Even Val could not prevent the boredom of house sitting - Fiona Duff

I remember, many moons ago when I lived in London that I met the new girlfriend of a chap I know. She was darned pretty but behind those beautiful eyes with the long fluttery eyelashes there sure wasn’t much going on.

Vale McDermid
Vale McDermid

I asked her one what she did for a living. “I house sit” she replied. I asked if her boyfriend, whose name of course I cannot remember, not mind you being away a lot of the time? Well, it appeared that all the double earning yuppies that she knew couldn’t take half a day off work in order to sit at home hoping that the gas man would turn up. Of course, you have to remember that this was before everyone had email, internet and mobile phones that weren’t the size of a brick. Oh, yes that long ago.

Anyway, instead of taking a half day holiday, they would pay her handsomely to lounge on their velvet sofa watching daytime television until whoever was meant to arrive did indeed knock on the door.

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The reason I say this is that I wish I had been paid to do this yesterday. My daughter has a flat which needed the boiler serviced and the washing machine examined. So I waited for 7 hours between the first to arrive and the second. I didn’t dare leave in case they turned up, shoved a card through the door and then scarpered. I could even use my phone in case I missed a message to say they were on their way (which is what happened last time).

I can’t remember when I was last so bored. I took a book – 1979 by Val McDermid in case you are interested – but forced reading reminded me of studying for my English Higher. And the spaniel was particularly displeased about not having a proper walk as he needs his 10,000 steps a day.

However, I survived and it did occur to me that there might still be a business in this. I could call it Let Me Be Bored For You. Quite snappy don’t you think?