Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Cat Sitting in Tresham, Cotswolds

Sunset last night

We’re cat and house sitting and on holiday again in Tresham in the beautiful Cotswolds in Middle England. Tresham is a tiny village in the Stroud district of Gloucestershire, comprising about 70 houses and a population of around 600 (according to the 2001 census). It is high up on a plateau of about 200m with great views over the surrounding countryside and is about 8 miles from Highgrove House, the country home of HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and first in line to the throne of the UK.

Fiona and John's house - our home for a week and a bit
We’re looking after the house (a beautifully converted barn) of our friends Fiona and John who are now in Cape Town on a part business trip and part holiday/safari for just over a week and we’re pandering to the needs of their two Birman (we think) pussy cats, Isla and Fitz, who are both very cute and full of character.

and Fitz
Sleepy Isla on Jackies lap
We got here yesterday in time to have the full run down of the running of the house from Fiona, before they departed in their executive taxi for the airport (well, John is going business class, even if Fiona is only in ‘premium economy’). The house is one of about four houses down a private drive, a former farm, built in Cotswold stone, full of character, beautifully restored and overlooking fields with breath-taking views, not a bad place to spend a week and a half and a bit of a change from Birmingham!

Walking through Tresham
Today, our first day here, we’ve been for a 7 mile walk so, after catching a really good sunset last night, Jackie having really good cuddles from Isla last night, both cats starting the night on our bed, before being relegated to their own room due to them becoming over-active and running around, we set off around 10:00am today in cloudy but clear skies. Trevor, our neighbour, was out last night, this morning and when we got back, working in his garden, so we’ve had a good chat and, we hope got accepted (was he checking up on us? Don’t think so, he just seems to like pottering in the garden).

She might like grass, but she won't take it from your hand Jackie!
Anyway, all walks from here start downhill (except for the highest point round here, which is 207m, with a OS Trig Point and about 12m higher than where we are), so we were off through the village and downhill into really nice countryside and past a number of very impressive houses: Ozleworth Park, which is a relatively modern house with a 12th century Norman church alongside, Home Covert, which looks a much older grand property with crenelated battlements and Boxwell Court, a 600 year old country house. 

Ozleworth Park House
There were no pubs on the way, a fact I kept from Jackie until well into the walk, which was just as well as I realised I’d left home without my wallet! However, I had prepared a delightful lunch for her: sandwiches, an apple and some water to wash it all down – I know how to treat a woman, but I did carry everything, including the potatoes and corn on the cobs she collected on the way round (not stolen, but foraged and would otherwise have rotted).

Foraged potatoes
The old church at Newington Bagpath, now privately owned

The Motte at Newington Bagpath
Interesting house at Holwell Farm
Home Covert House

On the hunt for corn on the cob in a 'wind-break' patch
Jackie trying to make friends with the locals
Back to a nice warm house (Fiona does like it warm in her house!) and two ‘pleased to see us’ cats and tea and biscuits (haven’t baked a cake yet!) and a few hours to wait before preparing dinner. It’s a tough old life!

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