Today is our 5th full day in Heywood Lancashire England and the 11th of September. So, we are only 11 days into our world travel adventures but have had a lot going on.
We are house sitting for a lovely family’s home and 3 beloved dogs and their Tortoise. Sidney is 3, Nelly is 6 and Doris is 2 years old. Eric the tortoise is 15 years old and only a short while ago after a trip to the vets they found out the Eric was actually an Erica! We’ve been calling him Eric though.
Meet our Pet Family in Heywood
They live next to the Roch Valley. It’s very picturesque and we take the dogs on 3 walks daily. Shawn found a beautiful farm with horses that he was able to get up close and personal with even.
We are in a suburb in Heywood
It’s great to see so many people out and about. Whether they are walking their dogs, going to the grocery or just the pub, people are outside getting active. Especially senior citizens. We see more seniors walking around than anyone. Maybe they aren’t allowed to drive any longer or maybe this is how they are still mobile and active. Either way, love it.
At home, I was very sedentary. Working from home and just not really needing to go for walks or wanting to walk around the same neighborhoods – yet again – were my excuses. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about not having a car and walking most places, even in the rain, but I’m really loving it. I even went for a walk with Shawn to the local pharmacy the other day while it was pouring buckets. We bought awesome rain coats and brought our umbrellas with us for this purpose. A little rain never killed anyone right?
In Mukilteo (a suburb about 20 miles North of Seattle) I found that more people only walked or ran for exercise. For us, we are here walking for scenery and out of necessity in Heywood as we don’t have a vehicle. Shawn and Sam rode bikes to go to the grocery store even. I can’t remember the last time Shawn was on a bike. Shawn and I already feel lighter and healthier than we have in years. It is Ironic that I’m writing this whilst eating a piece of carrot cake from dinner last night! 😉
Shawn likes to go for runs every morning and some days he does Live Facebook Videos. Today is a Sunday and he could hear church bells from our place so he decided to follow the music and arrived at St Luke’s Church doing a Live feed. Listen to those bells!
The residents of Heywood are all very friendly. The air smells really clean and fresh. The neighborhood feels very comfortable and familiar even though we are 4,614 miles away from where we lived our entire lives. It feels great to care for the dogs, play and cuddle with them.
Shawn has been taking picture on his walks and runs about town and the countryside and of us.
One of the best things about this housesit, beside the great location, house and pets, is KODI. What is Kodi? Well, read the link and then you will find out. It’s awesome and we’ve now downloaded the App on our computers. It doesn’t work on Locked iPhones so the kids are irritated but, we can now watch any movie or TV Show we want – PERIOD! Around the world, at any time of day, with no service fees. They have it on their TV and we are so excited.
It may sound dumb but Alex and I love watching our Bravo TV Shows together like Real Housewives of Orange County. The other night the two of us were up late, cuddled together catching up on our shows and Alex was telling me how happy she was to be able to keep this routine alive. I agree!
Some our First’s happened in Heywood
Being in Heywood also marked Sam’s first day of being a High School Freshman. He started his 3rd year of Online Public School. He told us that he was happy to start school again and loves his classes so far. Marine Biology, Health, World History, Algebra 1, English 1 and PE of course. He sits at the dinning table with Shawn and I while we work on our Scentsy Business..
Yesterday was another 1st. Alex’s first legal drink as an adult. She’s 18 and in England so that means she can drink in the pub. Whoop Whoop. Not that she’s a drinker nor do we partake much anymore. It’s more the ‘being able to’ if she wants to. What she really wanted was to try a fruity drink like Sex on the Beach or a Mojito but…we are in a small town with pubs and no Night Clubs. They don’t know how to make Whiskey Sours so they surely won’t be making her any frou frou drinks. She took a sip of a Captains and Coke at another pub and thought it tasted good. Problem was that when she tried to order it at the pub we stayed at to watch the Manchester United & City match, they only had regular Rum. Well, she took one whole sip and determined that she didn’t like it and would wait to go to a bigger town with more selection. We did capture the moment anyway though.
Sam played his first game of Darts and in a Pub in England no less. Go Sam!
The first time we were served alcohol by a child. Meet Oliver. He is the bar man at the pub we are in. He poured Shawn’s Pint, put in a new keg and used the register and collected the money. I know you aren’t supposed to tip at pubs but I tipped this kiddo. He’s a little taller than the bar.
Me washing clothes and drying them on the clothesline because I had to, not because I chose to. Much different.
Eating Yorkshire pudding for the first time. We all really liked it. I mean really, what’s not to love about a bit of raised and fried doughy bread that is covered in Gravy with meat? We went to a nice restaurant outside of town last night for dinner and chose to get one of everything from the buffet so I could try new things! BTW, I won’t try mint sauce again…it’s GROSS!
In case you missed it from a few days ago in Manchester, we also recorded Sam and I trying Blood Pudding. Sam’s face was the funniest as the waitress was talking to us the entire time the pudding was in his mouth. Love this!
Last night was also a 1st.
Out of nowhere, sweet Sidney wanted to sit where Nelly was with us on the couch. When Nelly wouldn’t move something just made Sidney lose his shit. He attacked her. It was bad. Everyone else was scared and didn’t know what to do but I grabbed my water bottle (it’s metal) as a blocker or weapon, just in case, and moved in to separate Sidney from Nelly’s neck. I wrestled him off of her and separated the two. Both were traumatized. Sam was scared for the dogs and for me…all the “what if’s” upset him. Alex was worried about both dogs and was comforting Nelly all night. Poor Doris didn’t know which one of the dogs to comfort. I called the home owners Mum who lives just around the corner. We determined that Nelly did have puncture marks but would be fine with lots of care and attention
Sidney was so upset with himself that he vomited, twice. He was not a happy camper nor was Shawn for having to clean it up. We all must do our parts though right?
The thing about Nelly is that she is a rescue dog. She was rescued when she was 3 and was beaten with sticks. She is a very sensitive and sweet soul and was just very shaken up by the fight. Sidney was ashamed of himself. You could see it on his face. I cleaned Nelly up last night and again twice today so far. I’ll have to take care of her wounds over the next few days and keep them clean and disinfected. She slept in Alex’s bed all night – her favorite place to sleep.
One of the good things that came from this experience was teaching Shawn, Alex and Sam how to intervene, in the safest way possible to separate a dog fight with the least chance of getting yourself hurt. No matter how great any dog is, if they aren’t your own, you can never be 100% sure they won’t flip out on you or someone else. A sudden movement, sound, perhaps motivated by food, or something else, could make them snap.
This morning Sam was afraid of Sidney but I think I’ve shown him how to be cautious but not afraid. Dogs can smell your fear and the more confident and kind you can be while being cautious, the better. Nelly is doing better this morning and Alex is caught up on her sleep now as she was up all night with Nelly who was restless after her ordeal. Sam is much better now too but is much more cautious.
A few days ago Shawn, Sam and I made a FAQ video about our first week traveling. This is something we plan on doing weekly so make sure you follow us on our Facebook Page for updates on when we will be recording LIVE so you can ask us questions.
Eating and getting around in Heywood
After our days of traveling before arriving in Heywood the kids were so sick of eating out. Like really really sick of it. They were begging me to cook when we got to Heywood. So, we took the bus from Manchester straight to the grocery store in Heywood where it would only be a 20 minute walk (up hill) to our house sit.
We purchased enough food for several days worth of meals and packed them up and we we’re on our way. It was a rough walk with all of our crap and all the food we got but after we settled in for the night it was well worth it. Everyone was happy to wake up that 1st morning and have fruit and yogurt and healthier foods. I made Burritos one night, Chicken thighs with Zucchini and a Salad with balsamic vinaigrette another and then we ordered pizza (see below) the other night when it rained like crazy. Tonight I’m making Sliders. Turkey for Shawn and hamburgers for the rest of us. Alex has been craving a good burger for a while now and needs to be satisfied.
The Groceries and restaurants here have great prices. Like really affordable. It’s crazy how affordable and even cheap things are. Except for things from the states. Nature Valley Granola bars are around $3.50 a box. It seems like everything is 1£ which $1.33 USD. We really thought that with the cost of the Sterling Pound being worth more than the US Dollar, that everything would cost more. We are happy to be wrong.
One of the things that does appear to be more expensive is Public Transit. It’s actually much more affordable to take a Taxi to many places than it is to all hop on a bus. It costs about $5 USD to take a bus, per person, from one town to another. It only costs $3.50 USD on average for bus trip in and out of downtown Seattle. It costs us less than $3 USD to go pretty much anywhere around town…for the entire family in a TAXI and they arrive withing a couple of minutes. Easy Peasy. Walking is always free though.
Here are some more photos of us and the dogs and just us being us. Enjoy and thanks for following along on our journey.