Matt & Paula Hughes, House Sitters
We are Matt and Paula Hughes, Canadians of British origin in our sixties; we are both in good health and of cheerful disposition. We have been full-time house- and pet-sitters since 2007.
Those who are already familiar with housesitting may skip the two italicized paragraphs.
For those not familiar with housesitting, a brief explanation: if you have a furnished residential property that will be standing empty for a while, your housesitters will live on the premises, providing security and basic maintenance. We will forward your mail, take phone messages and deal with any visitors as you authorize. If there are pets or livestock (within reason), we will care for them.
This is not an employer-employee relationship; rather, we are your houseguests, though we provide our own groceries. You do not pay wages or benefits, although an honorarium is always welcome. You are usually responsible, however, for household utilities, though for very long-term sits terms may be negotiated.
I am an award-winning author of sf and suspense fiction, with twenty-three novels in print or in the publishing pipeline, from publishers large and small in Canada, the US, Britain, France and Italy. I also edit books for publishers and other authors, and I occasionally work as a ghostwriter.
Before turning to fiction, and while we were raising three sons, I worked as a consultant speechwriter for BC political leaders and senior corporate executives. I have also written screenplays for independent producers and even radio comedy for the CBC. Now that our boys are grown, I am less interested in making money than in being able to write what I like while seeing some more of the world.
Paula was a full-time mother and homemaker until our boys were all in school. She then trained as a carer and community support worker, supporting adults with learning and physical disabilities, and did that work for fifteen years.
We are nonsmokers, moderate drinkers. Paula is an able gardener; I handle the spade work. I am no great handyman but I can unblock a sink or change a fuse. We both drive and have no demerit points on our Canadian drivers licences. As a carer, Paula used to have a Class 4 license (which entitled her to drive multipassenger vehicles), but it has lapsed. She is trained in First Aid and CPR. I am untrained in such things, but I remain cool in emergencies.
We are good with animals. Between us, we have looked after dogs, cats, horses, dairy cattle, a herd of alpacas, pigs, chickens, geese, fish, and the usual assortment of rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters that feature in raising children. We have no animal phobias and would be comfortable even looking after tarantulas, though we would probably draw the line at feeding live mice to snakes.
We can provide an RCMP criminal records check and excellent references: reference 1, reference 2, reference 3, reference 4, reference 5, reference 6, reference 7, reference 8, reference 9, and reference 10, reference 11, reference 12, reference 13, reference 14.
One extra: besides writing and editing genre fiction, I have done a fair amount of teaching and mentoring of emerging writers. I would not be averse to providing some help and guidance in the craft and business of fiction writing, as part of a long-term housesitting relationship.
Below are a few of the contented critters we’ve looked after over the past eight and a half years.
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