Recently, Rebel Empire travelled to Melbourne to perform at Worldcon- a convention held in various places across the globe every year. They worked very hard over the past few months to put together a performance that was half stage and half movie, telling the story of two jedi padawans investigating the mysterious disappearance of their master. It’s all very exciting stuff, and I’m keen to see footage of how they all went.

While he (and his partners) were gone, he asked me if I would do the honour of looking after his house and pets in his absence. That big old house, alone with Bethwyn, with an impressive theatre room, hundreds of movies, all the consoles from the past two generations, and a beautiful dog and three skittish cats to look after? Heck yes! So Bethwyn and I moved into our sensei’s house for about ten days to make sure everything kept functioning and everyone was eating. And let me say this: it was awesome. Specifically the days when I chose not to do any study were the best- hanging around the house with hundreds of DVD’s and various series to watch, games to play, books to read and study to do (the last two of which I did very little). Plenty of training, learning to cook and clean regularly, getting an idea of the responsibility of walking a dog, and most importantly learning to juggle commitments. We were going to clean the house more thoroughly (we even bought a cobweb brush which got very little use but was sorely in need of purchasing), but it was pretty spick and span in anticipation of our arrival. It was really wonderful spending so much time alone with Bethwyn, doing housework and looking after her when she was sick, but it was at the cost of study time or going out to social events. Bethwyn always takes priority, but it did get a little frustrating at times how much housework I had to do in tandem with assignments and meeting friends. I guess it’s just about not doing too much in too short a time, but I have the nasty habit of filling all my free time with new things to do, so I never "get enough time".

Unfortunately, those happy days with the massive movie collections and dozens of games, the feeling of independence is going grocery shopping and cooking every day, the constant (sometimes too insistent) presence of friendly pets and life with Bethwyn in general have passed now. It was an amazing experience, and truly the best place I’ve ever lived in. I hope some day to get a house or apartment that Beth and I can move into for a longer period of time, but we both got a good taste of how wonderful it will be, as well as some of its challenges.

Welcome home Kaneda-san! Welcome home Cameron! Welcome home Ju Bean! I hope you found everything in order.

EDIT: Actually, there is one more thing I’d like to say. I learnt something valuable from this amazing excursion. Having a place to look after (minus laundry and long-term cleaning, like mopping, dusting or disinfecting) was really enjoyable. The independence aspect of it was great, but even more enjoyable was having a place to come home to with Bethwyn. I learned that no matter where we are, no matter how many spiders or how much housework, living with her is the most wonderful thing in the world, and anywhere we’re together is a place we can call home.


2 thoughts on “Housesitting

  1. Ju says:

    Thank you so much for all the amazing work that you and Bethwyn did! I’m so very grateful – we all are!!

    Glad you enjoyed the experience of making a home for a bit with Bethwyn – it’s a really lovely feeling, I’m looking forward to things settling a bit and being able to do more of it as a family ourselves :)

    One of the lessons I’ve learned in several ways is that balance of house work and related stuff for study. Also protecting my leisure/recovery time as part of that – making it as important as my study and the housework etc. It doesn’t always work, but things stay a little more balanced – and it defeats guilt cycles about things I ‘should’ have done etc.

    Stumbling across your blog about your time housesitting truly has left me with a wonderful smile to end my day. Looking forward to more hanging out with you and Bethwyn.


  2. Bethwyn says:

    I love you.
    It truly was a lot of fun being able to live with you, even for a short time. I can’t wait til we do it together in a home of our own!!
    Plus, having pets to look after again was a wonderful experience. I’m glad that I have Bronte now to fill that little empty space! <3

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