It just so happens that during our three years in the UK Staffan and I have not travelled together. We do not travel together often as we both usually travel on business and do not share each other's business. We have both travelled a lot these three years, but this is the first time we were away from home and had to ask someone to take care of the cat and the garden.
It is not very hard to find someone to cat- and house-sit in a large, well-equipped house in Cambridge, so we had a father and son from Finland staying here over the last weekend, and now that we are going away to Brazil, another family is coming.
In the Moomin stories, Moominmamma always asks guests and newcomers how many pillows they need and what they want for breakfast. Concerning pillows, I give the guests two each, and if they only need one they can throw the other in the corner. I asked the Finnish father and son what they wanted for breakfast and got a very detailed description of what kind of bread they preferred and the boy sometimes liked youghurt, but only banana youghurt, and the father wanted chicken or turkey for his sandwich, but not ham. I am glad I asked, for there were none of the aforementioned items available in the house. The family coming this weekend didn't specify what kind of bread they wanted. I hope they find something to their liking.
We will be away when they arrive, and we are leaving detailed instructions, including things such as remote control for the garage, rainwater tub by the greenhouse, garbage recycling and other things you normally don't notice. I am walking around the house thinking of daily routines and adding to the list: "Extra towels in the bathroom cabinet..."
I remind myself that I have borrowed or rented other people's houses and always survived.