duty while the sun is still out – oh no – but rather fear of the neighbours seeing you.
You might be wondering what could possibly require such caution, but I’m here to tell you that a whole host of things are likely to go awry. From being chased by wasps (which will undoubtedly lead to screaming, flapping, flailing, screeching, and swatting) to getting the hose pipe tangled around the washing line pole (which will lead to several embarrassing turns around said pole like an uncoordinated maypole dancer), the English country garden is fraught with dangers and hazards.
Should the worst happen and it looks like some prize plants are bidding farewell to life on earth and packing their bags for a date with the devil, a last resort is soaking them with lemonade. Don’t ask how or why; just know that sometimes this works. Of course, sometimes it doesn’t, but hey, the only certain thing in life is death & taxes, right?
Use the Dinner Party Crockery
Make the most of the fancy dinnerware and host your very own dinner party. Be the hostess with the mostest and serve at least seven courses. If the cutlery set doesn’t contain enough utensils for such lavishness, feel free to harshly judge the owners on their inferior cutlery.
Only invite the people you know can be trusted not to break the crystal or scratch the Royal Doulton. Only invite the people who won’t twig you don’t really know what you’re doing.
Set a formal dress code and feel free to wear your cape and fancy hat.