We’ve been quiet I know.

We’re housesitting in Belgium in a little town called Huldenberg outside Brussels, close to a very cool town of Leuven and we’ve been in a bit of overwhelm while we adjust. It seems to be our pattern, we get to a new location flip out for a week or so and then settle down. We’re just starting to settle down.

This housesit is pretty incredible, but since we’re uber responsible people, it’s hard to be all free and easy and go with it. We can choose to take the BMW or Jeep to the supermarket (maybe take the horse trailer as well), we have access to the wine cellar and freezer full of seafood (! ha) there’ s satellite TV, a huge backyard (which we need to mow 1-2 times a week). It’s a huge 5 bedroom 3.5 bath house – with full gym, priceless art, a pond (complete with frogs which the kids are loving) and even a server room(!) means you really have to take it a bit seriously. Two children and beautiful artwork, not to mention the gorgeous imported tableware… stress city!

There’s a cleaning team (yes there are two of them) who come over once a week (well actually twice if we wanted ironing done on a Saturday), and the gardeners come in to manicure, but we have to maintain the place between. It’s a lot to take on board.

Our first priority is Muze who is 100% awesome and is bred to protect her herd meaning she goes a little nutty when there’s activity going on and oh boy there’s been a lot going on.

  • A 3-day photo shoot of food (so that meant a chef, a photographer and revolving door of assistants). We had to keep Muze away from all the tasty treats (and the kids for that matter) so we hung out in the basement for 3 days. Don’t feel bad, there’s a foos table, a full on gym- including squat rack, treadmill two types of stationery bikes, full mirrors, and a massage table! – a massive TV with seating for at least 8.
  • Harvesting barley (which is actually one of the fence lines). Muze hasn’t seemed to notice that there’s no ‘fence’ so she can get out if she wants to now. Arghh. The other ‘fence’ is a cornfield, which is about to be harvested too, so no real fence for her. We didn’t want fuzzy girl and the kids been squashed by the harvester, so kept her inside again. What’s funny is that the kids come from a farming nation and have never seen harvesting before, they’re like “Wow you never see this in New Zealand!” Yeah, you do kids, you just don’t see it in the city. As a side note the kids have loved playing in the cornfield. They took Muze with them one day, only for me to freak out, because I didn’t know if she would take off. Wasn’t worried about the kids getting lost.
  • Landscapers manicuring the bushes etc. Again we needed to keep Muze calm on this one, since they were digging up her back yard! They’re supposed to be back to lay some more grass and finish the pond (putting in a statute and filters.)
  • A two day cycle race happening on our street. Cycling is HUGE here (had no idea) and Huldenberg has an annual event (we think) that meant a carnival down the road and our street as part of the course. Guess who’s not very fond of cyclists? Yeah we had to keep her entertained for that too.
  • Deliveries. Belgium post is weird, and there’s been packages delivered. Instead of actually waiting for someone to come to the gate, they ring the bell and take off, so it’s hard to actually sign for them. Guess who goes nuts when the gate bell goes?

All that means, we work, school and take Muze swimming to tire her out (since she’s been inside a lot due to all the activity). Or go grocery shopping (which is so nice to do with a car, we really appreciate having a car to get groceries!) We will hopefully go back to Leuven which I really fell for, we were there only a couple of hours because we didn’t want to leave Muze too long….

So yes, we’ve been quiet. But come on, did you just read the above and the type of house we’re staying in?! It’s incredible! No way did I think we’d be housesitting in a place like this. It is a lot of work (really makes me want to live tiny that’s for sure), but wow! We sure scored.

To add to the house our host is so incredibly generous. He’s a very, very busy man with lots of responsibilities (not to mention businesses) and while he was here he got up each morning and drove to the bakery to buy Lennox donuts and Alpha a special raisin bun thing. He also took us out to dinner each night, including to this Mexican restaurant near the Atom (which turned out to be very entertaining with sombreros and Mariachi singing.) So we’ve been well looked after. It appears he treats his staff very well – he expects a lot and gives a lot. Fair trade.

It’s unlikely we’ll be posting much more from Belgium, you can now see why. I do need to pick up my Instagram though. We’ll be in Scotland on the 26th, if all goes to plan and immigration lets us in. In Scotland we’re looking after 1 dog and 4 cats and a large house…

Yes I haven’t posted any house pictures, maintaining privacy.

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Alice Rae-Flick

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3 Replies to “Our amazing housesit”

  1. Wow, and Wow again! We think you really needed this, kind of a (not) break. hi this is mum now so the spelling won’t be that good now how is the shopping food, clothes, arty craft, and the like? boy we do miss cooking for you all. me done. Warwick on now. Mum’s first time on the desktop and she gets upset about her spelling. Tries, tho. Now, we want to know what the air quality is like, and the traffic, petrol prices, food prices. You said that you will be in Scotland (hopefully) on the 26th – of which month??? Is it starting to cool down there as we are sort of having an early spring! Just planted some vege seeds today – beans, peas, and spinach. Next week root veges. Have fun and don’t let the dog run you ragged. Sounds a really good host.

  2. Tony mentioned while we skyped this evening that he had read your most recent posts. I’d become used to being notified on Facebook that a new post was available so silly me, I’d missed the last two. Now I’m caught up. It sounds like an amazing house and the choice of Bmer or Jeep is a no brainer as far as I’m concerned. What an amazing experience. Miss you all tons and continue to be so proud. I’m not sure people believe me when I tell them what you are doing. kisses and hugs to all MC

  3. Now this is what we call ” living the dream” … sounds like the challenge is on to find equivalent or better digs to housesit.
    Yes; like Father Drake asked – 26th which month? I’m thinking September, as you mentioned before you are in Scotland from Sept – Nov .. also you would be in Scotland by now 🙂 … just realised whilst I was typing this out.. no brainer there I guess !!
    Hmm.. I wonder what the next House sit is going to be like .. at least you will be able understand the natives at your next stop or do a lot of the Belgiumers (what are they called? ) speak English? ..
    What are you going to miss the most? Dog? Car? Space? own bedroom for the kids? etc
    What are the public Dunnies like? …

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