This was my 3rd time house and petsitting on this lovely island in the middle of the Irish Sea located halfway between Ireland and the UK. Once again I’m caring for Milo and Crystal, two of most misbehaving shih tzus you’d ever want to meet. They have never been taught the world ‘no’ by their owner who has spoiled them rotten – but you must admit, they’re cute!
I almost didn’t make to the island. I was scheduled to fly from Amsterdam to London City and after a short layover, from there on to the Isle of Man. The flight into London was delayed because of strong winds – a forewarning of worse weather to come.
I managed to get in just before named Storm Ciara, followed immediately by Storm Dennis came crashing into the Isle and onto the UK. All flights and ferries were cancelled for almost the entire two weeks I was on the island due to daily gale force winds of 80+mph and massive waves that flooded beaches and low-lying coast towns. Add to that tons and tons of rain that just didn’t stop. The UK got the worst of both storms and is still suffering major flooding in several towns.
The few times I tried to walk the dogs on their leashes I felt like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz with her 2 Toto’s barely managing to stay grounded! I was almost lifted off my feet and only because of their low center of gravity, were the pups able to stay on the sidewalk.
They got used to a quick run out the backdoor into the hedge-protected backyard to take care of their business. I stayed inside, read and watched a lot of telly. I only made it into the capital city of Douglas one afternoon – no roaming the winding, weaving roads that go up, down and around the mountains and along the coastline on this trip. (For a lot more information about what the island is like in better weather, check out my previous two Isle of Man blog posts which feature lots of photos.)
Something you don’t think about when island living is not your norm is that fresh food arrives via either planes and.or boats. By the 2nd week of constant storms, the shelves were bare of almost all fresh veggies, bread and frozen foods. Can goods were getting scarce as well.
Mary, my homeowner, had done a grocery run just before I arrived and had stocked the fridge with some goodies. I always get a giggle out of some of the different and unusual names things are called in other places. Want a ‘cobbette’ anyone?
I got out for one meal while there and just had to go to my favorite hole-in-the-wall fish ‘n chip shop. This is a ‘small’ serving and the cost was $5.00US with a side of mushy peas and a cuppa tea included.
When my time to depart for Oxford, UK arrived, I must admit I was really anxious to leave. I had had enough of being inside with always damp and therefore, doggy-smelling dogs, I was looking forward to a more comfy bed (minus dogs) and a brand new area to explore.
I barely managed to get out on my morning FLYBE flight – the winds once again grounded everything soon after I left. The landing in Birmingham was bumpy and ‘exciting,’ something I really don’t enjoy when flying. But it was lovely to look out the window, see a bit of sunshine on top of the clouds and be happy the jet propellers were turning smoothly!
Onto a 3 week house/pet sit (2 big, fat black kitties) in South Leigh, Oxfordshire which is located right in the center of the Cotswolds. I can’t wait to share the experience with you.
Until next time…..
PS: If you read my previous post on Amsterdam, you know that I fell on a wet pavement and hurt my arm. A friend sent me this photo. I don’t know if it’s Chinese or Japanese, but you’ve gotta love the sentiment!